The last decade of open communication and supportive community has brought a multitude of Kishu Ken owners from around the globe together to share their dogs online - in public forums of the earlier 2000 and 2010s and social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook, we can speak with others across the globe in the palm of our hands. In a rare breed with geographically distant ownership, this is has been invaluable for sharing anything from cute dog pictures to critical health information.
In the last handful of years in particular, health issues in the Kishu Ken are becoming better known. For decades since their introduction to the USA (the first breeding pair in the USA was born in 1991, our current data suggests), very little information on breed health had been known.
Because of this openness and sharing, we now know that allergies and skin conditions are commonplace in the breed.
But sometimes, skin issues aren't as simple as allergies and the cause has far deeper roots and can mean something much more nefarious for your dog.
At current, we know of the following autoimmune illnesses in Kishu Ken:
What does this mean?
For Owners of Kishu Ken:
For Breeders of Kishu Ken
At this time, the National Kishu Club is collecting registered names and pedigrees on dogs who are affected by autoimmune illness and allergies for research and education purposes. If your dog is affected by any diagnosed allergies or autoimmune illness, please consider submitting an email to email@example.com with your dog's pedigree name, diagnosis, and parentage. We will work to develop an easy submission form on the website to submit your dog.
You may also help in the form of a monetary donation to allow the club to collect pedigree data on ancestors via a NIPPO research pedigree request and even support our ability to collect data and research these illnesses in the breed.
This is a special breed with relatively few health issues, but the ones that we are seeing can be very scary for owners and breeders. Please know that no matter if your Kishu Ken is healthy or even currently affected, you and your dog are not alone, and you can always send the club an email if you think you need help, or you can join the Facebook group of Kishu Ken owners and enthusiasts to share and find a community that will love to see you and your dog.
A stronger Kishu Ken pedigree database is finally here! It is our hope that Kishu Ken ancestry data may begin to improve with submission to this database, thanks to the hard work of Mr. Shigeru Kato and the Nihon Ken Blog / Japan Dog Export.
Entries to the database are being quality-controlled (to assure the reliability of the data) by Mr. Kato at this time, but any owner my submit their pedigree data to the database for approval.
Using this database and our Embark testing, it has already become clear that all Kishu Ken in the USA come down from only a handful of lines. This database may help us target which lines to import from in the future, to maximize diversity.
Kishu Ken centric articles written by club members. If you are a club member who would like to submit an article for the website, please contact us.