I’ve got a Google Alert for “shiba inu” up and running. Before the Shiba inu puppy cam, I would get maybe one or two emails a week about Shiba stuff – mostly news stories where Shibas were mentioned and the occasional ad. Now I’m seeing a huge increase in the amount of Shiba Inu stories coming into my inbox. Most are advertisements for Shiba puppies, Shiba stud service, want ads for “$100 Shiba” or “Free Shiba Puppy” and the ever-present Yahoo! Answers queries about getting a Shiba and/or Shiba ownership.
Now, this could be because Google has become more efficient in its search techniques, but it’s funny that it seemed to begin at the webcam’s peak popularity. My Google Analytics also shows a jump at that time and is still getting hits from the ustream.tv site where the puppy cam streaming feed is hosted.
The puppycam owners have been very careful to urge people to think carefully before bringing a Shiba into their lives and to only go to responsible breeders or rescues for a dog. They also have not attempted to capitalize on their puppies’ sudden fame to make money for themselves; the only item they are selling is a puppy calendar, with all the profits going to Shiba rescue.
However it does appear that this puppycam has thrust the Shiba into the spotlight. Whether this is good, bad, or indifferent, the Shiba is becoming more well-known. Consequently, it is also more likely to be prey to irresponsible breeders, callous puppymillers and profit-run pet shops.
However, we can’t control how popular the Shiba gets. We can only do our part to educate and, failing that, make scathing remarks about irresponsible dog owners should the occasion require.
Thoughts? And check out this Cafepress.com store, where you can proclaim your Shiba allegiance as dating before the puppy cam.