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Japan’s National Dog: Shiba Inu

You may be familiar with Shiba Inus as they are commonly referred to as the “Meme Dog”.  These dogs actually come from Japan and have an interesting history behind them besides being known for internet memes.  


The Shiba Inus are part of the Nihon-ken family.  Other breeds include the Akita Inu, Hokkaido Inu, Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, and Shikoku Ken.  Some breeds have similar appearances but differ with their height and size.  The Shiba Inus’ most common color is their reddish coat.  They also come in the colors of black and tan, sesame and cream.  Shiba Inus are mainly shown as a fox-like dog with their pointy ears and curly tail.  It’s ranking is placed at 44 out of 196. Their lifespan ranges from 13-16 years.  


The Shiba Inus have been around Japan since the B.C. times while the first Shiba Inu in the United States came in 1954 by a military family.  At first they lived in the mountainous region of Chubu. After western dogs were coming into Japan starting in 1868, it was hard to find purebred Shiba Inus.  They then were able to breed pure Shiba Inus again until they almost went extinct again.  After World War II, there was a major food shortage that almost led to their extinction.  To prevent extinction, breed enthusiasts came into the pictures and preserved their existence.  


The first viral meme of them was a post by a woman named Sato who owned a dog named Kabosu.  She posted the photo to her blog in 2010 and it wasn’t until 2013 that it went viral.  Sato mentions that Kabosu is photogenic and has hundreds of photos of her posted.  Originally Sato started her blog for awareness of how inhumane puppy mills are.  


The first recorded Shiba Inu coming into America happened in 1954.  They are best known for being a meme dog started by a blogger named Sato. Not only did she post photos of her pets on her blogs but to also spread awareness about how inhumane puppy mills are.  Shiba Inus have been around since the BC times and they are still one of the most popular dogs in Japan along with ranking 44 out of 196 in the United States.  

Cheyenne is a Sophomore attending the University of Akron with a major of Dietetics & Nutrition along with having a minor in English. Activities she enjoys doing is going to the mall, hanging out with friends and traveling.
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