Please don’t confuse me with shabu-shabu, the Japanese hot pot meal! I’m the smallest of the country’s native dog breeds, at 13 to 16 inches tall and 17 to 23 pounds—like a miniature Akita, with the same bold self-confidence. With family I’m loyal and affectionate, if a bit reserved. Strangers make me suspicious, and I have limited patience with children.
No shrinking violet, I’m tough for my size and will bark at intruders—or for many other reasons. My toys, food, and territory are my own, and I may guard them aggressively. Firm, consistent training and early socialization can help manage edgy behaviors, though my independent nature may give you a challenge. My strong will may be too much for new dog owners to handle.
A long walk, run, or yard game every day can keep me settled. I enjoy being outdoors and can tolerate most weather, but I will chase small animals and may even attack other dogs.
My thick, teddy bear coat is naturally clean and free of odor, but it does shed regularly and quite heavily twice a year. Weekly brushing will control hair and distribute natural oils. Coat coloring may be orange-red, urajiro (creamy white), or sesame (black-tipped red hairs). White markings may appear on the tail and legs.
I’m a very robust dog with only minor risks for kneecap luxation, glaucoma, and hypothyroidism. With proper care and a healthy diet (no shabu-shabu!), I’ll be a trusted home companion for 12 to 15 years.