Anything that surprised you/you wish you'd known?

edited August 2018 in General
I know there is a topic (somewhere...) asking if there's anything you would have done differently with your dogs, but what I am curious about is this:

Is there anything that you wish you'd known before getting your first NK? Of course we all do lots of research and ask around before that first dog comes home with us, but is there anything in particular that you remember being surprised by?

Hopefully this isn't a repeat of a preexisting thread! I haven't had much luck with the search function...


  • Hm... I wish I'd known more about AKIHO and politics surrounding the Akita inu before I got my boy. I love him and I don't regret it, just the fact that I was more ignorant back then than I am now. I also wish I knew how (relatively) simple it is to import NK, which was something I never considered before!

    I'd also like to tell my past self to relax, because no matter how much socialization and training classes I do, there's still the possibility of a breed prone to DA becoming DA. About 10 years ago I was of the mindset where its "all in how you raise them", versus now when I know that's definitely not the case.

    What else... I wish someone told me how expensive dog shows were. haha. Another reason I wish I'd looked into AKIHO JA is because I showed my (non-AKIHO) dog through UKC but was not entirely impressed by the Western judges. I still have my issues with conformation in general, but I'd much prefer to show under a judge from the dog's country of origin.

    On the other hand, I'm glad I did have experience with "difficult" breeds and had experience working with a professional about resource guarding in the past, because both helped a lot with my Akita inu.
  • I think I say this a lot elsewhere, but I was surprised by how unmotivated Koharu is by food! The first week of being with us, she would work for kibble, but now she doesn't even bother with it haha. She will work for higher value treats inside, like freeze dried liver or dehydrated chicken hearts or pieces of cheddar, but outside is a no go. She's too excited about everything outside to care about something as boring as cheese! I only heard of picky eater Shikoku after I got her so it was something I wasn't prepared for. I have to get more creative with reinforcement since the easy and useful food tool isn't available sometimes, but it forces me to get better at training for her, which is a good thing!

    I was also surprised at how human friendly she is. I call her obnoxiously charismatic because she greets humans well and charms them into loving her. She's so popular that the boyf's coworker has a bunch of pictures of Koharu on her phone and shows them to people more than her own dog!

    I don't know if this counts as a surprise but Koharu also seems like she exactly fits the Shikoku standard, height/size-wise, though I'm not sure how good her structure is since I don't have a trained eye for it and we haven't done any showing. Personality-wise, I think the North American Shikoku Club has a page on what to expect with a Shikoku, and going down that page is a whole lot of nodding and agreeing haha. It's what's what we wanted and signed up for, so I'm glad it's what we got! It really reinforced, for me, that research into the right breed is super important and I guess the surprise is more when people get a certain breed and are surprised that their dog exhibits x breed trait, which I suppose ties into what Kouji said too.
  • I wish I knew how much Kishu Ken licked. Like. Because it's constant.

    I have to say I've been very lucky. I've definitely underestimated their ability in the past, though. There's a difference between knowing "this is an athletic dog" on paper and witnessing your dog jump/climb an 8 foot fence to get a rat she saw slip under it.
  • edited September 2018
    I guess for me, we researched a lot but didn’t think the dog reactivity was soooo difficult to overcome, as well as the mouthiness and just how much boundless energy they have.

    I thought I was an active individual but apparently I need to be going on km hikes, on multi surfaced terrain, daily, to keep up with her. I had assumed that raising a Shiba was as difficult as they get but Shikoku’s are about 10x more than that lol. They definately do have their plus’s though, they are very affectionate and sooo attentative, so they take direction well and are actually always waiting for direction or to please you, to stimulate their smart minds. I’d compare their energy levels similar to a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd.
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