Kishu Ken Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Kishu Ken?
The Kishu Ken is a Japanese breed of dog and falls under the spitz-type hunting dogs. These Japanese dogs come from the former Kishu region. Kishu Inu or Kishu Kens were used for hunting deer, wild boar, and other small animals. Kishu Kens are experts at stalking their prey. Thanks to their headstrong and willful Kishu Ken temperament with their high prey drive and intelligent nature, they thrived as hunting dogs.
What class of animal does a Kishu Ken belong to?
Kishu Kens, much like the other species of dogs, belong to the Mammalia class of animals.
Mammals are vertebrates that have special mammary glands in the female to nourish their young ones with milk. Mammals are distinguished by other unique features like the presence of fur or hair, three ear bones, a neocortex (region of the brain), a lower jaw that is hinged to the skull directly, a diaphragm that separated the lungs and the heart from the abdominal cavity.
How many Kishu Kens are there in the world?
An accurate count of the population of these dogs is tough to give as they are found across the world.
However, the population of Kishu Kens as a family dog has been dwindling in recent years, and according to the National Kishu Club, Kishu Ken registration has gone down compared to 1993's 2443 registered dogs to 2019's 252 registered dogs.
Where does a Kishu Ken live?
This breed of dog originated in Japan and is found there naturally, and due to their intelligent nature and a beautiful double coat of fur, these dog breeds have gained popularity all over the world and are being found outside of their Japanese roots. They are the most commonly found purebred dogs from Japan.
What is a Kishu Ken's habitat?
Due to their double coat of fur, Kishus are great at tolerating cold weather. The Kishu Ken dog is mostly found in the cold regions of Japan. They can also be found in hot weather since they are growing in popularity and being introduced to different continents, but they have to be kept in a favorable environment or they will face health issues.
Who do Kishu Kens live with?
Kishu Kens love to live with their owners even though they are not apartment-friendly, they can be kept in them if they have been raised in the apartment since they were puppies. These medium-sized dogs are intelligent and can get along fine with family members and are also known to get along well with children too! However, since they have a prey drive and will hunt small animals whenever the situation allows, they might become aggressive in the blink of an eye, so it is recommended to keep an eye on them when they are around children.
How long does a Kishu Ken live?
Purebred Kishu breeds have a lifespan of around 11-13 years which can be prolonged through ample amount of exercise to burn off their excess energy, proper grooming of their thick coat of fur, and a healthy diet.
How do they reproduce?
Like most dog breeds, Kishus reach adolescence when they are six or seven months old and reach sexual maturity when they are 10 months old. Kishu females have a gestation period of 60-63 days after mating.
Pregnancy in Kishus is possible when they reach their first estrus cycle. But a breeder will take no chance and make sure the breeding happens during the second cycle as it is only during the estrus cycle that copulation will result in pregnancy.
When the male senses that the female is in heat, he will sniff her vulva, and if the female is receptive, she will hold her tail to the side, allowing the male to mount her and thus engaging in the act of mating.
What is their conservation status?
As of now, the Kishu Ken is not listed by the IUCN Red List as they can be found in a healthy population and due to the increase in popularity of these dogs due to their children-friendly nature and as they get well with other dogs and smaller pets, breeders have been breeding this dog is a large number due to which their population is rising.
Kishu Ken Fun Facts
What do Kishu Kens look like?
The Japanese Kishu Ken is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog with developed muscles and is tough, agile, and friendly. They have either white, black, brindle, or sesame coat color. Black Kishu Ken and Red Kishu Ken are the least common color, white being the most common. They have a coat that is short and straight with a coarse undercoat that is thick. Their tails are either curled over the back or carried in a sickle. Kishu Ken's blue eyes or brown eyes are some of their most beautiful features!
How cute are they?
This beautiful, strong-willed dog is one of the cutest dogs in existence with its fluffy look and a playful, full-of-energy temperament! Kishu Ken puppies especially are breathtaking and are as cute as puppies can get!
How do they communicate?
Kishu Kens communicate through visual and vocal methods. Visual communication includes licking, sniffing, positioning tail and ear, gazing at each other, and through facial expressions. Auditory or vocal communication includes barking, growling, whining, whimpering, panting, and sighing. They also communicate through scents and pheromones.
How big is a Kishu Ken?
Kishu Ken males are larger than the females as they show signs of sexual dimorphism (two sexes show different characteristics like a bigger body than one another), they grow 17-22 in (43.2-55.9 cm) at the shoulder.
How fast can a Kishu Ken run?
Due to a lack of sufficient data, it is not possible to state how fast these dogs can run.
How much does a Kishu Ken weigh?
Kishu Kens have an average weight of 30-60 lb (13.6-27.2 kg) and can become obese if overfed, so make sure to control their diet!
What are the male and female names of their species?
Kishu Ken shares the same name as all other dog species do with the male and female. Males are called dogs and females are called bitches.
What would you call a baby Kishu Ken?
A Kishu Ken baby is called a puppy. Kishu Ken puppies are extremely energetic and will require a lot of training with ample amounts of exercise and a well-controlled diet to grow into an adult Kishu with a great coat of fur.
What do they eat?
Kishu Ken dogs should be fed high-quality dog food every day, which should be divided into two meals.
Kishu Ken breeds are prone to becoming overweight, so it is recommended to feed them in a balanced way. In case they do get overweight, make sure they have an active lifestyle with lots of exercise and vet visits to get a proper diet plan.
Are they hypoallergenic?
No, they are not hypoallergenic and hence can cause trouble to people who are allergic to dogs.
Would they make a good pet?
Kishu Kens are amazing pets if you give them the time and effort necessary for their growth and development, but they are not for novice dog owners as training them can be difficult if you have no prior experience with dogs. The cost of a Kishu Ken puppy can be from $1800-$2200! If you can afford it, then do not let the Kishu Ken price deter you as they are worth every penny!
They are extremely loyal, gentle and show a playful temperament along with great love and affection towards their owners or handlers and they enjoy spending time with their family and form a strong bond with them. They can also stay alone for a while and do not suffer from separation anxiety.
In case you want a guard dog, then this breed can be great as they are great guard dogs due to their good sense of hearing and strong vocal cord, as even though they are known to be quiet, they will bark if they sense danger. They are territorial and protective in nature so they will let you know if they sense a trespasser at home or your yard. Since they were bred to hunt, they still carry this specialty and will hunt or kill pests in your house or yard.
Every good thing comes with a negative and this is where the Kishu Ken can cause trouble. Grooming takes a lot of effort as combing the Kishu Ken dog's fluffy fur regularly helps to lower the amount of their shedding. Their ears and eyes should also be cleaned often to avoid infection. Trimming their nails and bathing them is also an important part of keeping your Kishu healthy.
Here are some tips to train your Kishu Ken!
Step 1: Make sure you lead them as if you don't make yourself the alpha or the pack leader, or else your Kishu Ken puppy will be tough to train and act stubborn.
Step 2: Start their training when your Kishu Ken puppy is 6-8 weeks old as early training is important!
Step 3: Train them in a large open area like a backyard as they love to run around and won't be attentive in a smaller space.
Step 4: Use hand gestures to define tasks like sitting, standing, eating, and stopping. The more you used hand gestures the quickly they learn.
Step 5: Treat them gently and give positive reinforcement if and when needed to make sure they learn the best way possible!
Did you know...
Kishu Kens need a lot of training and exercise as they are medium energy level dogs. Half an hour to an hour-long walk per day is great for them to get their quota of exercise with active play sessions mixed in.
Males are larger than the female which make it easy to distinguish the sex of these dogs.
Even though they can coexist with other dogs or cats in a household, it is recommended to keep them as the lone pet as they do not like to share their owner's attention!
They are extremely rare outside of Japan even though they are gaining popularity in other parts of the world.
The American Kennel Club has listed this breed as a Foundation Stock Breed.
The Kishu Ken is a healthy breed of dog and not much is known about their health issues.
History of the Kishu Ken breed
The Kishu Ken history comes from them being descendants of medium-sized dogs in the Japanese regions since ancient times. They were established as an individual breed of the Kishu region of Japan and were named after it. They were found in varying and a mixture of colors but after 1934, only solid colors like the Black Kishu Ken and the White Kishu Ken were recognized. The White-coat color of Kishus being the most common. They were used for hunting wild boar and still retain the hunting dog qualities.
What were Kishu Kens originally used for?
Kishu Kens were originally used as hunting dogs due to their agile and intelligent nature. Deer, wild boars, and smaller animals were hunted using these dogs in ancient times.
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You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable kishu ken coloring pages.