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Dog Breeds: Shiba Inu—The Superdog

Considered one of the oldest and smallest of Japan's dogs, Shiba Inus are sturdy, agile and convenient in size, making them appealing pooches. They also sport a physically attractive appearance and are alert, bold and easy to groom.

But look out! These clever little canines have swift reflexes and an enormous drive to hunt. They will pursue anything that moves and can out dodge any human! A superman of a dog, the Shiba is a runner!

Get a leash

Originally bred as hunters, these pooches are nimble and quick. This means you will also need a secure fence and a covered run. The Shibas' cat-like agility enables them to jump, climb or dig their way out of any ordinary fence, so it's advisable to use chain link or mesh across the top of runs.

Stay a step ahead

Shibas are crafty, not to mention manipulative. If something displeases them, anyone around may be caught off guard with a very loud yelp. It's wise to stay one step ahead of them all at times. With a stubborn streak and a mischievous sense of humor, this breed does best with owners who are firm, confident and absolutely consistent.

Caution around small pets

Aggression is common in this breed. They are also possessive creatures, so it's not a good idea to mess with their stuff—like toys and food. If they could say just one word it would be, "Mine!"

However, earn their respect and they will be loyal, attentive and affectionate, making them wonderful companions and excellent watchdogs.

Shiba Inus haven proven to be good family dogs, but if you have children, it is imperative that both the child and the dog learn to respect one another at the earliest possible moment. Proper training and socialization are key for family success.