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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So my dog Okami is 18 months old and the girl who I originally got him from said he was half Akita and Half Siberian Husky. However, as he as gotten older, I have started to think that he might not be an Akita and he might actually be half Kishu Ken. If you don't know, like Shiba Inus and Akita Inus, Kishu Kens (sometimes called Kishu Inus) are in the same family, but I would say Kishus, from a size perspective, are in between a Shiba and an Akita. They are also typically white, but another color does exist. He has the curly tail (which is curled about 90% of the time) so that could be a trait he either got from a Kishu parent or an Akita parent.

Now for the evidence for him being half Kishu Ken.



This is a Kishu Ken, and despite coloration (because my dog inherited the Husky coloration, when my dog is upright and panting, he very similar except he has different ears and eyes thanks to his Husky parent.

Below are some pictures of my dog:







The girl who I got him from also said something very interesting. She said the the mom, who was Husky, was bigger than the dad, who was an Akita, but this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. A female Husky would never be larger than a male Akita but a female Husky could potentially be larger than a male Kishu Ken if he was on the smaller size and she was on the larger size.

He rarely barks except when he hears someone who he doesn't regozine which would align more with a Kishu since they aren't really barkers, but Akitas tend to bark at everything.

I also read that Kishu Ken's have a very high prey drive, similar to Akitas, but unlike Akitas, they are silent hunters. They prefer to stalk their prey (no barking) and then they go in for the kill. While on walks at the park, I have seen Okami go into stealth hunter mode with birds and small mammals and he literally gets as low as he possibly can to the ground, moves slowly and then tries to get them (but I never let him of course).

His weight and size also align with him being a Husky / Kishu mix because he is between 60 and 70+ lbs (and again, he is 18 months old). At his current weight, he would be much smaller than a typical Husky / Akita mix- I have seen females who weigh over 90 lbs and I have seen males who weight upwards of 130 lbs.

Where Akitas are typically thought of as a breed of average intelligence, Kishus are extremely smart. My dog knows how to open the fridge, how to open trashcans and even though he can be stubborn at times, he picks up on new commands fairly well.

I know without blood work all we can do is speculate, but I think the girl who I got him from was mistaken and the person who she got him from just didn't know the difference between an Akita and a Kishu Ken.

The only evidence that I have for him being an Akita is that he seems to be very protective of me (which is typically an Akita thing). In addition, he is pretty skinny so he might end up getting larger than 70 lbs and of course last, but not least, Kishu Kens are a little on the rare side because they have only been in the U.S. for just over a decade.

What do you guys think? Is he half Akita or half Kishu Ken?

 

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He's a pretty boy.

I'd believe Akita x Sibe. Frankly, the odds of him being a mix of two more common breeds is a lot higher than him being a rare breed mix. As for a female Sibe "never" being larger than a male Akita, poorly bred dogs frequently fall outside of the breed standard. While "guess the breed" tests have improved in he past few years, they can still be very inconclusive, especially with rare breeds that are closely related to another breed (like just about all the Japanese breeds). To prove actual parentage, both his sire and dam would need to be DNA typed, as well as him.

Also, there are two types/breeds of Akita in the US, the one called just Akita (American Akita elsewhere), and the Japanese Akita. Of the two, the Japanese Akita is a smaller, slighter dog than the Akita, with a slightly different overall look.
 

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I'd agree that it's really, really unlikely he's a Kishu Ken mix. It looks like there are only three breeders in the US, with only 29 US-born dogs registered in the Kishu Ken pedigree database. Typically, when a breed is that rare, you don't often get intact animals going off the radar and producing mixed breed litters. Yes, there may be unregistered dogs or breeders not following the NIPPO (the parent club in Japan) or AKC/UKC standards, but I'd bet not many.

A lot of the behaviors you describe also align well with huskies - particularly the bit about getting into everything, haha. It's also very possible that one or both of your pup's parents weren't actually purebred, given you never met them yourself and only have spotty, second-hand information to go on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the info everyone! Last night, my ex girlfriend actually saw a picture of the parents from the girl who we originally got him from and I have no idea why there were so many misconceptions about his parentage. From what my ex described, the mom was definitely big for a female Husky, but she wasn't bigger than his dad. There is a female Husky named Nova who lives right around the corner from my apartment and she is 2 months older than my dog, but she is about 45 lbs (she is so tiny!). My ex said that Okami's mom dwarfed Nova. The girl who we got Okami from basically recanted her statement saying that she never said the mom was bigger, but that's what both my ex and I heard so who knows. She said the mom was 65 lbs and I was told that she did not look overweight at all and she was pure Siberian Husky (at least that is what she looked like from the picture and she apparently had the same icy blue eyes as my dog).Also, the dad was not an American Akita, but instead he was an AKita Inu. American Akitas are typically a bit larger than Akita Inus, but it is still common to find Akita Inus over 100 lbs. My girlfriend was told that the dad came in at just over 100 lbs.

Also, I was a bit off with my dog's weight because he is closer to 80 lbs right now. The vet said he still needs to fill out so we can expect him to grow an additional 15 lbs to 20 lbs this year. I don't know if you guys can tell from the first picture, but he is pretty skinny, especially around his hip area, but again he is still 18 months old.

Lastly, the girl didn't have the name of the breeder or any contact info, but I will try my best to track down the breeder myself, but all the evidence is pointing to him being half Husky and half Akita Inu.
 

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Your pup is very cute, and I would bet my house on him being a husky mix. I would also bet money that he doesn't have a drop of kishu ken in him, especially if you're outside of Japan.

But also ....

I also read that Kishu Ken's have a very high prey drive, similar to Akitas, but unlike Akitas, they are silent hunters. They prefer to stalk their prey (no barking) and then they go in for the kill.
This is nonsense.

Being silent while stalking is universal predation behaviour, not a breed-specific trait. You're much less likely to catch prey if you announce yourself first.
 
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