Monday, December 15, 2008

Shiba Inu in the Media - good or bad?

Did you watch the now famous Shiba Inu puppy cam? Who didn't? Have you heard about the upcoming movie "Hachiko" which is about a loyal Akita, but Shiba Inu puppies were used in the movie. The Shiba Inu is getting more and more exposure, and I have to wonder if that is a good thing or not.

Yes, I loved watching the Shiba Inu puppy cam. I have a Shiba Inu, so re-living those cutesy puppy days was a lot of fun. I know many Shiba owners felt the same.

What concerns me are the people that enjoyed watching the puppy cam and now want a Shiba Inu based on the extreme cuteness. I guess it's just like when 101 Dalmatians became a movie, and the upcoming movie "Marley & Me" will probably have the same effect - it brings interest towards a specific breed and a lot of people/kids will want one.

The Shiba Inu is not for everyone. Sushi and I are still sorting each other out and it's been 5 yrs! Shibas are very intelligent and can continue to challenge you whenever they feel like it. They can be a lot of work. Yes, the learn quickly, but they can also be very stubborn.

So, for anyone out there considering adding a Shiba Inu to their family, Sushi and I beg that you do A LOT of research and be SURE that this is the breed for you (and that you are the right family for the Shiba!).

All that being said, here are some very important links to very important websites that really tell you what life is like with a Shiba Inu.



Consider adopting a Shiba, there are many looking for their forever home on PETFINDER


If you want to get a Shiba Inu from a breeder, again, do your research first. When you are ready to visit a breeder, read the following tips on how to identify a good dog breeder below:

When Can I Bring My Puppy home?

Not before the pup is 8-10 weeks old. If the pup is removed from it's Mom before 8 weeks, the pup could possibly end up with serious behavioural or health issues.

Choosing the Right Breeder

How to Identify a Good Dog Breeder - Tips from The Humane Society of the United States

Look for a breeder who at a minimum:

-Keeps her dogs in the home and as part of the family--not outside in kennel runs.
-Has dogs who appear happy and healthy, are excited to meet new people, and don't shy away from visitors.
-Shows you where the dogs spend most of their time--an area that is clean and well maintained.
-Encourages you to spend time with the puppy's parents--at a minimum, the pup's mother--when you visit.
-Breeds only one or two types of dogs, and is knowledgeable about what is called "breed standards" (the desired characteristics of the breed in areas such as size, proportion, coat, color and temperament).
-Has a strong relationship with a local veterinarian and shows you the records of veterinary visits for the puppies. Explains the puppies' medical history and what vaccinations your new puppy will need.
-Is well versed in the potential genetic problems inherent in the breed--there are specific genteic concerns for every breed--and explains to you what those concerns are. The breeder should have had the puppy's parents tested (and should have the results from the parents' parents) to ensure they are free of those defects, and she should be able to provide you with the documentation for all testing she has done through organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals(OFA).
-Gives you guidance on caring and training for your puppy and is available for your assistance after you take your puppy home.
-Provides references of other families who have purchased puppies from her.
-Feeds high quality "premium" brand food.
-Doesn't always have puppies available but rather will keep a list of interested people for the next available litter.
-Actively competes with her dogs in conformation trials (which judge how closely dogs match their "breed standard"), obedience trials (which judge how well dogs perform specific sets of tasks on command), or tracking and agility trials. Good breeders will also work with local, state, and national clubs that specialize in their specific breeds.
-Encourages multiple visits and wants your entire family to meet the puppy before you take your puppy home.
-Provides you with a written contract and health guarantee and allows plenty of time for you to read it thoroughly. The breeder should not require that you use a specific veterinarian.

In addition to the above criteria, you'll want a breeder who requires some things of you, too. A reputable breeder doesn't just sell her puppies to the first interested buyer!

The breeder should require you to:

-Explain why you want a dog.
-Tell her who in the family will be responsible for the pup's daily care, who will attend training classes, where the dog will spend most of her time, and what "rules" have been decided upon for the puppy--for example, will the dog be allowed on furniture?
-Provide a veterinary reference if you already have pets or, if you don't have other pets, she should ask which practices you are considering for your new puppy.
-Provide proof from your landlord or condominium board (if you rent or live in a condominium complex) that you are allowed to have companion animals.
-Sign a contract that you will spay or neuter the dog unless you will be actively involved in showing him or her (which applies to show-quality dogs only).
-Sign a contract stating that you will return the dog to the breeder should you be unable to keep the dog at any point in the dog's life.

(note from Bonnie: when visiting a breeder, ask to see the parent's pedigree before making a decision; take a good look at it; parents should not be from the same litter. Also, if a breeder refuses to show you all of their dogs or where they "live", etc...walk away right then and there.)

Bonnie & Sushi

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shiba Inu "coat"

Humph!!! Mom said that since my undercoat has refused to grow in and I get cold at the park, that she had to buy me a jacket. Can you believe that? She did promise to not make me look completely ridiculous and says I look quite distinguished in it. Some pals have said the colour goes perfectly with my colouring, whatever THAT means. I guess it's ok, now that I've learned I can still pee and poop! Shiba Inus are double coated, and normally I blow my coat every Christmas, but I was early this year...still waiting for it to come back...

Toronto Shiba Inu Meetup Howliday Pawty

32 Shiba Inu, 2 Korean Jindos and 2 non-Shiba pooches took over Doggie Central for the Toronto Shiba Inu Meetup group's Annual Howliday Pawty.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shibas That Like to Dress Up??

Humph, I'm not so sure about that, but Mom found this website along with these photos. I ain't wearing any of those outfits! Mom keeps giggling at them...sheesh...

Dogs in Duds


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shiba Inu Fun Across the World!

If you own, or are owned or want to be owned by a Shiba Inu, do yourself a humungous favour and join a Shiba Inu Meetup Group. There are several across Canada and the U.S. If there isn't one listed, start one, you will not regret it!

Mom became the Organizer of the Toronto Shiba Inu Meetup group 4 yrs ago and we now have approximately 140 members. On average, there are 15-20 Shibas at a playdate, sometimes more! It's an amazing sight to see, and so much fun. Now, Mom is also the Organizer of the Missouri Shiba Inu Meetup group.

But, the Meetup groups can be so much more than just getting together at the park. There are Message Boards, which is an excellent way to get to know other Shiba owners before attending a Meetup - you'll feel like you already know them. On top of that, the amount of information on Shibas is invaluable!!! What better way to understand the breed than to speak with the owners! Socialization is one of the best things you can do for your Shiba, and the more you understand the breed, the better the relationship you will have with your Shiba Inu.

Share photos, stories, successes, challenges. The groups can even become a support group at times. So, what are you waiting for, check out Shiba Meetups and join in on the fun!

Here is a current list of Shiba Inu groups:

All Shiba Inu Meetups on

Vancouver Shiba

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Life With a Shiba Inu In Missouri

Well, it's been 2 weeks since my family loaded myself, the 2 cats, and the 3 dwarf hamsters into the cars and we went on a looooong road trip. Mom told me that we were moving to a place called Missouri and promised it would be lots of fun! Oh boy, I love fun!

We stayed in 3 hotels, which was kinda neat - even the cats didn't seem to mind. Now we are in Missouri (Harrisonville), and adjusting to our new home.

We are out in the country, and wow that is a big change! I'm a cityslicker, love to stick to the sidewalks, and not get my Shiba paws covered in tall grass - ick!

It's been quite the adventure. I've made one good friend. He met us the day we arrived and I see him every once in awhile. We call him Buddy :)

Other than him, there are a lot of other dogs around here that get to run loose - but I can't! How unfair is that!!! I complain during leashed walks all the time but Mom & Dad won't let me loose, humph!

But, Mom found a really cool park for me to go to and we are there almost every day when we can. I've even made 2 new Shiba pals since Mom started the Missouri Shiba Inu Meetup group. Taylor & Aki are from MSIR and are really cool and fun.

Mom says that aside from my dislike of meeting other dogs while on leash, that I have done remarkably well with all the changes in my life, and gives me bellyrubs every morning when we get up. I guess life here ain't so bad...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thank you to Tsuki & Yoshi the very cool Shibas!

The Toronto Shiba Inu Meetup group had a Meetup last weekend in Mississauga, Ontario. Some of you know of Tsuki & Yoshi from

Well, their owners, Kathy & Peter came alllllll the way from Pennsylvania to meet us! How cool is that! They were super nice and even gave me a Possum to kill!!! I've tried my best to de-stuff the possum the way Tsuki & Yoshi do...but Mom says I'm more of a lover than a killer.




Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Shiba Nationals 2008 - coming soon!

Roohoo!!!! Mom tells me that we are moving to Missouri just in time. The NSCA Shiba Inu Regional & National Specialty is happening near St. Louis, Missouri this year! Mom is so excited, she can't wait to go!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who is Really the Alpha? - You or your Shiba Inu?

Shibas are born believing they are Top Dog. It is up to the owner to establish Top Dog status as soon as possible. The Shiba will thank you for it. However, it's not always easy to do this. Sushi will be 5 yrs old in September. Am I Alpha? Yes...and no... So, basically, no, lol! Or at least, not in all situations, but we are working on it.

How do you know? Well, whoevever is making all the decisions is the Alpha.

Here are some interesting articles about Being Alpha:


ESTABLISHING ALPHA - tips from the Toronto Shiba Inu Meetup group members

Bonnie & Sushi

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shiba Inu Movie - A Tale of Mari & 3 Puppies

Inspired by a true story...

In the small village of Yamakoshi, a dog named Mari gives birth to three puppies, much to the joy of young owners Ryota (Hiroto Ryohei) and Aya (Sasaki Mao). Soon after on October 23, 2004, a major earthquake hits the area, and entire sections of Yamakoshi are reduced to rubble. Away from home, Ryota and father Yuichi (Funakoshi Eichiro) escape the worst of it, but Aya and Grandfather Yuzo (Utsui Ken) are trapped in their collapsed house. A rescue team arrives in time to save them, but there is no room for Mari and her newborn pups on the helicopter. With the entire village evacuated and blocked off, Mari and her puppies are left to their own means in the desolate village. Inspired by a true story of canine heroism, A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies is a touching story of love and resilience starring some seriously adorable dogs that could give Quill a run for his money. Mari's tale of survival against all odds became a symbol of hope for the people of Yamakoshi in the aftermath of the earthquake, and was later turned into a best-selling illustrated book from which the film is adapted. A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies is helmed by television director Inomata Ryuichi (Golden Bowl) and features music from renowned composer Hisaishi Joe.

If you want to watch the movie, here is the link for it (make sure you have kleenex):

A Tale of Mari & 3 Puppies

Bonnie & Sushi

Friday, May 23, 2008

Support Shiba Rescue GTA

Hey, all you lovers of the Shiba Inu!

It's that time of year again. Shiba Rescue GTA will be participating
again in this year's Annual K9 Rescue Me Walkathon, part of Woofstock, a festival for dogs! Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

If you would like to show support by donating online, please go to

Please be sure to use the drop down menu to select "Shiba Rescue GTA"
and there should also be a comment/notes box where you can type that
in as well. There are approximately 20 rescues participating, so it
needs to be clear which rescue you are donating to.

If you will be in the Toronto area on June 8th, come out and join the
Shibas! The walk starts at 11:00am. Pledge forms and all other info
can be found at:

Bonnie & Sushi

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shiba Inu Tricks

Mom makes me learn these very silly tricks. But, it makes her happy and I get a yummy treat, so what the heck.

View this montage created at One True Media
Sushi's Yum Yum Trick

View this montage created at One True Media
Shiba Inu Tricks

Monday, February 18, 2008

Young Shiba Inu Needs His Forever Home

Meet Chigo, a young male Japanese Shiba Inu. Chigo is a very intelligent boy, with plenty of energy to burn! He needs owners who are true Alphas, can match his energy and challenge him. Please contact Shiba Rescue GTA at if you are interested, or know of someone who might be.

This is a high energy playful approximately two year old Shiba Inu. He weighs about 23lbs. He is very sweet and affectionate. He loves rides in the car and toys.

Chigo somehow lost his owners and was found at the local pound where he was removed into rescue. He is about two years old, neutered, up to date on all shots, heartworm negative. This dog knows basic commands and walks well on a leash. Chigo is looking for a new owner who will provide firm direction and has some training experience. Because of his nature, the adoption requirement will include an agreement to take obedience training. No cats in the home since he has a very high prey drive.

See our Petfinder web site for information on our adoption process. (paste the following address:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back to School!!

Mom decided "we" needed more work. "We" really means "Mom". I know all this stuff, I"m bored. Oh wait, we did learn a few new things, to which I perked up to! I know one of the other dogs in the class, a cute Coton du Tulear. The other 2 dogs are bigger than me and I don't like it. Oh yeah...THAT'S why Mom said we are back in school, humph. Something about reastablishing who is alpha. I like the teacher though - she doesn't let me get away with anything, but she likes me :) I've known her since I was a puppy and she even takes care of me when Mom and Dad go away. I guess school isn't so bad, afterall.