Puppies are all gaining and doing well!
Puppies are all gaining and doing well!
Hokkaido babies are over 24 hours old and are hitting their milestones, top of their class for nursing and crawling, and all gaining weight. To be honest, I was sort of dreading managing another huge Hokkaido litter, but 4 is a perfectly manageable amount and not too much for mom Kurasi to take care of in her own.
In fact, Kurasi is excelling at being a mom and it suits her. She is quiet, undemanding, devoted and careful with them and doesn’t care if I am there or not (although she loves the extra attention). I thought she would be extra clingy like her mom was with the first Hokkaido litter, but nope! She is doing super. I also battled constant diarrhea with Genko until the puppies were weaned, so implemented my strategies I already learned early on for Kurasi, and so far, it’s working well.
This litter experience is so far quite enjoyable (minus lack of sleep), and I hope the trend continues!
Hokkaido litter #2 has safely arrived the day before Valentine’s, making this the second North American litter, adding 4 new Hokkaido to the population from Kurasi and Ashi. More updates coming soon as the puppies grow. 3 boys (2 Black and Tan, 1 brindle) and 1 Black and Tan girl. All puppies are reserved. Mom and babies doing well!
My good friend Mr. Shigeru Kato over at the Nihon Ken Blog has updated registration numbers of the native Japanese Nihon Ken breeds in their home country. Hokkaido numbers are desperately in decline and anybody interested in the breed needs to demonstrate that the demand exists overseas or breeders there will simply fade out of breeding them all together. If you are considering Hokkaido as a potential breed, you will have lots of support from the breed club here I promise if you decide to import! This is a great moment in breed development here to actively contribute to breed preservation and growth before they become extinct.
I owe an enormous thank you to Mr. Kato for his efforts helping the Hokkaido and medium breeds in the US become established. Thank you so much for writing this and helping the US Hokkaido breed club HANA gain momentum. It has been my special project since I became interested in Shibas 10 years ago and as I am sorting through all of my Hokkaido registrations, AKC information, upcoming Open shows, DNA samples to submit and puppy requests, I do feel there has been steady progress year to year in the US. But we NEED more dogs (and more homes) to diversify the gene pool.
And yes I’m one of the people bugging him for a male lol, so if anyone is interested in importing and being apart of something rewarding, I’m willing to work out an arraignment as I have with several of my other excellent Hokkaido homes. This would typically involve the import puppy living full time as a pet with the new owner (not me), with me sharing import fees in exchange for breeding when the puppy is older. Or, this could mean me offering a puppy back to a potential importing home using one of my own dogs in a breeding to said import. Or however we arrange it. Bottom line, importing helps drive demand and results in a nice puppy getting a good home here and the satisfaction of contributing to the breed in a big way.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on importing a Hokkaido.
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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.com for more details.