I'm searching for the perfect dog. Of course, "perfect" is in the eye of the beholder. That can be seen on any given day at Petland Naperville, where they can have up to 100 (or more!) different puppies for sale. This gives me a great place to observe many different breeds of dogs in one setting. Today I watched a Shiba Inu puppy. This is a breed that I knew very little of but thought was super cute. As I played with this active puppy, I wanted to learn about owning a Shiba Inu. This fox-like breed was very interactive with me, and I grew to love this breed.
I learned that the Shiba Inu comes to us from Japan, and is considered to be one of Japan's oldest breeds. Sadly, this breed nearly became extinct during World War II because of the combination of a war-driven food shortage and a distemper outbreak. I learned from my Pet Counselor that Distemper is a highly contagious airborne disease that has a 50% fatality rate. Vaccines are available, and Petland Naperville gives all of their puppies this vaccine. The puppy that I played with weighed just under 5 pounds, although this breed is a medium-sized dog and will weigh up to about 22 pounds. These dogs were originally bred for hunting in the mountains, and guessing by the thick double-coat on this puppy, that certainly makes sense! Shibas need to have their coat brushed often to help reduce shedding. A big plus for this breed is the fact that they like to keep themselves clean! (This also means that they are easy to housetrain---whoo-hoo!) One more thing to stay on top of---Shiba Inu nails grow quickly and are strong. You need to trim them regularly to prevent overgrowing and splitting or cracking. I asked a Pet Counselor about this, and she informed me that Petland Naperville offers nail trimming for a nominal fee.
The Shiba Inu is very alert and attentive, and wants an owner who will keep up with him. This dog needs exercise every day---either a brisk walk or active play in the backyard. They sometimes might show aggression with another dog, and they also might not be ideally suited for a family with young children. They are a great watchdog and will let you know if there is an intruder.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time playing with the Shiba Inu. I love the fact that it's coat was thick and beautiful. I recommend the Shiba Inu to anyone with an active owner, and I'm sure you can find beautiful examples of this breed at Petland Naperville.