AKC Group: Working
Also known as a Kishu Inu, “inu” and “ken” are Japanese for dog. The Kishu are very rare outside of Japan. The dog has been a “protected species” since 1934. An ancient breed, they have been around for 3000 or more years. They were born in the mountainous region of the island of Kyushu, the southern most island of Japan. Without contact with other breeds, their lines are very pure. They were used to hunt deer, wild boar and bear. Today, they still can hunt boar but are mainly kept as pets. (If you’re looking for a breeder, there are only two breeders outside of Japan — one in the Netherlands and one in Texas.)
Size: 17 to 22 inches; 30 to 60 pounds
Life span: 11 to 13 years
Loyal, intelligent and faithful, a Kishu needs an experienced owner. A Kishu tends to bond more closely to just one person. When raised with other canines or children, they do well. Due to their high prey drive, they should not be trusted around cats or other small household companions. They are aloof — but not aggressive — around strangers. A Kishu is a thoughtful, gentle, silent dog. When training, you need to calm and confident. If he senses a hesitancy, he can become headstrong. Early socialization and obedience are highly recommended. A Kishu does not respond well to harsh and heavy handed tactics.
A Kishu is a medium sized, sturdy dog. They have a coarse, double coat of short, straight hair with a thick, soft undercoat. They have a broad head with small prick ears that sit forward. The tail curls over their back. The Kishu has fringing on the tail and cheeks. Brush weekly with a firm bristle brush to keep the coat free from matting. Give his coat more attention during seasonal shedding. Bathing should only be undertaken when necessary. Trim his nails regularly and check his ears often.