Shanghai – The number of people in China who keep shiba inus dogs originating from Japan is on the increase.
The popularity of the dog continues to grow among young people who have been attracted to the charms of the breed through social networks.
A 78-year-old man who walked his shiba inu in a residential area of Shanghai recently said he bought the dog when his grandson begged him, and the dog is now the apple of his eye.
A growing number of households keep shiba inus, and there are more than 10 such dogs in his housing complex, the man said.
On a recent Sunday afternoon, a shiba inu cafe in Shanghai was bustling with about 20 customers. Among them, a company employee says he loves shiba inus and often visits the cafe, while a couple from Singapore came to the cafe for the first time after being hypnotized by the dogs on social media.
The cafe was opened about a year ago by 26-year-old Huang Richeng with financial support from his parents.
“Our main customers are young couples who play with the dogs for two to three hours on a day off,” Huang said, adding that the cafe is profitable.
Wei Haibo, a 68-year-old shiba inu breeder in Shanghai, said the dog is gaining popularity mainly in metropolitan areas, where residents are prohibited from keeping large dogs.
“People like them because they are clean, docile and very friendly,” Wei said.
Meanwhile, the dog’s popularity appears to be overheating, as a shiba inu recently fetched 160,000 yuan (2.9 million yen) at an online auction.
“I want to promote accurate knowledge of the shiba inu, including its pedigree and history,” at a time when the number of fraud cases involving unscrupulous companies is increasing, Wei said.
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