Kishu Ken Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Kishu Ken

Kishu Ken



The Kishu Ken (or simply Kishu) is a Japanese breed that is highly valued for its hunting talents. As a matter of fact, dogs of this breed were selectively bred for the hunting of wild boar and deer. Today, the Kishu is considered a national treasure of Japan. Nowadays, this dog is used only for grazing and as a family companion.

Height: 17-22 inches  Weight: 30-60 pounds  Lifespan:11-13 years


The Kishu Ken is a strong, muscular, and very well built dog of medium size. He has the power, courage, agility and endurance. Noble origin of this extraordinary animal is apparent.


This breed is not recommended for breeders who do not have sufficient experience. The Kishu Ken has truly nice character, he’s a clever dog that you can always rely on. Despite the fact that Kishu Kens get attached to all members of the family, they have a special bond with one person, and that is their master. Dogs of this breed get along well with children and other dogs, provided that they grew up in the same house. However, since the Kishu has a very strong prey drive, he is not recommended for families that already have a cat or other small pets. The Kishu Ken is cold and distrustful with strangers, but never aggressive. This is a very kind, quiet breed of dog with good manners.

Coat / Care:

The Kishu Ken’s coat consists of two layers that protect him from the adverse weather. The outer layer is short, straight and hard to the touch. The undercoat is soft, fitting tightly to the dog’s body. The tail and cheeks are decorated with somewhat longer hair. Kishu Kens shed actively twice a year. In order to prevent the formation of tangles, weekly cleaning and brushing are recommended. Particular attention should be paid to grooming during shedding season. In order not to disturb the protective properties of the hair, bathe your pet only in case of urgent need. It is important to regularly cut claws and check the dog’s ears, to prevent infection.

Health Problems:

Since this breed is extremely rare, there is no specific data concerning Kishu Ken’s health issues. The Kishu Ken dog has a life expectancy of 11 to 13 years.

Weight / Height

The male Kishu Ken dog breed’s height is around 20 – 22 inches and weighs around 45 and 60 pounds. Female Kishu Ken dogs can reach a size from 17 – 20 inches and weighs between 30 and 50 pounds.


The Kishu Ken requires socialization and obedience training at very young age. Since these dogs can be very stubborn and mischievous, they need a coach who is dominant and active. Do not use harsh or heavy-handed methods. On the contrary, training must be based on respect, firmness, fairness and consistency.


This breed is not suitable for apartment living. Kishu Ken needs a constant physical activity, and so the best environment for these dogs is rural farm or a house with a large, well-fenced yard. The Kishu Ken truly enjoys communicating with people, and he is the perfect companion for jogging, hiking, walking and grazing.

Photo credit: RonjaV/Flickr

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