Kishu Ken

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group:     Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 30-60 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Brown & White, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 11-13 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for warm climate.

Breed Details


The Kishu Ken is also known as Kishu or Kishu Inu. It is a medium size sturdy Japanese dog that is believed to have been in existence since thousands of years. Thought to be older than Akita Inu and Shiba Inu, the dog predates the recorded history. It has been used as an efficient hunter of wild boar and deer for centuries.

This medium size dog stands between 17-22 inches and weighs about 30-60 lbs. It has a compact body with well developed muscles. It comes with a broad forehead, thick, wedge shaped and tapering muzzle that leads to a black nose. Set well apart, small and triangular shaped eyes are dark brown in colour. Firmly pricked and triangular shape small ears are forwardly inclined. The dog comes with a short and straight back, broad and muscular loin, deep chest with moderately sprung ribs and well tucked up belly. Thick and set on high tail is carried in curved or vigorously curled like sickle over the back. Moderately sloping shoulders with well developed muscles, strong and long legs and tough hocks give the dog agility and speed that it needs to hunt large game. The Kishu Ken has a double coat. The outer coat is harsh and straight while the undercoat is soft and dense. It comes in white, red and sesame colouring.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by FCI and AKC (FSS).


The breed comes in white, red or sesame (red fawn hair with black tips) colouring. White is most common and most preferred colour for this breed.


The dog has a double coat that protects the dog from extreme cold temperature. The outer coat is straight and harsh to touch while the inner coat is soft and dense. The hair are longer on cheeks and tail.


The Kishu Ken is a friendly, calm, loyal and loving breed. Apart from being an excellent hunter, the breed is also noted for its noble and dignified appearance, faithfulness, docility and alertness. It is a loyal and faithful house pet that gets along well with children. Accustomed to working in packs, it will generally be o.k with other dogs but can be a threat to other non-canine pets due to its high prey drive. This intelligent breed is easy to house break. The dog is naturally wary and aloof towards strangers and thus makes an excellent watch/guard dog. Not surprisingly, the dog can be seen taking a high vantage point to look around what is going on and ready to take necessary action if required. Though loyal to the whole family, the dog will generally bond itself strongly with one member of the family that in most cases, is its master. The Kishu Inu can be willful and headstrong if not properly socialized and trained. As such, early age socialization and training is compulsory to avoid the dog becoming willful and stubborn. As a hunting dog, it is courageous, brave and fearless even when confronted with wild boar. It is generally a quiet hunter that will stalk the prey more effectively. The Kishu dog makes an excellent family pet, companion for hunters and good playmate of children.


The Kishu should be brushed weekly to keep their fur mat free and clean. Bathe them as necessary, depending on how dirty they are. Their ears should be checked routinely for wax build up, infection or dirt. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly. Kishu Kens shed once or twice a year, making grooming at these times needed.


An intelligent, devoted and loyal breed, the Kishu dog can be trained with consistent and patient training sessions. Winning confidence and respect of this dog is key to proper training. Though generally docile and obedient, the dog can have stubborn and willful streaks that need to be corrected through proper training.


The Kishu needs adequate space to roam and exercise, meaning a house with a yard or urban environment with a fence. They need regular exercise on a leash, taking walks or runs. They can also be given a job to do such as herding to satisfy their exercise requirements.

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