The Shiba Inu dog breed was originally bred to hunt birds and small game, and was occasionally used to hunt wild boar. They are one of six native breeds of Japan: Akita (large), Kishu, Hokkaido, Kai, Shikoku (medium), and Shiba (small).
There are several theories as to how the Shiba Inu got its name. One explanation is that the word Shiba means " brushwood "; the dogs were named for the brushwood bushes in which 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 idea is that an archaic meaning of the word shiba refers to its small stature.
World War II almost spells disaster for the Shiba, and most of the dogs that did not die in bombings succumbed to the disease in the postwar years. After the war, Shibas were brought from the remote countryside, and breeding programs were established. The remaining population was bred on among themselves to produce the Shiba as it is known today.
The Japanese Kennel Club was founded in 1948, and the Shiba Inu breed standard was drafted by the Nihon Ken Hozonkai, which was approved by both the Japanese Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique Internationale.
The Shiba Inu is gentle, alert and bold. He is strong-willed and confident, and often has his own ideas about things. He is loyal and affectionate with his family, but tends to be distrustful of strangers.
This is a smart breed, but training a Shiba Inu is not the same as training a Golden Retriever. While a Golden likes to come when called, the Shiba Inu comes when he feels like it - or not. He is described as stubborn, but free-thinking is probably a more positive way to characterize him.
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