Kishu Inu Dog

Kishu Inu Dog History

The Kishu Inu sometimes, referred to as Kishu Ken, is a Japanese dog breed that developed thousands of years ago. They are named after the region where it was bred in the mountainous regions in Kishu (know known as Wakayama Prefecture), south of Osaka. They are similar to the Akita Inu and the Shiba however many believe that the Kishu predates both breeds. Because of the their quiet nature, it was used as a hunting dog; quietly-stalking deer and boar.

Kishu Inu Dog Breeders

The Kishu Inu is a natural monument of Japan, because of this, Japan restricts the exportation of the Kishu Inu Dog.They are very rare in North America. There are two breeders outside of Japan: one in Texas and one in the Netherlands.

Kishu Inu Dog Personality and Training

Kishu’s are a one family dog. They are known to be very courageous, fearless and very loyal. They have a strong urge to hunt and have been known to go off in search of small prey. The Kishu Inu does well around other dogs in the household, but like most dogs with pack instincts there may be fights for dominance among the dogs, however for the most part they are very docile. These dogs are very devoted to their family and do very well if raised alongside children. They may be timid around strangers. These intelligent dogs are easily housebroken and trained. Early socialization is recommended for any Kishu dog. These willful dogs need a dominant handler as they tend to be obstinant. They respond well to training done with esteem, suppleness, fairness and consistency.

Kishu Inu Dog Growth and Appearance

The Kishu Inu’s stand about 17-22 inches tall and averages around 30-60 pounds, making them a medium sized dog. Their coat is generally white. Initially, their coats were often marked with red, sesame or brindle. However, from 1934 on, once the Kishu was designated as a “natural monument” to Japan, only solid colors were accepted. The preferred coat color and the only one seen in dog shows is white. Solid red or sesame colors are often found in the Kishu as well. Their nose color is for the most part black, but with the white coated dogs the nose can be brownish or pink. Their jaw bite is scissor or a level bite. Their tail is curled over the back much like the Akita and Shiba Inu. Their coat is short, straight, course and thick with an undercoat. There is fringe on the fur near the cheeks and tail. Their ears are small and incline forward. The average lifespan for a Kishu is between 11-13 years.

Kishu Inu Dogs Dog Care and Grooming

They need to be brushed regularly with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. Because of their thick coat, the dog might need to be brushed at least 2-3 times weekly so the coat is kept clean and mat free. They shed heavily twice a year. When they shed the coat needs to be brushed daily to take out loose dead curly hair. Their ears must be checked regularly to clean out dirt and wax build up which causes infection. Their nails should be trimmed two weeks or when necessary.


This dog loves to run. Having adequate space to roam and excersise is a must. In order to keep your Kishu happy, it is advised to have at least a house with a yard or an urban environment with a fence. They need regular excersise taking walks or runs. They also respond well to having a job to do, such as herding to satisfy their excersise needs.

Learn more about Kishu Inu Dogs and whether or not you are ready for this breed.