The Native Japanese Dog
The history of the Nihon ken [ native Japanese dog ] dates back to ancient times. It is speculated that these dogs followed man during his migration from mainland Asia. There is archeological evidence dating back 3,000 years to show the Japanese people began keeping these dogs sometime during the Jomon Period [10,000-300 BC].
Nihon ken were chosen for their great courage, stamina and devotion to their masters. From these dogs, six distinct breeds of primitive hunting dogs were developed in the remote regions [prefectures] of Japan. These dogs came to be known as the Akita, Hokkaido, Kishu, Kai Ken, Shikoku and Shiba Inu. Although each breed has its specific characteristics, all Nihon ken share the primitive-spitz body style depicted by prick ears, curled or sickle tail, and a double coat.
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