Japanese Shiba (Pet Love; Special Rare Breed Edition)


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Shiba Inu, also called Japanese Shiba, are small spitz dogs which are very popular in Japan. They are a little smaller than Keeshonds, and look a little like foxes, with short, thick, reddish fur. Shiba Inu are not to be confused with the Japanese Spitz, which is a little smaller, with longer, white fur, like a small samoyed. Like all spitz dogs, Shiba Inu are independent, but they are more outgoing and playful than Akitas or Chow Chows, while still tending to bond more with their owners and be somewhat more reserved with outsiders than Northern breeds. Shiba Inu are certainly easier to train than Akitas or Chows, though they like to please themselves.

Well socialised individuals usually get on very well with sensible children, and reasonably well with other dogs, though Shiba Inu are bold dogs and don't like to back down. They can get on well with a cat in the household, but may chase other cats and small animals. They need a daily walk if they are to behave well. They can suffer from heat in summer because of their thick fur, so should be walked early or after dusk. They do shed a lot in spring, but don't usually need much grooming. Shiba Inu were used as hunting dogs, flushing game from undergrowth. They have also performed well as agility dogs, and as tracker dogs. Common health problems include eye trouble, hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.

This book is a good introduction to the breed, despite the need for a little more editing. It's generally well written, easy to read, and gives a good idea of what it's like to live with the breed. Experienced Shiba Inu owners aren't likely to learn anything new, though they will like the pictures.