Monday, June 14, 2021

Making Entries to the Nihon Ken Database

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:

Masamine Go 雅峰号 Futomi Sou 太海荘

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

JKC Appendix Registration for KKA?

 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.

Up until this point it has been impossible to register KKA Kai with the Japan Kennel Club, since NIPPO will only give KKA dogs limited registration (which ironically is what the JKC is now doing to NIPPO dogs), and the JKC would not accept NIPPO's limited registration pedigrees to its registry. It took 3 generations of breeding in NIPPO to finally get a full registration, and then transfer to the JKC registry was possible.

Well after finding that little nugget of a line, I called the JKC registration department and pointed out that the new rule should then allow KKA pedigrees to be transferred to NIPPO, and then the limited registration would have to be recognized by the JKC, right? I just got my reply that yes, with the new rule, they would accept this process.

So there we have it. Starting next year, KKA (Aigokai) Kai being exported from Japan can be issued a JKC appendix pedigree. Of course this is all possible in theory, and I'll believe it when I have seen the process work (I'll do a test run first thing next year with one of my Kai). The process should work, and a JKC Appendix export pedigree should be able to be issued. This tiny bit of sunshine has taken some of the bite out of my frustration with the current FCI/JKC Appendix situation.

Friday, June 4, 2021

JKC Appendix Registration


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.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

No More JKC Export Pedigrees

EDIT June 4th, 2021: JKC has announced on their website how they will be handling the new change. I've written about it in the following blog post


So this is timely, and will affect all fans of the Nihon Ken overseas who are interested in breeding/showing their dogs. 

This past weekend the Japan Kennel Club held a board meeting at which they voted to no longer give full registration to dogs registered with NIPPO, AKIHO, DOKENHO (and some other Japanese registries). This new rule will take effect from January 1st, 2022.

What does this mean? Well, take a walk with me down the rabbit hole. It means that after January 1st, 2022, dogs with NIPPO or AKIHO pedigrees can only receive a 'limited/appendix/wait list' registration with JKC. Dogs with limited registration cannot receive a JKC export pedigree. Any dogs being exported would only have an AKIHO or NIPPO pedigree, and a JKC 'limited/appendix/wait list'.

What is 'limited registration'? Well I believe the exact rules may vary from country to country, but my understanding is that when the dog arrives in a new country, they are still on limited registration. You need special permission to use them for breeding, and you cannot show them (at the very least you get no points from shows). If you get permission from your kennel club to use the dog for breeding, their offspring will also only have limited registration. This continues for three generations. Anyone who knows FCI rules better than I can feel free to correct me.

Since this new rule goes into effect next year, all AKIHO and NIPPO members in Japan could technically become JKC members and register all their dogs with the JKC before December 31st. Starting next year they could register their litters with the JKC, receiving full pedigrees, which can be transferred to JKC export pedigrees. There's quite an uproar behind the scenes here in Japan at the moment about this as you can imagine, and I am probably the first person going public with the information since the JKC hasn't even announced it yet. But, I know a lot of people who this will affect rather personally, so I'm putting it up here on the blog.

In my opinion this is an extremely cynical move. I called the JKC registration department on Monday for clarification, and the reason they gave for this new rule is that the FCI said that it was against their rules for the JKC to be allowing full registration to dogs from other registries (the parents and grandparents all should be registered JKC dogs). The JKC voted to fall in line with the FCI. 

In defence of the Nihon Ken, the Japanese breed registries have been maintained by NIPPO/AKIHO/DOKENHO etc for almost 100 years now. They are the PREMIERE registries and protectors of these breeds. They are designated national treasures, and to basically say that their pedigrees will become worthless is a slap in the face, and major disrespect to a part of the nation's culture (our registries are actually regulated by the Agency for Culturaly Affairs in Japan) and heritage. Surely there was some better way to go about this, some way to fall in line with FCI's request without unilaterally alienating all the Nihon Ken registries and their gene pools. 

Now there is a window of opportunity (until December 31st, 2021) for all the Nihon Ken and their owners to become part of the JKC. But the majority of preservationists in Japan are elderly, have no idea of what is going on, and could care less about being part of the JKC or registering their dogs with it. They don't breed for profit or commerce, so they will continue doing what they have been doing for decades. This is a beautiful thing, but the fact that many of the Japanese breeds are nearing extinction within Japan, and their only hope lies in overseas preservationists carrying the torch forward... well you can probably understand the problems that will arise from this. For example, even if I were to register all my dogs with the JKC (most of mine are actually already registered with them), any time I want to use a stud male that is not JKC registered, we start at step one again in limited registration. This is not a problem within Japan, since all we care about are NIPPO pedigrees, but for anyone outside Japan who imports a dog on limited registration, that has serious consequences for your breeding program. What if you have a potential new puppy home who is very interested in helping with breed preservation and wants to show their pup?

This whole situation reeks of untoward influences, but I won't spread the gossip here. There is still time to try to find solutions to preserving the Japanese breeds in the best possible way without essentially making access to large parts of the genetic pool unreasonable for preservationists overseas. Hopefully saner heads will prevail. I will probably get a lot of flack for posting this here, but I've thought about it for a few days now, and this needs to be said. To put even more pressure on dwindling gene pools is the last thing you want to be doing to the Nihon Ken.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

NIPPO Contact Information

So because I get asked for help with NIPPO related issues, and for their contact information, I'm posting it all here.



TEL: +81-3-3291-6035

ADDRESS: Surugadai Sunrise Bldg 1F, 2-11-1 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 1010062

Also, NIPPO currently has a PayPal account set up to process overseas member payments.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Dogs Arriving in the US as Cargo Now Need a Customs Broker!


Self explanatory title! If your dog is arriving in the US as cargo (unaccompanied through the cargo terminal) you are now required to hire a customs broker to clear the dog through customs on arrival. I just found out the hard way, and a dog had to sit in the cargo terminal for an extra couple hours while a broker was found. 

A google search for a customs broker will generally bring up a few, and expect to pay a bit for the service. I've heard of a quote for 300USD.

I will now be contacting the shipping agents and airlines on the Japan side to complain that they are not making this information available to dog owners.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Nihon Ken Registrations 2020

It's not really possible to give an exact number for how many Nihon Ken were actually born and registered in Japan for any given year. The reason for this is that there are dual registrations (ie none of the 20 JKC registered Shikoku were actually JKC bred. They are transfers from NIPPO), and some of the registries allow registration of pups born overseas (NIPPO, KKA, AKIHO), and those totals are included in the registry total. But these numbers give us a general idea of where the breeds are headed. It's a sad day for the Shikoku, as last year less than 200 were born in Japan (I know that more than 20 of the registered pups were born overseas). This means the breed continues to hold the dubious distinction of being the rarest of the 6 Nihon Ken (in Japan anyway).

Shiba (NIPPO) 27,300 (JKC) 9,262 

Akita (AKIHO) 3323 (JKC) 258 

Kai (KKA) 914 (NIPPO) 87 (JKC) 93

Hokkaido (HKH) 222 (HKK) 67 (JKC) 25 (NIPPO) 12

Kishu (NIPPO) 265 (JKC) 1

Shikoku (NIPPO) 219 (JKC) 20