The Shiba Inu

If you’re out and about in Hanover, don’t be surprised if you run into Saki (which means ‘blessing/happiness’ and ‘hope’ in Japanese). She is a black and tan Shiba Inu, and very rare even in Japan, let alone the Upper Valley.

The smallest of the Japanese native breeds, the Shiba was originally developed for hunting in the dense undergrowth of Japan’s mountainous areas. Alert and agile with keen senses, they are also an excellent watchdog and companion. Their frame is compact with well-developed muscles and he possesses a double coat that can be black and tan, red or red sesame.

Descended from the primitive dogs of the ancient people of Japan, the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small wild game, boar and bear. The name Shiba in Japanese means brushwood, after the breed’s hunting terrain or the color of brushwood leaves in the fall and Inu means dog. World War II nearly spelled disaster for the Shiba due to bombing raids and distemper, but after the war, bloodlines were combined to produce the breed as it is known today.