The Kishu, sometimes called Kishu Ken or Kishu Inu, is a Japanese breed of dog, developed there for thousands of years. It is descended from ancient medium-sized breeds and named after the Kishu region, now Mie Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
In 1934 the Kishu Ken was designated a national treasure in Japan.
About this Breed
The Kishu Ken (sometimes called Kishu, or Kishu Inu) is a Japanese breed of dog, developed there for thousands of years. They are descended from ancient medium-sized breeds named after the Kishu region. The Kishu Ken is loyal and loving with their family. They are a one person/one family dog. They are a friendly, quiet and calm, but tough and agile breed. They are courageous and brave as hunters, and will be loyal to their owners. Kishu Ken have a strong prey drive, and will hunt small animals. A few have been known to do well with cats if raised with them. They do well with other dogs if socialized well as puppies, however, due to their pack instincts they might cause some fights for dominance. They are quite headstrong and willful, making training necessary, but they are devoted and loyal to family, getting along well with children, if raised with them. Kishu Kens like to keep an eye on whatever is going on, and sometimes find a high place to look out from. They can be aloof or shy around strangers. They are easily housebroken, intelligent, and strong willed.
The Kishu should be brushed weekly to keep their fur mat free and clean. Bathe them as necessary, depending on how dirty they are. Their ears should be checked routinely for wax build up, infection or dirt. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly. Kishu Kens shed once or twice a year, making grooming at these times needed.
The Kishu needs adequate space to roam and exercise, meaning a house with a yard or urban environment with a fence. They need regular exercise on a leash, taking walks or runs. They can also be given a job to do such as herding to satisfy their exercise.
Kishu Kens on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Kishu Ken ancestry.