What is Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inu is a small to medium-sized breed of dog that originated in Japan. It is one of the oldest and smallest native Japanese breeds, known for its spirited personality, fox-like appearance, and strong hunting instincts. In recent years, the Shiba Inu has gained significant popularity worldwide, thanks in part to its presence on social media and its association with the cryptocurrency meme coin, Dogecoin. In this article, we will explore the history, characteristics, temperament, and popularity of the Shiba Inu breed.

The History of Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu has a long and rich history that dates back thousands of years. It is believed to be one of the oldest and purest dog breeds in existence. The exact origins of the breed are unclear, but it is thought to have descended from ancient Japanese hunting dogs that were used to hunt small game, such as birds and rabbits.

During the 19th century, Japan went through a period of rapid industrialization, which led to the decline of traditional hunting practices. As a result, the number of Shiba Inus decreased significantly, and the breed was on the verge of extinction. However, a group of dedicated breeders worked tirelessly to preserve the breed’s bloodline and revive its population.

After World War II, the Shiba Inu’s numbers further dwindled due to the destruction caused by the war. However, a few surviving individuals formed the foundation for the breed’s recovery. The Japanese government recognized the Shiba Inu as a national treasure in 1936, and efforts were made to protect and promote the breed.

Characteristics of Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a compact and well-muscled dog with a distinctive appearance. Here are some key characteristics of the breed:

  • Size: Shiba Inus are small to medium-sized dogs, with males typically weighing between 23 to 25 pounds (10.5 to 11.5 kilograms) and females weighing between 17 to 20 pounds (7.5 to 9 kilograms).
  • Coat: They have a double coat consisting of a soft, thick undercoat and a straight, stiff outer coat. The coat comes in various colors, including red, sesame, black and tan, and cream.
  • Appearance: Shiba Inus have a fox-like face with small, triangular ears, dark, almond-shaped eyes, and a curled tail that sits high on their back.
  • Temperament: They are known for their independent and spirited nature. Shiba Inus are intelligent, alert, and confident. They can be reserved with strangers but are generally loyal and affectionate with their families.
  • Exercise: Shiba Inus are an active breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys are essential for their well-being.

Temperament and Training

The Shiba Inu’s temperament is often described as bold, spirited, and sometimes even stubborn. They have a strong prey drive and may chase small animals if not properly trained and socialized. Early socialization and obedience training are crucial for shaping their behavior and ensuring they become well-rounded dogs.

Shiba Inus are intelligent and quick learners, but they can also be independent and strong-willed. Positive reinforcement training methods, such as rewards and praise, work best with this breed. Harsh training methods or punishment can lead to resistance and may damage the bond between the dog and its owner.

It is important to note that Shiba Inus have a strong sense of self and may not always exhibit the typical “eager to please” attitude seen in some other breeds. They are known to have a cat-like cleanliness and may spend a considerable amount of time grooming themselves.

Popularity and Shiba Inu Memes

In recent years, the Shiba Inu has gained significant popularity, both as a companion dog and as an internet sensation. The breed’s unique appearance and quirky personality have made it a favorite subject for memes and viral videos.

One of the most famous Shiba Inus on the internet is “Doge,” a Shiba Inu whose picture was turned into a meme with captions written in broken English Comic Sans font. The “Doge” meme became widely popular in 2013 and helped bring the Shiba Inu breed into the mainstream consciousness.

Furthermore, the Shiba Inu’s association with the cryptocurrency meme coin, Dogecoin, has further increased its popularity. Dogecoin, which features the Shiba Inu as its logo, has gained a cult following and has become one of the most well-known cryptocurrencies in the world.


The Shiba Inu is a fascinating and unique breed with a rich history and distinct characteristics. From its origins as a skilled hunting dog in Japan to its rise to internet fame, the Shiba Inu has captured the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide.

While their spirited temperament and independent nature may not be suitable for everyone, those who appreciate the Shiba Inu’s charm and are willing to invest time and effort into their training will be rewarded with a loyal and affectionate companion.

Whether you are drawn to the Shiba Inu because of its historical significance, its adorable appearance, or its internet fame, it is important to remember that owning any dog is a long-term commitment. Responsible ownership, proper training, and socialization are essential for ensuring the well-being and happiness of both the dog and its owner.


1. Are Shiba Inus good with children?

Shiba Inus can be good with children if they are properly socialized from a young age and raised in a household with respectful and gentle children. However, due to their independent nature, they may not tolerate rough handling or excessive noise. It is important to supervise interactions between Shiba Inus and young children to ensure everyone’s safety.

2. Do Shiba Inus require a lot of grooming?

Shiba Inus have a dense double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. During shedding seasons, they may require more frequent brushing to remove loose hair. However, overall, they are relatively low-maintenance in terms of grooming. Regular brushing, occasional baths, and routine nail trimming and teeth brushing are usually sufficient to keep them looking their best.

3. Are Shiba Inus good for apartment living?

Shiba Inus can adapt well to apartment living if they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, it is important to note that they are an active breed and require regular exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.