Shiba inus are some of the most unique looking dogs in the world. With their short but silky fur, their fox-like features, and their expressive faces, these dogs really know how to draw the eye. But they’re more than just interesting looking dogs.
They’re a fascinating breed with a long history and very distinctive senses of personality. Here are three of the cutest and most interesting facts about Japan’s most famous hunting dog.
They’re Total Divas
The shiba inu is a very smart dog. But their cunning and clever demeanors, combined with their outsized personalities, means that they can often be a handful to deal with. A shiba inu will not hesitate to chase prey if you give them a split second off the leash, and you can be guaranteed they’re always looking for a chance to make trouble even if they look innocent.
As a result, training a shiba inu is rewarding but incredibly satisfying.
These dogs are smart enough to understand that you want to train them and stubborn enough to only allow it on their own terms.
Proper training typically means tricking them into thinking that they want to be trained. Due to their distinct and independent personalities, many people actually compare the personalities of shiba inu to those of cats.
But while there’s a lot of truth to that, shiba inu also possess a uniquely charming quality — a fierce sense of loyalty to their human family.
They’re Meticulously Clean
Another quality that the shiba inu has in common with the housecat is their obsession with cleanliness. These are dogs known for their pristine coats and noble demeanor, but that’s as much to do with their own fussiness as it is to do with how they’re built.
The shiba inu will regularly use its own tongue to groom its legs and paws, and it will do so at a frequency and degree that goes well beyond the traditional dog.
That cleanliness can manifest in other ways as well. Shiba inus are generally a stubborn dog to train, but they’re one of the easiest choices for housetraining.
They seem to understand that knowing where to use the bathroom is in everyone’s best interest.
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They’re Beloved Throughout Japan
Shiba inu aren’t that well known in Europe and the United States, but they’ve been part of Japanese life for centuries. The companion dogs that likely preceded shiba inu can be traced in archaeological remains dating back to 7000 B.C. Out of the traditional Japanese dog breeds, they’re arguably the oldest and the most closely related to their wolf ancestors.
And while these dogs have a strong predator’s instinct and a boisterous personality, they’re also some of the most photogenic dogs around. They’ve been a popular choice as a family dog thanks to their loyalty and their genial personalities. But it’s thanks to the rise of the internet that they’ve gained popularity throughout the world.
The internet has helped translate that sense of charm to the West. While the shiba inu is the source of the “doge” meme, they’re also the most popular dog on Japanese social media. And many of them are becoming celebrities in the United States as well. They may be Japan’s most beloved dog, but the rest of the world can recognize the charm of the shiba inu just fine.
We can talk all day about how adorable shiba inu are, but these facts won’t give the same impact as seeing one for real. Check out some shiba inu videos to see them in action, or visit a rescue to see if a shiba inu is the right match for your home.