Shiba Inus in Japan!

by Jillian Giandurco

It's a universally known fact that Shiba Inus are one of the cutest, fluffiest, and funniest dog breeds out there. But have you ever wondered why Shiba Inus are so popular in Japan? And where did they come from? Or maybe you just want to know more about the breed in general? Well, you’re in luck! It’s time to finally put those questions to rest, because we’re here to answer any question you may have about Japanese dog breeds. Keep reading on for a brief rundown of all things Shiba Inu!

Shiba Inu Plush

The Origins of the Shiba Inu

Because Shiba Inus are considered the oldest dog breed native to Japan, it’s no surprise that this Japanese breed's history goes back thousands and thousands of years. Shibas can be traced back to the Jomon period, which took place between 14,000-300 BCE. However, the physical traits and characteristics we associate Shiba Inus with today are almost certainly an inaccurate depiction of what the original Shiba Inu dog breed looked like. The modern Shiba was developed through careful breeding of Japanese strains, starting in the Meiji Restoration when western dogs were imported and cross breeding between native and foreign breeds became popular like the Mino Shiba, Shikoku Ken, and the Hokkaido Inu. The number of purebred Shiba Inus began to dwindle from 1912 to 1926, but it wasn’t until World War II that the Japanese breed would nearly become extinct, due to a nationwide food shortage and a post-war distemper outbreak. With only three surviving bloodlines left, the Japanese government did its best to preserve the Shiba Inu by commissioning breeding programs around the country, and thus, the attributes we associate the Shiba Inu with today were created.

Shiba Inus and Their Qualities

Japanese Shiba Inus were originally bred to be a hunting dog and flush small game such as birds and rabbits, but are now classified as a non-sporting dog. Shibas have been described as having “spirited boldness,” and are somewhat infamous for their quick and agile steps. One of the most defining characteristics of Shibas, however, is the so-called “Shiba Scream.” This loud, high pitched scream can come out either when a dog is being handled in such a way that makes them uncomfortable, or when the animal becomes overly excited.

Popularity in Japan

The Shiba Inu dog is commonly referred to as the most popular dog breed in Japan. There are quite a few reasons why this breed is so beloved; First, Shibas often have a reliably loyal temperament that makes them great family dogs. They have an endless amount of energy, so they’re always eager to play and have a good time. Shibas are also known to shed a lot, which, you think would deter a lot of people, but actually, it’s a very important selling point for people who like to spin their dog fur and knit with it! Who doesn’t want to take their dog with them wherever they go? Lastly, Japanese Shiba Inus have a very comedic sensibility, so much so that they have become the subject of a popular Internet meme on more occasions than one. This draws people towards their silliness and liveness, and who can blame them? Every household should have a family comedian, and there’s no better comedian than man’s best friend!

Between their good-natured and loyal temperament, their laughable little quirks, and even the amount they shed, there will always be a reason to adopt a Japanese Shiba Inu. If you love Shiba Inus but aren’t quite ready for the responsibilities of being a dog owner, then you can enjoy dog-themed food, tea, and toys with our Premium Dog Lover’s Box. You can only get certain items within our collection like Nikukyu Chocolate – sweet white chocolate paired with tangy strawberry shaped as Hachiko’s paw pads. You can also carry your treats and goodies in our Mini Dog Tote Bag that features an adorable Shiba Inu named Kuroyanagi. It’s never been easier to bring your dreams of owning a Shiba to life, so don’t delay -- stop by the Bokksu Boutique today.