Which one to choose? Help!
  • hashiriyahashiriya
    Posts: 2


    hello all, recently I've been interested in Japanese breeds.



    Shiba, Hokkaido, Akita, Kai, Kishu, and Shikoku. I want a dog but don't know which breed I should get, I want everyone's opinions on which one would best suit me.



    I've done a few researches:



    Shikoku: I like them, but their furs are too long, I'd like one with shorter hair.



    Kishu: I've learned they are the most popular house dog in Japan. But it's hard to find a red one (what i want), and the pups are very expensive (true?)



    Kai: Too "wild", not recommended for a first time dog owner. (which is me)



    Those three are out, this leaves me with these three to choose from:



    Hokkaido: Also known to be very "wild". Very loyal to the owner, good family dog.



    Akita: I like them, but they seem to be too large. If i can find a small to medium akita, that would be great. Very loyal to owner and shows affection. One thing I'm concern about them is that recently an Akita dog attacked a young child here in my town.



    Shiba: seems like a good family dog, but also seems like a "drama queen". The fur is perfect length for what i want, and very easy to find, seems like a popular breed here in the U.S.



    I really like the Akita, but i don't have a fenced yard and living in a town house. I guess you guys/girls need to know a little info about me so you could help me choose which one suits me best. I'll try to make it short, i'm 20 years old, college student, living with my two older sisters which have a 3 year old boy and 5 year old girl. I just really need a companion. And been wanting a dog ever since i was a little kid. Please help me choose. Like I've mentioned, this will be my first pup. Thanks!

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224


    First off - welcome to the forum!


    As for your question - wow - that's a hard choice... Especially since I love all the Japanese breeds. First I'll clear up and add to some of your comments about the breeds...


    Shikoku: Their hair is shorter than my Akita Inu's hair. Our Shikokus coat is very thick but not very long. Until Ahi [our Shikoku] just blew her coat for the 3rd time I was under the impression she didn't shed too much - but this time around it's really an amazing amount of hair that's coming off her. I would not recommend a Shikoku as a first dog - they are complicated and require experience with a wide range of dog attitudes. Shikokus are also VERY ACTIVE DOGS.


    Hokkaido: I don't know a whole lot about them, they are very hard to get in America and I have read, in a book, that they are VERY aggressive dogs and require a firm hand from the owner - but one that is not aggressive towards the dog. Based on that I would not recommend one for a first time dog owner.


    Akita: So far our Akita has been the easiest of all our Japanese breeds. Hilo is a mellow dude and not super active - but he is also only 5 months old now. I will yield to Michelle on the Akita breed since she is the forum expert when it comes to Akita [and other things]. :c) Our Akita's hair is pretty long, he is a furry little man. As for the size an Akita Inu [apposed to an American Akita] should be under 99# - so they are large dogs but not huge dogs. From what I can tell Akita are the PERFECT companion dog - but require a job and/or lots of exercise and mental stimulation.


    Shiba: Shibas hair is shorter than the rest - tho they are pretty furry too. Shibas possesses all the qualities one would expect from a Japanese breed only, in the Shiba's case, the characteristics are "kicked up" an notch. They are drama queans - but don't think that means they are wussy little yappy dogs - they are mos def not. Shibas make really great companions - they are really special little dogs. All these dogs are very special.


    Kishu: I have no experience with Kishu, but from what I have heard, and read, they are really great dogs. Would be cool if you got one and kept us posted your experiences.


    So - in summary - I would say you should go for a Kishu or a Shiba. Akita may be to furry for you - and could have dog aggressive tendencies. The Shiba may have dog aggressive tendencies too, but they are small and easier to control [our Shibas start more issues than our other pups]. Kishus sound like great dogs - I have no idea what the price would be but I would expect to pay more than average for any of these breeds.


    The thing about an Akita attacking a little girl is not normal. I would not worry about that - if anything an Akita Inu should be the PERFECT dog for children. They have been watching over kids in Japan for centuries. As with ALL DOG BREEDS, if any dog is not raised correctly and socialized well it can be dangerous. Though I don't know the detail of the case you wrote about, I would blame that incident on the owner - not the dog.


    Hope that helps!

    ~Brad


     

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • MommyofNikoMommyofNiko
    Posts: 2719


    I can speak to the Shiba.  As Brad said the Shiba is wonderful.  It is awesome you are doing research instead of jumping right into it.  The Shiba's are easily house trained and are VERY smart.  If you want a dog to cuddle and "need" you, the Shiba is not what you want.  They are good dogs for small homes, but do need excercise.  Sometimes enough room in the house to be chased and do the Shiba 500 is good enough.  My Shiba is a bit "mouthy" with people she doesnt know or people who let her get away with it.  It is VERY important to train as Brad stated, and to train people who you live with to know ow to act and treat the dog (such as if you run...they will chase!).  Shiba's do blow their coat at least twice a year, but the thing that is nice is that the fur clumps on the floor and is easy to pick up.  This may be true for all Japanese breeds.  I can say that knowing Brad's Shikoku, although wonderful and sweet, I would not suggest for a first time dog owner or someone who is used to low key mellow dogs.  Brad's Akita, and others I have met are so sweet and chill, especially with children.  I have been looking at the Kai Ken for my next dog, they seem the the perfect medium between my 2 dogs I have now.  We also would love an Akita also.  The Japanese dog's are addictive and you cant stop at just one!!



    No matter how trained a child should never be left alone unsupervised with any dog. 



    GOOD LUCK! 

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 593


    I cannot speak for any of the breeds except Shikokus and Akitas.



    For a first time dog owner, I agree with Brad and would not choose a Shikoku. While my Shikoku sheds a lot less than my Akita, when they panic over something, they act a bit primitive and tend to freak. If there are children, they could get bit by accident. Brad is right, they are a complicated breed - very rewarding, very loving, but complicated.



    Now, about the Akita for a FIRST time dog owner? While I can't say enough great things about them, I'd say you'd at least have to be very good around dogs and not intimidated in the least bit around large confident dogs. Akitas are quite calm and would take to apartment life if you walked them. They can be very strong and I'd highly recommend you go to obedience classes. If you are a very submissive. timid, shy person, rethink owning an Akita.



    Akitas and kids... the Akita takes it's pack very seriously. They love THEIR children. Heaven forbid another child hurt or harm THEIR child. Your sister's children are young, which isn't a problem. But with any young child and any breed of dog, children must learn to respect dogs and parents must make them behave properly around them. Most Akitas WILL warn you that you've stepped over your bounds. They'll warn you a few times, but they'll always back up their warning if you don't listen. They don't bluff. At least, that's my experience. Watch them around a bunch of running, vocal, playing children when THEIR child is present.



    Akitas are a no-nonsense, straight-forward, honest dog with lots of intelligence and have tremendous confidence and self-respect. They are also strong-willed, and typically aloof to strangers. Most are natural born guard dogs. If they don't know the person at the door, they aren't coming in - period, unless you say it's okay. Their loyalty and devotion to their master is phenominal. When at ease, they can be real clowns. They have a heart as big as any dog - or person - that I've ever known. With an Akita, it's hard to say who belongs to who, LOL!



    Hair - they shed like the dickens. Expect furry tumbleweeds in your house twice a year when they tuft and blow coat. On the good side, they rarely ever smell even if you don't bathe them for four months. Akitas don't usually roll in smelly things and are pretty fastidious for a dog. I recommend weekly brushing and quarterly bathing. Akitas do NOT do well living outside and want to be with their family.



    They are prone to bloat and skin ailments. Good food is paramount.



    Of course, this is all for the typical American Akita and statements are in general. There are some Akitas that don't fit the personality mold. I still have one of those. Akitas are probably still my favorite, but I'm not familiar with every Japanese breed. Brad owns three of the breeds.



    About Akita attacks - personally, I'd say that most kids these days egg dogs on and aren't supervised or taught how to behave and respect dogs. 8 out of 10 times, I'd say that the child or person warranted the bite in some way OR the dog was not properly bred or raised. I mean, look at how kids smart off to their parents or act up in public these days.

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-07-28 18:28:33
  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 2228


    I've never seen a Red Kishu before, but I did take a few photos last year of ones with a gray overlay. These photos were taken at the Nippo Ken Show of 2006. Perhaps this is the Kurogoma coloring in the Kishu?



    Kishu Puppy



    Kishu Adult



    Hmm...I don't know...maybe someday I will have Kishu too. There is a Breeder here in the States. I think they are all the commonly seen white color though.

    Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

    Kotomi | Maika | Zoey | Asra | Ranala

    Other Canine Members of The Airreyalis Crew: Zander (Alaskan Klee Kai) | Saphira (Belgian Groenendael) | Izanaiya, Sanosuke & Okiana (Yakutian Laika)
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3427


    I didn't know that Kishu came in any color other than White. 



    I think a Shiba is going to be your best bet for the first time dog owner and your situation.  A lot of people don't even recommend Shibas for first time dog owners, but if you dedicate yourself to learning about your dog and how to deal with it, you will be fine.



    You will also be able to find the most support for any shiba problems in online forums, or even in your community. 



    Can you even get a Kishu or Hokkaido in the states?

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 593


    Brandon - I was thinking the same thing about a Shiba for her.



    Yes, you can get a Kishu here in the states. To my knowledge, there is only one breeder and she's in Texas. I didn't know there was another color for them other than white either. I'd like to learn more about the Kishu.

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-07-30 21:35:59
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224


    Yea - I agree that a Shiba is the way to go.


    I too had no idea there where other Kishu coat colors. They are pretty cool looking. In the first pic the puppy's colors are very neat - I dunno about the other one tho. I think I still like the white Kishu. They look like Maui or Tosha - very nice.


    Here is the Kishu breeder: http://www.kishuken-nel.com/kishu.html



     

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • hashiriyahashiriya
    Posts: 2
    thanks for all your kind words and replies. Eventhough this will be my first puppy, I am willing to learn how to be a dog owner. I love animals and have been raising fishes ever since i was a little kid, so keeping pets is not new to me. I really really like the Akita, though everyone is suggesting the Shiba, everything about the Akita seems to fit me. I like how they will only bark "when there is something to bark about", and I'm a cuddling person, I'd like to hug my dog every chance I get. Again, thanks for the replies, maybe someone can lend me the right direction to owning an Akita.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 593


    hashiriya,



    Do you know anyone with an Akita? Or maybe you could find a local rescue in your area? If so, ask if you could come visit a foster home and talk to someone. Offer to help, even That might really help you get real used to them. Then, maybe getting an Akita wouldn't be such a big step and you'd have experience on other dogs before taking on your own. Speaking from experience, rescues are always looking for people to help. Who knows? That might be where you get a dog from. I can't tell you how many great Akitas I've helped rescue. It's where my own incredible Tasha came from.Laughing



     

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-07-31 20:22:15
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224


    Well it sounds like you are doing your homework - so that’s good. I would say the Akita or the Shiba is the best place to start if you wanted a Japanese breed as your first dog. The Akita is just big and dominant - that is really what you have to learn. The other breeds are way to primitive for a first-timer.



    I used to be into Aquariums as well - mostly salt water. I have to say, while obviously keeping a dog and a fish are very different, there are amazing amount of similarities - especially when keeping dogs that are less “pack” oriented like the Japanese breeds.



    Keeping my 4 dogs together is a lot like keeping 4 aggressive, territorial fish in one reef tank. Each one has it’s “thing” and you have to learn what that “thing” is and shape the environment around it. Kaia likes the window, so we gave her a window seat. Maui likes to lay in a open crate, so he has an open crate to lay in [a few of them actually]. Ahi is not ok with any of the other dogs going into her pen - so when she is not in it we keep it closed. Hilo seems to always want the dog bed, so when I’m in the office I make sure there is at least 2 places for the dogs to lay so that when Hilo wants a bed to lay on in the office, there is always an open one - that way there is a reduced chance of conflict.



    It reminds me of when I had a Purple Tang and a Yellow Tang in a reef tank w/ a Clown Fish and a Lion Fish. I had to keep Algae / Lettuce on each side of the tank so that the Yellow and Purple Tangs wouldn’t fight over it. I also had to make sure the Yellow Tang was larger than the Purple because experience had taught me that Purple Tangs are evil little fish. I also had to make sure the Clown Fish had an Anemone and was too big for the Lion to eat. I then built little caves for the Yellow Tang to hide in so that he/she could get a break from the Purple Tang’s micromanagement patrol. - You see?



    My point is, if you watch your dog interact and exist you learn what his/her “things” are - just like you do when keeping fish. Only dogs can communicate with you a LOT better than fish - so the “things” are a little less subtle, while the stakes are much higher.



    I joke with Jen that I have a Dogrium. Lol



    Sorry if this post was really nerdy guys - I was just thinking about it today. What a coincidence!

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224


    Also, for a first time dog owner, [or any dog owner really] this book is a MUST READ:



    "The Other End of the Leash"



    http://www.amazon.com/Other-End-Leash-Patricia-McConnell/dp/0345446798

    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2007-08-01 12:53:20
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 593
    Oh yeah. Great book for anyone who even loves dogs.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224


    Have you made your final decision yet?


    I had posted some info on Akita to this thread as well:


    http://www.nihonken.org/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=216



    Keep us updated!  Laughing

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3386


    I can't really recommend anything since of all these breeds I've only ever had a shiba, although I do have a shiba and a chow/shepherd mix who is seriously dominant, and they are my first dogs. I have to say that owning a shiba wasn't nearly as bad as people made it out to be. Whenever I told anyone I was getting a shiba (who knew what a shiba was) they’d snort at me and say something like, “Good luck with that!” or, “I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into!” Honestly, though, if you’re committed and you know what to expect, you’ll do fine! I did.



    Consider, also, that when people are recommending dogs to first time owners, I’ve noticed that they have a tendency to assume that all first time dog owners want a low-energy, yes sir/no sir type of dog. Personally, I want an intelligent, entertaining, energetic companion and slavish obedience was not a priority. A shiba was perfect for me, even though it was my first puppy.



    Really, there’s no perfect first time dog, they ALL take work and training and no matter how experienced you are, you’ll always be learning more. The important thing is to educate yourself, be realistic, and decide what you’re ready for and have a commitment to make it work no matter what happens. To me, giving up a dog is not an option for anything, and if that’s the case, you’ll do what you have to to make everyone happy.  



    Be prepared for a huge learning curve and lots of frustration to begin with (that goes for any dog) 

    Dogs: Rakka (shikoku), Sosuke (kai), Effie (bc/kelpie)
    Cats: Hester, Batgirl, Stephanie, Harley
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224


    I think what Hondru wrote is very smart. Maui, our male Shiba, was our first dog and we got similar comments thrown at us when we told people we wanted a Shiba. We survived and Maui did as well. If you educate yourself and care about what you are doing, you will be fine.


    The fact you are asking questions on this forum is probably proof enough that you are more caring, and doing more research, than the average person.


    So, like I have said in my previous posts, keep us posted and good luck!


    ------


    Another thought - I think the reaction you got from me [if they where received as being negative] probably comes from experiences with rescues and my love for the breeds. I just don't want to see anymore of these dogs end up in the rescue systems - I am probably too quick to "haze" new-comers just to make sure they are really serious and not just getting one of these dogs because they think they are "cool" or something. I dunno if that's right or wrong - I'm just being honest.


     

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • =(0-0)= You know what...I lied! I HAVE seen a Red Kishu. I was watching the Nippo Ken Show from last year the other day and I actually recorded one in the ring! lol.



    Now if only I could upload it onto my laptop...

    Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

    Kotomi | Maika | Zoey | Asra | Ranala

    Other Canine Members of The Airreyalis Crew: Zander (Alaskan Klee Kai) | Saphira (Belgian Groenendael) | Izanaiya, Sanosuke & Okiana (Yakutian Laika)
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion