Monday, September 30, 2013

Baron x Hime Pup Pictures

One of my friends just sent me pictures she took of the pups a few weeks before they shipped out. These guys were a lovely bunch of pups.

And Hime's back in heat, a 5 month cycle. Her body still hasn't recovered from this litter, so she'll be resting this heat. I guess turning 6 this year, and dealing with a health issue before the litter, was very taxing on her body. Bishome is faring much better in that department.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bishome x Unta: 4 Weeks Old

The pups were dewormed today, and overall look to be in excellent health. After observing them for the past month none of them are shy or showing any abnormal behavior. It looks like a pretty well rounded litter.

Last week Mr.Suzuki from Futomi Sou, and Mr.Iwahori from Nidai Iwahori Sou, came to visit and see the pups. We had a nice sit down, and a few drinks, after which we took a look at the pups.

Before their eyes opened, I was leaning toward the black sesame male over the red sesame, and wasn't sure whether the female would surpass the boys. Well once their eyes opened, I've been pretty sure that the female is the pick of the litter for me. Very nice balance in head and body, nice temperament, good color. She looks very promising. The other two boys are nice as well, and they look good with no noticeable flaws. The black sesame male has a little more white tipping on his tail than I'd like, but that's picking at gnats.

So, I brought out the pups for us all to look at, one by one. There were approving nods for all 4 pups actually, even the small little tyke that I call Mighty Mouse. He's small, but he hung in there. I brought the two larger males first, and then the female. There seemed to be a consensus toward the red male, but once we lined all the pups up, everyone agreed 100% on the female. I was planning to keep a pup out of the litter if they looked promising, and since they did, I thought to keep one of the males. Now this throws a bit of a monkey wrench into my plans, but what can I complain about, I've got a really nice litter with very few visible flaws.

I sent Mr.Yano pictures of the pups, and he liked the black sesame male (no surprise there). After looking at the pups today, I think I'm liking the red male best out of the three males, for now anyway. I think it's just a matter of taste at this point, because the 2 males and female are all very nice pups.

Over the next week I will watch for temperament and structure, and have a physical done by my vet. I guess I'll have to decide then on which pups will be placed where.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I received some pictures today of the little tyke. He's over on the West Coast now, and I think he looks terrific. He's got a lot of bone, and those Kishu eyes. I wonder if his coat will ever come in fully living in that climate. Ears are looking good!

Thanks for the pictures!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bishome x Unta: 21 Days Old

The pups are doing well. They've hit 3 weeks and are starting to move around, play, make a bit more trouble, and today they had their first meal. They got really into it as you can see. Literally.

I'll be taking reservations on the pups soon. So far there's interest in the aka-goma male, and the kuro-goma female. I do have a waiting list about a mile long, so I'll be working through that. Mainly though I try to place pups in the best homes as opposed to going through the list by order.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Waiting List

So recently I've felt like I spend half of every day replying to requests about pups, and juggling exports. Today I finally pasted all my 'waiting lists' together and collated the information in a spreadsheet.

I have over 50 people on my waiting list. This is after sifting through all the bogus applications. These are people that are ready for a pup NOW! I have 50 people twiddling their thumbs, waiting for Shigeru to find and send them their dream pup.

If you ever feel like I take a while to get back to you, and you haven't heard from me in a while, know that I have a terrific memory, and am not battling early onset Alzheimer's. I'm probably walking, feeding, or cleaning up after, my pups, or yours. If I'm not doing that, I'm probably picking up someone's pup, or sending off someone's pup ad infinitum (is that even where you'd use that?).

This past week for instance, I was juggling 15 dogs at the house (11 of which are demanding puppies), and swung by the vet to micro chip and vaccinate 2 Hokkaido pups on Wednesday. Friday I dropped off one pup, Summer, at Narita airport, 300km round trip. She was on her way to Dallas. I raced back to get some work in, walk and feed the dogs again, and pack for a 2000km round trip to Shikoku to breed a female Shikoku.

Saturday morning I was off, and we drove for 11hours, arriving in Kagawa in the evening at a NIPPO judge's for a nice 'udon' dinner and discussion about hunting with Nihon Ken. We were up at 6am the next morning to head from the hotel to to see his dogs, and all the dogs the Ayumi Sou line in the local kennels. We then had an 11am appointment at another kennel in the next prefecture to breed the female. Later in the afternoon after some more 'udon', we headed to Ehime to see more kennels and dogs from another line of Shikoku, with another NIPPO judge. This was all done in the pouring rain due to Typhoon Man-yi rampaging through Japan.

We got to see some of the great dogs of the recent past such as Gakuho Go, Ibuhime Go, and Iyohime Go, and revel in the quality of the bloodlines still remaining in Shikoku. In the evening we were treated to a terrific dinner, and in the morning we were up at 6am again to look at more dogs, before heading out on our return trip. We were chasing Man-yi this time, as she veered north east, so we followed in her trail of destruction, getting held up at roadblocks due to flooding and mudslides all the way. I was actually at Katsuragawa in Kyoto immediately after Man-yi passed. The return drive took 17hours, getting me back at 1am.

I was up at 5 am to walk and feed my dogs, and then prepared to take pups to Narita airport again. I got home at 3pm, rushed to the vet to micro chip and vaccinate 2 more pups, and tried to reply to emails in the evening before walking and feeding the dogs again.

This morning I woke up, it's crisp, beautiful autumn day, and I'm trying to pick up the pieces of the mess left by the hurricane, and pick up after all the pups that have been through recently. If I don't reply to your emails right away, I apologize.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bishome x Unta: 18 Days Old

Here are the pups at 18 days. Their eyes have opened, and they're playing and getting a bit more mobile. This gets them into trouble because they start finding the other dogs, and mom's not happy about them playing with other dogs just yet.

Male 1: Kuro-goma. He doesn't usually look so sleepy, but I guess that's what I get for waking him up for pictures.

Male 2: Aka-goma

Male 3: Kuro-goma. He's the tiny guy of the bunch, and he's got a white spot on his neck. It's been getting steadily smaller, and I've been told it will probably disappear altogether in time. I'll be looking for a pet home for him.

Female 1: Kuro-goma

Taking Pictures of Dogs

While there are of course millions of ways to take a cute or amazing picture of your dog, if you're trying to capture a good picture of a dog, in a flattering angle that shows its proportions, here's what to look for.

Get in position at roughly a 45 degree angle in front of the dog, and just slightly higher than level with it. What you're looking for is a shot that gets all 4 legs in the picture, and with the dogs head facing directly ahead, you want to be able to get both eyes in the picture.

Something like this.

I have a NIPPO judge to thank for these tips. I didn't get this picture just right, but it was the best of the bunch I took in the pouring rain of Kuromasa Go, a terrific black sesame Shikoku adult male. I'll be seeing him again at the NIPPO national in November!

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Rainbow of Hokkaido Ken Puppies

What else do you call it when you have white, brindle, and black & tan pups at your kennel at the same time? The large white male is Masa, the smaller white female is Piri, the brindle male is Ezo, and the black & tan female is Genko. Part of me wants a sesame Hokkaido to be thrown in there, but that would be one Hokka too many. For me though, I think 1 Hokka is 1 Hokka too many. I don't know that I'll have too many more Hokka pups staying with me for long periods of time. I'll wear out my welcome in the neighborhood, and they're just too much work.

Tomorrow I'll be driving down to Shikoku island, visiting some of the kennels, and hopefully breeding a female to a nice black sesame stud down there. Fingers crossed that it all goes well, and that my dogs behave while I'm gone for the next few days!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Collie Eye in the Hokkaido

So it seems that CEA, or Collie Eye, is an issue in the Hokkaido. Speaking with Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai members, they say they've never seen or heard of the issue, so I think it's just lack of awareness and then being able to diagnose it if they do see it. Or perhaps it's just something else altogether.

The issue was brought to my attention by another member of the Nihon Ken Forum, who linked this study done by Kagoshima University here in Japan

Some testing done on two recent exports from Japan to Europe showed both dogs to be carriers, which would seem to add to the assumption that it is a problem.

What is CEA?

At least as far as genetic diseases go, it's doesn't freak me out as much as say, seizures or neurological issues. Only some dogs actually show symptoms, and even in them, severity varies.

65 Days Old

These pups are big. They're sitting at around 6kg at 2 months old, far larger than any of the Nihon Ken pups I've dealt with so far (other than Akita pups of course).

The girls' ears are all the way up, and Kenzo's are pretty much there now as well. The pups have started their crate training (which Momo hates), but baby steps should get us where we need to go. It turns out that Momo does not seem to get carsick, while Kenzo and Summer do.

Anyway, they've gotten a fair bit of socialization with people of all shapes and sizes, and some other dogs recently too. They've done quite well at the hardware store and the vet's, and they are now learning to get used to collars and leashes.

I don't have enough time to get the solidly crate trained, and housebroken, but I'll do what I can with the time I have left with the pups. They'll all be gone within a week, and it makes me a little sad to think of not getting to keep them all here and see them grow up.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bishome x Unta: Day 4

Again I was fooled by the notion that bitches don't eat before giving birth. Or maybe it's just Hime and her progeny. They do love their food!

In the early morning hours of the 31st of August, Bishome gave birth to 4 puppies. 2 black sesame males, 1 red sesame male, and 1 black sesame female. Over the past few days the pups have been doing great. All the pups, other than the little runt male of the litter, look very nice so far.

My friend, mentor, and NIPPO judge, Mr.Iwahori was here on Sunday to take a look at the litter. We also discussed our breeding plans for another of my females. It looks like we'll be taking her down to Shikoku to breed with a very nice black sesame male.

I snapped a few pics with my phone while I was cleaning up the birthing area this afternoon. They're not great, but I'll take some more over the next few days.

Black sesame female

Black sesame male 1

Red sesame male

Black sesame male 2

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Nihon Ken - Everything About the Nihon Ken (Reblog)

Since I've been asked about other books about the other Nihon Ken... here's one I blogged a while back.

The Nihon Ken - Everything About the Nihon Ken, is a book that was published by NIPPO (the Japanese Dog Preservation Society). At just over 400 pages, it includes the entire history of the Japanese breeds and NIPPO, along with a comprehensive explanation of the standard complete with pictures and graphs. It is in black and white and only in Japanese. The book also contains pictures of famous dogs from years past.

If anyone's interested in owning a copy, feel free to contact me at and I'll figure out how much the shipping etc will cost.

***Checked shipping costs to the US today, and the cost of the book plus shipping will come to around 4000 yen.

Hokkaido Book Costs

So for anyone that is interested in a copy of the Hokkaido Ken book, I've calculated that I can send it anywhere in the world for 4000 JPY total. Just send me a message on Facebook, or email me at for details.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Registering a Litter: KKA

So, to register a litter with the Kai Ken Aigokai... This is one of those posts that I have had on my to do list for over a year.

First, you will need to be a registered KKA member. Membership is open to all nationalities and countries. It costs 5000 JPY per year, with a one time new member fee of 5000 JPY. To register litters you will also need to register your kennel with the KKA which costs 2000 JPY. All members receive a biannual magazine which has a few articles, and show results from either the spring or fall national show.

Now you can breed and register your Kai. The KKA only accepts KKA pedigrees, and does not accept registrations from other clubs. KKA pedigrees are not accepted by the Japan Kennel Club, but NIPPO will let you transfer dogs over, and will give the dog a limited registration.

A few things to remember.

1. Take a picture of the tie (mating)
2. Take a picture of the pups and mother at 20 days old
3. Take a picture of the pups and mother at 30 days old
4. Send in registration fees and paperwork before the pups are 4 months old

There are 2 forms to fill out. The first is a proof of breeding which has the name of the sire and dam, signatures of the owner of the sire and dam, and the above pictures. Of course everything needs to be written in Japanese.

Next is the pedigree form. You have to write out the entire pedigree by hand, in Japanese. Not fun if I may say so.

The back of the pedigree form must be filled out as well. All the information regarding the date of the mating and litter birth, number of pups, pup names/sex/color/tail type and owner names & addresses, and then again, the signatures of the owner of the dam, plus one more KKA member has to sign their name as a witness to the breeding. In the picture below you can see three red stamps. In Japan these are made by using custom made personal seals dipped in ink, and are used in lieu of signatures. All official paperwork requires an 'inkan' (registered personal seal) so I have mine which I used here, plus I made one for this kennel that I'm registering a litter for.

The above paperwork, along with copies of the dam and sire's pedigrees should be sent to the KKA headquarters at 5-6-20 Chuo, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi-ken, Japan TEL: 055-226-7563

You will also need to send payment via the post office. It costs 3000 JPY per pedigree, plus postage fees.

So there you have it. All of this is sent in, and if you've filled everything out correctly you should have your pedigrees sent to you in a few weeks.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hokkaido Ken: The Book

Last week I received a gift from the Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai, a copy of a book titled 'Hokkaido Ken' that the society published on its 60 anniversary. It's a fantastic little hard cover book.

It is 190 pages of everything Hokkaido Ken, including breed standards, history, famous dogs, and hunting pictures.

The HKH has been paying attention to the recent rise in awareness concerning the breed overseas, and so asked if I might put this on my blog in the hopes that the information contained will be useful to new owners and breeders.

Of course it would be terrific if it was in English, but there are lot of diagrams and pictures in this book which make it interesting even if you can't read Japanese.

Maybe someday someone can undertake its translation! Please don't point any fingers at me.

This book is sold by the HKH, and for a reasonable price. I'll have to work out how much shipping etc will cost to overseas destinations, but if you are interested in getting your hands on a copy, let me know. My address as always is

Sunday, September 1, 2013

2 Months Old

My Kishu x Shikoku litter is now 2 months old. They're starting to go on short walks around the neighborhood with me, and are pretty rambunctious little pups. The females' ears starting going up a week or so ago, and it was interesting to see that all the pups seem to have picked up Baron's ears. Kenzo's ears are still soft, velvety, and flopping around. Forgive the low quality of these pictures. I've got a broken lens which is extremely dark so it's hard to manually focus, and they were taken late in the afternoon.

Momo is definitely the loudest of the bunch, and the girls have a new game called 'Hunt Kenzo' which seems to keep them all busy. Kenzo runs and the girls tackle and bay him till he stops, and then it's wrestlefest.

Summer is the sweetheart of the bunch, and loves to be hanging out with me. She was the larger female, but is a pickier eater than Momo, so Momo has gotten heavier.

The pups had some issues with worms between their first and second round of wormer, so they'll be getting another round soon. Temperament wise these pups are like angels compared to the Hokkaido pups I've got here. They're actually some of the easiest I've had so far, but that's probably because they were born and raised here and are used to the way things go.

Hime's only with the pups at night now, so they are all weaned and eating well. Somebody's still got slightly loose stool, so I'm waiting for all of them to be in good shape before giving them their vaccinations. They'll ship off around 2 weeks after that I'm thinking.

Kenzo will be on his way to San Francisco, and the two girls will probably be going to the States as well. Just waiting on final confirmation from a few people.