Monday, January 13, 2020

Nihon Ken Pedigree Database is ONLINE

Sooooo, the full version with capability for all 6 of the Nihon Ken is online! Thanks to the gentlemen at for helping us with all the backdoor fixes.

As you can imagine, this is going to take an immense amount of work to get all the data for all 6 of the breeds online. I'm considering opening up permissions to some select people to help enter all the data. Some of you have already expressed interest in helping with this, but please contact me again so we can discuss the details. I am trying to keep the data on the site as uniform and correct as possible, hence my trepidation at opening it up to all entries and editing.

I will be setting up a Facebook group to coordinate all the data entry, and to get feedback on fields we would like to add/remove, health issues to track for each breed etc.

The database is on its way!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

NIPPO Grand National 2019

So this autumn show season ended up being a bit of a bust. I did show my dogs in September at the Chiba branch show, one of the first scheduled shows of the season. It was hot, and there was a typhoon coming (little did we know how bad it would be) that night. I really don't even remember what placements the dogs got, but we did ok I think. Anyway, that night typhoon 15 (Faxai) smashed us a good one. In the aftermath of that, it was hard to make time to go to shows, or to get the dogs show ready. I had 4 entered in the Tokyo branch show for October, which then got postponed because of another massive typhoon. I can hear the weather gods cackling with glee.

So, I ended up not being able to enter Yoshi in the national, which I whined about earlier on the blog. Bunta was blowing coat and not in show shape, so he was out for the rest of the year, and that left me with Vega and Mei (both in semi respectable condition.

Then 2 weeks before the grand national, after dogs were entered and all travel plans were made, dogs starting to look pretty good (hey we might pull this off), BAM. Kennel cough. A dog I was asked to rehome came to my house, and 3 days later started coughing. So in the end, I ended up going to Okayama sans dogs, with a carload of fun friends instead.

At the national, I ran around talking to everyone, and trying to take pictures of friends' dogs. It was exciting to have one of my favorite Shikoku males take best of breed. Jukaishuu, owned by my friend Kato-san, has always been in the same class as myself and Masamine. He's beaten us at every regional, and at the national all but one year when Masa took second, and Jukaishuu third. It was a long day for Jukaishuu and his owner/handler, but a well deserved win after their adult male 3rd place finish at the national last year. I let out a proper whoop when he beat the female for BOB.

I just read over this post, and I know I can do better as far as writing, grammar, and story telling, but truth be told I'm tired as all heck. December has been busy as all hell, and it's not over yet. Hunting season is open, but in the first month we've been out once. ONCE. Anyway, below are some snaps of the dogs.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

In Cabin? Checked In? Cargo?

So you're flying with your dog (or thinking about flying with your dog), and trying to figure out what all this lingo means. Where do dogs go if they're flying 'in-cabin' or 'checked-in'? What are my options?

Starting with the easy stuff, a dog can be booked on a flight accompanied (on the same flight as you) or unaccompanied (not on the same flight), and there are three classifications:
1. In cabin
2. Checked in
3. Cargo

In cabin means the pup is with you in the passenger area. The airlines that allow this (not all do) have size restrictions since the dog has to be small enough to fit in a crate (usually a soft bag type) under the seat in front of you. For most airlines, the weight restriction that the dog has to be under 8kg (and of course fit in a bag small enough to be under the seat in front of you. It goes without saying that most airlines will also only allow 1 dog per passenger in cabin. You will end up paying a very minimal fee for an in cabin dog, usually somewhere under 150USD in my experience.

If a dog is too big to fit in-cabin, then it will need to be checked in. This means it goes in the baggage hold with your check-in baggage. The area is pressure and temperature controlled. This is the way most dogs will end up flying. Your dog will need to be in a hard crate that fits airline specs. There are various limits on the size of the crate, total weight of dog and crate, breeds allowed etc, but since this varies by airline I won't get into that here. Fees for a checked dog vary by airline and sometimes by crate size, but usually end up around 200-400USD for an international flight.

Cargo. When you are unable to fly with your dog, sometimes this is an option. However it is becoming more and more difficult to ship dogs as cargo internationally. From Japan, cargo prices are ridiculous since regulations require you to go through a shipping agency and you can't deal directly with the airline. You can expect to pay at least the cost of a human's ticket for a small-medium size crate on international flights, and as the crate gets larger, the prices rise. For a large size breed you will easily be paying upward of 3000USD for an international flight from Japan. Moral of the story, don't ship dogs cargo from Japan.

One thing to keep in mind is that all US airlines other than American Airlines now only accept dogs as cargo. Delta does allow in-cabin dogs, but remember about the size restrictions. If you are a military family PCS'ing, US airlines usually have a special allowance so you will not have to ship your dog as cargo.

Here's a link to help you with IATA approved dog crate measurements and lingo
Some airlines require a water bottle/food dish, some will not allow you to put one on the crate. Check with your airline, and always book space for your dog when you book your flight. Do it in advance, you'll thank me. There is limited space for dogs on flights, and many routes use planes that are not pet friendly. If you're planning to fly with your dog, do your due diligence well in advance.

Friday, December 6, 2019

NIPPO Kanto Branch Shows for Spring 2020

These are the tentative show dates for the Kanto region NIPPO branch shows:

February 23rd TOCHIGI
March 1st SANTAMA
March 8th CHIBA
March 15th GUNMA
March 29th IBARAGI
April 5th KANAGAWA
April 12th TOKYO

Thursday, December 5, 2019


If you follow my Instagram accounts, you may have noticed Akita puppies. Yes, I have had an Akita litter at my house. Long story short, a nice female was in need of a new home. She cleared her health checks, and came into heat before I decided where she should go, so we bred her to a nice local male. My brother has always liked Akita (I don't know why), so he became an AKIHO member, registered his kennel, and walla! We had 4 little Akita potatoes.

This is one of them, a male named Nori.

In this video I am masquerading as an Akita breeder, while also pretending I know how to table stack a puppy. Feel free to criticize! He's 3 months old, and on the table for the first time.

We had a nice little socialization walk with our current puppy pack yesterday. Three Akita (Nori, Ume, Yume), 1 Shikoku (Hina), and 1 Kai (Luka, who is still homeless by the way).

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Nihon Ken Database

On October 8th I decided I was going to finally tackle the issue of a database for all the Nihon Ken that incorporates calculation of COI and AVK, plus tracks health issues. CJ Hammond over in the US helped immensely in setting up the GoFundMe so that I wouldn't have to foot the bill all on my own. I'm a bit late in announcing that we reached our funding goal very quickly (I think it took around a week), so we deactivated the campaign. 2100USD was raised, and after fees I think I received just over 2000USD.
Special thanks to Tain Marie, Mirka Mertanen, Veera Petäjä, Riina Haapakallio, Chrystal Cleary, Alexis Amerosa, Daniel Kopcinski, Robin Grannell, Luisa Boni, Kelsey Christenson, Greg Trimble, Kati Kraemer, Jeannie Tran, Amy Doohan, Aiki Kato, Dmitry Ponomarenko, Alan Yamauchi, Nicholas Nguyen, Rachel Noy, Joyce Szydlowski, Lauren Sohaney, Amanda Knechtel, Tommy Duong, Terri Fitzgerald, Hope Y, Kathy Gima, Samantha Walker, Glenn Phillips, Katherine Greene, Alina Serbyn, Brad Anderson, Deven Gujrathi, Suteishii Kennels, and all the other anonymous donors. All Nihon Ken breeders and owners are going to reap the rewards of your giving.

This is a fairly busy time of year for me, so things haven't moved as crisply as I would like, but we now have a database online that covers the Shikoku, Kai, and Kishu. Of course there are no entries for the Kai, and only a few for the Kishu at the moment, but I'll be working on that. Check out the site! You can toggle between breeds using the bar on the top left of the site (the default is 'ALL BREEDS')

Next year I will be adding functionality for the other three Nihon Ken, the Akita, Shiba, and Hokkaido. Thank you all for your support, I couldn't have done this without you. You all are amazing. Also, a big shout out to the guys behind the scenes at Pedigree Database Online for all their help with the backend of the website. There are still some kinks to iron out, which I will get to as I start to add more data.

One thing that has changed from my original site is that dog names and kennel names are now entered in the same field in a continuous line eg. Masamine Go 雅峰号 Futomi Sou 太海荘 
So English name, Japanese name, English kennel name, Japanese kennel name.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

NIPPO Grand National 2019 Entry Numbers

All told there are 684 dogs entered in the national this year, plus 2 'sankouken' (reference dogs). Last year we had 620 entries (plus reference dogs), so that was a nice surprise. Biggest change in numbers goes to the Shikoku, seeing as last year there were only 66 entries. Go, go, Shikoku!

Shiba: 497 (260 male, 237 female)
Kishu: 78 (36 male, 42 female)
Shikoku: 103 (64 male, 39 female)
Kai: 5 (1 male, 4 female)
Hokkaido: 1 (male)