Kishu Ken Breed Magazine - Showsight


to even their “wonderfully wild” tempera- ments and personalities. The Kishu Ken should be a docile hound with people, but fierce in the face of animals. To this day, the Kishu Ken is still the foremost purebred Japanese dog used worldwide in the pursuit of wild boar. The breed has also been chosen for hunting deer in Japan, tracking moose in Europe, and exterminating legal non-game ani- mals in the US, and the breed has even had famous bear dogs among its numbers. Originally standardized in 1934 by the Nihon Ken Hozonkai, the Kishu Ken is a medium-sized dog of the aboriginal Japanese hound type. Though once its only use, the breed is far more than an accomplished hound today. These are dogs which have proven their accomplishments in several conformation, performance, and companion venues, including Conforma- tion, Agility, Nosework, Rally, Obedience, FastCAT, Coursing Ability Tests, Barn Hunt, and more. They do not fall short on spirit or versatility. In the realm of perfor- mance, their history and use as a dedicated hunting dog and hound has created a “try it” kind of dog that is dedicated and trac- table with its handler, and willing to do anything for its handler. Despite its energy and drive to get out and do anything, the breed also makes a wonderful companion dog that is able to relax inside the home on their down time, making the breed a handsome choice for many modern homes. Unfortunately, their critically low numbers and relatively few

enthusiasts have caused the breed to go tragically overlooked and undervalued as a companion or sport dog. Likewise, their rarity and the lack of numbers in the US makes them under-selected as a prospec- tive hunting dog. The Kishu Ken does currently enjoy a niche, but dedicated, following that enjoys the breed’s endless charm and gentle nature at home. This following has slowly been growing, but unfortunately, this has not been enough to sustain the breed as of yet. Registration numbers with the Nihon Ken Hozonkai (the Japanese breed club) dropped to just shy of 250 individuals in 2020 and 2021. This number is often representative of the majority of Kishu Ken registration numbers worldwide. The National Kishu Ken Club, the official AKC parent club for the Kishu Ken, has had a total of 69 dogs listed from 2009 to 2022 and zero population growth as of the third quarter of 2022. If you are interested in the Kishu Ken breed as a companion, a conformation dog, a sport choice, or a hunting dog, there are options available for domestic-born lit- ters from health-tested and proven parents from breeders listed through the National Kishu Ken Club. The National Kishu Ken Club provides more in-depth snapshots of life with the breed, the breed standard and history, and the opportunity for import. National Kishu Ken Club: ;; (971) 266-0108

In the case of the Kishu Ken and many other tall tales, this mythology may have a sliver of truth to it. The Kishu Ken is currently known, by genetic testing, to have a maternal haplotype that is unique to the Japanese archipelago and unique to the Kishu Ken breed. This maternal haplotype is clustered in the same hap- logroup as the Australian Dingo and the New Guinea Singing Dog—both relatives of the lost Honshu wolf. There are several traits the Kishu Ken retains that enthusi- asts and hunters sometimes say are signs of wolf blood; from their large, straight teeth, believed to be uncommonly strong,


Powered by