It might be pretty easy to see what these animals have to do with Kishu: they are all game to be hunted. Did you know that these three words also refer to Kishu body types, as well? According to Japanese Dogs by Michiko Chiba, Kishu Ken could be categorized by the game they were bred to hunt along three different varieties:
All three varieties were considered the same breed based on geographic origin and function, but may help to explain some of the variety we see in Kishu body types today. Interestingly, we see boar-type and deer-type varieties in other medium-sized Japanese dogs, also explaining the variety in body types to laymen, so this is not unique to the Kishu Ken.
Two female Kishu Ken exhibiting different body types.
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