Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Sunday, April 24, 2022
So let's keep that ball rolling. I felt like I should be blogging something 'important', but really, I should just get to it and start with what's easy.
April 24th, 2022. Covid has put a major wrench in show schedules for the past two years, with two Grand Nationals canceled. But, it looks like we've found our way through to a more comfortable place, and this spring most NIPPO branch shows and regionals are moving according to schedule.
I got up at 4am today to take care of all my dogs, and then make the 2.5hour drive to the venue for the NIPPO Santama (west side of Tokyo) Branch Exhibition. Entry numbers are way down this year, and the Santama branch felt the bite for sure. There were only 91 entries. Branch shows usually have somewhere in the vicinity of 150 entries. Most disconcerting this season has been the low number of entries of young adult dogs, with many classes having 0 entries.
Regardless, we're happy to be able to hang out together and see each others dogs. I showed three of mine: Doru (Doruto Go Shibukawa Kato Kensha), Alice (Arisu Go Awa Yamainu Sou), and Iyo (Iyo Go Musashi Aiwa). Doru and Alice both took 2nd place in their respective classes, and Iyo was in puppy class which does not have placements, but she did receive an excellent.
And here are some pictures for tax
Thursday, March 31, 2022
So here we are, sitting a third of the way into 2022, another year in which I have left the blog sitting mostly quiet, un-inked. My posting has always been sporadic, linked to how much time and energy I have at any given point in my life. Since my blogging is a non-commercial venture, I have to feel a fair amount of 'need' in order to pick up the proverbial pen and start writing. It takes time away from doing normal things like paying the bills, spending time with my dogs, spending time in the mountains.
My blogs have been about the Japanese breeds: owning them, living with them, their history, their present. In 2020 I started to feel that there were deep questions about the Nihon Ken and their preservation that were scratching at the back of my brain, but I had to backburner these nagging thoughts in order to stay afloat through a global pandemic (I imagine just about everyone has had to fight some sort of personal battle to get through the past 2 years). These questions were core questions that shake the very ideas of preservation, purebred breeds, closed stud books, dog shows, and dog ownership. Without taking the time to address these questions, I was not in a place to keep writing.
A lot has happened for me and the dogs in these past few silent years. I still post visual snippets on my Instagram accounts, which tends to keep everyone somewhat in the loop I imagine, albeit with less commentary. The biggest two events of 2020/2021 would be the January 2020 purchase of my farmhouse, and the October 2021 passing of The Baron.
All things considered, we're doing well. Here we are at the end of March, and I've decided it's time to start writing again.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
So it's at least once a week that I have to answer this question in all its varieties: Can you help me figure out how to get a dog from Japan to Australia?
Short answer: If you are a pet owner that is having issues figuring out how to get your dog to Australia, yes. If you are a breeder or someone looking to purchase a dog from Japan and have it shipped to you, no.
The reasons for this require some explanation, and I've wasted a lot of time going over this with so many people. So I am posting this here so I can link it to future requests.
Firstly, Australia requires all canines entering the country to arrive as manifest cargo. That means they can't travel with someone as check in baggage (or in the cabin).
Secondly, Australia has very specific rules about where and how the dogs arrive in the country due to the need to transport them directly to the Mickleham quarantine facility.
Due to COVID, most flights from Japan to Australia were cancelled. There is a JAL flight that I can book pets on, but I've been requested to only use it in case of emergency (ie pets needing to be reunited with their owners etc). A new purchase/import of a dog is not an emergency. The reason for this is that there is limited space on this one flight. Cargo (like medical supplies etc) takes priority over pets, so if there is not enough space, pets get bumped. The JAL flight from Narita is a morning flight (11:40), which does not leave enough time to do the Animal Quarantine Services export inspection, customs inspection, and cargo check in. A dog being shipped on this flight would need all necessary inspections and paperwork done the day before (AQS is only open from 8:30-17:00), and once all is done the animal cannot leave the cargo area of the airport. There is no overnight pet care at Narita International Airport's cargo terminal, so essentially the dog has to overnight with no walks etc from around 17:00-11:40 (18+hours) and then handle the flight which is another 10+hours. The dog then has to clear entry into Australia at Melbourne, be transported to the quarantine facility, and finally be released from its crate. So at the minimum, we're talking about 29+hours crated, and most likely more like 35-40hours crated. That's going to be massively stressful for any dog.
Logistically, the best way to plan a flight to Australia from Japan would be to ship a dog on an afternoon or evening flight. Unfortunately that flight does not currently exist (thank you COVID).
So now the Australian border is open so all is good right? Not really. Qantas is resuming flights to/from Japan, but operated by their budget carrier which cannot handle pets. So this doesn't really change anything.
How about connecting flights using other airlines and through other countries? Essentially we're looking at the same issues as the JAL flight: massive amounts of crate time and stress. I would generally not be comfortable putting one of my dogs through this, so unless absolutely necessary, I have not been and am not accepting requests to arrange pet transport to Australia.
Monday, June 14, 2021
A user who has been working hard to add information to the Nihon Ken database contacted me to ask why some entries had not been confirmed. This was my reply:
If there is not enough information entered to confirm an entry, or information is not entered in the correct order, then the entry is generally just left in the 'waiting for confirmation' part of the database until it is updated with more information (or corrected).
The reason for this is that since we're trying to track health issues and inbreeding coefficients through this database, an entry that only lists a dog's name can be very problematic. Japanese dog names can be read in many different ways due to multiple kanji character readings, and often names on JKC export pedigrees are not listed correctly. This can mean multiple entries of the same dog, under different names, or someone picking the wrong dog as an ancestor for their dog. It would really screw up trying to track health issues, and of course it would completely ruin calculation of inbreeding and things like that.
Personally, I don't make entries to the database unless I have a registration number. I know some of the other administrators will do it for some dogs when they know the entry is correct, or can confirm it with NIPPO etc
Also, I thought I'd add here that the correct way to enter a dog's name is in the following order:
Name (English), Name (Japanese), Kennel (English), Kennel (Japanese)
And please, enter dog registration numbers. Thank you all for your help with the database!
Monday, June 7, 2021
So some massively good news has come from the new JKC Appendix system. Nestled away in the verbage I found a line stating that the JKC would also recognize 'limited registration pedigrees' from listed organizations, and allow them to be transferred to the JKC Appendix registry.
Friday, June 4, 2021
So the JKC has now formally announced that from January 1st, 2022, they will no longer allow 'single dog registration' (単犬登録）from a list of Japanese registries that include NIPPO, AKIHO, and DOKENHO. From January 1st, 2022, they will only accept transfers from these registries to the JKC APPENDIX registry. The cost of transferring registration will remain the same. Here is a link to the announcement on the JKC's website
Dogs with appendix registration can have an appendix export pedigree issued (like someone mentioned the Korean Kennel Federation does), which will definitely be helpful. Since I haven't seen what the appendix export pedigree looks like, I can't say exactly what information will be included on it, but I was told by the JKC registration department that it will be look similar to the current JKC export pedigree, but in the top corner will have an APPENDIX annotation. It will be a three generation pedigree, with the APPENDIX registered dog receiving an APPENDIX registration number along with other information like coat color etc listed. However, all dogs on the pedigree that are not APPENDIX registered will only have their name listed.
As I mentioned in my last post, appendix registered dogs can generally be shown, but will not receive cards/points toward championships, and if used for breeding, their progeny can only be appendix registered until 3 generations have been registered in the appendix. Overseas kennel clubs seem to vary in the way they accept pedigrees from other clubs, so now would probably be the time for overseas Nihon Ken clubs to prepare for the switch next year.
This will most likely affect the Akita less than the other breeds, since most of the well known kennels in Japan are now hurriedly becoming JKC members, creating JKC clubs, and registering their dogs with the JKC. For the Hokkaido Ken, overseas breeders will generally just have to plan to make do with appendix pedigrees (for future imported dogs) since very few, if any, DOKENHO members will make the move over to JKC pedigrees. The same can generally be said for the Shikoku and Kishu. You will still have NIPPO pedigrees and an appendix pedigree to work with, just no more full registration JKC Export Pedigree. Since some dogs in Japan will have full registration JKC pedigrees, every now and again dogs will pop up with NIPPO and full registration JKC, but that will probably be the exception.