shiba inu with pAt hAstings, cAroLyn herBeL, chris Levy, LAurA perkinson & diAnA smiLey
CH: When you look into the correct Shiba’s face, you should feel like you have never seen another dog with this expression, for there is no other AKC dog that looks like a Shiba, when seen face-on. It’s the combination of eyes shaped and set correctly; the properly shaped and set ears; the correctly placed urajiro; the shape and length of the whiskered muzzle with its black nose, tight lips and its set into the full cheeks. The rest of the Shiba is normal double-coated canine, moderately angulated with tail set high and carried over the back; cat feet and appearing rather up on leg, not short legged and long in body. This is a breed that is wonderful if you want a partner that lives with you, not for you. They meet you on equal terms, but are not submissive by nature and because of their adventuresome, indepen- dent character will keep their owners alert to their desires. LP: Yes, coats. This breed can have a short, dense coat or a thick coat. In each case, they must not be trimmed. A Shiba with every hair the same length all over the body may be trimmed, please check. 10. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? PH: Every show has something but I will always remember the very nice Shiba that was in horrible coat. It looked like moths had gotten to it as it had holes and torn spots throughout. When I said something to the handler, he, with a totally straight face said, “The last bitch that came to him liked rough sex.” It took everything I had not to crack up in the ring. CH: In reviewing your questions while flying to a judging assignment shortly after receiving your request, I thought this was perhaps the hardest question I would have to answer. However, while judging this weekend an exhibi- tor who was taking their dog down and back stopped short in the middle of coming back to me, looked at me with a horrified expression and said, “My pants are around my ankles,” and swiftly pulled them up. I hadn’t even noticed, but apparently when one is hobbled it stops them immediately. Although re-reading this it does not seem so funny, but at the time I was quite amused, especially when I asked have you been on a diet and the affirmative answer was yes, so I guess a shopping spree was in the future of this exhibitor because of the successful diet. LP: A friend had a St. Bernard in the ring that suddenly had diarrhea. It turned so fast that it lost control, and it went in my friend’s shoes! She turned and stepped out of her shoes and over the rope and walked to the bathroom after handing her dog off. Her footprints went all the way to the bathroom! I know it was not funny to her, but if you had seen the prints, you would have laughed!
purchase one, plus you had to establish a long-term rela- tionship with a Japanese breeder in order to get a decent dog. Even between Japanese breeders, dogs could sell for tens of thousands of dollars, which was another impedi- ment. But finally some really nice dogs were imported into this country and it’s made all the difference. I believe our good dogs today are as nice as the best Japanese dogs. LP: Yes, in many way. This last National I saw some of the best Shibas I have ever seen at a National. In almost all instanc- es those Shibas could have competed in Nippo National in Japan—better balance, better eyes, better color. DS: I do think the breed has improved from 10 years ago, as they are getting more consistent in type (i.e. correct eye shape and ear carriage). 8. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? PH: I think it is hard to appreciate the uniqueness of this breed if you have never lived with them or had the opportunity to spend time with them. When they have the necessary attributes called for in the standard, par- ticularly the proper temperament and presence, they are hard to deny. This is not a warm and fuzzy kind of a dog, but if you respect them, they respect you. CH: Again, too much on showmanship; fast generic gait before the special type traits that make the Shiba differ- ent than so many other spitz type dogs. LP: Color, almost always when new judges judge this breed, we see the lack of understanding color—urajiro is what makes this breed. Or balance and movement; they almost always miss that. 9. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. PH: I would love to see one of the really good ones of this breed set the show world on fire so people could see and appreciate what they are really like. “...you shouLd feeL Like you hAve never seen Another dog with this expression, FOR THERE IS NO OTHER AKC DOG THAT LOOKS LIKE A SHIBA...”
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