Kishu (Kishu-Ken, Kishu-Inu)

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red, white, sesame
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The Kishu (Kishu-Ken or Kishu-Inu) is a rare spitz-type working dog from Japan. This is a dignified, athletic, freindly, docile, very quiet and loyal breed that will be a great family companion as well as an excellent fearless hunter. It is still used to hunt wild boar and deer in its native country.

The Kishu (also known as Taichi Ken and Kumano Ken) originated about three thousands years ago in Japan in the mountainous area of the island Kyushu. There is a legend claiming that this breed descended from a wolf. According to this story a Japanese hunter found an injured wolf near the road and help it. As a «thank-you» for his kind gesture he took of the wolfs' pups. This pup became a great boar hunter and forefather of the Kishu. But this is only a legend.

The most common theory states that the breed developped from tough, medium sized Matagi's dogs that lived in Japanese mountains and hunted deer, boar and even bear. First Kishus had various colours (red, brindle, white and even spotted), but the white-coated dogs showed better qualities and were more often used for breeding. Today most breed members are white and the spotted Kishu was banned in 1934 and completely disappeared by 1945.

In 1934 the Japanese government pronounced this breed «Memorial of Nature». The Kishu is recognized by Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), but still remains very rare outside its native country as Japanese don't export it much. There are only two breeders outside Japan – in Nethelands an Texas (USA). The Kishu is still used as a hunter but more and more often owners keep it as a family companion.

The Kishu is a very sweet, freindly, affectionate and loyal hunting breed. It will make a great family companion and a great playmate for a child if it's properly trained and socialized. But you have to teach your child not to tease the dog.

The Kishu is an excellent protector, watch and guard dog that will be aloof, but never agressive with strangers. However this breed is very quiet and won't bark as much as other spitz-type dogs.

The Kishu used to hunt in packs and therefore gets on well with other dogs. Due to its high prey drive and speed this dog must be kept on a leash as it will chase other small animals and even is able to climb a tree.

Health Problems
The most common health problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dyplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• arthritis;
• gastric torsion.

The Kishu requires regular grooming. Brush your dogs' coat weekly with a firm bristle brush to avoid mats and tangles and more often during shedding seasons. Bathe your Kishu when necessary (if your dog is dirty). Check the ears, trim the nails on a regular basis.

The Kishu is a very intelligent, naturally obedient breed that will learn quickly basic rules and commands if it is guided by a dominant owner. Your dog must respect you and see the leader in you from the very beginning.

Be patient, consistent, confident, firm, but calm and your Kishu will perform almost anything you want it to. However, this in generally docile breed not for everyone as it is very dominant and can be stubborn and wilful.

The Kishu is a highly active dog that requires a great amount of regular exercise and space to run freely. Long daily energetic walks are absolutely a must. You better find your dog a job to do, as it needs not only physical but also a mental stimulation.

This breed will greatly enjoy a run on a leash with its owner and even better on its own in an enclosed area. The Kishu will feel better in a house with a yard (the bigger the better) and is definitely for an active family or individual.