I don’t know about you, but me and my family didn’t do much this weekend. The temperatures are high and the humidity up – even in the north county. There doesn’t seem to be a place to escape the hot season right now, and we keep waiting for the monsoons to start with no luck.
During my 0-dark-thirty walk through the neighborhood this morning, a reader of my 85086-magazine column said hello and asked some questions. This got me thinking about doing a Q&A of the top-asked questions I get and the answers to them. Here we go!
- Is that Kumo? No, my name is Kuma, which in Japanese means bear. My full name is Kumaito or little bear. They put the adjectives after the noun. Mom says I looked like a cute little stuffed bear when I was a puppy. Now I can just be a bear sometimes. Woof!
- Is that a miniature Huskey? I’d have to say I get asked this more than any other question. For the millionth time, NO! Sorry, I get a little defensive. I am a pure-bred Shiba Inu, a small dog that originates from Japan. Shiba in Japanese actually means dog, and Inu is Brushwood, the mountain region of Japan my ancestors lived. I recently saw a miniature Huskey, and they are beautiful dogs, so I will work on not being offended.
- Shouldn’t he be bigger? I guess pictures can be deceiving as most people who meet me in person for the first time exclaim this statement. Believe it or not, I am actually tall for my breed. Mom says I take after her and have long legs. Hee hee. I am at the top of the Shiba scale as most do have shorter legs and are a bit stocky in stature. Mom and dad have taken me running, hiking, swimming and snow shoeing since I was just a couple months ago, so I think I became an athlete rather than couch potato.
- Aren’t Shiba Inus difficult to train? No and yes. Let me expand – We are a highly intelligent breed and are known to be cat like. We learn very quickly. I knew all of the common commands by 9 weeks old. I’d sit, stay, come, etc. However, as I grew older, so did my will. Unlike some breeds who just want to please their humans, we have minds of our own (like cats). We may or may not feel like doing what you ask. It’s as simple and complex as that!
- Does he shed? I have a double coat of fur, what do you think? I like to do this thing called the Shiba shake and often. When I do, bits of me fly all over the house. It’s quite fascinating.
- How much exercise do Shiba Inus need? Good question. Humans should always select a dog that matches their life style. If you are typically inactive, you should not have a dog that requires lots of physical activity. As for Shiba’s, we can go both ways. We are content being lazy slugs and hanging out with our family, or we can go on great big adventures. Mom says that is one of the biggest reasons she opted for my breed as she exercises every day, and dad likes to read books.
- Does he bark much? Do you? We aren’t your typical dog who barks at the wind. We are more sophisticated! We will bark when someone knocks on the door, unless I am deep in a fantastic dream, then I may not. I personally bark when the UPS truck drives by, but that’s me. We do, however, like to talk. I howl and yodel often.
- Are Shiba Inu dogs expensive? I am priceless, thank you very much, but that probably doesn’t help you any. Good breeders can charge upwards of $3,000 for a pure-bred, show-quality Shiba Inu. We’ve been in the United States long enough now that you can find the breed at shelters (fortunately and unfortunately). My grandma bred me and was much more affordable. She is extremely selective in who she allows to take her prized Shiba’s home. Check her out on Facebook (Blue Door Kennels) https://www.facebook.com/shibainujapanesechin/
- Are Shiba Inus good with kids and other animals? Like any breed, socializing when young is paramount. Because we are cat like, we tend to get along well with felines. Of course, it will always depend upon the cat, but my brother is super cool. He’s a Maine Coon, and ironically enough, they can be dog like. I was introduced to all sorts of humans, big and small, and love children. Their smell calms me, and I just want to lick them. Every dog has its own personality, though, and you have to find what works for you.
- What’s your next adventure? Who knows! I live a great life and have seen more than most dogs can dream about. I turn 12 in September, and I know we’ll be going away to celebrate. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram (Kumaito dog), Facebook (Kuma the dog) and continue to read my blogs.
Have a question I didn’t answer? Reach out and let me know. I’d be happy to answer it as long as I am not busy chewing on a bone, taking a nap or eating some cheese.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog/ and Instagram: kumaitothedog
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!