Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The NIPPO Grand National 2017

Last weekend was the once a year NIPPO Grand National. It was held in Wakayama city, an 8 and a half hour drive away, next to a picturesque marina. After prepping the camping gear and dogs I swung through Tokyo to pick up my good buddy Mark the beard. We had Masa and Bunta with us, a little variation on last year when we had Masa and Cho (Bunta's sire). Bunta is in the wakainu 1 class, Masa has moved up to the Souken class.

We had shown both males at the NIPPO Chiba regional in September. Masa was in terrible shape at the time, full coat blow and out of shape after a hot summer where we weren't in the mountains at all.

I was seriously considering not showing Masa on the day, but my shisho (mentor/sensei) said it's funner for everyone else in the class if there is more competition so why not show him even if he's not going to win. In the end Mark showed him well, and he took third place. The first place male is a very red sesame owned by Shibukawa Kato Kensha, the same male that Masa placed second to at the national last year. In second place was Masa's half brother, a black sesame also sired by Kuromasa.

There wasn't much competition, Bunta took 1st in the wakainu 1 class, and we got some practice in the ring.

The big take away from this show was the fact that the Souken 1st place male (and our eternal competition since he's always been in the same class as Masa) was in peak condition, with the national still 2 months away. The gears in my brain started turning, and I told Mark that the competition seeing Masa in such bad shape could possibly get a little complacent, whereas I was just getting ready to whip Masa into shape in time for the national.

I took the boys to one more show before the national, a typhoon soaked Sunday afternoon at the Tokyo regional. Masa decided he hated being drenched, showed poorly, and ended up in last place. Bunta was called to first place in his class, but then had a mini freak out at the dog in second place, so we were dropped to second. That was a bit stressful since it was totally a handling error on my part, and you don't want things like this to become a habit.

Anyway, after the Chiba show Masa and I started our routine of roadwork on the mountain roads near the house, 3km downhill and 3km uphill. I try to do this run every other day (it's not a walk, he's running the entire time with some sprints in there). Since Masa's offleash when we're doing this, sometimes the process involves chasing some boar or 1 time, a pod of monkeys. Everyone that I talk to about our workout is shocked that I'd put him out there where he could be injured before the national, but hey, these dogs are hunting dogs first and foremost.

Fast forward to Friday, and we leave Tokyo around 9pm, drive through the night trading off, having a few chats and laughs, and get off the expressway at just after 4. Our gas tank is blinking empty, but the gas stations are all still closed so we head to the venue, and after a few spins around the block we find the entrance to the parking. We break out the tent and other gear, get the dogs walked, and sleep for 3 hours. Well we sort of sleep since people and dogs are arriving all night long, and the ones walking their dogs close to our car were customarily barked at by Masa and Bunta. It had been raining from the night before, the third year running that it's been pouring rain for the medium size breeds at the national. I guess we're used to it now.

The opening speeches and introductions of judges etc started at 9am, and we figured out where our rings were. Bunta was up first, did great in the ring up until it was his turn in the middle. Bunta was the oldest dog in class, so he was the last one judged which meant he was in an empty ring, got bored, and stopped stacking. Anyway, after we were done I went over to help Mark with Masa in their ring. Masa was in pretty good form, though his stack was a bit off as he was going back to his old habit of bringing his back legs forward (you can see that in the pictures). With the 10 best Souken males in the country in class, and only the top two placing, we figured the odds of placing were pretty low. If we were called to the first group in the afternoon we would be happy.

After the morning judging was over, we decided to get the car over to fill up the gas. Mark took that assignment and 500 meters out the car ran out of gas haha. With a bit of help from the other members of the Chiba branch, we managed to laugh our way through that debacle and zip back just in time to get ready for the afternoon comparative judging.

Bunta was pretty antsy with so many males in the ring close by, and tried to pull his move from the Tokyo show, a few lunges and barks which I managed to control. Still we ended up in 5th place first, and then on second pass the judge switched us up to 4th. I scooted over to Mark's ring right away, Masa was focused (on me mostly haha) but we worked that, and all us friends ringside went into a mini shock when the judge put Masa in second place.

We had ended up ahead of our eternal nemesis, which was pretty shocking, but we'll take the win. Masa in 2nd place at the national 2 years running, in the wakainu 2 and souken classes.

It was great to see friends and their dogs at the national, and while we originally planned to stay for Sunday and the Shiba as well, we were wiped out so got a few hours of sleep and drove back. It turns out several of our friends did really well on Sunday, so that was great to hear. The top two Shikoku on Saturday were both out of the legendary Yano-san's lines, some of his last breedings he did before he passed away.

Thanks to all our friends and mentors for their advice and support. Mark and I being the young guns in the Chiba branch are just standing on the shoulders of giants, gentlemen who have been preserving these breeds for decades and generations.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Two Months and Kicking

The Bunta x Chacha pups are 2 months and kicking, and I had a chance to snap some video.

I've got serious puppy overload at the moment. The only thing for it is to sit on the floor and let the pups crawl all over me till all the stress involved in caring for multiple litters passes. If anyone's looking for Shikoku pups, I might have a few haha.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Hokkaido Ken Standard: size

I realized that there was a mistake in my listing of the Hokkaido Ken standard size on this blog. Oops. I just corrected it, but I mistakenly listed the Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai (the premier Hokkaido Ken preservation society/registry in the world) standard's size for the breed to be 48.5-51.5cm for males, and 45.5-48.5cm for females. That's the size the JKC and FCI list, but again (drumroll please) it looks like they fudged it up. The correct size is... 48.5cm at the withers for males, 45.5cm for females, WITH AN ALLOWANCE OF 3CM ABOVE AND BELOW these standard sizes.

The Hokkaido Ken is a medium sized, strongly built dog. They have longer thicker coats than the other Japanese breeds, and also have wider chests, and smaller ears. Like all the Nihon Ken, they have a double coat made up of protective coarse outer guard hairs, and a fine thick undercoat that is shed seasonally. The breed comes in several colors: white, red, black, brindle, sesame, and wolf grey (HKH). Many Hokkaido also have spotting on their tongues. The breed has prick ears, and curl or sickle type tails. Dogs should be 48.5cm, and bitches 45.5cm at the withers with an allowance of +/−3cm (HKH). The JKC/FCI standard seems to have missed the mark in their standard, since they list the size as dogs 48.5-51.5cm, and bitches 45.5-48.5cm. NIPPO lumps the Hokkaido into the medium size category which lists dogs at 49-55cm, and bitches at 46-52cm.

Just thought I should put that out there before I forget to blog it.


Available Shikoku Pups

It's the first day of the hunting season, but I've got to get out to Tokyo for some work. I did spend some time snapping pictures of the multitude of puppies at my house. These two have a few interested parties, but they don't have solid homes yet. They were born on the 20th of August.

This first one is a female.

And then her brother, a red sesame male.

My email address is for anyone who's got any questions about them.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Importing a Dog From Japan to Hawaii

Every now and again I receive a request about exporting a dog from Japan to Hawaii. Hawaii has some pretty strict import regulations that take quite a bit of time to clear. Actually, the regulations are similar to Japan's import regulations. You can find the official Hawaiian regulations here

The following paragraph is taken from the website verbatim:
Due to the minimum amount of time needed to prepare a puppy or kitten to meet the requirements of the 5-Day-Or-Less program, a puppy or kitten will be about 10 months of age by the time the preparations are completed. Puppies and kittens not able to meet all of the requirements for the 5-Day-Or-Less program will be quarantined for 120 days.

Basically the kicker in getting a dog into Hawaii is the fact that it needs to rabies vaccinated twice in its lifetime, with the most recent vaccination coming not less than 90 days before import. A rabies anti body test is required, and if the dog passes the anti body count, it can be imported 120 days afterward. So basically, juggling all the information on the site, if the rabies vaccination and testing process started at 3 months old, the pup would be around 9-10 months old before it could enter Hawaii.

What does this mean as far as trying to import a puppy from Japan? Well you will miss the puppy stage of your dog's life, and will not be there to guide it through its training and socialization. No breeder is going to have as much time and energy as you do for your dog (I'm assuming here that a pup would be staying with its breeder till it is around 10 months old). This is also going to drive up costs because someone will need to feed and house this pup for around 8 months. Kenneling dogs is not cheap here in Japan. When I'm asked to do it I charge 2,000JPY/day or 30,000JPY/month and I'm unaware of anyone doing it any cheaper than that. But with the huge responsibility involved with keeping a dog here at my house for 8 months... I have yet to say yes to helping with a Hawaii export.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Just Over a Month Old

Out of the last 11 days, we had one where it wasn't raining. The past couple of days were full on typhoon rain, but with the passing of the mega typhoon the sun has reappeared. I took the pups out for a first trip onto the lawn, and the neighbor's kids just happened to be walking by. I'm looking for a home for one of the boys at the moment.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Kishu Puppies

I was asked by a friend if I'd put this information about some available Kishu male puppies out in the universe. They're currently just over 40 days old. I should be seeing them on Sunday, and will be able to evaluate them and take some pictures etc.

Male 1

Male 2

The father took best adult Kishu male at the NIPPO national last year.
 The mother has placed in the wakainu class at a regional show.

These are the parents of the mother. Both of them have placed in the adult class at the national (I think both may have actually taken BOB, but my memory is a little fuzzy).

As usual, let me know at if you're interested.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kai Puppies Over in Saitama

Had a few hours open up in my schedule, so I drove up to Saitama to take a look at some new Kai pups over at a friend's kennel.

Their mother Peromi is the most famous Kai in Japan. She was raised on a television show that was promoting the 6 Japanese breeds. A google search brings up a lot of different stuff
She's got a nice temperament as well as some mad mothering skills. There are 8 pups in the litter! They were born on September 17th I believe.

Their father Asahi I like quite a bit. He's sired several litters now, and his nice even temperament seems to carry over a lot.

That's two of the boys there, and one of the females. All the pups look to have some brindle, but will be black brindle (kuro-tora), and the pups were quite friendly. I snapped some video as well and will get that uploaded somewhere if I have the time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

21 Days Old

The pups have hit three weeks, and are getting right to getting into mom's food.

 It's a lot of work this eating thing...

I was in a bit of a rush to get out the door, so only snapped a pic of my favorite female. I plan to keep both the females here, or at one of the kennels in our breeder group. This one especially is looking quite nice.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Chacha x Bunta

 On the 18th of September Chacha gave birth to 5 pups, 2 males and 3 females. All the pups look to be red sesame, though female 3 might be red. Unfortunately on day 2 female number 2 was accidentally smothered. I'd put a towel in the kennel, one of the pups crawled under it, and Chacha and the pups were on top of her by the time I got back from walking the other dogs. It was a matter of around 45minutes that I was gone, but resuscitation failed. It was a hard thing to accept, but I'm just focusing on the fact that I have 4 healthy pups.

The above is male number 1.

This is male number 2. 

Female 1.

 Female 3.

 These pictures were taken at 2 days old. I'll keep updating as I always do, so everyone can see the pups maturing, and hopefully learn about more about the breed (as I do every time I get to see a litter of pups change as they grow).

Monday, September 18, 2017

Amazing Recoveries

Nearly lost one of my Shikoku girls this month. Mumu was bred on her heat (last attempt before retiring her), didn't look pregnant one month on, and that was when everything started. She started losing appetite a bit. Usually she's a pretty voracious eater. When I started to worry was one day when she didn't want to walk up hill. At first I thought maybe her hips were starting to bother her (she's got pretty poor hips), but after she left all her food a few days later I took her in to the vet.

A sonogram showed the womb slightly enlarged, but normal considering she could have been pregnant. We got some light meds to treat possible pyometra which was my main concern. Her heat before this she had been bred as well, and got quite large, but turned out to either have absorbed the pups or not to have been pregnant at all. Anyway, she started eating grass and vomiting daily, and continued to not eat. After a few days I took her in again, and we drew some blood. The results showed her kidney function was poor, but again not too much clarity on how her womb was doing. We ramped up meds, and my vet finally got me to agree to learn how to put an IV in. That's one of those things I've always just taken my dogs in for, but every so often it's a necessary and quick fix for issues, and if I'm already able to sew up my dogs every now and again, putting an IV in is another good skill to have.

With a new slew of drugs and a box full of IV, I moved Mumu into the house so she could enjoy the airconditioning. There was really no change. She slept all day, wouldn't eat, vomited a lot, and just started wasting away. All in all she stopped eating for around 3 weeks, got rail thin, and I made my peace with the fact that she was not going to make it. I'd carry her outside to urinate, and we'd walk around on the lawn for a while.

Well she was really starting to weaken, and it was hard to watch her in such obvious pain for so long. I remember thinking I'd maybe take her in to the vet the next day to have them put her to sleep. Well next morning I let her out in the back yard while I got everyone's breakfast ready, and all of a sudden she started eating some of the leftover kibble. After so many weeks of trying to make so many tasty thing for her to eat even a few bites of, and now she's just gone for the dry kibble! Anyway, it was fast after that. She's back to normal now, aside from loss of weight and muscle definition, she's back to being the same old beautiful dog.

My vets were shocked when I told them yesterday that she came around. We were all sure it was just a matter of time. But hey, I guess Mumu wasn't ready to kick it just yet. I'll be waiting till she's put on a bit more weight, and then I'll be spaying her and looking for a retirement home.

Monday, August 28, 2017


This little guy was born over at Sai no Kuni Inoue Sou in Saitama. The Inoue's are good friends of mine, and I really like the sire (Asahi) of these pups. Their mother, Kurumi, is the daughter of Peromi. Peromi is the most famous Kai in Japan, as she was raised on a national TV show along with 5 other pups representing all the Japanese breeds.

I'll say it again, I love Kai pups. For anyone thinking of getting a Nihon Ken as a companion, seriously consider a Kai. The ease of ownership has them tops in my book.

This little guy is just staying here for 2 weeks, but I picked him up Saturday, had him in the house meeting Baron in the evening. Of course he's still a pup, but the Kai's dog social nature was already on show. Lot's of really good communication going on, and understanding boundaries. I took him outside, he did his business. I put a couple absorbent sheets down in a corner of the kitchen (the same ones that I put in his crate when we drove home from his breeder), and later on he walked over and peed on them.

From there, he's been great. No accidents. Business is done outside, with some pee on the sheets. I haven't had to crate him at all, he just plays with his toys and Baron. He's quickly learning what is not to be chewed, and that when we go on walks we'll come back. Kai do often suffer from separation anxiety, but I think that's part of the package with a dog that chooses you as their person. The initial few days are important with a Kai pup, and slow comfortable socialization is key. They're very smart little thinkers, and their flight response to things can be very high. Don't scare them, always be their protector and be in control of situations, and they'll learn to trust you. Once they do, it's all gold from there.

Well, at least till adolescence. That's another journey.

For anyone that's wondering, I shot this video on my recently acquired Sony Nex. It's a digital mirrorless camera, and I can't recommend it enough. It's tiny. TINY. Goodbye DSLR, this tiny little camera shooting amazing still and video, with fun little adaptors which allow you to use old lenses (I have several now including a 50mm 1.8 Minolta which is amazing) has you beat. I picked up this cam to snap some good quality dog and surf videos, and I could not be happier with it.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

NIPPO Show Dates Autumn 2017

Here are the dates for all the NIPPO branch shows for the coming autumn season. They will culminate in the grand national which will be held in Wakayama this year. I've already blogged the location here

September 10th: Tochigi, Ishikawa
September 17th: Hokkaido, Ibaragi, Yamanashi, Niigata, Shiga, Miyazaki
September 24th: Miyagi, Saitama, Shizuoka, Fukui, Nara, Tottori, Ehime
October 1st: Aomori, Chiba, Aichi, Hyogo, Shimane, Kochi, Oita
October 8th: Yamagata, Santama, Nagano, Osaka, Okayama
October 15th: Iwate, Kanagawa, Mie, Tsuyama, Kagawa, Nagasaki
October 22nd: Akita, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Hokuriku Regional (Toyama)
October 29th: Kumamoto, Tohoku Regional (Fukushima),Chugoku Regional (Yamaguchi), Shikoku Regional (Tokushima)
November 3rd: Kinki Regional (Wakayama)
November 5th: Kanto Regional (Gunma), Chubu Regional (Gifu), Kyushu Regional (Kagoshima)

I should be at most of the Kanto branch shows. Now that I've typed this I'm realizing it's time to start the process of getting everyone show ready. It's still damn hot out here, over 30 degrees celsius.