General Information

Dog NameKishu Ken
Other NamesKishu-Inu
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
Breed ForHunting wild bore and deer
Country of OriginJapan

Physical And Size

Min Life Span11
Max Life Span13
Min Ideal Weight for male18
Max Ideal Weight for male24
Min Ideal Weight for female14
Max Ideal Weight for male24


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentALert, Loyal, Docile
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyLow
Dog FriendlyLow
Office FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyMedium
Senior Citizens FriendlyMedium
Service DogMedium
Search and Rescue DogMedium
Biting PotentialLow
Country of OriginJapan
Nicknames and Other NamesKishu-Inu
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupSpitz Group
Bred ForHunting wild bore and deer
Recognized ByAKC, UKC, FCI
Life Span11-13 years
Ideal Weight30-60 pound (male and female)
Ideal Height17-22 inches (male and female)
Fur Typeshort, straight, thick and coarse undercoat
Common ColorsRed, Sesame, White
AvailabilityRarely available
AchievementsNational Monument of Japan
Suitable for ApartmentsYes suitable
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToHokkaido

Kishu Ken or even called as Kishu Inu is Japanese medium-sized dog breed. Kishus are lovable and self-confident demeanor. They are ferocious and brave and never afraid to take a step forward.

If you fulfill their physical requirements then this breed may be the right choice for you. Kishu Kens are easy-going breed with forgiving nature and also are excellent watchdogs.

Origin And History

Kishu Ken is believed to be 3000 years old dog breed. They were developed in Kyushu island of Japan. They bred to hunt wild boar, wolf, and bear. According to the Japanese legend, the Kishu Ken is the descendant of wolves.

The Kishu Ken was officially recognized in 1934, and in the same year, the breed was designated a Living Natural Monument in Japan and was protected by the government.

Kishu Ken And Children

Kishu Kens are wonderful with children. They are playful, gentle and protective with children. Kishu Ken love playing outdoors when they’re offered flyball, Frisbee or anything which includes running.
Kishu Ken Protecting The Toddler.

Kishu Ken might tend to dominate and lead the children which can be challenging for you and your kids. Always supervise them while playing as they may forget and become rough players.

Temperament And Personality

Kishu Ken is a loyal breed who can risk their lives to save their loved ones when needed. They are the human pack kind of dogs. Kishu Ken love spending time with their family and are happy when offered a job to do.

Kishu Inu doesn’t like spending time alone. They might develop separation anxiety which leads to aggression and destruction. Kishu Ken have a shy and timid personality with new people and new environment. This breed needs to be socialized at an early age to avoid such behaviors.

Kishu Ken Don’t Want Its Hooman To Leave.
Photo Credit- Instagram @colomin1214.

Kishu Kens are quite docile and does not bark a lot. They have a very strong sense of smell as due to their hunting instincts they have high prey drive. Small animals like guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and rats should not be introduced with Kishu Ken.


Kishu Ken as being a hunting dog might be independent thinkers sometimes. Luckily, they are not so stubborn while training. Kishu Ken will respond nicely and even more when followed by treats or its favorite toys.

Kishu Ken Training Session. Photo Credit- National Kishu Club.

Kishu Ken should be socialized from an early age to get along with other pets too. Enrolling to puppy school and obedience classes would help you. Kishu Ken is always eager to learn new things.

Facts About Kishu Ken

  • Kishu had various colors, red, brindle, white and even spotted. But the white-colored dogs were considered as better qualities and were used for breeding.
  • The spotted Kishus were banned in 1934 and completely disappeared in 1945.

Health Problem

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Entropion, Hypothyroidism,
Lens Luxation, Bloat, Obesity
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Distemper,
Leptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus,
Canine Parvovirus,
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingAverage Drooler
GroomingAdvance Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage to High
Separation AnxietyLow Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 29%
Fat: 13%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids

Kishu Ken is a generally healthy breed. But like any other breed, they are known to suffer from common health issues like.

Entropion: This is a genetic condition that affects the eyelid and could cause complete loss of vision.

Hyperthyroidism: This is a common disorder of the endocrine system which exhibits itself cold intolerance, infertility, and weight gain.

Color Patterns

Kishu Ken is found in five colors.

  • White
  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Red
  • Black and Tan

How Much Do Kishu Ken Puppy Cost?

The price of the Kishu Ken puppy is between $900 – $1600 depending on the quality of the breed as well as the breeders.

Litter Size

The Kishu Ken gives birth to 2-5 puppies at a time and the average litter size is 3 puppies.

Size of Kishu Ken

Height: The Kishu Ken is a medium-sized dog standing 46-56 cm tall.

Weight: The Kishu Ken should weigh up to 30-60 pounds.

Which Breeds Are Kishu Ken Similar To?

To wrap up, Kishu Ken is the perfect breed for a family companion. Since they are loyal, affectionate and great watchdogs.

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