Shiba Inu, Akita… Why do the French love Japanese dogs

Tokyo, Sushi, Mikado, Skimo… the names that have become popular to baptize dogs from the land of the rising sun. In recent years, Japanese dogs have clearly won the hearts of the French. It has even become a real fashion phenomenon, and if we can only rejoice when we see these beautiful beasts on the streets of Paris, be careful not to do anything with these breeds. This is very old.

Of the dozens of existing Japanese dog breeds, three are no longer really secret: the first is the Shiba Inu, which means “small dog”, which rarely exceeds 10 kg, and is noted for its appearance. vulgarity, stuffed fur and curled tails. into a corkscrew on the lower back. Then we have the Akita Inu, which is obviously sized from the tip, pointed ears, short fur, often with colorful coat, and finally the American Akita, which as its name suggests is not really the word. Japan, before being imported to the United States after World War II. It comes from a cross between Akita Inu, German shepherds or molossoids to highlight their strength and fighting spirit.

More than a year of waiting

Fleur-Marie Missant, deputy director of Centrale Canine, officially on the current craze: “Akita has a steady growth rate; for Shiba, it’s exponential. In 2011, there were 360 ​​registrations in the LOF (books of French origin); in 2021 is 2,691 people, in the period of 2020 – 2021, it will increase by + 29%. Farms have increased to meet this need (for better and for worse). Even so, the wait to get a Shiba is still long: more than a year and a half in general! So the unscrupulous import channels of Eastern European countries are running at full speed. We can never stress enough the importance of our animal origins. Gone are the days when there was a Shiba, we went to find it in person… in Japan! (Natsu, youtuber Squeezie’s dog, made this trip).

Why is it fashionable? The search for the weird and the unique, but also the fascination with Japanese culture, manga or video games, explains the popularity of these breeds today, especially among young people. . For example, Akita Inu had his golden hours in Hollywood with the film Hatchi, which tells the true story of this dog who, in 1930s Tokyo, waited for his owner for several years – who died in Tokyo. station. he has met him before. Hence, these Japanese dogs are legendary and kawaii (cute), hence their success.

Faced with the frenzy towards Shiba and Akita, we unfortunately also feel left out more and more. Emmanuelle Demouliez has been the president of the Akita Home association, based in Loire Atlantique, for more than 10 years; The company takes care of more than 300 Japanese dogs each year: “96% of cases of abandonment or difficulties with Shiba and Akita can be avoided. These are people who take nothing as a measure of life with a dog over 15 years, but also a lot of errors as mold. These dogs are definitely not for everyone: they are never sold in pet stores or puppy shows.” Shiba and Akita are known as “primitive” dogs: very instinctive, sensitive and responsive, they will never obey fingers and eyes. They will act according to their preferences and rarely please their owners. So when such a character is of a dog weighing 50 kg like Akita, it is better to think again.

Anything but a stuffed animal

Laetitia Coral, 32, is the owner of two Akita, Yuki and Yume, one male and one female, and is passionate about sharing her experiences on social media or the blog. “Akita is not a family dog. It crosses the social ladder very quickly, growls easily, and bites occur much more quickly than with another dog. A good knowledge of canine communication is essential to predict and act wisely.” For Akita as well as for Shiba, quality socialization is a real problem, because relationships with fellow human beings can be very difficult, especially for animals of the same sex. So yes, these dogs need work, time, consistency, and consistency. The Shiba’s chic appearance must never overshadow its behavioral features.

For Emmanuelle Demouliez, when you go on an adventure with a Japanese dog, you have to keep in mind a kind of bushido, samurai code of ethics: “To be a good master, you must be respected. and respect”.

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