Ryukyu Ken information thread.
  • DeonDeon
    Posts: 38
    Okay, so I hope this is okay to post. I have dedicated my life, okay, a few months to trying to source information about Ryukyu Ken/Inu/琉球犬 because I love them ~

    So, in my few months of "research" I have come across Breed Standard, Ryukyu Surveys, History and random stuff. Some information isn't complete because my Japanese is really spotty (But has gotten better thanks to the research!), so here is the masterpost of all the Ryukyu Inu information I have uncovered so far! Enjoy follow Nihon Ken lovers~


    The Ryukyu Ken was once thought to be extinct after world war 2 mostly due to food shortages, however in the early 1980s the Ryukyu Ken was rediscovered in a small pack in the northern rainforests of the Yonbaru Region of Okinawa. The pack was then caught and tested by scientists who tested them and found them to be distinct from any other of the Nihon Ken, however they are distantly related to Hokkaido Ken more than the other Nihon Ken. After the pack was caught and tested, the Ryukyu Ken Hozonkai was formed on April 1st by volunteers but has been inactive since 2010, this is because of difficulty in breeding the dogs, I am unsure if it's because of infertility, decline in breeders, inactivity of the Hozonkai or because of lack of people wanting Ryukyu Ken anymore.

    They have working rear dew claws and can climb trees, like the other Nihon Ken they are hunting dogs and (this is where my knowledge of the other NK drops off the radar...) can also(?) hunt in packs and singularly. They are required to be quiet, especially during a hunt and don't bark much. They are described as Gentle, Obedient and Playful (I dunno how much of this is true and how much is sugar coating)

    Their breed standard (Criteria of 13) goes a little something like this (Sorry for any translation errors.)

    Temperament Neither fearful nor aggressive, Intelligent, Alert, Quiet.

    Head and Skull Broad head, the muzzle is straight and drawn somewhat longer, nose colour should always be black with exception to Akain(Golden Eye) which is always red.

    Eyes Clear, dark brown, the corner of the eye isn't lifted. In Akain(Golden Eye) the eye is Golden.

    Ears Pricked ears in a Blunt Triangle shape, dogs with ears that are dropped are undesirable.

    Mouth Scissor bite. Undershot, Overshot, or missing teeth are major faults.

    Neck Moderately wide. Neither lean nor chunky.

    Forequarters Forelimbs straight.

    Body Longer than high. The chest is well developed, wide and deep. Straight Back, powerful.

    Hindquarters Hindquarters straight and strong.

    Tail The tail should ideally be in the shape of a blade, however it can also be curled. Fault for a dropped tail.

    Coat Short to Medium length allowed, long coat is a fault.

    Colour There are 4 recognised colours for conformation, Kuro-Tora, Aka-Tora, Shiro-Tora, and Akain (both Akain). The brindle pattern has to be beautiful and clear. A small amount of white is permitted, however an excessive amount of white is a fault.

    Height Dogs: 46.3 - 49.6 cm Bitches: 43.4 - 46.9 cm

    There are 2 subtly distinct lines, Yaeyama and Yanbaru, Yaeyama Ryukyu are Bigger, Longer and deeper in the chest than Yanbaru dogs.

    Ryukyu come in 5 official colours and 4 non-official colours however, from my translations those non-official colours are now or were going to be official colours. ("At the Ryukyu dog preservation society, I think that
    these dog-colored dogs which are now "non-certified" will be "certified" as "Ryukyu dogs".) These official colours are: Akain (Golden Eye), Akain (Mask), Kuro-Toola/Tora (Black Brindle), Aka-Toola/Tora (Red Brindle), Shiro-Toola/Tora (White Brindle) and the unofficial colours are: Sesame, Kuro (Black), Shiro (White) and Ivory.

    A study was carried out that said Aka-Toola/Tora is the most common colour followed by Kuro-Toola/Tora.

    Sesame seems to be the rarest of all the colours. At the same time as the colour study, a coat study was taking place which stated 6% of Ryukyu Ken were Long coated. I have only found 1 picture of a long coated Ryukyu Ken and I doubt whether it is a real Ryukyu as it's colour doesn't match any of the pictures of the 9 colours.

    Their health as far as I have found so far isn't documented, but I suspect the typical -Allergies, patella, hips, maybe even CEA seems Hokkaido sometimes have it.

    If there are any errors at all with this, someone please correct me! As I said my Japanese is awful and it's 12am, lol. Most information is from the Ryukyu Inu Hozonkai Website and some is just dotted around on blogs, etc. :)