Nihon Kens in multi-dog households.

edited December 2018 in General
In my intro post, I mentioned that I am looking into a Japanese breed in the future, but am concerned about their ability to function in a multi-dog house. Any by multi-dog I really mean it. There are six dogs here :) A male Great Pyrenees, female Newfoundland/Great Pyrenees, male Sarplaninac, a male Czech line German Shepherd, a male Bernese Mountain dog x poodle, and a female golden retriever x poodle.

All of the dogs are cared for by different people, with the Pyrenees and the German Shepherd being mine. The two females show absolutely no DA and very submissive dogs well, the doodle thing is crazy but that is a given with them :)). The Pyrenees and male doodle are also great with other dogs. The shepherd and Sarplaninac are both under a year so I can't make any guarantees but they are both being heavily socialized and talking with owners of relatives they are both from lines that don't typically exhibit much DA. I'm thinking if I had a Nihon Ken I would more than likely do a female as I think that would be best with the dogs it would interact with the most.

So what is your experiences with your multi-dog houses? How do they typically dog with new additions to the pack (I.E., if I had plans to have another breed, would it be better to get it before or after the Nihon Ken). Thank you for reading this far, I know I have a tendency to ramble ;)


  • I have three Northern Inuit Dogs, and at the time of bringing home my Hokkaido I also had a German Shepherd. My dogs were all well socialised as youngsters (we used to home board and offer daycare from our home), and are very accepting of puppies.

    Our initial introduction wasn't under optimum circumstances (it was 2am and I'd just driven 1200 miles in 29 hours with very little rest), but Kirin was a pretty confident puppy and integrated into our 'pack' really well. My dogs live, sleep eat and play together, none of them are separated. I have two neutered males (both Inuits) and two entire females (one Inuit and one Hokkaido). My Hokkaido girl, though small compared to the Inuits (13.5kg vs 40kg+), is entirely fearless and does not back down to them, she plays hard with them and isn't afraid to hold her own. My two bitches are best friends (at the moment, as Kirin was mated recently there may end up being a change in dynamics if we end up with puppies).

    Honestly, a lot depends on the temperaments of the dogs you already have. How tolerant they are of other dogs, what kind of behaviours they accept and what they will not tolerate. That would also dictate whether a male or female would integrate better (it would also depend on whether you intend to keep the dog entire / breed etc).

    We still have one dog we allow to board with us - we stopped boarding here because our own dog count got too high to make introductions of 'outsiders' easy - a little labrador who has been coming in and out of our house for 9 years now, Kirin is quite happy to accept her as an extended part of the family. Ideally you want the newcomer to meet permanent resident dogs first and be able to form a bond with those and feel comfortable in their space before introducing dogs that come in and out regularly.
  • I have 3 Hokkaido (2 intact males and 1 intact bitch) and 2 Mini American Shepherds (1 spayed female and 1 intact bitch). They get along fine when out playing in the yard where there's a lot of open space, but we have some issues once they are all in the same house. The Hokkaido just get too loud and rough for the MAS, and it makes the MAS uncomfortable. We separate by breed and everyone gets along well.

    The Hokkaido need slow introductions to outside dogs though. One of my males is quite combative, and the other two are just very loud and over exuberant; the energy they give off can cause reactions with other dogs who aren't used to such intense dogs. Training from an early age, paired with lots of exercise before introductions and parallel walking to introduce will be your best friend.
  • My Kishu and my Shikoku have always gotten on well with LGD breeds, who seem to have a very long fuse and a lot of patience for their antics. I never had any issues with my NK with LGD when I was fostering Pyrs, Turkish Shepherds, etc, through BFDR.

    Kishu seem to do better with multi dog households than Shikoku - or, rather... they respect the boundaries of other dogs a little better than the Shikoku experience I have.

    I have 6 Kishu and 1 Shikoku in house right now, tho, and all the Kishu cannot run together. 3 of my ladies just hate other ladies.
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