Kishu is a medium-sized Japanese Spitz-type dog breed originating in the mountainous Kishu region (now called Wakayama Prefecture). Descending from ancient dogs in that area, the Kishu was primarily used for hunting boar and deer. The Kishu is often mistaken for some other Japanese dog breeds including the Kai Ken, Shikoku, and Hokkaido because of some similarities in their appearance.
It is a sturdy dog with a well-developed, compact, and muscular structure. Its head is quite wide with small prick ears that are slightly bent forward. Usually, it has a black nose, but a brownish or pinkish color is sometimes observed in those with the white fur. Like the Shiba or Akita Inu, its tail is curled over its back.
|Other names||Kishu Inu, Kishu Ken|
|Coat||Short, straight, harsh outer coat; thick and soft undercoat; fairly long hairs on the tail and cheeks|
|Color||White is mostly common; brindle, red or sesame, pinto, black also occur|
|Group of Breed||Hunting, Working, Companion|
|Weight||30-60 lbs (13-27 kg)|
|Size and Height||Medium; female: 43-49 cm
male: 49-55 cm
|Size of Litter||3 puppies on average|
|Shedding||1-2 times a year|
|Temperament||Loyal, loving, intelligent, friendly, strong-willed, alert, noble|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Japan|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||ACA, DRA, NAPR, AKR, AKC/FSS, ARBA, Nippo, JKC|
The primitive dog breed Kishu Inu is believed to have been developed for more than thousands of years. Initially, all the Japanese dogs were considered a single breed and were thought to have originated from the same source. Later, these dogs were classified based on their size and physical characteristics. The Kishu Ken breed was standardized in 1934, and it primarily included dogs that were developed in the Wakayama region.
When the breeding program was first started, most of the breed members were non-whites. Gradually, the white Kishu Ken lines gained popularity, and this trend exists even today. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has recognized this breed as a “Foundation Stock Breed”. Two Japanese registries including the NIPPO (Nihonken Hozonkai) and the JKC (Japan Kennel Club) have also accepted this breed.
Though these dogs typically attach themselves to any one person in the household, some are also known to relate well to the other family members. Their love, as well as devotion to the family members, is evident from the way they mingle with the children. They are known for their courage and alertness, which make them suitable for use in hunting smaller animals.
They should be acquainted with kids, strangers, and household pets (cats or other dogs) right from their puppyhood to keep away their aloofness and shyness. Smaller pets like guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits should not be trusted with them as these Kishu Kens have a high preying instinct. They are good climbers and can easily ascend to the higher places in the house to observe everything carefully.
When it comes to training the Kishu Kens, the owners should exhibit an authority over their pet. Their headstrong and willful behavior can be handled with firm, consistent, and confident training methods. The puppies should be properly socialized otherwise they might grow up to be quarrelsome and aggressive. Crate training could be used as an effective housebreaking aid.
You can provide your Kishu a quality commercial dog food containing a fair amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Make sure that you divide its food into two meals, keeping the regular amount between 1 and 1.5 cups. You can also feed your Kishu Ken dog raw meat and fish.