If you’ve been online recently, you’ve probably heard of or seen “Doge” memes. But what is a Doge anyway? While Doge isn’t an actual breed, the meme is actually a ShibaInu.
The ShibaInu originates from all the way from Japan, where the breed is highly regarded and esteemed for its importance and contribution in Japanese history, culture, anime, and manga. While it still belongs to the larger Akita family, the ShibaInu has a distinct bloodline, which makes the breed different than similar looking dogs like the Akita Inu and Hokkaido. In addition to being Japan’s smallest native breed, the Shiba was originally a companion in many hunting expeditions, helping their owners to find food and navigate through densely packed mountainous areas.
But when did they make their way to America? The distance between the United States and Japan is quite far, and we all know they didn’t get here by swimming the Pacific or Atlantic oceans over one hundred years ago. Oddly enough, ShibaInus were first introduced in America nearly 60 years ago, which is more recent than most other breeds here in the US.
Occasionally mistaken for a large fox, the average male stands between 14-17 inches, and weighs around 18-25 pounds. The female Shiba is a bit smaller, standing anywhere between 13-15 inches and weighing around 15-20 pounds. The males and females sport a nice double coat that is suitable for moderate to cold climates, with the outer coat being stiff and slightly coarse to the touch, and undercoat being soft and thick.
Unlike some of the more popular breeds in America, the Shiba is extremely independent in its temperament. The breed isn’t unfriendly, but is known to act aggressively towards other dogs.
If you’re considering to add a ShibaInu to your home, it’s a perfectly wonderful idea! Just note that while the breed does well around a wide variety of people, it’s best to keep them away from babies and young children.