Shikoku puppy temperament
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    What was your Shikoku like when they were a puppy, specifically their temperament? How has it changed now that they are adults?
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    My shikoku is only 15 months old. So while she probably only has a little growing left to do she has A LOT of maturing left.
    Temperament.
    ~Attention span of a flea
    ~Limitless energy. You CANNOT tire them out.
    ~Very sweet
    ~Not terribly cuddly but VERY affectionate
    ~Unstoppable

    I adore my shikoku (Himiko). There were times as a puppy though that I nearly hated her. And I have vowed since, that I will never get a puppy again.

    So if you sincerely want a shikoku, might I suggest beginning practicing Zen meditation now, and see about arranging a steady valium prescription now.

    Fasten your seatbelt, it will be a bumpy ride.

    God made shikoku cute for a reason...so we don't kill them.
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    Post edited by JessicaRabbit at 2009-05-09 02:20:01
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1653
    But wait....that sounds like some of the same suggestions/descriptions for Shiba pups we have had here (LOL)
    Snf
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    Haha, why did you hate your puppy? Did she chew on stuff?
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    Chewing is no big deal.

    I had a shiba too. My house was already destroyed. LOL

    However she still chews. A lot!

    She barks at four in the morning. Always has, always probably will.

    I have worked with dogs for more than 18 years. I have never met a puppy like a shikoku. I have never encountered a more persistent tenacious animal.

    Please know, I love and adore my shikoku. But they are definitely not for a casual dog owner.

    To keep her calm-ish My husband walks her 2 miles at 5 in the morning.

    Then I walk her three miles at 10 in the morning.

    She will play with my pit bull or another one of her dog friends for the afternoon.

    Then we walk her three more miles at 5 in the evening.

    Then my husband runs her in the yard.

    She is amazing. And we love her so much.

    My biggest worry about shikoku though is that people will fall in love with their beauty and we will start seeing them in shelters once people realize how much time and dedication they need/deserve.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12070
    I think these videos explain it better than I can...











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    ------------------ YamabushiKennel.org | BradAnderson.org ------------------
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    Really?? They need to be walked 8 miles a day? You and your husband must be super fit! What if I walked my future shikoku twice a day, would the dog still be destructive? I understand that they're work dogs though.
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    Brad--I think your dogs are adorable! The second to last video was hilarious!
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • starrystarry
    Posts: 130
    thank u for your open and real account of your experience...it makes me feel validated
    and relieved that I decided against getting a shikoku, my shiba is just enough of a challenge for me.
    shikokus are hard to come by, and for most people hard to say/spell i think only stubborn individuals will seek one out, and those will most likely not give the dog up to a shelter
    on the other hand, the online live shiba inu cam probably didn't do much for the shibas
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 3413
    Jessica you're describing how Micah is and will be lmao. The only difference is that Micah will eventually (hopefully) grow up.
    -Rina
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • EdgewoodEdgewood
    Posts: 1175
    Well, I have to say that it seems that some Shikoku's are chewers and some are not. Miko (and Tenji ?? I believe) were chewers. My Kuma never chewed ANYTHING inappropriate. He was a very easy puppy to live with and I never had any issues. He was housebroken immediately, never chewed, played with his toys and nothing else. So each dog is an individual.

    I definitely do not walk him what Jess does for Miko. BUT, I have a huge fenced yard and he gets exercised by lots of ball throwing (he loves fetch) and lots of play and running around. I do take him for walks, but nothing like what Jess does. He is VERY calm in the house, never hyper in the house. I do take him out to do lots of obedience classes (I like them as does he) and we practice that a lot too. I started all of that when he was a puppy (after his final puppy shots).

    They are tireless, but I found my shikoku much easier than when I had Siberian puppies. But each dog is their own individual. Look at how different Loa and Ahi are, but they are the same breed!

    BUT, I do not crate him in the house -- the only thing he did bad as a puppy was hours of yipping (VERY LOUD) in his crate. I could never get him used to it. But, as a young puppy, he flew over from Holland in a crate, so maybe he had an aversion because of the flight.
    Post edited by Edgewood at 2009-05-09 11:10:32
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12070
    Ok, I'll answer the questions more seriusly now...

    Ahi
    Ahi is like living with a velociraptor. She is always planning and working, she's busy busy busy. She is always thinking up new ways to harass the other dogs, or find food, or hunt, escape, violate Jen, beat up Luytiy, guard some object, etc. The only time she is not doing one of those things is when she is sleeping, which has increased with age - thank god.

    She was really a handful as a pup. I think it has to do with how much drive she has - a lower drive Shikoku is an easier puppy than a higher drive Shikoku (rule applies for most breeds). Ahi has/had more drive than Blue, our Cane Corso, and they are notorious for having HUGE drive.

    Ahi potty trained quickly, but she was very picky about where she went to the bathroom tho. She is also very stubborn, so she would just "hold it" till we found the perfect place or she just exploded in her pen. It sucked. Ahi can hold her bladder for DAYS - no joke!

    Ahi never chewed on anything she was not supposed to. She does like to chew, but only bones and things, not remotes, wood, etc.

    We walked Ahi, as a pup, at least 5 miles a day until we got a back yard, then it dropped to 3 (or so) miles a day. Shikoku do a really nice job self exercising.

    As a pup Ahi had to be forced to take a break. She would NEVER stop, but her attitude would just get worse and worse and become very quarrelsome with the other dogs as she got sleepy. So we would put her in her crate for a nap, and she would crash.

    Ahi also gets strangely angry before she poos. She will like freak out at you or the dogs if she has to poo but can't find the right spot. Then she goes, and she is all play and crazy. It's really strange.

    Ahi growled at Jen and I from day 1. She was super sweet on the drive from VC Island, but once home she started to growl at us, and it progressed - but never to the point of biting. It took us lots of behaviorist visits and socialization to realize that Ahi just growls, that is how she talks to us. She will lick your face and grow at the same time.

    As a pup, and now, Ahi was difficult with dogs. I wouldn't say she is dog aggressive, but she is not tolerant of rude dogs (tho she can be rude all she wants, and god forbid another dog correct her for it). There is not dog to big for Ahi, she will not back down from ANYTHING. She required a unreal amount of socialization to get her to where she is now - and even now it's hit-or-miss with how she will react to other dogs.

    I have said it before, and I'll say it again, Ahi is/was the most difficult dog we have raised to date. This is comparing her to a high drive Cane Corso pup, a Kai Ken, 4 Akita, 2 Shiba (one with extreme fear issues), and 2 Caucasian Mountain Dog. Ahi still beats them all in difficulty. She tests us every day we live with her, and I am sure she will until the day she dies.

    That's what its like to live with a high-drive Shikoku pup.

    ----

    Loa
    Loa is the opposite of Ahi. She was easy.

    She never had an accident in the house, never chewed anything she shouldn't, didn't cause fights. She has always had this "in her own world" type of vibe. She will go out in the yard, dig a hole, put her ball in the hole, and play for hours. It's the cutest thing ever.

    As an adult, she is a bit bitchy with the other dogs, but nothing horrible - I don't consider her to be quarlsome.

    Loa never barked, cried, whined, or anything like that as a puppy. She was very easy and SUPER sweet. She also LOVES food.

    The noises she makes are funny, she squeaks and honks. That's it. She has only barked 3 times.

    One thing about Loa tho, she has boundless energy - still does. She just never stops. We can hike her for 10+ miles and it's as if we never dd anything. So, she always required a lot of walks as a puppy... but even then, we would put her in her crate and she would just be there awake. I don't think she sleeps. It's really strange.

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    ------------------ YamabushiKennel.org | BradAnderson.org ------------------
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • EdgewoodEdgewood
    Posts: 1175
    Yes, Kuma is a lot more like Loa that Ahi. And he also has that boundless energy. You can go for long hikes and he never tires out. You could probably walk and keel over and he would still not be tired.

    That is so cute about Loa and her ball.

    So I guess it just goes to show you that all dogs are individuals ;-)
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3182
    Kris and Brad-
    Was Kuma and Loa's temperment sort of a suprise for you both as they aged, or were you specifically able to select for that sort of temperment and able to find it among a litter of pups? What I guess I mean is, do the "Loa" and "Kuma" temperment puppies obviously stand out from the "Ahi" high drive temperment puppies in a litter? Are all Shikoku pups kind of alike in temperment for the first few months or do they have distinct enough personalities at 8 weeks that a person would be able to tell the Loa/Kuma pups from the Ahi's? (I hope you don't mind me using them in this example).
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    Miko is really a complete mix of Ahi and Loa. Which is funny because she is half sister to both.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • EdgewoodEdgewood
    Posts: 1175
    Lindsay, I only had the selection between 2 male pups. The other male pup tended to wiggle a lot more when held while Kuma didn't wiggle at all. Both were quite friendly, but Kuma was easier when held. Now I don't know how the other male turned out (as far as temperment), just my observation of when they were 10 weeks old.

    It is kind of like the photos that Corina posted of the 3 females she could select from. She selected the one that was very comfortable being held vs the ones that were acting a bit shy or the one who looked defiant being held.
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3182
    That's a great point. That would be really important to think about when actually looking at potential pups to chose from. Good pick with Kuma.

    Jess, interesting to note about your girl. How was she when you first met her compared to her sibs?
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    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • ddowdemersddowdemers
    Posts: 681
    Tenji was a handful as a puppy. He chewed everything. Remotes, shoes, slippers, pillows, sheets, everything. He will still, at 2 years and 8 months, chew on my jeans and slippers if he can find them. He was reactive to other dogs as a pup and earned himself 3 weeks at boot camp. It was a very worthy investment. Like Ahi, Tenji is a growler but will lick you while he is growling. He has never bared his teeth to an individual. Tenji is a huge cuddler and loves, loves, loves to roughhouse. He is super affectionate.

    Tenji is a high activity boy and he gets 2-3 hours of walks and exercising daily. At home he enjoys games of finding items that I hide, and harrassing our poor cat. When he was a pup, he needed more walks and exercising. He is slowing down a bit and sleeps for longer periods (yay). When he wants a walk or game, he will come find me and give a "woof".

    He is a super smart dog and contines to astonish us with his intelligence. His memory skills are amazing.
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    I didn't get to meet the litter. I had 2nd pick but was unable to go out to Vancouver Island to get her. Katja and I talked at length about what kind of personality would best fit my pack. Moto was still alive at the time, and he and Piglet has such a strong bond. So we needed a dog who was more mild, more (I hate this word) submissive. I trusted Katja to pick.
    I have spent time with Mura (Miko's littermate) who lives in Concord MA, and she is less outwardly affectionate. Slightly more reserved. But Paul (her owner) is also more reserved and frankly mature than I am. My dogs are my raison d'etre so they tend to be more mushy anyway.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12070
    There is an important point (err difference) I forgot to point out with Ahi's vs. Loa's temperament...

    With Ahi, you can raise your voice at her and she will respect it and even sulk just a little.

    With Loa, you can not raise your voice to her at all. If you do she becomes a wild animal and just runs away. This makes Loa one of the more difficult dogs we have - especially in a stressful situation.

    For example, she got out of the yard the other day when the fence work was going on here at the dog ranch. She slipped under the gate that was not closed correctly (!!!) - actually she slipped under 2 gates. Thankfully I was standing out there with Jen talking to Tom (fence guy)... Jen's initial reaction was to FLIP OUT... she yelled "OMG LOA!" and Loa just ran from her! Then I was like "Jen, chill, you will make it worse"... we walked over to another area and I just called her real happy sounding... "Loa bear, come!"... She came over to me, thank goodness.

    Anyway, Ahi would not have responded like that, but Loa does - she freaks, and just runs. It's very Coyote like. The "primitiveness" of the breed shows through in different ways in different Shikoku but it's always there and that is something you have to learn w/ this breed at a young age so you can deal with it later.

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    ------------------ YamabushiKennel.org | BradAnderson.org ------------------
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    So basically, from what I gather, they are very energetic, some like to bark a lot, like to play-fight, and are sometimes affectionate, although it really depends on the personality of the dog. I really hope my dog will be affectionate. My friend had a Shiba which was really really independent. Even if you call out to him, he wouldn't come unless you have the leash or food. I'm gonna want to get the Jetson's dog walker =P

    Here are some pictures of my friend's Shiba, although he ran away a few months ago, and never came back..in downtown LA. I still miss him =(
    Post edited by Janet at 2009-05-12 01:23:46
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    Even when a shikoku is affectionate (Miko is one of the most affectionate) it is 100% on their terms.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    Oh i forgot! Do they like getting into trash and stuff? That's pretty much all dogs right?
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3800
    To coincide with your question, Janet (hope you don't mind), are they as much of an opportunist as shibas are?
    image
    Post edited by Calia at 2009-05-12 02:42:59
  • EdgewoodEdgewood
    Posts: 1175
    Kuma is VERY affectionate in that he loves all people and likes to give little kisses to their hands and arms. I don't really pick him up any more, but as a puppy he was fine with it and is fine with it now. I don't allow dogs on furniture, so he is affectionate, but not cuddly (since I don't allow them up). He loves to come and "present" his back to me while I am watching TV so that I can pet his back.

    He never has even thought of going near any trash cans (I never even had to tell him not too as a puppy, he just showed no interest). Beth, I definitely would say that Kuma is NOT an opportunist in the way I think that you are speaking of.

    In regards to Brad's comments about raised voices, Kuma is about 1/2 way between Loa and Ahi. He doesn't like a raised voice, but in the times he has gotten out of the fenced area, a big booming "come" seemed to work fine. If I did that in the house, he would run the other way (like Loa).
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 2195
    My Shikoku...
    ...are sensitive, yet VERY persistent (especially Kotomi) and bold but with caution.
    ...are both highly energetic. They do get these random spurts of "the zoomies". This is a breed that loves, loves, LOVES to run. It's their passion.

    - Having raised and lived with a Malinois for 2 years prior to getting my Shikoku. I consider Shikoku relatively easy, less reactive and less frustrating to handle. As with any puppy, they can get into trouble if left unsupervised.
    - Both Shoushuu and Kotomi have had their share of destruction. Even so, they still make much better house dogs then Lynx. When they do find something "forbidden" to play with (i.e. MY stuffed animals, slippers, hats, papers, etc), I usually have enough reaction time to realize what is going on and take it away from them before it is destroyed. With a Malinois, I usually only have a matter of seconds.
    - They can be pushy, but they are a lot easier to ignore, lol.
    - They are overall pretty calm and laid-backed, even when they are super excited they seem to still be in control of themselves.
    - Very quiet dogs, I don't ever hear them vocalize unless it's in play or an unfamiliar person is ON the property. They don't bark at the neighbors in the backyard or passerbys in the front yard. They are very curious about things though and will just "survey" what is going on. If something spooks them (more likely to occur at night), they will give low series of short "rolling" barks, sometimes combined with low growls. If they are in their crates and have to go potty, they'll give a short whine/bark. If I take 1 dog and leave the other behind, they will whine/bark. If they are hungry, they will whine/bark.

    ° As for the trash, while it is a possiblity, they are normally not interested unless their are "yummys" in there (i.e. empty cans of cat food). Usually, they'll just pop their head into bag of kibble.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Shoushuu

    - As an 8 week old pup, he was straight forward, outwardly friendly, very confident and fearless. And still is to this day.

    - He was very demanding as a puppy.
    - Crate training him (at home) was a pain in the rear. He'd SCREAM his lungs out if he was left in a crate at home but was perfectly content inside his crate in my truck.
    - I had a difficult time just trying to get to first accept (he'd resist) and then walk on a leash (he'd just bounce around).

    - At about 11 weeks of age I had an encounter with possessiveness of a toy.
    He was playing with and mouthing the toy and growled at me when I went to pet him. I immediately corrected and squashed this possessiveness. I really scared the sh*t out of him though (puppies are very impressionable), he didn't even play with the toy after that, lol. He didn't comprehend that he was allowed to play with it, he just wasn't allowed to growl at me. Anyways, since then I've NEVER had any problems with toy possession. He's been the perfect angel -smiles-.

    - He seems very "emotional".
    When he gets corrected hard enough (to take a correction seriously), especially by Lynx, he'd get all "butt-hurt" about it. He'd avoid her for like half a day and sometimes the entire day. Then he'd have a recovery and be back to his antics again. This was mostly when he was a pup. However, every now and then he still gets a correction from Lynx.

    He's kinda goofy and oblivious sometimes (or just doesn't care), so in a way, Lynx's corrections get the message across to him. He got his a** kicked a couple of times for either chewing on Lynx's elbow or trying to mount her while she just came into heat.
    Kotomi corrects him as well for mounting behaviors, but Shoushuu doesn't take her seriously. It's really cute though cause she does get pissed, lol. Anyways, sometimes he'll listen and sometimes he doesn't. So Kotomi just kinda "plays it out" and flops down on the ground so he can't get to her.


    - He is affectionate but not very cuddly. He doesn't like to be restrained or smoothered but he loves to play. He'll tolerate hugs from anyone but I try to not allow this to happen, unless it's me - he has to put up with me -grins-. I always like to reinforce his toleration though...whether it's someone else or even me, I will give him a treat (good boy!).

    - He's overall not very reactive (I'd classify him with a "low reactivity level"). He' pretty "chill". However, I've noticed as he matures he's begun "crate-guarding" with people he doesn't see on a daily basis. If I take him out he's fine, but inside his crate he may bark and growl at people.

    - So he's out-going and social, yet still retains some guarding instinct. He's a good boy, but he can be a jerk sometimes -smiles-.

    He's still very much "puppy-ish" though. He won't truely become "a man" in mind until probably 3 years, maybe even 4 years of age. I don't really see him changing much. Other then he may become more reactive but still remain civil. It'd be a transition from a "low reactivity level" to that of a "moderate reactivity level".

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kotomi

    - As a 3 month old pup, she was sensitive, a bit shy, cautious but very sweet. She's still very much the same (at about 8 months of age), however her confidence level has increased. When she is comfortable she is pretty straight forward. Especially at home when people come to visit she's friendly and bold. Outside home, she's sometimes "cautious" before "warming" up to people. Her environment seems to dictate her behavior.

    - She's very easy-going and respectful.
    - I didn't have any problems with crate-training.
    - She accepted the leash and could walk somewhat decently.
    - She's never shown any possessiveness.
    - She's got EXCELLENT pack drive.
    - Is very affectionate and playful but not cuddly. She also doesn't like to be restrained but she'll tolerate it for a little bit before trying to break free.
    - She'll accept a correction from another dog with instant recovery.
    - She's not reactive at all. So right now I'd classify her with "no reactivity", however with age she should transition to a "low reactivity level".

    She possesses a very sweet disposition. She's friendly and lovable, once you meet her she'll melt your heart!
    image
    Belgian Malinois (Lynxiene)
    Shikoku Ken (Shoushuu | Kotomi | Sakura | Ayla)
    Alaskan Klee Kai (Keno)
    photo NihonKenBannerbyChrystal.jpg
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 2195
    In reguards to the "raising your voice":

    If they know they are in trouble, they will react accordingly by throwing their ears back and appear "submissive". Otherwise raising my voice at them usually just innitates a play session. They play bow or lay in a down position. Then run to me and run away from me and then come back again. Sometimes they just come to me expecting food. And other times, I don't get any reaction out of them other then their attention, as if they're asking, "What up?" In worse case senario, they completely ignore me and tune me out.
    image
    Belgian Malinois (Lynxiene)
    Shikoku Ken (Shoushuu | Kotomi | Sakura | Ayla)
    Alaskan Klee Kai (Keno)
    photo NihonKenBannerbyChrystal.jpg
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3279
    I'm probably the laziest when it comes to excercise, but I also have the most space. A few times a day, I take the pups out for a romp and Rakka always runs around like crazy. She does a few top-speed runs down to the barn and back (she's taken to checking on Melvin a lot) and then runs around the field a bit before it's time to come in. She's really good about coming in, I don't even usually have to call her, she just has her fun and then sits on the porch. She's really calm indoors. She mainly sleeps or looks out the window when nothing's going on. I've only seen her get exhausted once, and I don't even know how it happened. It was the middle of winter and she suddenly went missing. I spent the next half hour or so looking for her and when I came back, she was practically passed out in front of the door. I let her in and she just flopped down on her bed. Skella came to see her and she just growled and gave her this look like, "don't ask". My only guesa is that she fell into a snowdrift because our driveway had been plowed and there were huge snow hills.

    Anyway- she loves training and playing. Her drive and focus are really good. She also loves affection. She will often lean on me and lick me to get scratches. She doesn't snuggle, though. Whenever I try she thinks I'm trying to wrestle.

    I think she would really benefit from another shikoku or big dog to rough house with. She's too rough for the other two and I can tell she gets frustrated because she wants to play with them so much. She has really enjoyed the times we've had foster dogs that could match her intensity. She was a lot happier and quit picking on Skella all the time.

    She's not very noisy. She barks if someone's at the door or if someone strange drives up. She also likes to sing to me. If she wants out or attention (and she's trying her darnedest to be good and not jump up) she sort of howl-whines and throws her head back. It's cute.

    She can have pretty awful manners and impulse control when it comes to greeting people and sometimes she gets it in her mind that she's going to pull Isaac's shorts down, Coppertone style. Mostly she's gentle with kids, though. She follows isaac around when we go outside. If isaac runs off, I usually look for Rakka because she follows him but stays visible most of the time. Whether she does that on purpose, I don't know. She also likes to lick Matea's cheek to make her giggle. Oh, it's precious.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester and Bestimus Mucho(cats)
    image
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00
  • JanetJanet
    Posts: 42
    Ooh! I saw some videos of your dogs playing with the baby! it was so adorable. Your dogs seem like they have great personalities!
    Post edited by Unknown User at 1999-11-30 00:00:00

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