Get a Shiba they said, it will be fun they said. If you own or have ever owned a Shiba, I’m sure you’ve thought the same thing once or 50 times in your life. Before getting our first Shiba we did a lot of research (or so we thought) and came to the conclusion that the Shiba Inu breed was perfect for my husband and me. Labeled as ‘independent’ and ‘smart’ I figured the breed would be like my cat, whom I love. I was sold.

Once our first Shibe (a red male) grew out of his puppy phase and started coming into his own I slowly realized that he was exactly like my cat. He never wants to cuddle with you or get love from you unless it is literally first thing in the morning, and only then will the cuddly-ness last for about half a minute (just like my cat). He is also smart; and by “smart” I really mean “smartASS”. My Shiba knows all the tricks in the doggie handbook, but he will only preform them if there is an edible reward. He will not raise a paw if he doesn’t see (or smell) a Milkbone within his vicinity. Another “smartass” tendency among the little fox breed is the fact that they have no regard for anyone, or anything, aside from themselves. If they get loose, you might as well write your pup off as a loss because they aren’t coming back. If you call them by name, they will hear you for sure because they will look at you with squinty, attitude-like eyes, but they won’t respond.


After realizing all these qualities about our first Shiba, my husband and I were convinced our next dog would be a Lab, or some other human-loving, respectable pooch. However, one random day, my husband surprises me with another little red Shiba Inu girl. What.The.Heck?! My reaction was not at all what he was hoping for. I want a dog that will love me and cuddle with me, not a cat-like dog who wants nothing to do with me. After our girl pup turned about one and a half, she became everything I’ve ever wanted. She is the cuddly-est Shiba the I have ever met. She is sweet and feminine and….vicious. I guess you can’t have it all with shibes.

My girl pup is a wild child. She nips at everyone hoping they will start playing with her. She’s not mean, she’s just vocal and engaging. She has gums for days too, which is bad when she snarls because it looks like she’s about to bite the heck out of you. Shiba’s are a pretty dominant breed, they aren’t mean or aggressive, they just like to let fellow pups know when they want to play and when they don’t. When I took my girl pup to the vet they had to put a muzzle on her because she kept snarling at the vet. I can’t blame them, but it broke my heart because she has never bit anyone, ever. She is just…expressive?

As much as I would love a dog that listens when I call their name, or a dog that I can trust off-leash, or a dog that doesn’t scare everyone at the dog park; I would never trade my little fox diva’s for anything. I will take all the half-minutes cuddles I can get and laugh at all the fake snarls from my little girl. Shiba’s aren’t meant for everyone (their personalities are a lot to handle and their demands are even more), but I am thankful for the two fluffy shibes that I do have, Cuervo and Kahlua.