Our Blog

Archive for the ‘Preservation’ Category

Kai Ken Imports – Round IV: Haru! Monday, January 17th, 2011

Haru, our friend’s Kai Ken, has come to live with us. This was not a quick decision, we have been discussing it with Shigeru for over a year now.

The timing of her relocation was based on the fact that she is pregnant. She was mated to a dog from a kennel we selected while I was in Japan. She was mated to a dog named Riki from Tenrou Kensha (same kennel Musashi, Kumi’s sire, is from).

Gin, from the same kennel, was our first choice but was not Haru’s first choice, she preferred Riki, and so she was mated to him instead. Both are very nice proven studs, and from what I understand, Riki may have been a better choice as he has a more chill temperament than Gin. So it seems like Haru knew what was best for her. Unfortunately I was not able to meet Riki while I was there.

This will be the first Kai Ken Aigokai litter born outside Japan, and we (Yamabushi Kensha) will be the first KKA registered kennel in North America (and outside Japan). So, things are starting to come together with our North American Kai Ken preservation efforts! Special thanks to Shigeru for all his help translating and traveling and such! 🙂


Kai Ken Imports – Round III: Tora, Ayu, Nio, and Chibi! Thursday, November 11th, 2010

I just returned from Japan with some new Kai Ken imports. I figured I better give them a proper intro…

Tora and Ayu are litter mates. They are really nice Kai Ken, Tora may be the nicest male we’ve imported so far and I think Ayu is on-par with Kumi. Tora is a bit defensive, which I think is typical of a Kai Ken male while Ayu is very outgoing. Both of them are super sweet and friendly.

Nio (short for Niomon) is a very nice male too, he has a unique face which I like a lot. He’s also got some nice thick bones and wide chest, which I also like a lot. He’s less outgoing that Tora and Ayu, but he is also a little better with other dogs – seems to be naturally respectful of dogs. He’s friendly and not fearful, he’s just more aloof than the other 2. Nio has a really deep jet black coat with a deep red brindle – really nice coloring (makes him hard to photograph too).

Chibi is tiny, she’s super cute and very sweet. I think she’s the most aloof pup we have had so far, she loves to play with herself but she also plays well with the other pups. Funny, she seems to prefer the older dogs to the puppies. She’s good with the dogs and very sweet with us when she actually wants to be with us. lol

Nio and Chibi share some common blood, but they are not that closely related, and they are out-crossed from Tora and Ayu.

The plan with these imports has been to place a pair with Peggy (O’iKon Kennel) and then keep a pair here, we are sticking to that plan for now tho we may hold Chibi back and watch how she grows (since she is smaller). Tora is mos def going to Peggy tho, he’ll be a great addition to her efforts and will still be available to us too – I’m thinking a Kumi x Tora breeding will be nice! 🙂













Chibi (she was too busy for an in-depth photo session)…


^^Excuse the dirty noses, they were all digging a big hole by the house.

Random videos…

You may have noticed a change to our website… Sunday, October 17th, 2010

>You may have noticed that we removed the Shikoku Ken breed from our website. We have decided to take a break from the breed while we focus on our Kai Ken preservation efforts.

We removed Shikoku from our site because our recent efforts to breed Loa didn’t work out. This last breeding attempt was done using frozen semen from Akashima’s stud dog named “Kuma”. Since the semen we used was frozen, Colorado Veterinary Specialists recommended we do a surgical AI.

During the surgical AI they found a number of cysts on both of Loa’s uterine horns. This is typically a sign of Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia (CEH). CEH is a predisposing factor in a number of reproductive problems including pyometra, failure to become pregnant, or failure to maintain a pregnancy. This condition is typically caused by empty heat cycles.

Unfortunately Loa’s past failed breeding, which resulted in an empty heat, probably lead to this condition. If that’s the case, then another failed breeding would put even more stress on her reproductive system, and she is at high risk of that due to CEH.

Based on the issues they found during the surgical AI, an increased risk of a pyometra and/or puppy death, which are both deadly to Loa, we do not plan to attempt to breed Loa again as we are not willing to put her health at risk. We have an appointment for her to be spayed next month.

That bit of bad news has forced us to take a hard look at our situation. With the loss of Loa from our Shikoku breeding plans, to continue our Shikoku program, it will require us to start from scratch. Because of this, and with our efforts being focused so heavily on our Kai Ken preservation program, we have decided to table our Shikoku plans for now. We will be taking a break from the breed for a few years while we focus on our Kai Ken plans.

Kai Ken Imports – Round II: Kumi & Kibou! Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Well, this past weekend I picked up our second round of Kai Ken imports (from Japan). We got another male/female pair, we named the female “Kumi” and the male “Kibou”.

Here are some pictures of them…

Kumi & Kibou:



They are both really nice Kai, I am particularly smitten with Kumi, she is very cute and really seems to like me. Kibou is VERY sweet and has a super cute face. True to my experience with Kai Ken, they both assimilated quickly and well with the other dogs – even Ahi seems to like them!

Kumi is very nicely built and compact, she’s like a little sports car. Kibou we need to wait and watch, he’s a bit awkward, but I think this may be because he’s gonna be bigger than average – he has a lot of extra skin.


Thoughts On Rare Breed Preservation Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

>I’ve noticed a general trend in breed enthusiasts: save the breed by limiting who breeds / owns the breed.

While I too have fallen into this camp of thought in the past, as far as preservation goes, I think it may be one of the lesser-efficient routes a breed community can take for preserving a breed. My most recent thoughts are that the breed community needs to think more globally if they want their breed to maintain quality.

A more efficient route to take to preserve a rare breed might be in focusing efforts on the source of the breed’s bloodlines. It’s that old “crap-in, crap-out” concept, if a breed’s breeding community is limited to just a few “best of the best” breeders, but the breed consists of poor bloodlines to start with, then not much progress can be made in preservation and improving quality. On the flip side, if the quality at the source is very good, then even a very inexperienced breeder can produce relatively good results from their breeding program.

I think if a rare breed can establish itself with good quality bloodlines to start, and maintain a source of quality out-crossings, then the overall quality of the breed will be increased, even with the effects of lesser-experienced and poorer-executed (less refined) breeding programs.

Instead of coveting the best bloodlines and the highest quality representations of the breed, rare breed stewards and enthusiasts should actively promote the free-exchange of bloodlines among the community – actively working to educate the less-experienced breeders and helping them to acquire better foundation stock for their programs. That path will raise the overall quality of ALL the dogs being produced in the breed and allow for more success.