The Akita Inu, the pride of Japan, is actually the biggest of all six native Japanese dog breeds – others being the Shiba Inu, Kai Ken, Shikoku, Hokkaido, and the Kishu. This is an incredibly beautiful Spitz-type dog that is best known after its great strength, amazing loyalty and dominant attitude. Indeed, the Akitas are above anything else very tough, powerful, brave, determined, athletic, agile, and hardy, but also very intelligent, docile, resourceful and independent. They make wonderful family dogs, but are also known as superb guard dogs and watchdogs. Yep, the Japanese Akita is very territorial, very protective, and ready to give its life in defense of its family. Considering how large, strong and heavy these dogs actually are (males up to 26 inches (66 cm) height and 122 pounds (55 kg) weight), it’s not hard to guess that strangers can be in serious trouble if enter the owner’s property unannounced. So, if you own this dog you should definitely put a proper ‘beware of dog’ warning on your front gate! Apart from that, this dog is usually not willing to share its space with too many other animals. That’s why it is of great importance that you socialize and train your dog in obedience as soon as possible. Of course, it will take you some time to have your Akita well-mannered and well-behaved, but once you get the job done, it will be a pure joy to share your living space with this wonderful and authentic dog. And now let’s take a look at our list of ten most interesting Akita Inu facts. Continue Reading →
The Shiba Inu is a small Spitz type dog originating from Japan. Together with the Akita Inu, this is definitely the most famous Japanese dog breed in the world. Well, that is not hard to guess, considering how truly awesome, appealing and cute Shiba actually is. Indeed, this is a type of dog that will literally put a smile on your face at first sight. The Shiba Inu is small, attentive, lively, and quirky, with a lovely, fox-like look and cute gaze. This dog is also incredibly loyal, highly intelligent, brave, tenacious, alert, agile, and proud. He is literally the embodiment of good spirit, boldness and alertness, which is the reason he is so prized in his native land. On top of that, the Shiba Dog is very clean and likes to take care of himself, which makes him suitable for almost all living conditions, including apartments. However, though it might seem this is an obedient, calm family pet, that is actually far from truth. The Shiba Inu is one of the most stubborn, independent and least trainable dogs you can find. Besides, he is an independent thinker, which will test your will to the limits. So yeah, in order to put one of these in its place, you will have to dedicate a lot of time to its training and socialization. Now combine all of this and it’s perfectly clear that this is an irresistible dog with an unbreakable will and kingly mentality. With that being said, it is time to take a look at our list of ten most interesting Shiba Inu facts.
1.) The Shiba Ken is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. In fact, it is a basal breed, which means that it predates all modern dog breeds, and is probably the most ancient of all dog breeds originating from Japan (Akita Inu, Kai Ken, Shikoku, Kishu, and Hokkaido). The Shiba descended from the dogs that accompanied the first immigrants (Jomon-jin or Rope-Pattern People) to Japan around 7.000 BC. The shell midden left by the Jomonjin contained bones of small dogs that were similar in structure to those of modern Shibas. Around 2.000 BC, another group of immigrants came to Japan with their dogs. These dogs interbred with the descendants of the Jomon people’s dogs, and produced Spitz type dogs with physical characteristics reminiscent of nowadays Shibas, such as the pointed ears and curved or sickle tails. For this reason, the Shiba Inu is considered one of the ancient dog breeds – a group of dogs that includes the oldest and most primitive dog breeds in the world, such as the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Chow Chow, Saluki, Akita Inu, Alaskan Malamute, Pekingese, etc.
2.) The name Shiba Inu translated from Japanese means “Brushwood Dog“. “Brushwood” is a term in Japanese for a sort of bush or tree whose leaves turn prominently red in autumn. With that in mind, we can assume that such name probably refers to the most prominent color in the breed (red), or it actually hints to a type of bushy terrains in which Shibas‘re used to hunt. However, in an old Nagano dialect, the word Shiba means “small“, which also makes sense because this is the smallest of all six native, distinct Japanese dog breeds. That’s why the Shiba Inu is sometimes referred to as the “Little Brushwood Dog“.
3.) All Shibas in existence today actually descended from three bloodlines that survived the WWII, during which the breed was at the brink of extinction due to huge distemper outbreak, bombing raids and shortage of food. These strains were the Mino Shiba (Gifu Prefecture), the Shinshu Shiba (Nagano Prefecture) and the San’in Shiba (Shimane and Tottori Prefectures). The Mino Shibas were recognizable by the thick, pointed ears and sickle tails, which are not that common in modern day Shibas, which usually have curved tails. The San’in Shibas were larger than most modern day Shibas, and were usually black. Black-and-tan Shibas you can find today probably descended from this bloodline. The Shinshu Shibas were the most similar to modern Shibas in appearance and size, and were recognizable by curved tails, very dense undercoat, and short, red topcoat. All three strains were later merged into a single breed, the Shiba Inu.
4.) The first Japanese breed standard (the Nippo Standard) was published in 1934. In 1936, Japan declared the Shiba Inu a National Treasure, thanks to the Nippo (Nihon Ken Hozonkai), the Association for the Preservation of the Japanese Dog. Today, this is the most popular and most numerous companion dog in Japan.
5.) Though Shibas are now mostly used as companion dogs, that was not the case in the past. Indeed, these dogs were bred primarily for hunting back in the day. They were notorious for their tenacity, endurance, fearlessness, agility, resourcefulness, and loyalty, which are all qualities needed for an outstanding hunting dog. They were used to hunt all kinds of game (big and small), including wild boars, bears, birds, rabbits, etc. They were equally good at flushing the game as well as keeping it at bay. So yeah, they were highly skilled and capable hunters, much prized in their native country. However, this is the main reason Shibas can never be trusted in the company of non-canine pets. They are natural born hunters, who won’t hesitate to chase and kill anything small and hairy, including cats, hamsters, rabbits, etc. Also, watch your birds too!
6.) Like all other native Japanese breeds, the Shiba Inu is incredibly loyal and devoted to his family. This dog will literally live for his family, and will give his life to protect them. As a proof of Shiba‘s loyalty, there is an interesting true story from Japan. Namely, after the 2004 Chūetsu earthquake a Shiba named Mari sought out rescuers in the village of Yamakoshi (now part of the city of Nagaoka) and led them to the house of his family, which was completely destroyed. Rescuers started the excavation immediately and saved an elderly man and his daughter (Mari‘s owners) from the ruins. This just proves how loyal and affectionate Shibas truly are.
7.) Cute little devil! The Little Brushwood Dog has larger than life personality. He is overconfident, independent, freethinking, and stubborn as a mule, which makes his extremely difficult to train, especially for inexperienced owners. And not just that, he is also incredibly grumpy, cheeky, strong-willed, and possessive of his own things (food, toys, etc.). That’s why the Shiba Inu is prone to aggressive issues, such as aggression with other dogs, food aggression, and aggression toward humans. Early socialization with different things is a must to prevent such behavior issues!
8.) One of the most authentic characteristics of this breed is the so-called “Shiba scream“. This is a type of weird, high-pitched scream that is incredibly loud. A dog usually produces it when provoked, unhappy, mistreated, or just out of pure joy, especially when he meets his master after being separated for long. It can be scary or funny at times, depending on the situation.
9.) The Shiba Inu is an escape artist with a master’s degree! If bored or left alone for long, this dog will literally pull of some marvelous tricks (like a little Houdini) in order to escape. He is incredibly agile and flexible, and can easily climb over fences and squeeze through narrow holes. He is also an excellent digger, and can swiftly burrow under fences. On top of that, he is capable of biting through leashes with ease. Now combine this with his brilliant mind, and it’s perfectly clear the Shiba can’t be confined just like that. That’s why it is mandatory that you always supervise your Shiba and spend as much time as possible with him. This also applies if you keep your dog indoors. Sure, he won’t escape thus easily from an apartment, but he’ll discover other ways to deal with boredom, such as destroying your furniture, chewing things into pieces, etc.
10.) The Shiba Ken is a very healthy breed, with an average lifespan ranging from 12 to 15 years. The most common health problems in the breed are allergies, glaucoma, luxating patella, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, entropion, and some forms of cancer. However, none of these is in the category of major concerns. One particular Shiba, called Pusuke, lived up to 26 years and 248 days. A dog died in December 2011 and, according to the Guinness Book of Records, was the oldest dog in the world from December 2010 up to his death. As of 2011, Pusuke is on the 10th place on the list of the oldest dogs ever recorded. His owner, Ms. Shinohara, said that Pusuke was active and fit up to the day of his death. This just proves how restless and lively this breed actually is.
So, there you have it, our list of ten most interesting Shiba Inu facts. I hope it will be an interesting read and that you’ll learn something new about this cute but strong-willed dog. If not, at least you will get a clearer picture of the breed’s goods and bads. But I’m sure your dog will be more on the good side, they always are :)
The Chow Chow is a distinctive-looking companion dog originating from northern China, where it is also known as Sōng Shī Quǎn (Fluffy Lion Dog), Lang Gou (Wolf Dog) and Xiong Gou (Bear Dog). This lovely canine will charm you with its fluffy appearance like a teddy bear, its panda-like sluggishness, flattened and rounded face with the cute appeal of a puffball, cat-like personality, and its lovely snore. This is a naturally aloof, reserved and stubborn dog that is well known after its couch potato lifestyle. He makes an good family companion that is very affectionate and loyal to all members of the household. However, the Chow Chow can be also aggressively protective of its owner and property to the point he would actually attack and even bite a stranger. This is the reason it is very important to socialize your dog as soon as possible. Being primarily an indoors companion, it is perfectly clear that this is not an excessively active dog, but that doesn’t mean he is some calm cuddly pet. On the contrary, the Chow Chow can be very unpredictable and intolerant if annoyed or abused. That’s why this dog is not recommended for families with small children unless they’re raised together. On the bright side, Chow is usually friendly with cats and other dogs since its hunting instincts are not so strong. With that being said, it’s time to take a look at ten most interesting Chow Chow facts. Continue Reading →
The Siberian Husky is a Spitz type Arctic dog originating from, as its name suggests, Siberia. This is one of the most famous dog breeds in the world that will literally charm you at first sight with its gracious stance, wolf-like appearance and cute gaze. But, it is not just about the beauty of this dog. Huskies are also well-known after their incredible personality, which is highlighted by huge affection for humans, lively spirit and pack loyalty. These qualities make them excellent family companions, who like to spend as much time as possible with all the members of the household. They are particularly nice and tolerant with children. On top of that, Siberians possess great working qualities, considering how incredibly agile, strong, resourceful, and hardy they are. Proven as some of the best sledge dogs in the world, they are often used for dog sled racing, mushing and carting. However, Huskies are very independent and stubborn dogs with a strong prey drive. They demand a lot of hard work and discipline in order to be properly trained and socialized. That is why they’re not recommended for the inexperienced dog owners. With that being said, let’s jump onto the list of ten most interesting Siberian Husky facts. Continue Reading →
The Portuguese Podengo is the National breed of Portugal. This is a primitive type Sighhound best known for its excellent hunting skills. There are three varieties of Podengos – Podengo Pequeno (small), Podengo Medio (medium) and Podengo Grande (large). They do not only differentiate by their size, but temperament and working habits to some degree. In general, these are all pack-hunting dogs, but can as well hunt singly. In their native country, Podengos are primarily used to hunt rabbits. They are generally good family companions, but only if they undergo early socialization. Early socialization is particularly important for a Podengo Grande. Luckily, Portuguese Podengos are relatively easy to socialize and train, but only in the hands of a dominant and experienced owner. When working with these dogs, one has to be firm and confident, but calm and careful. Positive reinforcement techniques are recommended in this case. Now, let’s take a look at ten most interesting Portuguese Podengo facts. Continue Reading →