All Hail the Cult Status of the Shiba Inu

shiba inu dog stands on pavement in front of garden, looking down

chendongshan / Getty Images

Although it's clear that corgis will soon take over the world, it's important to recognize that another adorable breed of dog, the Shiba Inu, has also been receiving quite a bit of publicity lately thanks to the hilarious "doge" meme that has taken the Internet by storm.

Shiba Inu trampline moon pls

These compact, spitz-type dogs are one of the world's most ancient dog breeds. Evidence of their existence dates as far back as the 3rd century BC in Japan, where they were bred for hunting birds and rabbits. According to doggie DNA analysis, they possess some of the fewest genetic differences from wolves when compared to other breeds of domesticated canines.

Their genetic closeness to wolves plays a huge part in their temperament, which is generally very independent and sometimes even aggressive. While these pups can be off-the-charts cute, they're usually not the best breed for beginner dog owners or households with children and other dogs. Of course, with early socialization and strong obedience training, anything is possible!

Shiba inu rolls up in burrito blanket

For Atlanta writer Muriel Vega, training her 10-month-old Shiba Inu, Alta, took a lot of work and patience, but it was well worth it in the end. Knowing that the breed was notoriously difficult to train, Vega tread carefully when introducing Alta to her other pets, which include a cat and an older Chihuahua.

"We made sure to socialize her with both people and other dogs very early on to make sure her predatory drive didn't get too crazy," Vega explains. After a lot of patience, Vega is happy to report that Alta adores her fellow furry housemates, and even thinks of the older Chihuahua as a big brother.

"It has been a wild ride to raise her, but that's part of the fun," Vega says. "Shiba Inus are very loyal and sincerely care about their owners so you'll definitely get a lot of love out of this breed."

Shiba Inu cuddling with pet owner

One quirky quality of these gorgeous animals are their signature "Shiba screams," which are loud, high-pitched shrieks that the dogs produce when they are feeling unhappy and provoked. In the video below, a Shiba named Rex expresses displeasure at being left alone at home while his humans are away:

To celebrate the unbearably adorable glory of these clever pups, we bring you some of the cutest images of Shiba Inus from around the world. Enjoy!

Shiba inu puppy face
(Photo: Kristen Adams/Flickr)
Shiba inu frolicking in the snow
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Shiba inu standing up
(Photo: jetteff/Flickr)
Shiba inu sleeping
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Shiba inu hiking
(Photo: Toshihiro Gamo/Flickr)
Shiba inu yawning
(Photo: Kristen Adams/Flickr)
Shiba inu with fast food
(Photo: Taro the Shiba Inu/Flickr)
Shiba inu dogs playing with each other
(Photo: New World Industries/Flickr)
Shiba inu puppy yawning
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Shiba inu chewing on a toy in the snow
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Shiba inu cuddling
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Shiba inu shaking water
(Photo: Maja Dumat/Flickr)
Shiba inu giving a funny look
(Photo: Taro the Shiba Inu/Flickr)
Shiba inu at the beach
(Photo: Kristen Adams/Flickr)
Shiba inu stretching
(Photo: Yuya Tamai/Flickr)

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