2014 NIPPO Grand National

This is the location for the 2014 NIPPO Grand National

3813 Kamiyamada, Chikuma-shi, Nagano-ken

The medium and large sized breeds will be judged on the 15th of November, and the Shiba (and BIS) will be judged on the 16th.

I'll be there as usual, but busy since I will be showing a Shikoku (not sure which one yet). The picture above is of Kotofusa Go. I showed him last year to 6th place, but I think we've pretty much decided to retire him.


  1. Good luck to you with whichever dog you end up in the ring with!

  2. this dog looks awsome. If he took 6th, what faults did they say the dog had?

    1. The adult male class is an extremely competitive group. All the dogs in it are of a very high quality, and 6th place just means that there were 5 other dogs in better condition that day.

  3. This seems to be as good as any to throw out this very general and very broad question.

    The 4 medium Nihon-Ken each have a 'classic' color (well,maybe not the Hokkaido) but when you look a little deeper you find that there are all sorts of colors in all 4.

    The Hokkaido I see as a bit separate being that all 4 breeds resisted the influx of western dog breeds because they were in isolated areas, but the Hokkaido seems to be much more pure Ainu, while the other 3 are more likely a blend of Jomon(Ainu) dogs plus the dogs brought in by the Yayoi...just like the people of Japan (including the isolated areas where these dogs hail from) developed from that mix.

    Taking color off the table, what do you see that sets the 3 remaining Nihon-Ken apart?

    In the 1920's and 30's when the NIPPO was forming and they were looking across Japan for remaining native populations of dogs, why was it that the small primitive spitz type in village A kept as a pet was seen as THE SAME breed as the small primitive spitz type in village B (that was +100km apart)...but when the medium primitive spitz type in mountain region A kept as a hunter of deer, boar, and bear was seen as a DIFFERENT breed than the medium primitive spitz type in mountainous region B kept as a hunter of deer, boar, and bear.

    I assume the investigators spotted some differences to allow them in the case of the small dog to recognize a single breed in many areas, and then turn around and spot distinct breeds for the medium sizes.

    What structural and/or behavioral differences were enough to declare these separate breeds? Or was it political? Or possibly arbitrary?

    1. The only breeds with a 'classic color' would be the Kishu and Kai. The Kai standard only recognizes brindle dogs. The Kishu was predominantly dogs with colored coats, but today the vast majority are white.
      Yes, all the Nihon Ken breeds started from gene pools that were located far enough away from cities to have had minimal breeding with western breeds and their mixes. 'Pure Ainu' does not make sense since the Ainu are a people (although the breed is referred to as the Ainu Ken occasionally). If you mean that they are retain blood from the dogs that came over with the Jomon, this has been proven through genetic testing. The Hokkaido Ken and Ryuukyuu of Okinawa are genetically different from the other breeds on the main islands of Japan.

      I find all the Japanese breeds to be quite different. http://nihonken.blogspot.fr/2014/01/puppybreed-temperament.html
      The Akita I find to be a very non aboriginal breed as it is in its present form. The Shiba is obviously the smallest of the six breeds, the temperament and vocalizations of the breed definitely set it apart from the others. For that matter the vocalizations of all 6 breeds are very different.

      The Kishu is generally a bit more heavy set than the other medium sized breeds, with a blockier head type. The shape of the eyes is referred to as being like a 'hamaguri' which is a type of sea shell. Ears are slightly smaller than the Shikoku's.
      The Shikoku is built very athletically, the angle of the eyes sharper than the other breeds, muzzle tapers without the blockiness of the Kishu, and it has tight lips when compared to the Kishu with it's looser top lip.
      The Kai is smaller than the Kishu and Shikoku, with a large variance in head type. Ears are larger than the other NK, eyes more round. Pretty much all Kai have tongue spotting, which is. only allowed in the Kai and Hokkaido. All coats are brindle.
      The Hokkaido is smaller than the Kishu and Shikoku, chests broad, forequarters are very well built. They have the thickest coats of all the NK, smallest ears and eyes. They make vocalizations apart from their normal barks, which are completely different from the sounds you hear out of the other NK.

      The classification of the breeds in the early days of NIPPO had more to do with difference in type that these dogs showed. There were and still are other small size strains like the Mino Shiba and Kawakami Ken that are separate from the blanket thrown over the many strains of small dogs all over Japan.

  4. What a great looking guy! Love his coloration-- and the "energy" he projects.

    "Sukoshi's mom"


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