Shiba Inu


"Shibas are endlessly amusing because of their many little quirks. The Shiba Scream and the Shiba Smile are well known, as is the Shiba Shake... Here are a few of the breed's lesser-known quirks.

"The Shiba Eye-Roll: The breed's natural habitat is the couch, and the Shiba does not like to be disturbed while resting there. A human who sits on a Shiba's couch, thereby disturbing the dog, is likely to be subjected to the Shiba Eye-Roll. This consists of the Shiba looking sideways at the human, sighing heavily, and rolling its eyes heavenward in exasperation. The overall effect is to make the human feel that he or she has been inexpressably rude in disturbing the Shiba.

"The Shiba Frenzy: This typically occurs when the Shiba has politely asked to be taken for a walk, but the owner has selfishly started doing something else. Suddenly a crazed look comees over the face of the Shiba. Then, like a rocket, the dog launches himself through the house at top speed, hits the couch and makes a flying turn, and races back through the house again while leaping or dodging all obstacles in his path. Amazingly, a Shiba will almost never damage anything during a Frenzy. The Frenzy is usually highly effective in achieving its goal, which is to persuade the owner to take the Shiba for a walk immediately.

"Cinderella Shiba: In the well-known fairy tale, Cinderella became a princess when the glass slipper fit her dainty foot. Well, Cinderella had nothing on the Shiba. Shibas believe that their feet are precious works of art, not meant to be touched by human hands. A Shiba will regard any sort of foot care with the highest degree of suspicion. When a human approaches a Shiba with the nail trimmer, they will be treated to the dog's entire bag of tricks. First is the unbelieving stare. This is quickly followed by various maneuvers such as the Catch-Me-If-You-Can, the Drop-And-Roll, and the Duck-and-Wiggle. When all else fails and the horrified Shiba is finally having his manicure, he will pretend that you have cut the quick and emit a heartrending cry, or possibly even the Shiba Scream. This is especially effective when observers are present.

"There are many more Shiba quirks, and just when you think you have seen them all you dogs will surprise you with a new one. That's what makes the breed so much fun" (Houser, Susan. "Shiba Inu." Breed Column. AKC Gazette, Dec. 2003, 65-66).


Colby Glass, MLIS