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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Shiba Inus Breed-FAQ
This article was archived around: 10 Dec 2013 05:35:17 GMT
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 20 Jan 1900
There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to firstname.lastname@example.org with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
Jacey Holden. Copyright 1995 by Jacey Holden. Reproduced and posted to
Usenet with permission. Contact Liz Kinoshita (email@example.com)
for details. The booklet is entitled Introduction to the Shiba Inu; it
has been reformatted for electronic distribution.
Table of Contents
* Introduction to the Shiba Inu
* Where to Find a Shiba
* Additional Information
* Living With a Shiba
* Crate Training
* Veterinarians & Vaccinations
* Early Socialization
* Shibas and Children
* Spay & Neuter
* Collars & Tattooing
* How to Learn More
* Standard for the Shiba Inu
Introduction to the Shiba Inu
If you are already this far, you have probably caught your first
glimpse of a Shiba. It may have been at a dog show, walking in the
park, or just a picture in a book. Cute, huh? The Shiba is probably
one of the most universally appealing of all breeds. It has the look
toy manufacturers try to capture in their favorite stuffed animals,
the teddy bear. But the Shiba is not a toy. It is a very lively little
dog with a unique set of characteristics. Each one is a individual
with his/her own personality, but there are some traits that are
considered typical of the breed. The first part of this booklet will
attempt to describe those qualities as well as give you an overview of
the breed as a whole. The second part will try to help the new Shiba
owner adjust to his new dog so that the years they spend together will
be ones of mutual enjoyment!
A Brief History of the Shiba Inu
Originally, Shibas were bred to flush birds and small game and were
occasionally used to hunt wild boar. Now they are primarily kept as
pets, both in Japan and the US. There are more Shibas in Japan than
any other breed.
Around 7000 BC the ancestors of today`s Shibas may have accompanied
the earliest immigrants to Japan. Archaeological excavations of the
shell-mounds left by the Jomonjin, or Rope-Pattern People (a name
derived from the pattern found on their earthenware), show that they
had small dogs in the 14.5 to 19.5 inch range.
In the third century BC, a new group of immigrants brought their dogs
to Japan These dogs then interbred with the decendants of the Jomonjin
dogs, and produced canines known to have pointed, erect ears and curly
or sickle tails. In the 7th century AD, the Yamato Court established a
dogkeeper's office which helped maintain the Japanese native breeds as
an integral part of Japanese culture. Although the country was closed
to foreigners from the 17th through 18th centuries, some European dogs
and a breed known as the Chinese Chin were imported and crossed with
native dogs living in the more populated areas. Dogs in the
countryside, however, remained relatively pure.
Originally there were three main varieties of Shiba, each named for
its region of origin: the Shinshu Shiba, from the Nagano Prefecture;
the Mino Shiba, from the Gifu Prefecture; and the Sanin Shiba from the
northeastern part of the mainland. Although similar, the Shibas from
each area contributed to differences in breed type seen today.
From the original Japanese native dogs, six distinct "breeds" in three
different sizes developed. They are the Akita (large size); Kishu,
Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kai (medium size); and the Shiba (small size). The
small sized dog has been called the Shiba since ancient times, and
there are several theories surrounding the development of that name.
One popular explaination is that the word Shiba means "brushwood", and
the dogs were named for the brushwood bushes where they hunted.
Another theory is that the fiery red color of the Shiba is the same as
the autumn color of the brushwood leaves. A third conjec ture is
related to an obsolete meaning of the word shiba, referring to its
small size. These explanations are often combined and the Shiba is
referred to as the "little brushwood dog".
World War II nearly spelled disaster for the Shiba, and most of the
dogs that did not perish in bombing raids succumbed to distemper
during the post-war years.
While the Mino and Sanin Shibas became practically extinct, more of
the Shinshu Shibas survived. After the war, Shibas were brought from
the remote countryside and breeding programs were established. The
remnants of the various bloodlines were combined to produce the breed
as it is known today.
The Shiba is a very proportionate dog with a height to length ratio of
10 to 11. Males run from 14.5 to 16.5 inches tall, with females
ranging from 13.5 to 15.5 inches.Height over the upper limits is a
disqualification.The weight varies according to height up to about 25
pounds. It is a medium boned, moderately compact and well muscled dog
with a generally spitz-like appearance.
Because of its hunting heritage, it should be quick, agile and able to
turn on a yen. It has a dense double coat similar to that of a husky.
Although all colors are acceptable in the Shiba standard, red, red
sesame (sable) and black & tan are preferred. White and cream shadings
are present of the legs, belly, chest and part of the face and tail.
With black button nose, little pricked ears and a curly tail, the
Shiba enters the world knowing he is a superior being. Whether with
intrepid boldness, squinty-eyed cuteness or calm dignity, he is KING.
The Japanese have three words to describe the Shiba temperament. The
first word is "kan-i" which is bravery and boldness combined with
composure and mental strength. The opposite of "kan-i" is "ryosei"
which means good nature with a gentle disposition. One cannot exist
without the other. The charming side of the Shiba is "soboku" which is
artlessness with a refined and open spirit. They combine to make a
personality that Shiba owners can only describe as "irrisistable"!
If a Shiba could utter one word, it would probably be "mine". It is
"mine" food, "mine" water, "mine" toys, "mine" sofa, "mine" crate,
"mine" car, "mine" owner, and "mine" world. Sharing is a concept he
feels others should practice He doesn't want you to forget those
wonderful things your mother taught you about generosity!
If the bait is dangled when a potential Shiba owner sees adults at a
dog show or pictures in a magazine, the hook is set when he encounters
his first puppy! Exemplary examples of canine cuteness, fiery little
fuzzballs-from-hell, no words can describe the appeal of the infant
Shiba. A litter of Shibas is a Dakin convention and a school of
pirahna; strutting, posturing little windup toys!
The adult Shiba is far from a toy. "Macho Stud Muffin" has been used
to describe the male Shiba. The body may look "muffin", but the mind
is all "macho stud". The Shiba takes the "spirited boldness" part of
his temperament quite seriously. Early socialization, temperament
testing, and careful conditi oning are mandatory for the young puppy.
This fiery aspect of the Shiba nature cannot be taken lightly.
Most Shiba owners learn to deal with the difficult aspects of the
dog's temper ament in order to enjoy the delightful ones. With
"soboku", the Shiba sets his hook into the heart. This is
"artlessness" with squinty-eyes, airplaned ears, and a vibrating tail.
It is "charm" standing in your lap washing your ears, and "dignity"
plus "refinement" born of the knowledge of superiority.
As a breed, Shibas can rightfully be described as sturdy, healthy
little dogs, able to withstand the rigors of outdoor life as well as
enjoying the comfort of indoor dwelling. They are easy keepers,
requiring no special diet other than good comercial dog food, and they
can run for miles with an athletic companion or take their exercise
chasing a tennis ball around the backyard. Their catlike agility and
resilience provide good resistance to injury, and the "natural" size
and symmetrical proportions lessen susceptibility to conditions caused
by structural imbalance. Despite these assets, Shibas do have some
hereditary defects which all reli able breeders screen for in their
breeding stock. Patellar luxation is common in toy breeds and
sometimes appears in Shibas. It causes loose kneecaps and is usually
not severe enough to be detrimental to a pet. An experienced
veterinarian can detect this condition by palpation. Hip dysplasia
occasionally occurs but it is not as serious in the Shiba as it is in
large breeds of dogs. Mild dysplasia will not show any adverse
clinical effects and the dog will lead a normal life. Good breeders
will not breed any dog whose hips have not received a rating of "fair"
or better from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Breeders are
also checking their Shiba's eyes for hereditary eye defects. No breed
of dog is totally free of hereditary eye defects. Few defects are
severe enough to cause blindness or interfere with a dog's life, but
dogs with eye defects that are potentially blinding should not be
bred. A smattering of other defects have been reported, but none in
numbers to cause concern at this time. Reputable breeders do all they
can to screen for serious defects and will guarantee their puppies to
be free of disabling heredi tary problems for the first few years of
Where to Find a Shiba
If you have made it far enough to obtain this booklet, you have
probably been admonished to buy from a reputable breeder. Where are
they? You may look in the newspaper, but namy of the most reputable
breeders use other methods of advertising. It is best to check with
the National Shiba Club of America which is the National organization
for the Shiba. If you call AKC, that organ ization will give you the
number of the Secretary of the NSCA. Breeders are also listed in Dog
World magazine and in publications geared for the Shiba breed. Check
the next page of this booklet for names and addresses of these
publications and the NSCA.
Let your best instincts guide you when choosing a breeder. Don't pick
a puppy because you feel sorry for it or want to "rescue" it. This is
an animal that will be sharing your life and the life of your family
for the next 12 years or so. Take your time. If it doesn't feel right,
it probably isn't. Remember, people become stupid about their Shibas,
so it`s best to become stupid about a nice one.
The addresses of the Parent Club, the National Shiba Club of America,
may change annually. This organization has printed materials, a
monthly news- letter and a Breeder Referral Service. The address of
the NSCA Secretary can always be obtained from the American Kennel
Club, 51 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10010 or 5580 Centerview Dr.
Ste.200, Raleigh, NC 27606-3390. $4.50 (US) to the NSCA secretary will
bring you an information packet and a Breeder Referral list. The club
also has a web site at http://www.shibas.org/ with the current address
of the secretary.
Debbie Meador, Editor
5271 Hillside Dr
Warrenton, VA 22186
by Rick Tomita
by Gretchen Haskett and Susan Houser
Published by Alpine Publications
The Complete Shiba Inu
by Maureen Atkinson, published by Howell
Living With a Shiba
If you are really considering taking the plunge, then the next section
is for you. Don`t forget that Shiba people get really crazy about
their dogs and owning a Shiba is not just owning a dog, but a way of
Before bringing home your Shiba it is best to have a supply of food on
hand. Several boxes of granola, some oranges (for vitamin C) and a few
sandwiches should give you enough energy to keep up with the little
guy. Even though the Shiba would prefer to share your dinner, it is
best to buy him a top quality dog food, one containing about 30%
protein and 15 - 18% fat. Do not think in terms of a human diet when
feeding a puppy. An 8 week old Shiba will eat approximately 1/3 Cup of
puppy food three times daily. He may be given this moistened in
separate feedings, or, if he is not too greedy, he may have dry kibble
available at all times. If he is being fed three times a day,
gradually increase the food as he grows and his appetite increases. He
may be cut to twice a day at about 4 months of age or if he loses
interest in a meal. A healthy puppy is neither too fat or too thin.
You should be able to feel his ribs, backbone and hip bones, but not
see them. An adult Shiba will eat from 1 to 1.5 cups of kibble per day
depending on his size and energy level.
A Shiba lives with the principle - su casa es mi casa. He will want to
sleep on your bed, eat at your table and rest on your favorite chair.
A puppy will also wish to dismantle your VCR wiring, chew the straps
off your sandals, round the corners of your kitchen cabinets and, if
not watched closely, will definately light up his life with the
electrical cords. If any of these behaviors disturbs you, you may wish
to invest in a crate and possibly an exercise pen.
All puppies should be crate trained. It is the best way to housebreak
a puppy and a safe refuge during the night and when he can't be
A size 200 airline crate will suit a Shiba for his entire life and
will also fit on the back seat of almost any car. He can ride safely
in a crate in the car, and with a little ingenuity, a crate can be
seat belted or bungied into place. When you're not home, you will
never wonder where your puppy is or what he is doing if he is in a
crate or exercise pen.
Keeping a puppy in a crate day and night is not good, and even though
he may be exercised, it is akin to you staying in bed, going out
jogging, and going back to bed again. While the puppy is small, an
exercise pen set in the kitchen, garage or in any room of the house on
top of a six foot by six foot piece of inexpensive linolium is an
ideal place to leave the puppy while you're at work. This allows the
puppy room to move around and play while keeping him safe and
comfortable in the house.
Later, when he is mature, he may be allowed free access to the house
or yard. The Shiba is an excellent indoor/outdoor dog with a coat that
will protect him from both heat and cold. He must have shelter from
the sun in summer and storms in winter, but he can withstand a wide
range of temperatures.
Unless you plan to give your Shiba all his exercise on a leash, a
fenced yard is mandatory. Nothing is more devastating than going out
to find your beloved Shiba is a $600 carpet remnant on the street in
front of your house. No amount of training will deter your little
hunting dog from darting across the street to chase the neighbor's cat
-- at just the wrong time. This is true of any breed of dog. Dogs also
dig and some climb. Check frequently for possible escape routes. A
Shiba is safest indoors or in an escape-proof run when you are away
Shibas are an active breed, but don't need many acres on which to run.
They can get adequate exercise banking off the couch and spinning
brodies on the bed, but to get in good condition, they need additional
exercise. On the 2,000 acre mountain ranch where Chris Ross lives, his
Shibas are allowed to run free when he is home.
With all this room, most seldom stray very far from the house until he
goes on his daily "run". Dogs like to go for walks with their people,
and for many it is more exciting than eating. A wheelchair-bound Shiba
owner takes his two dogs for a four mile "walk" every day around the
streets of suburbia. The majority of people snap on the retractible
lead and make a morning(or evening) tour of the neighborhood.
It is a good exercise for both man and beast and a great way to meet
Given a choice, a Shiba puppy will usually choose human body parts as
his favorite chew toys. Fingers and toes are preferred, especially if
covered with socks or sandals. He will enjoy ankles, pantlegs and the
ultimate - shoe laces on the shoes you are wearing. If you wish to
expand his horizons and preserve your flesh, a visit to the pet supply
store is a fine place to start. Hardware stores also carry a supply of
delectable goodies such as the business end of a toilet plunger,
handles for garden tools and rubber golashes. Around the house you may
find old stuffed animals, socks that can be tied in knots, dirty
sneakers, and tennis balls. A trip to the country can bring pine
cones, sticks and oak galls which are excellent for dismembering
outdoors. Shibas are not seriously destructive but puppies are
puppies, and puppies chew! Even adults like to gnaw on something once
in a while. If your puppy chews the straps off your favorite sandals
it will make you very angry, but don`t take it out on the puppy for it
was your fault for leaving them where the puppy could get them!
A very successful sled dog driver lived with 12 large Alaskan Huskies
in his house. His home was not destroyed by the animals and everyone
lived together amicably. This man handled his dogs by the philosophy
that dogs do not make mistakes; people do.
It's something to think about.
Veterinarians & Vaccinations
Since Shibas are a healthy, hardy little breed, they seldom need trips
to the vet except for routine vaccinations and an occasional teeth
cleaning. Your new puppy should be taken to the vet of your choice
within a few days of purchase. Most breeders require this as a
condition of the puppy's health guarantee. The vet should check his
overall condition, his heart for possible murmurs, and have you bring
in a stool sample for a parasite examination. A puppy should already
have had a least one vaccination from the breeder prior to his sale.
You can set up a continued vaccination schedule with your vet during
this first check-up.
Puppies should have a complete set of vaccinations before exposing
them to situations where many other dogs have been. These vaccinations
are against distemper, hepatitis, kennel cough, parvovirus and
coronavirus. Often the first shots do not contain a vaccine against
letospirosis (lepto). Lepto has frequently been fingered as the "bad
guy" in vaccine reaction and vaccine manufacturers had a difficult
time combining it with coronavirus vaccine into a single injection.
Since puppies are much more likely to be exposed to coronavirus than
lepto, many breeders and veterinarians prefer to wait until the puppy
is three to four months old before giving an injection with lepto.
Several Shiba puppies have experienced anaphylactoid reactions to
vaccine on their second injection even when it did not contain lepto.
This is the same severe allergic reaction some people experience when
stung by a bee. Epinepherine must be administered immediately, so a
veterinarian should be warned of the possibility of a reaction. A
puppy should remain in the waiting room of the vet's office for 15 to
20 minutes after his injection to ensure there is no reaction. Rabies
shots are given at four months of age.
Rabies is the only vaccination required by law. All others are for the
A trip to the mall or neighborhood park will bring you all the
attention you can handle. This may be wonderful for a young man
looking for a date, but it can be deadly for a small puppy. Until a
puppy is fully immunized against parvovirus, at about the age of 20
weeks, it is not safe to take him to areas frequented by other dogs.
Many people solve this problem by taking the dog to visit friends and
relatives in "clean" environments and asking them to return the favor.
Some Shibas may be shy of strangers while others are dog aggressive.
Early socialization is mandatory to obtain the best possible
temperament from a puppy.
It is well established that if you are not somewhat trainable and
flexible, you will have a difficult time adjusting to a Shiba. Shibas
want their owners to come when called, fetch when they want food, stay
off the furniture they want for a nap and speak whenever someone wants
to talk about Shibas. Owners too feel they should be able to make a
few polite requests from their dogs Sometimes there is a small power
struggle, but the owner must establish that he is in control.
Housebreaking is easy and something that Shibas do naturally. If a
puppy is taken out whenever he awakes from a nap or after a meal, he
will almost never soil in the house and especially not in a restricted
area such as a crate. A puppy as young as five weeks can hold his
bowels all night, but not his bladder. He will want out or will wet on
a blanket or paper in his exercise pen. As soon as the puppy figures
where "out" is, he will try to go there to potty. This becomes easy
when there is a door directly to a back yard. Leashbreaking is not as
natural for the Shiba as housebreaking. It involves something they
truly detest - restraint. It is best to put on a snug collar or soft
nylon choke collar and let the puppy wear it around for a while.
Attach a leash and let the puppy take you for a walk. You go where he
goes. After a few times, you can suggest he follow you. He may pull
back and scream a little, but that is natural.
Encouragement and praise help, and soon he will be walking with you.
Never leave a choke collar on an unattended puppy and never tie up a
dog with a choke collar. A dog can easily hang himself by a choke
collar just by getting tangled in something as simple as a bush. Some
Shibas can carry around their distain for collar and leash all their
lives. They do it in the form of the patented "Shiba Shake", where
they cock their heads sideways as if something was in their ear then
stop and shake violently. Amazingly, this "ear problem" goes away the
minute the leash is removed, and returns the minute the dog is near
the show ring.
The fiery aspect of the Shiba temperament is apparent at an early age.
Even as puppies they stage mock battles and make much noise as they
vie for top honors. With people they are all kissy-face, but with
other dogs, and especially other Shibas, they are macho little
muffins. There is a wide range of variation in this aspect of a young
Shibas temperament and difficulties should be discussed with the
breeder. Many Shiba puppies are just playful and not quarrelsome, but
others are more serious. All like to play with other dogs once they
are acquainted. Just as there are hundreds of books on child rearing,
there are as many theories on how to deal with canine temperament.
Dog trainers who are not familiar with the Shiba temperament may only
make the problem worse. Shibas seem to work well with the reward
system. They easily learn commands like sit, and down, and such parlor
tricks as roll over, speak and sit up. Obedience work done on lead is
readily acquired, but a Shiba who reliably "comes" on command is any
situation is rare indeed. There are a few who learn boundaries, come
when called, even when chasing a cat, and can wander loose in any
situation. These are exceptional and usually a combination of an
extremely responsive temperament plus diligent training. It is
realistic to expect that the average owner with the average Shiba will
not have that situation. Most Shibas will not wander miles from home,
but will want to investigate every nook and cranny within a larger
radius than the owner is comfortable. Expect your Shiba to be an "on
leash" breed and if he proves otherwise, then you are amoung the
Do not feel your Shiba is untrainable, for he is is not. Shibas love
"agility" training as it is a natural for their athletic ability. They
are smart and enjoy activities that challenge their mind and body. If
you work with the Shiba nature rather than against it, training will
be fun for both.
Shibas and Children
The responsible Shiba owner asks himself, what type of child would he
like for his favorite dog. It would be a child with a good nature and
stable temperament, one that was gentle and most of all, easy to
train. A child of an extremely energetic nature or whose hearing is
too selective may be better suited to a larger, more docile breed.
Interactable children should have animals made of plastic, or maybe
cement. All dogs, and especially puppies, regard very small children
as peers rather than superiors. Puppies will try to play with children
as they would another puppy, particularly if the child falls on the
floor or runs around making squealing noises. Nothing was more
misleading than an advertisement aired on television a few years ago
depicting a two year old child rolling around on the ground, laughing
while being bombarded by about six small Labrador puppies What wasn`t
shown were the tears that must have followed as the puppies sharp
nails raked the child`s tender skin and the puppies pulled at his
hair. The responsibility of how a puppy interacts with children falls
on the parents. Most trainable children over six years of age should
have no trouble adjusting to a Shiba puppy. Dog oriented people find
it easy acclimating a Shiba to a household with children. People with
little dog experience should visit several households with Shibas.
DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH A SHIBA AT A DOG SHOW AND IMMEDIATELY RUN OUT
AND BUY ONE. Take time to visit the dogs in the home environment. See
how they react to children and let your intuition be your best guide.
When adults visit a home with Shiba puppies, they usually sit and wait
for the puppies to come to them. Children tend to pursue the puppies.
Shibas do not like to be continually restrained and manhandled.
Although a well socialized puppy will tolerate some of this, too much
will make him shy or irritated. It is absolutely necessary that a
child learn to sit and let the puppy come to him. It is difficult to
train a child who is used to running in and out of the house at will
to close the door quickly and make sure the Shiba doesn't get out. It
is even more difficult to train the child`s friends. Training the
puppy and child when little can make the child aware of the necessity
to use a double door system or exercising caution when going in and
out, but it is up to the parent to watch when visitors come and to put
the puppy out of harm`s way.
Spay & Neuter
For many people, the decision to neuter a male dog is somehow tied
into their own sexuality. Maybe it should be, for the amourous
intentions of the stimulated male Shiba are only rivaled by those of
Geraldo Rivera and Wilt Chamberlain. Many people would rather have a
female as a pet. They see the female having a gentler nature and not
having the desire to continually mark territory. Spaying a female does
little to change her basic temperament, just as a hysterectomy does
little to change a woman. It just prevents pregnancy. On the other
hand, neutering a male dog has a great effect on the male temperament,
just as castration would have on a man.
Neutering a male before the age of six months will usually prevent
marking and other "big guy" ideas. Females should be spayed at about 5
months of age, before they have their first heat cycle. This makes it
easier on the little girl as the uterus is small and the female lean.
Recovery is quick and after a few days, you won't know anything has
been done. Sometimes it takes up to eight months or more for a Shiba
male`s testicles to drop into the scrotum. They seldom fail to arrive,
and if the vet can locate them at all, he can perform the castration.
DON'T POSTPONE IT!
Shibas SHED. You would too if you were wearing a wool coat in summer.
All dogs with double coats shed, even Dobermans, Labradors, and
Whippets. Those breeds with single coats that don`t shed, such as
poodles and terriers, need clipping or constant brushing to keep their
coats from matting. You have a choice - clip, brush or vacuum. A Shiba
could go his whole life without ever experiencing a brush, comb or
bath and be just as happy. Shibas have little odor to their fur unless
they have rolled in something pungent. Show dogs are often bathed
weekly while pets are occasionally shampooed at the owners whim. All
seem to have healthy coats.
Fleas are the scourge of pet ownership. The flea most commonly found
on the dog is the cat flea. Cats are flea farmers and outdoor cats
spread fleas from yard to yard to yard like dandelion seeds. Methods
for treatment are so varied and controversial that they are a book in
themselves. If fleas are eradicated from the environment, they will
soon vanish from the dog. Fleas like warm, moist, sheltered
environments and do not tolerate direct sun, dryness or extreme cold.
Fleas do not survive outdoors in arid environments, but thrive in the
warm, damp summers of the majority of the US. The indoor environment
can be treated with desiccating powders and many professionals such as
"Flea Busters" use these products with much success. It takes about
six weeks for them to work. Avon "Skin So Soft" bath oil does help
repel fleas. A small amount rubbed through the coat leaves an aromatic
residue that is distasteful to fleas (and some humans). It's only
drawback is the oily residue it leaves on the hair that works like a
"dust magnet". Most commercial flea products are toxic. How else could
they kill the fleas? Start slow and work your way up the the "hard
stuff". If a flea allergy develops it is often less harmful to the dog
to get an occasional cortizone injection or a few pills to stop the
itching than it is to saturate the environment with poison to
eradicate every flea - an almost impossible task.
Collars & Tattooing
It is a good idea for a Shiba to wear a collar with identification
tags or plates attached. Some collar distributors will print the
owner's phone number in large letters that can be seen without
touching the dog. Unfortunately, many Shibas that end up in the pound
have lost their collars. Show dogs can`t wear collars because it
leaves an ugly ring around the neck.
Tattooing is an additional method of identification. It is usually
placed on the inside of the dog`s thigh. Although it is permanently
attached to the dog, a person finding a lost dog may not look on the
dog`s leg for a tattoo, and if he does look, may not know what to do
about it. Hopefully, most animal shelter personnel will look and know
who to contact. The AKC is strongly encouraging all dog owners to
tattoo their dogs for two reasons. One is the hope that a lost or
stolen dog can be returned to its owner, and the other is for the
definitive identification. The AKC wants it to be possible for any
stranger to go into a household and identify the dogs. If the dogs are
tattooed with the AKC registration number, the dogs can be identified
with the registration papers or the records at the AKC. This would
also assist in the dispute over ownership of a dog. The AKC
registration number is like the dog's Social Security number; it's his
identification for life.
How to Learn More
The best place to learn about Shibas is from other Shiba owners. The
breeder of your puppy should be your primary source of information.
Sometimes this is difficult as the breeder may live far away or be
extremely difficult to contact. Ask the breeder for names of other
Shiba owners in your area and feel free to contact them. People love
to talk about their dogs. Organize a gathering of Shiba owners in your
area and have a potluck. It's a Shiba owners support group!
Standard for the Shiba Inu
The AKC Standard for this breed may be found at
Shiba Inu FAQ