An Alberta Shiba Inu has been making waves online with his abstract art that has sold to people all around the world.
“He’s always been a very energetic dog. And he’s always really enjoyed learning new tricks,” said Denise Lo, the owner of Hunter the painting dog.
Lo, who lives in Edmonton, said that she discovered Hunter had a knack for painting when trying to find new activities for the canine.
“With him, he needs the mental stimulation. So we wanted to push him, to do a little bit more. And he got really bored. So we ended up stumbling onto painting.”
Lo sells eight-year-old Hunter’s paintings online on her Etsy shop. She said she was surprised to see such a demand for the art to be sold when she first started sharing the pieces online.
“People who can’t have pets, or are allergic to pets — they send messages to us saying, ‘We are allergic, so we can’t have (a dog), but we can have one of his paintings.
“People who have had pet dogs that passed away, Hunter kind of reminds them of having a pet on their own,” she said.
“And having a painting physically seems to really touch people, brings joy and happiness to people.”
‘He likes being neat’
Hunter took to the brush quickly but Lo says he doesn’t like to get too into the paint.
“He actually usually picks up a little paintbrush, I dip it in paint. And then usually I find that he will like, go up to the canvas and do his little flicks,” she said.
“He likes being clean, he likes being neat.
“He doesn’t like getting dirty so we actually made a little mold of his paw to put on the paintings (as his signature) instead.”
Lo added that Hunter’s paintings have been sent out all around the world — to the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
While Hunter isn’t painting, he’s doing other tricks to use up his high energy.
“He actually really enjoys doing a lot of different tricks. He’ll do normal stuff — he does stacking rings, he does stacking cups, we make him clean up after his own toys. We try to do a lot with him.”
The Shiba Inu is the smallest breed in a group of dogs that are native to Japan. The first documented Shiba arrived to the U.S. from Japan in 1954.