Objective Dog Ratings: The Shiba Inu

by Callmesalticidae1 min read18th Sep 20202 comments


Personal Blog
Write a Review

The Shiba Inu

Shibas are a spitz dog, which, if you remember from the original Dog Ratings post, is my projected winner for the All-Dog All-Stars Contest, but that doesn't mean that this spitz will take the trophy home.

Let's take a look:

First, it must be noted that shibas have the curly tail which is most distinctive of domesticated animals, which is a Good Thing. Props to you, noble shibas.

Behaviorally, shibas are very clean animals. They clean themselves, they're very easy to housebreak, and...well, they will track mud into the house and not wipe their feet off first, but they're still dogs. You can only expect so much from them. They're clever, but the jury is out on just how much so.

Shibas do not bark very much, instead preferring to emit terrible, nearly goat-like noise called a "shiba scream," which has been described as "bloodcurdling" and like the "screams of the damned." The name sounds like an anime attack move, and I wholeheartedly approve.

I could not find much in the way of terrible diseases, which is a little surprising given their history. Shibas were extensively crossbred with other dogs in the 19th century and, between crossbreeding, distemper outbreaks, and WWII food shortages, only three "bloodlines" or "variations" of shiba still remained in the post-war era. It's hard for me to get details on this, so I can only assume that the gene pools were relatively large and healthy or the breeders did a good job, because, as I say, they aren't a tragedy of inbreeding.

This is, admittedly, a little bit conjecture, but I imagine that their healthiness has something to do with the story of their preservation as a breed. Shibas were bred to do a job (hunting and flushing out small game and, on occasion, boar), and hunters were among those who tried to preserve them.

Anyway, the point is, they are pretty healthy dogs, and that's pretty important here at Objective Dog Ratings. Shibas aren't exceptionally intelligent, but there's something awful and awesome about their unique vocal talents, so I'm going to award them a very tentative, by-the-tip-of-their-nose, three stars. A forward-thinking, politically progressive wolf would not be ashamed to know a shiba, though they might well be a little unsettled.

Rating: ★★★ out of ★★★ (Good)

Original post (with more pictures) here.


2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 9:18 PM
New Comment

I greatly respect the Shiba as it is clearly possesses a will of its own.

It is one of the most agenty dogs.

​For example, some Shiba Inus will emit a light Shiba scream simply if you give them the softest of "pinches" or pull on their collar in a way they don't like. 

Most dogs just wont tell you when you're doing something they don't like very much, like this. It's much better when our friends are honest about what they want, especially our animal friends, whose minds are the hardest for us to read.

Shibas do not bark very much, instead preferring to emit terrible, nearly goat-like noise called a "shiba scream," which has been described as "bloodcurdling" and like the "screams of the damned."

Huh, I did not know this was a common Shiba thing. I got recommended a fun little dog channel called 'The Adventures of Mandy and Major' recently where I came across the "shiba scream", but at the time I thought it was just a weirdly pitched howl-attempt by Major. I wouldn't have thought it a breed trait (and in my rating, that would mostly be a negative). Shibas have always been at the top for me in terms of looks though, one of the most beautiful dog breeds in the world.

Rating: ★★★ (Good)

Btw, can you somehow indicate that the rating is out of three stars, in these posts? I was wondering whether this was out of four stars or five, until I went back to the original post to check.