The breed that became a viral meme. Apart from the adorable antics, funny faces and hilarious 'Doge' captions, do you really know the Shiba Inu well? Here are some facts you never knew about them!
1. There were three kinds of Shibas
Before World War II, there were three types of Shiba Inus: Mino, Sanin, Shinshu. These were named after the regions in which they originated. The Shiba we know and love today is most similar to the Shinshu, although all three have contributed to the modern Shiba.
2. They are ancient
It is believed that the Shiba's ancestors accompanied the Jomon-jin people in Japan from 14,000 B.C. to 300 A.D. The Shiba Inu likely came about through breeding these dogs with the dogs that came to Japan with immigrants in 300 B.C.
3. They almost went extinct
During World War II, many Shiba Inus died in bombing raids. Their numbers also dwindled due to an extremely contagious canine infection called distemper after the war. Luckily, they did not suffer the same fate as the Dodo birds. The breed slowly bounced back with the help of breeding programs
4. They are hardy, hunting dogs
The Shiba Inu was bred to hunt big and small prey. Because of their small size, they were good at flushing out birds and other small animals from the bushes. They are so hardy that they were able to survive millenia of mountainous regions in Japan.
5. Nobody is quite sure what their name means
The word "Inu" means dog in Japanese, but "Shiba" is still up for debate. For one, "Shiba" means brushwood in Japanese, so they could have been named for the terrain where they hunted. Another possible explanation for the name could be attributed to their orange-brown coat which resembles the autumn brushwood. A lesser known explanation would be that "Shiba" meant its obsolete meaning of 'little' in Japanese, in reference to its small size.
6. Shiba Inus are the national treasure of Japan
Today, the Shiba Inu is the number one most popular dog in Japan. They are loved so much that they were declared Japan's national treasure.
7. They are drama kings and queens
Shibas can be vocal and dramatic thanks to their stubborn and independent nature. They are so notorious for making noise that there's actually a term for their wailing, called the Shiba Scream. Watch this video of a dramatic Shiba screaming just because its nails were being trimmed!
8. Shiba Inus are... cats?
The Shiba Inu is more like a cat than a dog in many ways. They can be fiercely protective of you, yet refuse to share their toys with you. They are loyal, yet independent and can be difficult to train. They can also spend a lot of time grooming themselves and keeping clean. They may refuse to walk in a puddle because they don't want to get their paws wet.
They may even give you the cold shoulder if you annoy them enough like this owner getting rejected by his Shiba repeatedly!
You never know what goes on in a Shiba's mind, but their quirkiness is exactly what makes them so endearing to many people around the world. There is never a dull moment with a Shiba and perhaps that is why they make such funny memes (and companions)!
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Just a fun-loving team who loves art and also pets <3