Not about Shibas, but close

The Man Who Saved The Breed: The battle for the Akita, the samurai of dogs

This is a news story that alerted me to the book “Dog Man: An Uncommon Life On A Far Away Mountain.  It’s about a man and his Akitas and, if my search inside is any indication, there is no mention of Shibas at all.  However, from the reviews, it provides a great deal of information on life in Japan and the Japanese attitude towards their dogs.  The author spent a great deal of time with Morie Sawataishi and his wife, Kitako, learning about him and his work with Akitas.

I’m hoping to find this at the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  Once I do, I’ll come back and tell you fine people what I think of it.

Google Books Excerpt

Shibas in dog books

I have a collection of older dog books and keep my eye out for others. Being a Shiba fancier, I always check to see if there’s any reference to the Shiba in any dog book (often I am disappointed; they are only now becoming popular enough to merit a reference in books outside of the kennel clubs’ book compilations of the dogs they recognize). Most of the time, if there is a mention, it is somewhat akin to the National Geographic “Man’s Best Friend” – [referring to dogs used for small game hunting] “In Japan, it’s the little Shiba”. Which is fine; at least they acknowledge that the breed exists.

However there are some weird notions about Japanese breeds and Shibas in particular that I have found in this one book, “The New Dog Encyclopedia” (The Stackpole Company, 1970, ISBN: 0-8117-1064-5)

The smallest dog of this type is called the Shiba, or the Shiba Inu. It stands 14 to 16 inches at the shoulder.

So far, they’re doing fine. But then they stray into what I can only call a wild flight of fancy, or the result of experience with a very small percentage of the Shiba population.

The Shiba differs from the Akita and the Nippon Inu in that it is born tail-less or with a short bob- tail. In this, it is like another miniature Spitz, the Schipperke.


Here’s one of the earliest pictures of Tierce at 3 weeks (his breeder sent me a whole set of pictures that she took from birth to 8 weeks):

And notice the appendage that The New Dog Encyclopedia claims shouldn’t be there:

And, since I didn’t rectify this situation, it has only grown and become more obvious:

Do we actually have defective Shibas? Should we actually have red, red sesame or black-and-tan Japanese Schipperkes? Or, as I suspect, did the person who submitted this particular piece of information only see one “Shiba” who happened to be wearing a shorter tail than most?

Of course, if one reads further, one finds that the book claims that the Beauceron hails from South America, so I think that somebody was hitting the sauce during certain portions of the editing process.

I’m definitely reading this one

Ruff love

The love of Andrew DePrisco’s life is loyal, affectionate, well-groomed and high class. Unfortunately for his partner, Robert White, his main amore also has four legs and goes to the bathroom in the backyard. Don’t get them wrong – their 11 years (and counting) human relationship is strong and healthy. But from the first week the New Jersey-based couple started dating, DePrisco made one thing clear: He would always have two dogs and they would always be purebred Shiba Inu. “He wasn’t unhappy with it, but he wasn’t as committed to that breed as I was,” DePrisco says of his confession. “He pretty much had to accept it.”

That’s DePrisco’s number one rule: Never choose a man over your dog. You will regret it, he warns. But that’s just one of many tongue-in-cheek – yet strangely accurate – observations he makes in his book, “Woof! A Gay Man’s Guide to Dogs” (BowTie Press, $19.95).