Japón FCI 318 - Asian Spitz and related breeds


The Kishu of Japanese hunting are characterized by their resistance, intelligence, great courage and, usually, a strong hunting instinct.



The Kishu has its origin several thousand years ago in the mountains of the “Kii Peninsula“, a region of Japan that extends over present-day Mie prefectures, Wakayama y Nara. In the past, the dogs did not have a uniform name, they were differentiated and named according to individual sections of the mountainous region of the “Kii Peninsula”: Kumano Inu (kumano dog), Taji Inu (taji dog), Ouchiyama Inu (Ouchiyama dog).

From Hidaka to Arita the Kishus they were white and their names were Hidaka-Ken. In 1934 all these dogs were grouped under the name of the region and were called Kishu. Due to the remoteness of the mountainous regions, there were no crosses with other races or other race-changing phenomena in the Kishu Ken. For this reason, the Kishu it is one of the most original breeds of Japan, and one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

In 1934 the breed was declared a natural monument of Japan and is therefore under state protection. Until the seventies it was forbidden to sell Kishu of Japan. Dogs could only be passed as gifts.

Although early in the breeding around the 70 percent of Kishus they weren't white, this is today the most common color within the breed. This is partly due to the fact that white dogs are easier to recognize when hunting.. Outside of Japan the breed has barely spread. There are a handful of breeders in the US.. and only a few dozen in Europe. The Kishu has some similarities with the Shikoku, the Kai Ken and especially with the Hokkaido, that are also not outside of Japan.

Kishu physical characteristics

The Kishu measures approximately 46 centimeters tall, and weighs around 28 kg, is a medium-sized dog. The fur color is generally white. The fur is short, straight and thick with a layer of thickness. The ears are inclined forward and are rather small. This breed is strong, flexible and user-friendly.

Kishu's character and abilities

The Kishu is a hunting dog. In the Kishu region, dogs were used to hunt wild boar, Deer, bears, hares and birds. According to the game, there were three directions of Kishus: Deer, hare and wild boar / bear. The Kishu roe deer and hare hunter had a slightly lighter complexion which favored them in hunting. Due to the non-optimal suitability of the breed, especially for hunting hares and small prey, this category did not prevail. Today almost all Kishu Kens historically originate from hunting wild boar (and secondarily also) of bears. These Kishu Kens they have a stronger physique, more pronounced musculature and a wild to sharp disposition.

In the old way of hunting, the hunter stayed in a place with only one dog and waited for the prey. Later hunting methods prefer that the game be brought by the Kishu Ken. The dog follows the game independently and silently. Like most Nordic hunting dogs, the Kishu only reports when you have placed the game. The dog's task is “keep hunting under control” until the hunter can shoot from a short distance. Especially German hunters are often skeptical or incredulous about the abilities of the Kishu Ken to hunt the physically superior boar. In Japan, However, the skills of Kishu Ken they are highly valued. His ferocity and indomitable attitude make him so popular for wild boar hunting in Japan.. In Japan there has been an expression for decades that illustrates the special suitability of the Kishus as hunters:
ichiju – ikku” – “a weapon – a dog”.


Representatives of this Japanese hunting breed are characterized by their resistance, intelligence, great courage and, usually, a strong hunting instinct. They are considered as one-person dogs, who form a strong bond with their two-legged companion and behave loyally. The kishus tend to dominate behavior, which can lead to problems with congeners, especially among males. His dominance is sometimes displayed on his own four walls, where they often want to have everything in sight. The Kishus they are not submissive to their owners and always keep their own head. This leads to the fact that they normally only perform tasks when they see meaning in them.. Towards strangers they behave aloof to shy. They are conditionally suitable as watchdogs.

Kishu education

It takes a lot of knowledge and patience to educate a Kishu, because intelligent animals tend to be stubborn and domineering. However, if you are consistent and have the necessary calm, the Kishu they will recognize you. Toughness is out of place in education. Don't expect submissive behavior from this proud four-legged friend. Pay attention to the control and management of hunting behavior, sometimes very distinctive. However, keep in mind that it is difficult to let a Kishu without a leash, because even optimally trained representatives of the breed are often not available when they watch the hunt.

Work to confidently keep it at bay when you encounter the game. In addition, the four-legged friend's social compatibility should be the center of attention during parenting. Puppy play classes and dog schools in general offer a good opportunity, because here the young man Kishu can already come into contact with conspecifics of different sizes and thus strengthen their social skills. Please, note that the Kishu you must be physically and mentally exhausted if you do not want to engage in an unpleasant alternative activity – for example, destroying home furnishings or poaching.

Kishu Health

Some kishus have a tendency to hypothyroidism, namely, an insufficient supply of thyroid hormones, usually due to limited thyroid function. Symptoms include fatigue and reduced performance. The owners of a Kishu should have their thyroid gland examined by a vet if these symptoms occur. This disease is not life threatening and can usually be treated well with administration, mostly daily, of an appropriate medication. Because of the shape of your eyes, the breed also has a greater genetic disposition for eyelid malpositions, what can, However, be corrected by surgery. Dogs Kishu they also have a tendency to food and environmental allergies. In all other respects, This Japanese breed is considered robust and has an average life expectancy of 13 years.

The Diet of Kishu

The best health precaution, in addition to buying from a responsible breeder, It is a high quality and appropriate nutrition for this breed. This specifically means that you should choose a dog food in which meat is the main component and is listed accordingly at the top of the claim. The grain should not be included – not just a bottom fill, it can also trigger allergies in some Kishus. If fed high-quality feed from the beginning, the risk of food intolerances is reduced. Even with representatives of the breed that were not seen before, no sudden food changes should be made, but offer a new food slowly. Mix increasing amounts of the unfamiliar food with the familiar one and watch for your dog to show intolerance reactions. Of course, fresh drinking water should always be available for your Kishu.

If it is suspected that you Kishu have a food allergy, a unique diet makes sense to find out what your pet is sensitive to. For this you must be patient and consult your veterinarian, because you only need to give a certain food for a predetermined period of time. If the complaints improve with feeding, you can try another feeding. If symptoms get worse, contact your veterinarian to clarify the subsequent procedure. This way you can find out which ingredients you are allergic to. Kishu. Attention: No treatments should be given during this time if possible.

Kishu care

Brushing once a week is usually enough to keep this breed's coat in optimal condition.. However, during the coat change twice a year, you should use the brush more often to remove dead hairs. This also has the positive side effect of the quadruped losing less fur on the floor.. Dirt can be brushed off as soon as it has dried, or washed with a damp cloth. Compared to other breeds, the Kishus they are considered very clean dogs. When you groom your dog at least once a week, take a look at their ears to clean them with a dog ear cleaner, if required, and check its claws. The latter should be shortened if they become too long. This is usually only the case for Kishus older that move less, or dogs that walk mainly on very soft ground.

Where can I find my desired Kishu?

The breed is very rarely found outside of Japan. However, there may be a dog breeder living in your region who has dedicated their work to this breed. In addition to a handful of breeders in the US. and russia, there are a few in europe, especially in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Lithuania. In Germany no official litters of Kishu in recent years. So get ready for long trips, if you have decided to adopt a Kishu – and learn more about adopting a puppy abroad before. Make sure to avoid propagandists who are trying to sell you a puppy of Kishu – they are usually only interested in making a quick profit and you will hardly get a Kishu in this way.

It is unlikely that a Kishu adult outside of Japan, you should be very lucky if you are looking for a purebred dog. However, even if you have fallen in love with a Kishu, it might make sense to look for similar Spitz-type breeds or corresponding hybrids in animal shelters – this also applies to puppies, of course. The chance of success is much higher and you've also given a homeless four-legged friend a new home. Find out in advance about the known history and character of the potential new family member – often, as in the case of their own Kishu, some experience with dogs is important here to allow a successful coexistence and avoid communication problems between the animal and the human.

Characteristics "Kishu"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Kishu" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, your care and if you have young children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Training ?

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Videos "Kishu"

Kishu (Kishu Inu) / Breed of dog
Kishu Ken (Kishu Inu)

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 5: Spitz and primitive types.
  • Section 5: Asiatic Spitz and related breeds. Without working trial.


  • FCI – Group 5: Dogs type Spitz and primitive type – Section 5: Asian Spitz and related breeds.

FCI breed standard "Kishu"

"Kishu" FCI [xyz-ips snippet=

Alternative names:

    1. Kishu-Ken, Kishu-Inu (English).
    2. Kishu-Ken, Kishu-Inu (French).
    3. 紀州犬, Kishū-Inu, Kishu-Ken (German).
    4. Kishu-Ken, Kishu-Inu (Portuguese).
    5. Kishu-Ken, Kishu-Inu (Spanish).
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