Everything You Need to Know About Shiba Inus

The breed? The cryptocurrency? Yes

A woman petting a cute red dog Shiba inu, sleeping on her lap. Close-up. Trust, calm, care, friendsh...
Bork Bork

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published a short report that combines one of my greatest passions in life with a topic that I have accepted I’ll never really “get”: shiba inus and cryptocurrency.

The story, as far as I could make it out, was tied to the news of the cryptocurrency known as “Shiba Inu” (or “Shiba Token”) duking it out with rival currency Dogecoin in the crypto charts, a combination of words that means next to nothing to me. But what I did find interesting was the Journal’s attempt to take some generalizations about shiba inus (the dog) and apply them to Shiba Inu (the digital currency). Here we go:

Consider the value of something else that can multiply to meet demand: actual shiba inus. The sometimes-aggressive Japanese breed rose steadily from 67th most popular in 2007 to 43rd last year, according to the American Kennel Club. Then interest really took off, according to Marcus Keim, a breeder in Ohio. He says his competitors don’t keep up with the news the way he does so they didn’t know the reason behind the recent surge in customers, but they responded anyway and now supply has risen, bringing prices back down.

I’m not even going to touch on the fact that the source that writer Spencer Jakab linked to in support of the claim that shibas are aggressive is a 6-year-old question someone asked on Reddit (and it’s not even a particularly upvoted post), or that the main thrust behind Jakab’s foggy analogy is based on a vague brag by one Ohio dog breeder. Instead, I’m going to marvel at the ingenuity of turning random dog trivia into an analogical warning about a made-up currency. As something of a shiba aficionado with a solid decade’s experience of following many of these dogs on social media while yearning for one of my own, I feel that I have several more relevant facts to share:

  • Shiba inus are soooo cute
  • Their fur is the softest I have ever touched, like petting a thick plush carpet
  • They are popular internationally in large part due to their meme status, but there’s so much more to these dogs
  • They have a reputation for being more reserved and “cat”-like, relative to other dogs, but I have definitely come across some that are as affectionate and love to lie on Papa’s stomach as much as any other pooch
  • I would love to own one (ethically)

So there you go. Apply these facts as you see fit to Shiba Inu the coin. (This is not meant as financial advice.)