Monday, March 30, 2015


This is Mei (Kotomi Go Yamabiko). She's just over a year old, and I placed her with a NIPPO kennel in Shikoku when she was 2 months old. I've got pictures and video of this Yamabiko litter up on the blog somewhere. Anyway, she was my pick of the 6 pups that survived, and I'm happy to say she turned out really well, and with a fantastic temperament to boot.

YouTube Video

Her owner was unable to show her in the wakainu class last fall, and then is busy again this spring. So I had her sent up to me to show. We'll see how everything pans out, but we took 3rd in class (wakainu prize) at the NIPPO Santama branch show a week ago.

She's got some flaws, but I really like her eyes. I'll write a post about Nihon Ken eyes when I get the time.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Possible Genetic Nervous System Disorder in the Shikoku

So that's a backbreaker of a blog title, but it is what it is, a possible genetic nervous system disorder in the breed that I've seen or heard of in 6 Shikoku now. To date there has been no conclusive diagnosis on any of the dogs, but all have exhibited the same symptoms: hindquarter weakness, tremors, loss of coordination, head shaking, and it's degenerative (seems to lead to death at around 5 years old, with symptoms first visible sometime between 6months to 1year old).

The condition was discussed at length on the Nihon Ken Forum in this thread

It seems like it fits the bill for gangliosidosis, and since that's an issue that has been observed in the Shiba I've collected a DNA sample from an affected female and am sending it in for testing.

Here's what it looks like in the latter stages. This female is now 3 years old.

I this post I discuss some other health issues I've seen in the breed

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Baron's a pretty tolerant and good teacher for the pups. While I was filming the little amped up Kai pup Tatsu, Baron gives a little correction when he crosses the line. Tatsu responds well, and lesson learned.

YouTube Video

Thursday, March 19, 2015


There have been 10 dogs at my place for the last while (6 are mine).
Here's the three little guys (chibitachi or little ones in Japanese), Tatsu (Kai), Azu (shikoku black sesame), and Suzu (shikoku red sesame).

YouTube Video

Old Pictures

Found some old pictures of Kotofusa while cleaning out folders on my computer.

To everyone that's waiting for emails from me, I'm just really busy right now with work. It's tax season so I had to finalize the books for the two businesses I run, and to top it off I've been sick as well. Knees are flaring up too which is not good. I guess I'll need to go in and have them looked at again. The weather's been lovely, with spring making a full on assault bringing me t-shirt weather. Loving it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Baron x Hime: Summer

So this is one of the pups from the Baron x Hime litter.
She's doing really well with her owner in the US.
I'm really happy with how this litter turned out, and someday I may repeat it to turn out some hunting dogs for myself.

And from her owner:

Sunmer just hit 1 year, 8 months about 3 days ago, so that's crazy! Time has flown. She's been keeping it interesting.

Within the last month she's had 1-2 issues I've had to address with the vet, but they were minor. She had a bit of a hot spot on her ear (allergies is my thought, from changing her diet a bit to less kibble and more meat), but I got a cream and antibiotic from the vet and that's now clearing up. 

She also went through a period where her weight dropped and she wasn't eating. Plus, she just doesn't like kibble much, so now I have to mix it up with even more goodies. I had the vet run all sorts of tests, including blood and a urinalysis. Everything came back perfect, so it wasn't an issue of poor health. Oddly enough, it turns out that the vet thought she may have not been eating due to some anxiety brought on by earthquakes in Texas! For unknown reasons (my theory is "fracking" for natural gas in the area) I'm living in a newly active region for quakes ranging into the mid-3's on the Richter scale. They seemed to be just large enough to upset her and knock a few things over on shelves. No damage. The worst day was when we had about 11 quakes over about 28 hours. After the biggest one, she had a huge "accident" (which had only happened 2 other times before, when she was a puppy or sick). I felt horrible for her.

So Summer got some rest, relaxation and wrestling in and started to do much better. She's now put more good weight back on. Have her back with me full time now and she seems to be fine and loving life again. Eating like a horse now, too (even a bit more kibble). 

Though, now (literally as I type this) we're getting hammered with snow and ice storms, which she loves to play in. At least I work from home on those days, so she gets even more attention than usual, which means I watch her lazy self sleep curled up on my bed or under a window. Usually followed by her trying to swat my hands off the keyboard so I'll play with her. She definitely forces me into a few additional typos.

I think she's going to maintain a weight of 40 lbs or so (she had dropped to 32, which I was very worried about). And she remains the fastest dog anyone's seen at any dog park I've taken her to (no exaggeration). No dog can keep up with her or run for as long as she can. Always an impressive show when she whips up the other dogs into a frenzied chase. There are times where she'll have 5 or 6 dogs running in a pack trying to track her down or cut her off. Never works out for them. She is too quick to change direction and will just straight up jump over them at times. 

This morning she was playing in about 7 inches of fresh snow, which was definitely a new experience for her. Never had been in snow deep enough for her to "sink" into. 

Aside from all of that, her coat color has maintained, if not darkened a bit more. She now has a few black hairs coming through in the coat, but from afar it's unnoticeable. 

Not too much more, other than to add a few pics from the last few days/weeks. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

In the Morning

So I crawl out of bed every morning and release the hounds. The puppies anyway. Everyone's leashed up while I clean the house and kennel, and then we're off on our morning walk. There are 9 dogs here this morn.

YouTube Video

And in unrelated news, I was elected as a board member for the hunting dog department of our regional hunting association. They sprang that one on me, but I'm thinking it'll be a good learning experience. The hunting dogs trials are mostly for bird dogs, so a chance to gain some knowledge in that area of hunting.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pet Home For 7 Month Shikoku Male

So this guy is beautiful. If you think you've seen him before, it's because you have. I posted some pictures of him last year as a 2 month old pup.

Well as luck would have it, it doesn't look like he'll mature to be large enough to compete in the ring. The NIPPO standard calls for males to be 52cm, and allows +/-3cm, however he will probably reach just around or below the 49cm lower end of the standard. This is of course an unknown, as he could have some miraculous growth spurt. However, from decades of experience, the concensus is that he will not be large enough.

He's a beautiful pup with a friendly and energetic temperament. If there is anyone out there looking for a nice companion Shikoku male for the cost of export (and perhaps a nominal rehoming fee for the breeder) I'm trying to find a home for this guy as soon as possible.