First, we're going to go over the dramatic decline of the breed... but don't lose hope! The second half of this blog post will discuss ways to assist the Kishu Ken and the National Kishu Club.
The Kishu Ken is facing a crisis. None of the medium sized native Japanese breeds are doing well in the numbers game of registrations per year, but the Kishu Ken registration numbers have been dropping the most dramatically.
Once rather populous and popular among the medium sized breeds, the Kishu has been experiencing a decline in popularity that has equaled a decline in population by registration numbers a year. With the rate of decline, if the population does not stabilize, we may be approaching a time where we see 0 or very few registrations in as little as 3 years.
Here's a snapshot of registration numbers:
Considering NIPPO is the primary breed registry internationally, and its pedigrees are recognized by the AKC (nearly all Kishu Ken in the world are NIPPO-registered, with the FCI having the second highest population of registered dogs), the sad reality for our breed right now is that we may face extinction if things do not change.
This is compounded with the fact that only 66 individuals have ever been registered with the AKC. These dogs have birth years ranging from 1991 to 2019 and the majority are downline from only a handful of imports, some related to one another.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help stabilize this decline and improve Kishu Ken visibility and AKC numbers.
What You can Do:
There are multiple ways fans and enthusiasts can help the Kishu Ken. Even if your home is not ready for a Kishu Ken and you cannot welcome a dog at this moment, please consider some of the other ways you can help:
Things anyone can do:
If you already own a Kishu Ken:
If you are interested in owning a Kishu Ken:
Kishu Ken are a versatile, devoted, and focused dog who can excel as an active companion to share life with. They are not "only" a hunting dog and many are very outgoing with anyone they meet. They have a place in modern pet, sport, and working homes, and deserve a fighting chance.
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.