I'm having a bit of a personal laugh as I type this, because the universe seems to enjoy throwing me large clumps of irony recently. The latest ironic mass comes in the form of a little Kishu tiger. Yes, the breed has historically had brindle dogs, though the last one I saw or heard of was almost 20 years ago.
So of course as soon as I say I'm going to take a sabbatical and try to focus on other things for 2024, the first pup that pops out of my Kishu litter is a brindle. Now this is a non-pedigreed line of working Kishu that I'm breeding now, so anything is possible as far as some brindle ancestor sneaking in, but it's still very fascinating. A lot of NIPPO members and judges have expressed their interest and have visited to see the pups. I really like all three of the females in this litter, two whites, and the brindle, and I would have happily kept all or one of them as a working prospect. As it is, they will all go to working homes. The big white male kind of reminds me of great grandfather Baron, and he will go back with his mother Miya to the hunter that owns her, as part of their hunting pack. The remaining male with a lot of yogore-jiro (red tipping) will be going to a pet home in Tokyo.
I don't know that I'll get to see another brindle Kishu in my lifetime, but apparently they've traditionally appeared in white x red pairings. I spent the first few weeks of her life wanting to keep her, but now is not the time. So she will be staying close by, and I guess I'll get to see her mature, unlike her sisters who will be going to Okayama and Nara. It has been a joy to be able to breed a line of dogs solely focusing on working ability, temperament, and health, without being confined to an ever shrinking and possibly unviable gene pool that is not being selected for what I am trying to create. The breeding, pregnancy, birth, and everything else has been natural and easy (knock-on-wood). I'm just ironing out some kinks with the pups being very alert and reactive to sound, but it seems a lot of that is them picking up on their mother's wariness to being in a new environment (she doesn't live here, and I'm just raising the litter here).
I've had some luck with Hina having a very stable and predictable heat, just like last year (good to see in the Shikoku, where I think we're starting to see a trend in the other direction), so she has been bred again to Kikuoumaru, 2022 NIPPO Grand National RBOB. As he's out of Ayumi lines, he has quite a bit of hunt in him, which is why I did the pairing for Hina's first litter last year. I'm quite happy with the temperament of those pups, but all three ended up in show and pet homes. This time round, I have a few hunters waiting for pups from this litter, so hopefully it takes.