Hokkaido Puppies Due Valentines 2018, Health Tests

It looks like Kurasi has buns in the oven and they are due around Valentine’s Day in Puyallup, WA. I will also plan to import another male to improve breeding options and would like to have him go right into a co-own situation in the PNW area. As with the first litter, I have created an Amazon wishlist for puppy needs: http://a.co/dWLL2IK. I can tell you with certainty, that the puppy care packages we received for Genko’s litter of 6, were much appreciated and got me through some majorly messy situations.

We did visit another dog show recently for health tests with all my Shibas and Ashi, and all the dogs enjoyed themselves. It was nice to see other breeder friends and have 3 generations of Shibas from Ike to his sons to his grand daughters all with perfect eyes. His registered name is “Idol Eyes” and I find that fitting, given that at nearly age 11 he has great vision and so do many generations descending from him. It’s nice to see the older Shibas that are verifiably healthy, but I have come to expect nothing less from the fantastic lines that his breeder Leslie Engen has labored to perfect.


Ike, cautiously looking for rats.

Umma finished her OFAs recently and has perfect knees, full dentition and EXCELLENT hips. We are thrilled and feel she will pass on her many admirable traits in future breedings. Ashi’s heart exam was also perfect and he is slated to complete his CEA swabs with Umma. I went ahead and ordered several CEA/Cardiac/coat color swab kits from Paw Print Genetics for Genji, Miki and Kurasi as well. Doing all these tests for the number of Hokkaido I have worked with is no easy task!

Completing all the registrations and translations for Genko and Yezo, their 6 puppies, and the last 2 imports has been a long process. In addition to all the dogs ongoing care and upkeep including classes, dog shows, breed education, travel and routine vet care, the health testing has been a challenge to balance in regards to coordinating with owners and completing DNA swabs on dogs that may not even be in the country any longer or are not tolerant of the handling required for a sample collection. To be honest, it is hard juggling all of this considering I have had to also deal with several untimely rehomes and emergency vet visits.

I try to keep everything in perspective however, and am always working to improve and strategize without neglecting my home and own needs. I think work/life balance and burnout are very real issues facing breeders who have 9-5 jobs and also are passionate about their dogs. I also think it is a terrible disservice to enthusiasts to represent this passion as being all pleasantries and not discuss the moments when things go wrong for fear of judgement…there is heart ache and tears and nobody needs someone who is self righteous with very little on the line, to undermine the hard work that has been done. These are interactions I won’t forget as I move forward with Hokkaido.

Lastly, I received some Hokkaido Club gear I ordered from the club Red Bubble store. The shirts are very comfy and the little makeup pouch is pretty handy.

And very lastly, here are some photos that make me happy and sad at the same time: Top left is Riku, Farrah’s last puppy, owned by and photo by Leah Crowley. Top right is Taiyo, Farrah’s first puppy, owned and photo by Sandra Tung. Both of these are especially significant to me and their stories especially poignant. Someday I will share them. Middle and bottom left are some of the gang recently at the beach in Port Townsend and all passed out on the ride home. Bottom right is of course my very favorite sleepy man, Ike, the boy who started it all for me.

I realize as I loaded these, that these photos are bitter sweet, and most have special stories. I hope that when I am old, and these dogs long gone, that these photos will give me some comforting thoughts. How these little souls manage to nestle in our hearts so deeply and enrich our lives so profoundly, is truly one of life’s greatest joys and greatest sorrows.

Hokkaido Meetup and Open Show

Several of the area Hokkaido owners near Portland had a little meetup at one of the AKC’s FSS Open shows (dog show for Foundation Stock breeds). Umma, Miki and Ashitaka, along with their Kishu friends, got to spend a day together playing show dog. Here’s a few photos of the event:

This is the first appearance Hokkaido have made in any AKC rings. They are a bit larger and a bit busier as show dogs compared to Shibas in that it is hard for mine to learn to be still. They are almost always on the move!

Dogs Available for Placement Fall 2017


I will periodically make announcements for available Shiba and Hokkaido here…most will be youngish dogs who have not turned out for showing, are retired from breeding, and sometimes rarely a dog I am looking to place into a cooperative home for breed preservation who will not spay/neuter. Dogs I announce are owned by me or my close Shiba/Hokkaido breeder network.

I do have a couple of young male dogs we are wanting to rehome. They are very active older puppies who are house trained etc, but need more intensive management and therefore would do better in households with fewer dogs, and patient humans who don’t leave the home every day for extended periods of time while puppy has to be alone.

I would like to see both dogs with Japanese dog experienced families, who are active with walks and hikes and will agree to do training classes. Ideal homes are near Tacoma/Seattle corridor. Secure fenced yards a must. Shiba boy is neutered already and has a rehoming fee.

There is also a special placement opportunity for a Hokkaido boy I want to keep intact until breeding. His placement is conditional and he needs to remain close to Puyallup. I am in no hurry to see him go as he is doing well with me, but my Shiba boys would rather he live elsewhere.

Please contact me via email to masakadoshiba@hotmail.com for more details.

Hokkaido Puppies Available April 2017

Hokkaido Association of North America

There are some very nice Hokkaido puppies from a litter in Japan for sale. I am traveling to Tokyo with a group and will be able to bring one or both back with me to the states in April, with stops in LA area and then Seattle. Two red girls are available still. There would be a significant savings on shipping fees (often $1500 for live cargo back from Japan!) Co-ownership would be ideal for breeding purposes and I could negotiate on sharing cost of import to the right home. Please let me know if you are interested and I can get more information for you.


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NIPPO, Changes, Plans and Puppies

There have been many changes this past year following the importing of a pair of Hokkaido Ken to the U.S. as a group effort. Although Shibas are my number 1 breed, I have retired Farrah from breeding and am enjoying my time with her doing dog sports and drooling over her grandpuppies. Ike and their puppy Marko continue to show and earn Championships/Grand Championships. Getting the Hokkaido breed established here has been my pet project since 2010, although my true passion is with Shibas, and I have plans to continue helping, supporting and working with Shibas and other breeders.

Those of us in the Nihon Ken community with the desire to see the Hokkaido Ken established in the states decided the time was right to conduct the first breeding from our imported pair, Genko and Yezo, which was successful and resulted in 6 wonderful puppies. From there we have pursued AKC-FSS recognition and have begun screening dogs here for genetic illnesses with CERF, OFA and Optimal Selection DNA testing. We have even attended some dog shows with the Hokkaido at Meet the Breed events to help introduce them to the public.

Starting a new breed is HARD WORK! And EXPENSIVE! Good things have certainly come from this endeavor, and looking back, I do not at all regret taking this path. I have met so many wonderful Hokkaido families and what an adventure it has been. I am very excited to announce that Masakado Shiba is now a registered NIPPO kennel for the purposes of furthering the Hokkaido Ken breed, under the NIPPO kennel name of Hokusei Kashinoki, meaning Northwest Oak 北西樫ノ木

*There are no Shiba litters available, however, I have a wait list started for a Spring 2017 breeding of Umma go Hokusei Kashinoki. Dog experienced homes in Western Washington/Oregon preferred. Hokkaido are similar in size and temperament to Shibas and are also a native Japanese treasure breed. Please visit www.hokkaidoken.com or email me for more information at info@hokkaidoken.org or phone 253.278.1169 if interested*

Updates for 6/7/2015

We have attended several Barn Hunt trials in 2015 and Farrah got her RATO, and Ike got an Open leg. Their puppy Marko made his sports debut and got his RATI and his first Novice Leg. Good dogs!



Farrah also participated in several Flyball trials this year so far and got her Flyball Champion SIlver, putting her at #5 for the breed in NAFA standings. Both she and Beebe have several demos lined up with the team and look forward to them.


Farrah also had great fun at several Agility trials this year and needs just one more leg for her Excellent title:

Ike earned his Grand Championship this weekend at the Puyallup Cluster with a nice BOB win, on limited showing. His puppies are carrying on for him and it makes me proud and very thankful to have such a wonderful dog to live with.



In between all these events, we have enjoyed several beach trips and dog vacations, being fortunate to hang out with friends and two of Farrah’s puppies, Taiyo and Chai. What fun we had!

Coat Color Inheritance in Shibas: Cream and Agouti

Because this is important and gets a ton of hits:

Hokusei Kashinoki Shiba and Hokkaido Ken 北西樫ノ木

For those who do not follow Shiba show news, last week the US saw a 3rd cream AKC Shiba Champion. This is a rare occurrence, and provides the chance for discussion of color quality in our breed (yes they can be shown in AKC). Following this event was the usual rehashing of the cream color debate and about how the US was the “only” place that faults creams (which is inaccurate, most countries follow FCI/Japanese standard for faulting cream). Additionally, there was a petition created on Change.org asking AKC to “recognize” the cream shiba. This spawned an alarming amount of misinformation among pet owners and current breeders about showing, registrations, and genetics.I primarily want to explore some genetics information here first, before delving in to the cream debate in another post.

Genetics: The old staple reference material for explaining coat color inheritance was a series of very nice diagrams written…

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