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Shiba Inu & Japanese Chin

How We Raise Our Dogs

Our puppies are born in the house, and spend their first 4 weeks underfoot or carried around (a lot!). It is essential that Shiba puppies learn to trust humans, and this is done by lots of contact in the first few weeks of life. This is still a primitive breed, and their first instinct is to avoid everything that is not "mom". So it is our job to teach the puppies that humans are pretty wonderful friends - we bring food, warmth, and are good cuddlers!

Our property is all fenced, with .5 acre dedicated as "Shiba Only" yard. There they can be 'real' dogs, where they can run, dig, chew, chase squirrels & mice (ew) and do all their doggy stuff. The house yard requires they are less primitive - they have to be polite with the Chin, not dig up my garden, and no fishing in the koi pond! The puppies spend their outside time here, learning to come in and out of the house on their own, and exploring.

My office/dog room is the old ex-masterbedroom, complete with a renovated ensuite that includes a tub and grooming area. This means the dogs live in in 'our' environment - cool in the summer, and not-too-cold in the winter. We have reduced the number of dogs that we keep, so this is a very manageable system.

Puppies learn house routines quickly - I find by 4 weeks they want to potty outside and not in the house. Puppies become part of the family group - we have Japanese Chin (5 lbs of hair and attitude) who teach puppies to respect ALL dogs, no matter how small! Several of our adult Shibas are puppy-crazy, and love to play and entertain the little ones. That's a nice break for Mom and for me!

Diet :
We feed a combination of raw, cooked, and high quality kibble, and feel this is the best we can offer. Note: RAW bones only, cooked bones splinter and can kill your pet!

  • RAW: chicken parts (necks & backs) are given whole, starting at 4 weeks - not that they get much down, but they lick and start using those little teeth for more than chewing my fingers! Lamb bones are much loved. I do not recommend beef, as asian breeds do not have the digestive enzymes to break this down. Pork I hate myself, so don't feed it to the dogs. I do however give the dogs RAW large beef soupbones - safer than Greenies, rawhides, or pig ears/hooves.
  • COOKED: I cook chicken, lamb, or fish to produce a thick broth, and then strain out the bones. I then pick off the meat, add rice and pureed veggies and some herbs.
  • KIBBLE: We feed and recommend Petcurean brands - producers of GO, NOW and Summit. it is the best dry dog food we have found in over 30 years. Several varieties are available, most recently "with grain" which I prefer as that includes rice which is an historical food source for Shibas. It is not sold in grocery stores, but in pet food stores and some feed stores. I do believe that the high volume of potatoes/sweet potatoes/lentils being used in dry foods is NOT good for Shibas. 

Immunizations: The American Veterinary Board recently released new protocols for immunizing dogs. Dr. Jean Dodds has done considerable research and I recommend going to her blog. It has long been believed by those in the dog world that our dogs were being over immunized, and these new protocols confirm that belief.

SunoJo puppies are seen by our veterinarians at 8 weeks of age, when they are given their first shots (EXCLUDING Lepto and Kennel Cough), and wormed. Their second shot should be given 6 weeks later. Each puppy is thoroughly examined, and recorded in an individual health folder. Puppies do not leave their mother prior to 8 weeks of age.

Yearly shots are NOT required - every three years is sufficient, and further studies may show that even these are unnecessary. Rabies should be given not before 6 months of age, and boosted every 3 years.

Please check the "Available" page for availability of puppies.
Whether you're looking for a loving companion or exceptional showman, SunoJo consistently produces sound, healthy dogs of superb temperament - just what you’ve been looking for!