The Poo-Shi is a designer dog and a cross between Shiba Inu and a Poodle. The Shiba Inu, with its wolf-like appearance and fox-like face, is a Japanese national treasure. Bred for hunting, the Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six Spitz breeds of dog from Japan. The word “Shiba” means small but the breed may also be named after the red brushwood bushes in which they hunted. They were nearly wiped out during World War ll, and more died after a distemper outbreak in the 1950s. Subsequent dogs were bred from the only three surviving bloodlines - the Shinshu Shiba, the Mino Shiba and the San'in Shiba. These three strains were combined to form what is the current breed. In 1936, the Shiba Inu was recognized as a Natural Monument of Japan. The first Shiba Inu arrived in America in 1954, brought over by a family in the armed forces, but the first litter to be born in the US was only 25 years later. They were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992. With their elaborate hairdos and graceful demeanors, Poodles are commonly mistaken for pampered lapdogs. But after Border Collies they are ranked second when it comes to intelligence and are not afraid to get their feet wet. In fact they were bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters and are excellent swimmers. There are three sizes of Poodle - Toy, Miniature, and Standard with the latter the oldest of the three. The Poodle is regarded as the national dog of France where it is known as Caniche meaning duck dog, but it actually originated in Germany where it is called Pudel, or Pudelin, meaning to splash in the water. It is a very old breed with illustrations of similar type dogs on Egyptian and Roman artifacts going back to the first centuries B.C. It was in the 1400s that smaller versions were bred as companion dogs to the nobility. They were also popular as circus dogs for their ability to perform tricks. Poodles were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and while initially quite rare, have become very popular dogs.