Coats: Summary

So to summarize the Japanese dog's coat, and what you want to look for, or breed away from...

Look for:

Correct colors

Deep hues
-this includes brindle markings, hues should preferably be a deep 'red', grey or yellow is not desirable
-dog's with sesame coats should still have exhibit deep coloration in the coat, no blending or grey

Correct urajiro and facial markings
-watch out for white creeping over parts of the body where it should not be
-in black/tan, make sure markings are correct

Breed away from:

Washed out colors

Incorrect colors/markings
-watch for correct markings on limbs/tails as well
-coloring in coat should be even over the dogs entire body. A sesame for example should preferably not have kuro-goma over its body, and aka-goma on it's head
-breed away from black masks in all the Japanese breeds (including the Kai)
-in 'kuro' watch out for red tipping, this is a fault

Some tips and anecdotal information.

-If you are breeding Kai, and keep breeding aka-tora x aka-tora, you will see a dilution of color/brindle
-In Shikoku, if you are not careful to watch the coloration of your line, you can also quickly see a dilution of color, especially if you breed toward one coloration
-The outer guard hairs of a sesame Shikoku are 'san-shoku-himou' or three-colored-outer-hairs. Guard hairs should show 3 colors, white or light at the bottom, then red/brown, with the tips being black. These three levels of color give the coat a deep full hue.

If I think of anything else, I'll add to this.

I often see people overseas post pictures of their dogs, and everyone comments how perfect they are. I have no problem with people loving their dogs, and others complimenting them if they think they are beautiful. I would like to take this opportunity to humbly remind NK owners/fanciers/breeders that it is important to actually understand the standard, be aware of your dog's good and bad traits, and breed toward the betterment and preservation of these breeds. I have many people with fair to poor examples of their breeds become very offended when they ask for, and I give, my honest opinion about their dog's conformation. A dog's conformation to its breed's standard is not based off of how many compliments it receives from novices, it is based on the standard.

**And I might add that I'll always mention that I'm just giving my opinion. If there's something in there you don't agree with, ask someone more knowledgeable. That's what I do.


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  2. I still wonder about what's behind the aka-tora color. The occasional brown nose would imply a liver/choc gene but the eye color nixes it.

    I think it bizarre that people would ask you for your opinion and then get offended by it. If I gave an opinion that wasn't solicited, sure, I could see where offense might be taken, but when asked for?

    The most tactful thing I've done is call their dog a good-looking dog but not a good looking Jindo/Shikoku/Shiba/etc..


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