Thursday, September 22, 2011

Import a Puppy or an Adult?

Someone asked me recently what my thoughts were on why there are so many Nihon Ken puppies being imported as opposed to adults, and what the advantages/disadvantages are.

For anyone interested in breeding, I would rather be sending over young adults. By the time a dog is 1-2 years old you can have genetic testing done, you can see that the dog is not missing any teeth, what 'type' it's carrying, its temperament, any faults it may have etc. You can have titled dogs sent over, proven studs and breeding females. From a conformation and health standpoint, shipping a young adult over is definitely the way to go.

As to why everyone imports pups, I think there are a few reasons. One is that everyone loves puppies. They're cute, and it's a terrific experience to raise them. You can raise the pup in the environment it will spend the rest of it's life in, train them the way you like, and in many cases people already own adult dogs so it's easier to bring a new pup than an adult dog into the household. Puppies are more readily available and cheaper. What breeder would want to easily give up a proven young adult dog?

Lastly, and this is probably the most important point, the way that most Nihon Ken breeders in Japan raise and keep their dogs is very different from the norm in say the US. The vast majority of breeders show, and breed as a hobby. The dogs are kenneled or chained outdoors, with most getting minimal socialization. Most are not kept in the Western family pet model, but as watch dogs, hunting dogs, or kenneled show dogs. There is little to no training, socialization, most adult males are same sex aggressive (this is seen as normal and in the show ring, tolerated), most adult dogs of both sexes are not comfortable with strangers. While it can be argued that this is the Nihon Ken at its core, I know from experience that they can make terrific indoor companions, but it takes raising them in that environment from a young age to have a high percentage of success.

Since most owners and breeders overseas do not kennel their dogs it is an extremely sticky proposition to import an adult that may or may not adjust easily to living indoors and the 'pet' lifestyle, and most likely will have issues with living with new adult dogs.


  1. I prefer a puppy, because it might get used to the environment in which they will live and could educate as I want ^^

  2. Nice video;In Belgie , dog used for sanglier beaggle..; piste au sang

  3. Best regard fro Belgium, i have two golden retriever