Kishu Ken (紀州犬)
Adopting a Kai Ken looking for tips and advice
Some of you might have already seen my post on the facebook group, but I am gathering as much info as possible so thank you in advance.
I have a 1 year old 15lb red/cream female shiba and she is really wonderful. I socialized her a lot as a puppy and she loves dogs and is actually pretty decent with strangers. Not afraid of them and not too standoffish. She is mellow (even for a shiba) quite, and not high energy. I can easily pass her out with a 30min walk.
Chiba - The Kai Ken. He is almost 3. Comes from an Oregon breeder. He is the runt, 27lbs. To summarize his description, he is loveable, gentle, very affectionate with his humans, very cuddly and people pleasing. He is crate trained, decently socialized, dog friendly, mellow, and pretty submissive. Has never started a fight or bite anyone or the other dogs.
We met him yesterday and introduced Taro our shiba. Typical Nihon Ken of slightly ignoring each other but overall, neither dog was stressed, no aggression, general interest, but my Taro was more interested in sniffing the new yard and finding shade (it was super sunny and hot. Things she hates)
So I have no worries the dogs will get along, but I want to make sure we do the process right. Slow introductions, not letting the dogs be together unsupervised, making sure the Kai Ken is secure and can't get out etc.
Is there anything special I should know more about this breed when rehoming? G
ood ways to get the 2 dogs used to each other without overwhelming the Kai?
Taro will be just fine. She has met SOOOO many dogs and has SO MANY strangers and new dogs at our place that it doesn't phase her. She also isn't toy or food aggressive with dogs or humans (I have never seen her snap at this)
How would I make sure that he doesn't become possessive over food or water?
I currently free feed my shiba because she eats SO SLOW. She eats like one kernal and hour... so I figure free feeding wont be an option for 2 dogs and I will need to establish a feeding schedule.
Both my BF and I work full-time so they will be unsupervised during the day, but I purchased a super tall gate to have the hallway separated just in case but is it OK to have him in his crate in the same room as Taro so that they are together but protected? Read that sometimes it is a good idea, but not sure if that will be too much since he can't go anywhere if he is scared or whatnot. The hallway is a decent option because there is nothing for him to destroy, he would have more room to smell and exercise a bit, but that might also be too much too fast?
He will need to get new vaccinations (his rabies shot ran out) so when should I take him to the vet to have him checked out? A little after I get him or wait until he feels comfortable? Same with microchipping him. He needs one and I think that would be a later thing too.
Any additional advice would help.
Oh also we live in a large apartment, so no backyard to worry about. Anytime we are outside he will be leashed with a harness or fitted martingale collar.
As far as just general Kai personality quirks and some rehoming talk, this thread goes pretty in depth if you haven't read it yet:
There are quite a few people on here that have re-homed Kai (@rafatturi ,
, and many others) and I know could give GREAT advice with experiences!
Everyone's here to answer questions and help...lot's of good people
I'm sure it'll all go great, ESP since you're preparing yourself the best you can!
Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
Just a couple of things to think about:
You say that Taro is good with other dogs, but has she had to deal with other dogs in her home for long periods of time? If so and she did great, then I think you will have a super smooth transition (yay!). If not, then I would be pretty cautious about bringing in Chiba. It could take a while for Taro to be okay with another dog in her home long term.
For now, I would separate the dogs when you are not there to supervise their interactions. Depending on Taro's (and Chiba's) reaction, this could need to happen for a few weeks or forever. If Taro normally has free run of the house, then I would continue to give her free run and crate Chiba at first. Once he is more comfortable in the environment, you could probably get away with a baby gate.
As for the vet appointment, since Rabies is required by law, I would do that sooner rather than later. You might give him a week to get used to his new family, then take him in for the vaccine and microchip.
Food/Toys - I would feed both dogs separately. If you have a few days before you bring Chiba home, I would work on getting Taro situated on eating at specific times. I did this with my Shibas a few years ago (medical issues required scheduled feedings) and it only took about a week for them to figure it out. Just put the bowl down (I usually added a little bit of shredded cheese to get them interested in it) and take it up in 15 minutes if they have not finished their meal. Do not put it back down until the next schedule meal time. Healthy dogs will not starve themselves, so do not worry if she skips a meal or two. She will figure it out.
I would also not leave toys laying out for a bit, just in case there is any resource guarding tendencies.
Hopefully this helps some, but remember that every dog-dog situation is different. What worked for me may not work for you. Sometimes it really is just trial and error. But it sounds like you have the best interest of both dogs in mind, so I think you (and Taro and Chiba) will do just fine.
Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
As I mentioned on facebook. Food was the biggest issue at first for Ty when he was brought home. Asako got too close to him once (my fault) and he snapped at her. That was the only incident we had. After that I fed them opposite of each other and sat between them. I do have to ditto the toys. We did end up having to get separate toys for Ty at first.
Today they eat side by side, share toys and special treats... even with Asako going up to Ty and taking bully sticks from him. Everything is still hers...
Adjustment of them playing together took quite a while. She didn't want much to do with him at first. I would say it took a good 6 months before she would really acknowledge him. Boy was she pissed when he got into the car with us bringing him home!
Though, today, she will go up to him and shoulder check him. She did teach him to play... their favorite being shoulder rolling onto each other. Within almost 2 years, (wow its almost been 2 years since ty came to us) and this just started recently,... they will lay on the floor together, roll over, mouth & paw at each other. And for some reason Ty puts up with Asako's shiba silliness and corning his side/butt/leg/tail whatever she can get a hold of and just... nibble/corn on it. Maybe he likes the scratchiness of it?
So, even if it takes some time... it is worth it. We still see Ty making adjustments and coming alive after two years of being with us. They may be subtle... but we can tell.
Asako - 5yr/f/Shiba | Ty - 4yr/m/Kai
sunyata - good point. She has had dogs over to our place for I think the most, about 4-5 hours, so if a dog doesn't leave after a period of time, she might be "WTF why are you still here".
Definitely planning on keeping them separate especially when unsupervised and feeding them separately. Sounds like the breeder actually free fed all her dogs (about 6) with barely an issues, but not sure if we will get to that point. But then again a feeding schedule doesn't hurt either
I did read that toys should only be out during approved supervised playtimes, so Taro will have to get used to not accessing her stuff all the time. But she pretty much sleeps most of the time we are gone.
I did ask the breeder if it would be better for her to get the updated shots, so she is going to go ahead and do that since it will be less stressful for him.
One additional question I have to ask is for any of you who have 2 dogs, do you crate them while gone or let the 2 of them have run of the house? If they are getting along fine, at what point can I test the 2 of them alone together?
Right now Taro gets run of the house. All she does is sleep anyways, but I know Chiba is very well crate trained. Taro is indifferent to her crate. She sleeps in it, but I don't crate her up since I spent more time training her to be left alone without a crate.
- With toys, after a few months, you will probably be able to leave them out if neither of the dogs seem possessive over them. I leave toys and low value chews (nylabones) out for my girls. You just have to play it by ear and know your dogs.
With two dogs, my experience is a little difference, since both of my girls I got as puppies. So I was dealing with housebreaking, crate training, and manners at the same time as I was dealing with integrating the pups. So it was about a year or a year and half (who remembers way back then?) before I was able to leave B&N unsupervised together out of the crate. But that was more because Nola liked to chew on things. Their integration went much smoother and they were able to hang out together almost immediately. In the meantime, though, Bella was allowed free run of the house when I was not home and Nola was in her crate.
I think there is no standard answer for when you can trust them to have free range alone together. It all comes down to "Know Thy Dog".
Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
This blog posts might be helpful.
Shows how Mac's owner introduced his shiba to friend's dog since he was going to watch while his friend is gone. Might help some. Either way good luck on it.
Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
Thanks again for the insight. All very helpful! Starting to get anxious since I pick him up in 3 days. I want him so badly already but I am very glad that I made sure to not take him home when I first met him. I really wanted the week to prepare both physically and mentally.
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