What The Internet’s Fave Dog Can Teach Us About The Perils of ‘Trendy’ Pets

In February, a rep for the National Shiba Club of America told Slate that they had not heard of “any uptick in breeding or adoption of shibas” at “the national level.” But data from the American Kennel Club, obtained by HuffPost, indicates otherwise. According to the AKC’s annual popularity rankings, which is based on how many owners opt to register their dogs with the AKC, shiba inus were the 67th most popular dog breed in the U.S. in 2007. By 2015, the breed had risen to the 45th most popular.

And the shiba’s rising trendiness has led to some people jumping on the bandwagon without doing any real research about the breed.

“The memes don’t represent the personality,” Barahona said. “The breed is not necessarily for everyone.”

It’s never a good idea to get any pet without knowing much about the animal, and it can be an especially big problem with shibas, as their cartoonishly cute faces and small size belie a breed that tends to be being highly independent, energetic, and stubborn. Devoting a good chunk of time to training the dog is crucial, and if they aren’t socialized properly, they can also run into aggression problems. 

Shibas also do particularly badly in shelters, said Nathalie Abutaha founder and president of DC Shiba Inu Rescue.

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