Global Dog Breeds
Dogs A-Z Purebred


Dating back 3000 years or even longer, the Kishu Ken’s origin is unknown. Later these dogs were classified based on the size and physical characteristics. Located off the mainland of Japan on the southernmost island, it originated in the mountains of Kyushu. Primarily known as a hunting dog, they were bred to hunt the deer, wild boar, and even bear. The kishu ken breeds standardized in the year and it includes the dog of Wakayama region.

Kishu Dog

Facts About Kishu
Breed Group Purebred
Breed Type Hunting, Working Companion
Country of Origin Japan
Other Names Kishu Inu, Kishu Ken
Size & Height Medium, male – 49- to 55 cm, female 43 to 49 cm
Weight 30 to 60 lbs( 13 – 27 kg)
Competitive Registration / Qualification Information ACA, DRA, NAPR, AKR, ARBA, Nippo, JKC
Shedding 1 to 2 times a year
Hypoallergenic No
Litter Size Three puppies on average
Color White is most common, pinto, brindle red or sesame, black also occur
Life Expectancy 11 – 13 year
Coat Short, straight, harsh outer jacket, thick and soft undercoat, reasonably long hairs on cheeks and tail
Price $ 300 – $500 USD

Temperament & Personality

For the first time dog owners, this breed is a strict no. They are faithful, intelligent and loyal. They tend to create a strong bonding with one member of the family. This breed does well with children and other dogs they grow up.  They do not home with other small household animals or cats due to their high prey drives. Mostly gentle, thoughtful and silent they remain wary of strangers. If they smell a weak minded person, they can become aggressive.



The Kishu requires sufficient space to exercise and roam which can be a house with a yard or urban environment with a fence. Taking walks or running is a part of their exercise routine. As a part of the exercise, herding is highly effective.


To keep their coat clean and free of bugs weekly brushing is required. Bathe them as and when they look filthy or dirty. For avoiding dirt and wax build-up, regular checking of ears is very important. It is advisable to trim their nails on a regular basis. Extra grooming is needed since these dog shed ones or twice in a year.

Health Problems

There are small health issues such as epilepsy, Addison disease, thyroid disease, gastrointestinal effects and thyroid disease that have been recorded.


This dog is easy to train since it is intelligent. Using positive training techniques can help the dog in a big way. House training will happen quickly and focus should be placed on early socialization. To make it react quickly, bring various people and situation in front of the dog. Lessons should be very funny and interesting and not be repetitive. Complex commands should be taught in a gradual way.



Quality commercial food containing carbohydrates, fat, and proteins provided to the breed. The meals should include fish and raw meat.


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