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Goin’ Japanesque!

Mame Shiba Inu: The Cuteness of the Extra Small Japanese Dog

The shiba inu is a popular Japanese dog breed even overseas. Did you know there’s a smaller breed affectionately known as the “mame shiba inu”? This article will discuss the shiba inu and what makes it and mame shiba inus special.


What is a Shiba Inu?

It’s one breed of Japanese dog that’s registered as a protected species. It’s the smallest breed of the 6 Japanese dog breeds (Shiba, Akita, Hokkaido, Kishu, Kai and the Tosa) and was used as a hunting dog in ancient times.

*The faithful dog known as Hachiko in Shibuya was an Akita.


What makes Shibas Special and Lovable

This can be said in general about Japanese dogs overall but, out of all of them, the shiba is a loyal, obedient and very intelligent dog. They’re often praised overseas for how cool they look. Below is a list of what makes them special.


 – Loyal only to their masters: The shiba is very loyal, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get along with everyone. Once their owners are gone, their temperament often changes, a personality known nowadays as “tsundere”. (Tsundere: One who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing their warm side over time.) They’re good watchdogs because of the distance they’ll keep from others.

 – Full of wild spirit: They have a brave spirit thanks to the hunting dog blood running through them. Their personalities are similar to wolves and they’re independent and self-reliant. It’s said they’ve sometimes even gone against bears.

 – Strong-willed: Long ago they were raised in the mountains and can easily withstand the cold or simple food. They have a lot of perseverance.

 – Cool exterior: They may not be flashy but they look simple and dignified, with a good balance to their figure.

 – Human-like: They can read the mood of the situation and be earnestly stubborn. They’ve got the personalities of samurai.

 – Easy to own: A properly trained shiba won’t bark without reason and are easy to housetrain. However, those who don’t know how to train them will sometimes find them difficult.


The earmuffs aren’t working but look at that proud face!

Sometimes they’ll gallantly run forth.


What is a Mame Shiba Inu?

Marching along

Hi :)

To put it simply, the mame shiba inu is a small shiba. However, they’re not just shiba that are small in size. Small shiba were bred over generations and generations in order to produce a genetically smaller shiba inu. They inherited the aforementioned shiba personality traits, too.

However, currently the mame shiba inu isn’t recognized as its own distinct dog breed.

*The only one to recognize it is KCJ (KC Japan), who issues mame shiba inu pedigrees. However, the largest dog breed registry organization JKC (Japan Kennel Club) and the Association for the Preservation of the Japanese Dog do not recognize the mame shiba inu as a unique breed.


There are some issues and things to note when purchasing one but… there’s no doubt that they are exceedingly cute!

Related: Popular Worldwide! 6 Japanese Dogs Designated as Natural Treasures

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