(aka: Kishu Inu, Kishu)
Designated as a National Treasure by their native country of Japan, the Kishu Ken were highly prized for their hunting abilities of deer and wild boar. Today this breed is used as a companion or for herding. They are rarely exported out of Japan and are quite difficult to acquire.
The Kishu Ken is a medium sized sturdy dog. The coarse, double coat is short, straight with a thick soft undercoat. Coat color mostly comes in white but occasionally brindle, sesame or red do occur. The nose is usually black, but can be brownish or pink. Has a scissor or level bite. Has a broad head with prick ears inclined forward and are on the smaller side. Tail curls over the back. There is fringing on the tail and cheeks. They have a close resemblance to the Shiba Inu, Akita Inu and Ainu Dog.
Kishu Ken Temperament
The Kishu Ken breed is not recommended for first time dog owners. The Kishu Ken is loyal, intelligent, and faithful. They have a tendency to bond closely with one member of a family. Kishu Ken's will do well with children and dogs they have been raised with. However, due to their high prey drive they are not recommended for homes with cats or other small household pets. They are aloof and wary of strangers but are not aggressive. They are a thoughtful, gentle, and silent breed.
This breed needs an owner who is calm, but firm, confident and consistent, displaying a natural authority over the dog. If the Kishu senses the humans around them are weaker minded them themselves they will become headstrong and willful as they will assume the position of the leader. Proper human to canine communication is essential. Kishu Ken who are well socialized and who see themselves as below humans in the pack order will be good with children. Children should be taught not to tease the dog.
Kishu Ken's require weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush to keep the coat free of matting. Special attention should be given during the seasonal heavy shedding. Bathing should be done when necessary. It is important to regularly trim the nails and check the ears often for debris.
The Kishu is also called a Kishu Ken or Kishu Inu, both Ken and Inu are Japanese words for dog. The Kishu is very rare in America or actually anywhere outside of Japan. It has been a "Protected Species" in Japan since 1934, which is a major reason why they are so rare. The Kishu is a very ancient breed, some sources say they have been bred for 3000 years or more.
They originated in the mountainous region of the island of Kyushu, the southern most island of Japan. Since they had no contact with other breeds, the Kishu stock is very pure. The breed was originally used to hunt deer, wild boar and sometimes bear. There is a Japanese expression to describe his hunting prowess, "one dog, one shot". This means that the Kishu would hunt and keep the prey at bay until the hunter could catch up and approach close enough to kill the prey with one shot. Nowadays they are still used in Japan to hunt boar but generally they are kept as pets.
There are only two breeders outside of Japan, one in the Netherlands and the other in Texas.
Early socialization and obedience training is recommended for the Kishu Ken. This breed requires a dominant handler as they have a tendency to be obstinate and willful. They will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with respect, firmness, fairness, and consistency.
Due to the rarity of this breed there are no known health issues.