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In the 4 months I've been volunteering at the local shelter, we've had 2 pure-bred Shibas and 2 Shiba crosses - don't give up hope on your dream breed just because you want to adopt instead of buying.

I think Shiba Inus are adorable. I would definitely consider getting one, and (as a large dog person) they're up there on my "acceptable small dog" list.
I know my breeder usually gets called when Shiba's are at the shelters in Edmonton and aren't adopted out right away, she will usually take them wether they are hers or not, and either re-home them herself or track down the original breeders. She cares immensely about these dogs, won't let them sit in shelters if she can help it.

LOLOL I laughed waaayyy too hard at this.
Lol this isn't mine, but she's from the same breeder as Cash, her name is Naomi :)
 

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I know my breeder usually gets called when Shiba's are at the shelters in Edmonton and aren't adopted out right away, she will usually take them wether they are hers or not, and either re-home them herself or track down the original breeders. She cares immensely about these dogs, won't let them sit in shelters if she can help it.
That's awesome. I know not everyone who has a dog can afford to do that, but I wish everyone who owned a dog WISHED they could do that. I feel like the world would be a much better place.
 

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I've heard of them referred to as "cat like"... I have met a few and they all did seem to be more cat then dog (I want a dog to act like a dog lol)
 

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I've heard of them referred to as "cat like"... I have met a few and they all did seem to be more cat then dog (I want a dog to act like a dog lol)

Yeah, except its REALLY nice having a dog that doesn't bark unless absolutely necessary, calm natured, doesn't have accidents in the house (Can't speak for all of them obviously..but Shiba's are often said to be 'born house trained'..they are VERY clean dogs, since your house is their house, they prefer not to mess it up or destroy it), low maintenance and laid back, are reserved with strange people and dogs ( I think this is a GOOD thing), extremely easy to train, and are generally just much more intuitive than your average dog... yet, they are extremely agile and can excel at sports like agility, are capable of going for a run, hike, bike ride, or rollerblade along with you, are usually very good travellers, will guard you, your family , your house and your belongings with their life..

So yeah, while they do have many cat-like features, they also lack alot of the least-desirable canine traits.. which to me, is nice having the best of both lol :) Of course they have their flaws like any other dog.. shedding is definitely the biggest I think, doesn't bother me but def bothers lots of people..

I guess, I learned to appreciate Cash a lot more when I got Thumper.. australian kelpie,aussie, border collie mix.. and while he definitely acts "more dog", extremely strung out, hyper, extremely friendly (overwhelmingly friendly to some), very playful (he's obsessed with playing..its all he ever wants to do), and while he is pretty smart..eager to please, very odedient..he's pretty high maintenance.. requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation, required way more training than Cash ever did.. Cash was the kind of dog you tell him ONCE.. and he gets it, and never forgets, Thumper.. its constant repitition and still needs reminders.. don't get me wrong, I love Thumper.. and in fact, I got him because I was curious what it would be like to have a "real" dog..thought it would be nice to have something different than my cat-like Shiba to change things up.. and while I absolutely love him and don't regret him for one minute, but having both cat-like Shiba, and a dog who acts like a true dog.. I appreciate my Shiba alot more now lol.
 

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This is one of my favourite write ups on the Shiba, for anyone interested in purchasing or adopting a Shiba.. this is a good read. Its from my breeders website, she wrote it up herself, but it sums up alot of what I read about them all over the web..and seems pretty true for the most part! lol (sorry its kinda long)


In Japan, the Shiba Inu is the most popular dog with more than 1 million registered. Shibas are extremely intelligent, active small dogs. Sometimes they are described as a ‘large dog’ in a ‘small dogs’ body. The Shiba believes that it can take on the world no matter how big the task. Shiba Inus have a typical spitz like personality with a little terrier and cat habits added. They are very loyal, energetic, stubborn, clean, athletic and brave.

Shiba Inus have a life span of between 12-15 years normally. Some have been known to live longer. Sometimes slightly aloof at the first introduction, they never forget a good friend. They are very loyal to their owners. A Shiba puppy must establish trust with humans at a very young age, as it is much more difficult to socialize an adult. Puppies should have extensive human contact at a very young age (3-8 weeks is most important). To gain the trust of an adult unsocialized Shiba may take up to a year. Our Shibas do have unique personalities. One is quite cautious and has an almost intuitive nature. Another is extremely outgoing and always looking for ‘cookies’. All Shibas do love to play, and run fast.

The Shiba Inu is a primitive “original’ dog who has retained many ancient characteristics. The Japanese use three words to describe the Shiba temperament “Kan-i” which means bravery and boldness combined with composure and mental strength. The opposite is “ryosei” which means good nature with a gentle disposition. One trait cannot exist without the other. Shibas respond well to positive reinforcement and verbal commands. By being firm and consistent, a Shiba will learn to respect your wishes. A Shiba will lose all respect for his owner if they are physically punished. Shibas are a very proud intelligent breed and do not like being teased or embarrassed. Shibas have very strong wills and very easily learn tricks etc. although sometimes they choose not to perform.

Originally the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small game. For this reason, the Shiba cannot be trusted ‘off-leash’. When chasing something they tend to forget their master exists no matter how much obedience training they have had. NEVER let your Shiba off leash, or you will put the health of your family pet at risk.





When raised with children (who respect pets), or cats, Shiba Inus do very well with them. Introducing an older Shiba to cats and children may be difficult. They are also very predictable dogs and have a very stable temperament, unlike many small breeds of dog (do not fear bite). NEVER leave a young child alone with ANY dog regardless of the breed you choose.

Shiba Inus do possess many cat-like features. They are very clean and often groom themselves as a cat would. Their front paws are often used to bat toys and to clean their faces. Some Shibas climb as well as a cat.

Perching up on a couch and looking out the window is a favorite Shiba passtime. House training is done naturally; the Shiba cannot stand to have any excrement nearby so learn quickly (5wks) where ‘outside’ is. They also naturally allocate one area of the yard as the bathroom. Young puppies will have an odd accident but are often completely reliable in the house by 5 months.

Shiba Inus are very athletic and well muscled. They can climb steep hills and are at home on mountain slopes. The Shiba can even pull a small sled (it's best if you have two Shibas). They do enjoy hunting mice, birds and any other small game available. Our dogs recently caught a pigeon that happened to fly over the yard. They generally do not consume what they kill. Shibas are very brave dogs. Shibas also enjoy chewing, especially when they are young. Be careful what they chew because they may consume some of it, especially when they are puppies.

Young Shiba Inu puppies hate a leash as much as a cat would. They will scream and the whole neighborhood will think they are being killed. The pup will grow out of this quickly and actually enjoy going for walks. Shibas generally dislike nail trimming so this should be a regular routine. We find using a dremmel tool much less stressful.

Shiba Inus are not noisy yippy dogs. Our dog’s bark when the doorbell rings, or someone, who should not be, is outside. Some say “Shiba’s don’t bark”. All or mine are quite capable of barking but only if there is a good reason. They are excellent watchdogs! The Shiba may not get along with other dogs, especially if the dog is the same sex. Socializing a puppy at an early age is very important.

The Shiba Inu only requires occasional brushing and weekly nail dremmeling. An occasional bath (one every 4 months) may be necessary but generally, they tend to keep themselves clean. They have very little ‘doggy odor’ in comparison to other breeds. People who tend to be allergic to dogs are often not allergic to Shibas.

The Shiba Inu makes a loyal and loving companion and if you love and respect him, he will do anything you want.
 

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If anyone can explain to me the easiest way to post videos from an iPhone on here, I can show you some short clips of each of mine that pretty clearly shows the difference between a 'real' dog, and a Shiba lol. It involves a vacuum cleaner...
 

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I've heard of them referred to as "cat like"... I have met a few and they all did seem to be more cat then dog (I want a dog to act like a dog lol)
Typical day in a shiba household.. haha


Shiba aren't fond of baths either. Saya doesn't mind walking in creeks or swimming once in while, but bath she'll whine and have sad shiba eyes.
 
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