Kishu Ken: The Complete Guide To The Japanese Dog Breed With Pictures.

Kishu Inu

The Japanese Kishu, which you may also know as the Kishu Ken or Kishu Inu, is an adorable native dog breed of Japanese origin whose lineage is descended from ancient medium-sized breeds and named after the Kishu region

The Kishu region where Kishu Inu dogs originated and named after is now called Mie Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture

The moment you see Kishu Inu puppy dogs, you will notice how similar they are to other Japanese Iconic dog breeds like the Hokkaido, Shikoku, and the Kai Ken.

 According to publications, there are only six original Japanese pure breeds that were crossbred to produce the rest of the many Japanese dog breeds we have today.

Quick Facts About The Japanese Kishu Ken Also Known As Kishu Inu

  • Origin: Japan
  • Colors: White, Brindle, Sesame, Red
  • Temperament: Docile, Dignified, Noble, Alert, Faithful
  • Height: Male: 49–55 cm, Female: 43–49 cm
  • Weight: Male: 14–27 kg, Female: 14–27 kg

Let’s face it! Almost every household needs a good dog for a family companion or protection reasons too. 

As a childhood dog, our Shiba Inu was a fantastic companion everywhere we went. 

And, I cant tell you how great it felt to go to bed at night knowing that besides the CCTV cameras and alarms, we had a fantastic watchdog that will protect us as well as our property. 

While there is Ring video doorbell security to help you keep your homes on the watch when you are away, having a dog is re-assuring.

On the other hand, overlooking the fact that buglers and thieves are fast becoming more experienced with the gadgets we use to protect our homes is an understatement. , so having extra protection is a must!

A dog is a man’s best friend, no wonder that the Kishu Inu makes an excellent family companion and also doubles as your very own personal protection detail.  

If you are looking for the best watchdog breed to add to your family, I will not hesitate to recommend the Kishu Ken as one of your best breed of dog for personal and family protection.

Is the Kishu Ken A Good Guard Dog?

The Kishu Ken is an excellent guard dog. He is very brave and was used for hunting purposes in the past. 

His loyalty and obedience to his owners is also what makes him a good guard dog. However, he is a very strong-willed dog breed, so training is very important and should be part of his daily routine.

About The Kishu Ken Dog Breed

Height: Male 49 to 55 cm, Female 43 to 49 cm

Weight: Male: 14–27 kg, Female: 14–27 kg

Color: White, Brindle, Sesame, Red

Lifespan: 9 to 13 years

History of the Kishu Ken Dog Breed

This breed originates from Japan. Kishu was discovered in the 1900s by the villagers of Kishu, who later on used this dog breed as a watchdog from other predators. 

The breed came from a tough medium-sized dog, and it is believed that the pair lived in the forests of Japan before being discovered. 

Researchers claim that it’s descendants are wolves. Hunting and preying was what they used to do before they were tamed to be a man’s best friend.

 They used to hunt deer, rabbit, and antelopes for their meals and their masters. 

When raised and trained well, the Kishu grows to be a very loving and loyal family Companion.

Physical Appearance Of The Kishu Ken

Though Kishu Inu appearance is unique,, if you have seen what a Shiba Inu looks like, you will not be surprised to see that Kishu Ken and Shiba may be distant cousins.

The Shiba boasts of an impeccable coat that comes in varying colors like the popular orange-red, urajiro while others come in a dashing cream to white ventral colors and sesame (black-tipped hairs on a rich red background). 

Sometimes, there are white markings on the tip of the tail and on the forelegs and hind legs.

Kishu Inu is a medium-sized dog, with a bold muscular appearance. He has a short thick double coat which can be red, black or white in colour. 

The dog has a broad forehead, a wedged shaped head and a fluffy short tail. They have dark brown eyes and triangular ears which enables it to here sound that can be 100 meters away. 

Has fore legs that are trait and firm with a body close to the elbows.They have strong and powerful hind legs. kishu’s weight can be 14 to 27 kg whn in good health and well fed, its height can be 43 to 49 cm.

Is The Kishu Ken Aggressive?- Kishu Ken Temperaments

The Kishu Ken will only become aggressive depending on circumstances, for instance, when danger approaches and it’s time to defend himself. 

Otherwise this is a very docile and gentle dog

Kishu Ken is a loving, strong and amazing dog. It is always there to try to please its owners. 

Intelligance is what makes a dog to be amazing this is one of the attributes of kishu. It is a quick learner, and will follow commands in a short period of time of trainings.

Kishu is noble, clever and playful, it needs a place with a big yard so it can be free to play arround, apartment living is a challenge to it because there’s limited space.

From the facts that are stated above, one can know what type of a dog is kishu and can have knowledge of how you can treat a kishu breed. 

This breed is also very sensitive and alert which makes it an excellent watch and guard dog.

However, little kids should be left with this breed only under supervision. 

Also training and early socialization is very important to this breed because his high prey drive will not make it get along with other small animals such as a cat or a toy dog. 

So if you want the dog to behave in it’s best way, early socialization and training are a must.

Food Requirements and Cleanliness

Looking after Japanese dog breeds is no different from any other dog breed, you know. Kishu Inu dogs are fussy and drama queens who like to look well-groomed. 

If you must look after his coat, which is adorable, feeding your dog the best dog food for Japanese dogs is a must. 

And, if you are preparing dog food at home, always wash your hands before preparing your dog’s meal. 

Use clean bowls that are washed after feeding your dog and supply your dog with clean, freshwater daily.

Nutrition Requirements For Kishu Breed

A healthy dog requires good food to maintain its good health. As a dog owner, it is advised to seek all the best dog foods that will provide the best results of a healthy dog. 

Consult a vet to help you to know what best food can be given to your dog if it is allergic to other foods. 

All this will help you to get what is best for your dog all its lifetime.These are some of the types of meals that you can get for your dog:

Pedigree Meal: This is a dog meal that is known as one of the best dog meals.It is recognized all around the world for its best results for all different dogs. 

Many dog owners prefer this type of dog meal and it is affordable.One can get it anytime when it is needed.

It contains minerals such as meat, lamb, and rice salmon and fats.This food is a dog’s body builder and it is recommended to use it mostly on puppies.

It is a remedy to the dog’s body,diseses such rubbies and insect bites are rare to dogs which receives this meal.

It is a non grain meal,also named Best Treat For Dogs.

Crazy And Tasty Dog Meal: this is a combination of rice,beef meat,lamb,duck and salmon.

You have to follow the instructions of a vet,for it can cause body disorders if if it overused.

Dogs which are not allergic to this type of food usually barks a lot at night,that is why it is best to to give your dog this food at night, the dog becomes very aggressive and alert.

High Protein Dog Meal:  Japanese dog breeds are energetic and benefit significantly from pet food that has ingredients such as bison, lamb, wild taste, duck, and fish. This is also loved by dog owners, for puppies.

While you are at it, avoid overfeeding your Kishu Inu as huge meal servings can be detrimental to your dog’s overall health. 

Therefore, make sure that your dog food is of high quality and is made with lean meat while keeping away from pet food full of fats that may lead to heart problems in dogs.

 Good dog food choices you make today will inevitably result in a healthy skin and softy coat on a dog that gets this meal regularly.

Appetizer Dog Meal: They always bring the best results when given to a dog that has lost appetite. This disorder comes when one changes dog’s meal, so it is best to have at least 3 types of food which is loved by your dog.

This is a combination of glucose, fats, carbohydrates, and chondroitin.Consult a vet is also needed before using this meal, and if it is used properly,one can receive results after 2 to 3 days.

Grain-Free Tasty Dog Meal: this meal is made up of meat, duck, lamb, venison, and salmon. It is rich in proteins, fats, and glucosamine. It helps the dog to be strong, having healthy bones.This is also needed to puppies for them to get strong, healthy bodies made of strong bones.

Exercise requirements

The Kishu dog breed will need a daily exercise routine. This is because it is very energetic and tends to do to naughty stuff when it has excess energy. 

Daily 30 minutes morning walks will do and 45 minutes walk in the evening. Make Kishu Ken your exercising buddy, take it jogging with you, hiking, etc. 

He will enjoy such activities and they are good for his health too. A healthy dog is a happy dog.

Grooming requirements

Kishu Ken’s coat doesn’t shed much and this makes his grooming Requirements a bit easy. Kishu will need brushing two to three times every week. 

This helps get rid of dead hairs, excess body Oils, and dirt. A bath should be given to it once every month, and frequent baths are not necessary as they may lead to skin dryness. 

Only bathe your dog occasionally ( at least once or twice every fortnight. This timeline is when he is likely to avoid getting an awful odor or dirty. 

Though most Japanese dog breeds have pointed ears, keeping them clean means you must check his ears routinely to make sure bacteria is not congregating in the dog’s ear. 

For best cleanliness practice, always use these antibacterial dog wipes available on Amazon’s next day delivery

If your dog’s ears look dirty, make sure you have enzymatic ear cleaning spray to disolve dog ear wax, kill bacterias as you wipe them clean. We use Zymox Plus Otic, which is an advanced dog ear cleaning spray our Shiba loves. 

If Zymox Plus is not ideal for you, try the Dechra Dermapet Malacetic Otic Ear/Skin Cleanser. We use these two to keep our Shiba dog’s skin free from bacteria overgrowth under her coat inside her ears and her armpits where moisture tends to accumulate.

 Make sure to frequently brush his teeth daily if not two to three times every week at the very least.

Japanese dogs love to explore and jump at their families when they need to. So, remember to keep your dog’s nails trimmed to avoid scratching furniture as well as causing self-injury to the dog.  

Any pet owner who owns one or more dogs must alway keep their pet dog’s nails cut short, once they’ve grown too big, you are likely to expose your home furniture from getting ruined.

Health Concerns

This breed is a very healthy dog but just like any other dog breeds, the Kishu Ken is probe to certain health problems such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies, Patellar Luxation etc. 

Some of these are hereditary since birth while problems like allergies can easy to managed.

Life Expectancy

With good and healthy good, daily exercises and a good environment, the Kishu Ken dog breed will live for up to 13 years.

Cost of Kishu Ken

Unlike the Shiba Inu and the Hokkaido Inu, the Kishu Inu dog breed is an affordable Japanese dog breed, one can get at low prices.

While Shiba Puppies cost a couple of hundreds to $5000, Kishu Ken puppies are cheaper and best to buy than adult dogs. When you by a puppy, it will cost you less and there are higher advantages of buying it because they are easily trained. 

Puppies cost $10 to $12 while a big dog costs $300 to $500. Make sure that you take your puppy Kishu Ken to a local veterinarian near you so she can get an all-clear after receiving check-ups before going with her home.


Hey, I’m Eddie, one of the publishers at Japanese Dog Breed Guides. And from an early age, dogs have been a massive part of my life. I remember the day my family brought home a Shiba Inu puppy dog, and we called him Ginger. It was love at first sight, no wonder I’m always partially gravitating towards Japanese dog breed. Growing up around a dog breed like the Shiba Inu opened up a new window into this rare dog breed of Japanese Origin. And you would think that having been through with more than one of them, I would lose interest. Strangely enough, my passion for these blue-eyed dogs has exponentially grown from strength to strength! The magic of owning a pet dog is the unconditional love they exhibit towards their owners. And the Japanese dog breeds are no different at sharing that love, which is something special. They’ll always be a part of my life and I hope yours too.

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