Monday, May 27, 2019

Vega in Hongawa Village

Took a little trip to Shikoku with Vega this weekend and had a bit of time to visit Hongawa village, the ancestral home of the Hongawa line of Shikoku. It's high country, the mountains smell of timber, and the water is emerald clear. It amazes me that the founders of NIPPO actually found their way here back in the day when I'm sure transportation to the interior of a backwash island was extremely difficult.

We had some good hiking, which was much tougher on me than a dry dog like Vega. I managed to shoot a bit of video just before sunset. These are vertical mountains, at high altitude, which helps me understand the environment that molded and helped preserve this athletic breed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Available Akita

EDIT 2019/05/28: Currently only the Waka Inu male is still available.

As rare as it is, there are some Akita currently available for anyone that might be interested. From top to bottom, a Waka Inu class male, Yoken A class male, and Yoken B class male. Look at the link below for information.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Smart Doge

When you want to party but you and your friends are all locked up, just call Vega aka Smart Doge

He opened his kennel a few times, so we had to start locking the gate. Then he cranked it up a notch by freeing his friends. Literally only his friends. He doesn't free the dogs he doesn't like (aka Masa). I'm now waiting to see what he comes up with next.

Friday, April 12, 2019

NIPPO Grand National 2019

The dates and location of the NIPPO Grand National 2019 have been announced.

This will be a special show since it will be the first year of Reiwa (the name of the era has changed from Heisei) since the current emperor is abdicating in favor of the crown prince.

On the 16th of November the Shiba's will be shown and judged, and on the 17th of November the rest of the breeds, plus the best in show will be decided. As always, I will be there with my dogs.

It will be held at Valentine Park Sakuto which is at
945 Emi, Mimasaka, Okayama, Japan 709-4234
This is the venue on Google Maps

See you all there! Maybe one of these days some of you will bring your dogs to show at the national?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The 149th KKA National Exhibition

On April the 7th, 2019, the 149th Kai Ken Aigokai national exhibition was held in Nirasaki, Yamanashi. I drove through the night, got there early, stayed till end, drove back through traffic for 6 hours. It was great as always to see friends, see the new dogs coming up in the breed, laugh a little, complain a little, but overall just enjoy being able to be part of such an amazing tradition.

I wanted to capture a bit of what it was like to be here on a beautiful spring day, especially for my friends like Brad Anderson over at Yamabushi who I know would have loved to be here (and we all would have loved to force feed you Inoue-san's good sushi).

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Nihon Ken Club in the UK!

So there is now a Nihon Ken club in the UK! It's about time!
I just want to give them a little shout here, and wish them the best. If you're in the UK and interested in the Japanese breeds, now you know who to talk to. The first step will be raising awareness of the breeds, and increasing their numbers to gain recognition by the kennel club (most of the Japanese breeds are not yet recognized in the UK).

Their Instagram handle is and they are on Facebook as well

Monday, April 1, 2019

Black & Tan or Black Sesame?

I'm no geneticist, and definitely not into the genes involving coat color (lack of interest!), but since I quite often have people misidentifying Shikoku coat color, here is a picture of the difference between black sesame and black and tan.

Now that I sit here trying to figure out how to explain the differences, I understand that it's not as easy as I thought. All Nihon Ken are supposed to have 'urajiro' which is white or lighter areas on the ventral (underside) portions of the body. And even a black and tan Shikoku should have 'red' (or tan if you want to describe it that way) markings. You can see how the markings are similar on the legs, black fades to red, fades to white. I guess the easiest thing to do is explain what 'sesame' is in the breed. It is black tipped hairs. If you pluck one, you should see that a single hair is white at the bottom, then red, and black tipped. In a black and tan Shikoku, you generally have a solid black hair. That's probably over simplifying the complex genes involved in perfect markings for a Nihon Ken standard coat, so just look at the pictures. Up top is a black sesame Shikoku, and below it is a black and tan.