3 questions :-)
  • SoloSolo
    Posts: 13
    Hi! I haven't posted in a while, but I've had some questions rolling around in my mind & know this is the best place to ask. :-)

    Cats: Is the prey drive in your Ken breed completely *inherent* - or also partially dependent on learning? Let me give a frame of reference: a wolf is a full-on pack animal who hunts large prey, and needs to cooperate. His prey drive is present, but the actual hunting/killing skills are partly dependent upon being taught. Because of that, a North American wolf (or wolflike dog breed), if raised around cats since puppyhood, never allowed to chase/roughhouse, and basically taught to "leave it", can grow into a cat-safe canine...although I still don't advise leaving them alone unattended with cats, of course.
    I recently read from an experienced dingo facility that they find a dingo's prey drive to be absolutely inherent, requiring no teaching to develop. This does make sense to me as most dingoes are not pack animals; they have no need to be. I can tell by living with my own dingoes that they are less developed in terms of social structure and communication than wolves. The ones raised by the wolf dogs, however, have better social abilities than the ones we got who were raised by dingoes! The dingo facility also proposed that their *pack skills* are what's learned behaviour...fitting in well with what we have observed here.
    All that said: The Ken breeds look--and from what I've read, act--VERY much like dingoes, and almost definitely came from the same original canid. Have you found yours to be similar in terms of weaker pack drive, but very strong prey drive even when raised from infancy around cats or other small animals? Have any of you successfully kept cats and your primitive dogs together without constant redirection? (Bonus: If so, what is your advice for those who are living with both?)

    Question 2, much simpler: any good links on the origination of the Japanese breeds? Most "history of the dog" sites take about East Asia and then move through Asia down to Australian, NG, and maybe Taiwan. I haven't seen good links on where they currently propose that the Japanese breeds originated from. Do they think Japan domesticated them independently? From the Indian wolf, the Dhole, or another source?

    3) Does anyone have working contact info for O-iKon kennels in Ohio? :-) I'm 4 or 5 hours from them, so they're my closest chance to maybe meet some Kai and Shikoku, one day, if they do visits.

    Thanks in advance for any input! This stuff is fascinating to me.

  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 1605
    Peggy is about 3 hours from me. They welcome visitors to their place to meet the dogs.
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba

    DSCF0686IMG_0940 - Version 2DSCF0714IMG_1151

  • PonyfieldsPonyfields
    Posts: 16
    Anecdotally, while my Shikoku has a very strong drive to chase things, she very soft mouthed and crap at dispatching them. After a management fail on my partners half, she got a hold of our cockatiel and he survived the experience conpletely unscathed. She has also held rats in her gob on two seperate occasions and they were uninjured enough to escape when she let them go.

    She also can't follow a trail in the direction a rat has gone to save her life.

    Finally, our vet is pretty rural and there are sheep, chickens and cats roaming around outside (and sometimes in the waiting room) Yuuna completely failed to eat, maul or even shout at one of the regular vet cats that was winding it's tail over her face.

    She definitely find them interesting, but it's flight that kicks her prey drive into gear. That's not to say she won't try and bay stray animals, but she'll ignore ones she familiar with.

  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1902
    @Solo - It's funny that you ask Question #2. I just contacted asked some Dingo and NGSD people something very similar this morning regarding possible relatedness between the Dingo, NGSD, and an ancestor to the Japanese breeds or Jomon dogs as a reading interest. I have a few studies (one from 2004 and one from 2011), but none go all the way up to Japan. The furthest north the studies go (that I could find) is Taiwan, which had no relatedness to the NGSD and Australian dingo. There is one that looks into possible Chinese origins of the modern dingo and Singer. I haven't found that yet.

    Question #1 - I used to think that they (the Japanese breeds) could be cat-friendly if raised with them, without question. Now, I think it has to do with the breed and then the line/kennel within that breed. My Shikoku, for example, learned not to chase *my cats*, even though he was never raised with cats and didn't have good relationships with cats before coming to me. My Kishu, on the reverse end of the spectrum, will never be allowed with cats and will attack them. Her puppy, even though she was raised with cats, WILL chase and bay cats. She does it to the cats she was raised with, too, but not to the same extent as strange cats. She always has to be watched with cats.

    Question #3 - Peggy and Bob are TK's breeders (my Shikoku Ken). They're great people and very open to meeting people and having people meet Shikoku Ken, from my experience. If she's close to you, I would absolutely visit. They just opened up a FB page that might be useful for contacting them. https://www.facebook.com/shikokudog
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1937
    Regarding the cat question...my Hokkaido, Meitou, lives with a cat. He does fine, with qualifiers. He has never tried to hurt the cat (Sullivan). Once Meitou got over his fear of Sullivan he has always seemed to like him. He tries to play with him, and sometimes Sullivan will initiate play. Meitou started out pretty obnoxious in his attentions toward the cat but has gotten better as he matured (with random relapses). He still has moments where he can be obnoxious, but they can be left alone without worry. And for some reason nature cannot explain to me, Meitou thinks Sullivan is the best humping toy ever (sigh). That is when Meitou gets most obnoxious, which thankfully is less often than it used to be.
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
    RIP Amy (Border Collie)

    “Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
    But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
    --Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear

    "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
    --Brandon Sanderson, the First Ideal from The Stormlight Archive.
  • LiaMarieLiaMarie
    Posts: 71
    My Shikoku lives with two cats. And while they don't necessarily like each other, they do co-exist. I think being raised with cats is important, but I think the biggest thing is continuing to work with your dog on it and trying to "normalize" being around cats. That is, having your dog in a situation where a cat is in the same room as them or walking by, and the dog is not chasing. And I don't mean tugging on a leash or trying to get at them but being restrained. The dog should be focusing on something else, with the cats still in the room. At least, this is what has worked for us. At first it involved waving a high-value treat right in front of her nose, because she wanted to chase the cats so bad, but now I can just call her name when she sees a cat, maybe have her do a sit-stay, or down, or something to redirect her attention, and then praise. I do this even if she doesn't look like she's about to chase. I just want to reinforce that a cat walking by is normal and doesn't need to be pounced on.

    For my girl, she never is trying to attack them, just wants to play. I do think the chase instinct is inherent, but it's a response to the cat running, so some of this is on the cat. If I had cats that loved dogs or were raised around them, their relationship would probably be different. I don't think Shoko would ever hurt the cats. In fact, when my kitty girls are in heat they don't run, and Shoko will just lick them and nibble their ears. If they run, Shoko will chase, but if she "gets" them, all she will do is "bay" them. Nowadays, though, the cats can walk by Shoko no problem. If she notices them before we notice and can redirect her, she'll walk up calmly and get hissed at. I don't think she'll ever be left alone with them, and I don't think we'll ever stop working with her to reinforce calm behavior around the cats. They can co-exist, but it takes work.
  • NavyDogNavyDog
    Posts: 388
    My Kai is actually not a fan of cats. When ever we visit @Kira_inu, Yucca knows that her cats run the house. A few times Yucca has been stuck upstairs because Moose the cat was sitting on the steps. She hasn't really had a bad experience with cats nor does she see them as a prey item. They are a respected animal. She also could care less about my 8 snakes, however, feeder rats are her babies. She will chase them if they get loose but only to pick them up and carry them like a puppy. She will also protect them from the other dogs. She does still have a high prey drive when it comes to squirrels but I think socializing them with cats and small pets goes a long way.
  • Kira_InuKira_Inu
    Posts: 315
    LOL @NavyDog is correct - my cats do run the house. They not only have seniority, but they have also lived with dogs for as long as I've owned them. My old man is 14 (Lynx) and my girl is 6 (Moose) - they are accustomed to living with my Shiba, as well as having many dog visitors/friends that come to the house. They know not to run and also have a tall scratching post that they retreat to if they don't want to deal with any dogs.

    My Shiba LOVES my old cat Lynx, they have gotten along since day 1 and play/wrestle often. Moose tolerates Kira but they respect one another quite well. Kira has full run of the house when we are at work and is completely trustworthy in regards to the cats.

    As a lifelong cat owner, it's also equally important to not only train your dog to be well-behaved around cats, but to train the cats as well. Cats are difficult creatures to train, but it can be done! I keep a separate drinking area for the dog and the cats (don't get me wrong, the cats typically drink from wherever they want normally) so that if Kira is eating then they won't get too close to her and give her space. I also shoo them away if she is eating or has a treat. I give the cats treats separately from Kira, but she has to sit nearby and wait patiently before she gets her treats. I specifically taught Kira that so she would learn to respect the cats when they eat their own food and treats. Kira is 2 now and is still an angel around the cats, but it does take a lot of dedication and work.

    I also agree that it's a nature/nurture thing with dogs and cats - the background and lineage can have a lot of bearing on their tendencies. But it's important to have actual experiences and exposure to the cats, as well as diligent training. Kira's breeder also bred Maine Coon cats which was a bonus for us because we already owned cats.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • SoloSolo
    Posts: 13
    Took me a while to get back here ;-o but THANKS to everyone who answered. It's encouraging to see a number of folks getting the species to get along! My little guy is usually pretty good and my girls are getting there, and we do the same things as some suggested above. No need for them to be left alone together, but I don't want any hazing of the cats when we're all home together. I'm just surprised how drivey the dingoes can be, "right out of the box", compared to the wolf dogs. :-o

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