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Kishu is a Japanese breed also called Kishu Inu or Kishu Ken. The words ‘Inu’ and ‘Ken’ means dog in Japanese. Kishu derives from a mountainous region in southern Japan. It is a medium sized dog that usually has a white coat.

Character and behaviour
A Kishu is an active, confident, and energetic work dog. The dog can be reserved toward strangers and thus should be socialised as a puppy. It needs a lot of exercise and thrive on mental stimulation as well.

As long as the Kishu gets enough exercise it can function as a family dog. However, it is not suitable for apartment living given that it needs space and outdoor activities every day.

It can be a challenge to train a Kishu in that it is a very independent, self-confident, and strong-willed dog. It is a great watchdog that is equally capable of alerting and attacking if necessary. The Kishu is very protective of its family and pack.

History of the breed
The Kishu Inu is a very old breed, which can be dated 3000 years back to the indigenous people of Japan. The Kishu was used as a hunting dog, a watchdog, and as a draught dog. A Kishu traces game without barking and is thus useful on wild boar, deer, and bear hunt.

The Kishu dogs hunt in packs and were trained to retain the prey until the hunters arrived and killed the animal. The Kishu is thus a very brave and strong dog.

Kishu Inu is rarely seen outside Japan for one thing because of strong regulations regarding export and breeding. Outside Japan the Kishu Inu also functions as a sledge dog.

Appearance, grooming and health

The Kishu is most often white given that it is the preferred colour outside Japan and also the show dog colour. However, in Japan dogs with red and brindle coat colours also exist. The coat is relatively short, dense, and coarse with a thick and soft undercoat.

The Kishu sheds heavily two times a year. It requires a lot of grooming and should be brushed 2-3 times a week in order to remove dead hair.

Kishu Inu is typically 16-21 inches tall and weighs 37-55 pounds. Life expectancy is usually 11-13 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Requires a lot of grooming and sheds a lot.
  • Can be protective of its family making socialisation very important.
  • Very energetic and active. Requires a lot of exercise and mental stimulation in order to thrive.
  • The white coat easily gets dirty.
  • A Kishu is a good watchdog.
  • Probably not suited for first time owners.
  • Very independent, strong-willed, and brave.

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  • This group is for anyone who owns a Kishu or have questions to this specific dog breed.