The last two years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership soar over the pandemic.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
Those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that sometimes appears on people’s canine wishlists is the Shiba Inu – they are one of the more unusual dogs to be seen in the UK’s parks but have a range of positive attributes that make them a great household pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
1. A winning cross
Dog historians believe the Shiba Inu is likely the result of a cross between the Jomon-jin’s dogs and dogs that came to Japan with a new wave of immigration in around 300 BC. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Useful dogs
Originally the Shiba Inu was bred as a hunting dog - flushing and chasing small game like birds and rabbits in the mountainous areas of the Chūbu region of Japan. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. What's in a name?
The origins of the name of the Shiba Inu are a mystery - other than 'Inu' meaning dog in Japanese. 'Shiba' means brushwood in Japanese so some think it may refer to the terrain where they were bred, while others believe it could refer to the colour of the dog's coat. Another theory is that it refers to an archaic use of shiba in Japan, when it simply meant 'little'. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Many memed mutts
The Doge meme, featuring a picture of a Shiba Inu, became a hugely popular internet meme 2013. The meme consists of a picture of a dog accompanied by multicolored text representing an inner monologue in broken English. It in turn led to the Dogecoin and Shiba Inu cryptocurrencies. Photo: Canva/Getty Images