Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a hunting dog. Really.

Most people seem to forget, or maybe never bothered finding out, that a shiba is a hunting dog. Hence the photo above. That bird, the willow ptarmigan, is almost invisible in the snow. The only way I've ever been able to photograph them is with Tinky-Winky's help. Off leash, she flushes them, and on leash, she points. Ptarmigans are good eating, too. So if I had to survive by hunting, I could actually shoot food with Tinky-Winky's help. How awesome is that?

But for anyone who's here because they're thinking of getting a shiba and never walking it, let this be your warning. Shibas are hunting dogs. They're small and cute and everything, and they need tons of walking. Preferrably off leash. I say this all the time: Tinky-Winky is 10 years old and the mellowest shiba her breeder ever met, and she needs about 10 km a day off leash. If you don't plan on doing that, don't get a shiba.

And if you're looking for a hunting dog, I wouldn't count on a shiba to retrieve too much. Flush and point, yes, but if she finds your bird first she's gonna take it and run and you'll never catch her.

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