Export


Over the years I've received a lot of mail from people interested in owning one of the Japanese breeds. After a bit of initial trepidation about having my passion and work mingle, I began offering my services as a translator to help find pups to ship overseas. I still offer this service, but for the more adventurous I thought I would put together a basic step by step of what it takes to find a Nihon Ken pup, and get it home.

1.Finding a Breeder

Most breeders of the Japanese breeds are non-profit kennels. They work to preserve these rare breeds as part of their national cultural heritage. A large percentage of the breeders are older, most are not very tech savvy, and nearly all do not speak English. So how do you go about finding a pup?

If you know someone who has imported from and already has connections to a kennel in Japan, it will make your search much easier. Personal connections are very important in Japanese culture, so being introduced by a mutual acquaintance will help you get your foot in the door.

Internet searches, and directly mailing kennels with websites is another method you can use, albeit a very hit and miss one. You have no idea of the quality or nature of the kennel you are buying from. They could be the worst kennel in the world, but just happen to have a website. If you choose to go this route it is preferable to have your letter translated into Japanese before you mail the kennel you are interested in. I've heard from many of my friends here who run kennels, that they have been rather offended to have people send them mail in foreign languages. It shows a level of seriousness and good manners that you have taken the time to have your letter translated so the breeder can understand you!

Perhaps the best method is to contact the breed club. All the Japanese breeds have dedicated clubs, and if you contact the office, even in English, they will usually make the effort to help you find what you are looking for. Here is a list of the clubs and their contact information.

Akita:
Akita Inu Hozonkai (Akita Dog Preservation Society aka AKIHO) http://www.akitainu-hozonkai.com/index.html
Japan Kennel Club- http://www.jkc.or.jp/

Shiba:
Nihon Ken Hozonkai (Japanese Dog Preservation Society aka NIPPO)- http://www.nihonken-hozonkai.or.jp/
Shiba Inu Hozonkai (Shiba Dog Preservation Society aka SHIBAHO)- http://www.shibaho.net/
Japan Kennel Club- http://www.jkc.or.jp/

Kishu:
Nihon Ken Hozonkai (Japanese Dog Preservation Society aka NIPPO)- http://www.nihonken-hozonkai.or.jp/

Kai: 
Kai Ken Aigokai (Kai Dog Protection Society aka KKA)- http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~kaikenaigo/
Nihon Ken Hozonkai (Japanese Dog Preservation Society aka NIPPO)- http://www.nihonken-hozonkai.or.jp/
Japan Kennel Club- http://www.jkc.or.jp/

Hokkaido:
Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai (Hokkaido Dog Preservation Society)- http://hokkaidoinu.jp/
Hokkaido Ken Kyokai (Hokkaido Dog Association)- http://www.doukenkyou.com/

Shikoku:
Nihon Ken Hozonkai (Japanese Dog Preservation Society aka NIPPO)- http://www.nihonken-hozonkai.or.jp/ or http://www.shikokuken.jp/

The better your relationship and communication with the breeder, the better your chances of getting a quality pup as opposed to getting say the runt of the litter, or a pup with faults. Be as honest, clear, and polite in your communications as possible.


2.Costs

Puppy prices will vary by breed and kennel. I can only give you what I have found to be the norm within Japan, and what I generally consider to be reasonable, which is anywhere between 75,000-150,000 yen. I have found pups for under this price, and heard of numbers as high as 1,000,000 yen.

This price should usually include registration, deworming, and the first round of vaccination. It is good to be clear with your breeder on this point. You will also need an IATA approved crate to ship your pup in. Some breeders will include this for free.

Here are some ballpark figures for how much things usually cost over here in Japan.

Crate: @8,000 yen
Combination Vaccine: @8,000 yen
Rabies Vaccine: @5,000 yen
Deworm: @3,000 yen
Standard Health Exam: @3,000 yen


3.Export Regulations

The pup must be over 8 weeks old, and an examination reservation will need to be made at the Animal Quarantine Service of the airport the animal will be flying out of, preferably at least 7 days in advance of the flight. The dog will need a health certificate stating that the animal is free from signs of Leptospirosis and Rabies, and is in good health. You can have this examination done at any animal hospital, or can make arrangements for the certificate to be issued at the AQS on the day of the flight. This certificate must be issued a maximum of 7 days prior to the day of the flight. Here is the link to the Japan Animal Quarantine Service http://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/qanda/dogcatqaex.html

Import regulations will vary by country, so contact your local quarantine authority well in advance. Japan is a rabies free zone, and this does ease import restrictions to most countries.

Importing dogs to the US from Japan is fairly straight forward. The only paperwork you usually need is the Health Certificate issued by the AQS in Japan. While combination vaccinations and microchipping are preferable, dogs can be imported without them. However if over 3 months old, the dog will need to be rabies vaccinated. Import regulations to EU countries are much more stringent.


4.Shipping

There are two ways ship a dog, accompanied (carry on/check in of the flight you are on) and unaccompanied (as cargo). If you are planning to fly with a pup, you will need to make arrangements in advance with your airline. Most airlines require a minimum of 72 hours notice, but it's best to make arrangements when you book your flight as there is limited space for animals on any given flight. To make your reservation you will need to give the airline information regarding the weight/age/breed of dog, and the dimensions of the crate. Some airlines allow dogs that fit under a size/weight limit to be crated and taken into the cabin.

To ship a pup unaccompanied (as cargo), you will need to make arrangements with a shipping company at least 10 days prior to shipping. In Japan regulations require that you use a shipping agent to ship live animals. Shipping agencies have offices near the international airports, and you will usually have to arrange some sort of transport to the office. Some companies offer a pick up service. A reservation will need to be made with AQS for the dog to be examined. The shipping agent can make the reservation, fill out the paperwork, and take the dog to its inspection for you for a fee (@25,000 yen).

The Crate: Airlines have regulations regarding crates. Most follow IATA guidelines. To put it simply the crate must be big enough for the dog to stand at full height and not have its ears touch the roof. The dog must also be able to turn around and lie down comfortably. Each airline has its own rules, so check with your airline or shipping agent.

Shipping Costs: Obviously costs will vary according to destination. Taking a dog back with you as check in is surprisingly affordable. As an example, shipping a kennel on most airlines to the US costs around 20,000-40,000 yen.

Shipping a dog as cargo is pricier. For most destinations in the US shipping is 80,000-150,000 JPY for a medium sized crate. Shipping costs to Europe are higher and vary by destination.

Here's a useful tip: some airlines will allow pups that are under certain age/size limits to be crated together. The age/size varies by airline. When shipping cargo you are billed by crate size, so there is no difference in shipping costs if you ship 1 or 2 pups.
Lastly I will mention that these are the costs if you are able to do everything yourself. If you go through an intermediary, or have the breeder taking care of all these preparations, prepare to pay a for the service.

33 comments:

  1. I came across your blog while doing research on the Shikoku Inu. It would have helped to have a bit more technical data on each breed standard, but what you've provided is still excellent and very helpful.

    We currently own two American Akitas. Japanese Akitas are, regrettably, all but impossible to get here unless you want to deal with a fly-by-night operation trying to profit on the popularity of Hachiko.

    I'm currently exploring the possibility of getting another pair of akitas or perhaps shikoku once our current pair have passed on.

    I'm curious about the possibility of bringing puppies home as carry-on. I don't think Air Canada allows such a thing due to allergy concerns. Are there airlines that allow carry on puppy crates inside the cabin for the flight?

    Regards,

    Geoff
    Toronto
    gpeby@bell.net

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    1. There are some airlines that allow dogs in cabin, but unfortunately all the NK breeds other than the Shiba will most likely not fit the in cabin size restrictions (even at 2 months).

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  2. You've mentioned that you've worked with individuals as a translator looking to export breeds from Japan, in your experience, would you be able to recommended good breeders in Japan that you've come across?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the excellent question. I'm writing a post to answer it, so check the blog later.

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    2. I'll look forward to it

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  3. hello!

    I'm Alex from the Philippines and I plan to own purebred Japanese Akita Inu.
    Can you suggest for a reputable breeder as well as a shipping company to send it here?
    I'm very afraid of getting this done on-line since I have been scammed once.
    Please let me know, I'm hoping for a positive response on this matter.

    Respectfully,

    Alex J. Lumbera Jr.
    Dasmarinas City, Cavite, Philippines
    alexjlumberajr@gmail.com
    alexjlumberajr@yahoo.com

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  4. Hello,

    Your link to Kai Ken Aigokai's website is no longer working. Is there an updated link you could give? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately the KKA is no longer maintaining a website.

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  5. Do I remember right that there is a newer regulation whereby pups cannot be cargo shipped but must be accompanied by a person?

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    Replies
    1. Dogs can still be shipped cargo, but when there is a transfer of ownership, Japanese law now requires a face to face sale and contract signing.

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  6. Hi can you clarify above comment.You now have to travel to Japan to export a dog?

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    Replies
    1. Basically the law was updated and now requires a face to face sale of dogs. For export/import it basically means that to stay within the law there needs to be a physical transfer of ownership, either in Japan or overseas. But then again, it's a bit of a gray area since once the dog is out of the country, it's no longer under Japanese jurisdiction.

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  7. hi everyone, im from the philippines and im planning to take care of a shiba inu. but i dont really know who and where to buy one. any suggestion pls. and if possible to list the down hows the process for getting one?

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    Replies
    1. Hello. you can email matthew.hk@rslog.com / she may still have some from her current litter

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    2. You can contact me through my export site if you need more information. http://japandogexport.com/ There's quite a bit of information regarding export on my site as well.

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  8. hi kato. im from manila, philippines. do you have the list of breeders that you can refer to us ? tnk u

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately I do not give out lists of breeders since none of them speak any English, and very few have websites. You can contact me through my export site if you need more information. http://japandogexport.com/

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  9. I am wondering when is a good time to speak with you over the phone?

    I will need your services and I am very happy that you offer this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't do phone calls very often since they are time consuming, there is always a timezone difference involved, and I have a very busy schedule (I'm out of the country often, or in the mountains). I do most of my correspondence via email. Of course if necessary I take a call every now and again. kato.the.walrus@gmail.com is my email address.

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  10. Can you refer a seller of akita inu female?gicelgel@gmail.com here's my email thanks.

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  11. What if someone (me) were interested in buying imported shiba/shikoku for breeding? I am over the moon in love with these breeds and am not ready to take on the task but in the meanwhile I am gathering as much information and collecting contacts to help me when I can afford it. I am looking to import Japanese Shiba Inu and Shikoku Ken in the hopefully near future, but I do not speak Japanese. I'd be willing to fly out and pick up my pups personally. Looking for potential show quality, but more interested in preserving the breed and bringing attention to these dogs where I am locally. I am looking for guidance more than anything. If you have time to share some insight please do. I currently have a Shiba Inu now. Looking to acquire a Shikoku in the near future soon.

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    Replies
    1. Send me an email at kato.the.walrus@gmail.com

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  12. Just a heads-up, in case you weren't already aware, Delta Airlines is changing their pet policy:

    CHECK YOUR PET
    EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 2016:
    Delta will only accept the following animals as checked baggage: (1) pets for members of the US military and their dependents with active transfer orders; and (2) service and emotional support animals that comply with federal regulations, including proper documentation based on current policies and procedures. All pets or other animals not meeting these exceptions and not able to travel as checked baggage will only be accepted for travel as freight through Delta Cargo.

    Please be aware of the following information before booking your pet on Delta Cargo.


    A separate booking from their flight itinerary is required. Additional fees and charges may apply.
    A pet shipped domestically via Delta Cargo cannot be booked until 14 days prior to departure.
    Pets are not guaranteed to be shipped on a customer’s same flight or flight schedule.
    Shipping a pet requires dropping it off at a Delta Cargo location at least three hours before departure time at a location separate from passenger check-in.
    Picking up a pet would also occur at a Delta Cargo location.
    Delta Cargo only accepts international pet shipments from known shippers. Delta suggests that international customers use a pet shipper approved by the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association. Customers would then need to follow acceptance procedures set by the shipper.
    Customers with flights prior to March 1, 2016 must book pets as checked baggage at least 48 hours before departure.

    https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/special-travel-needs/pets/pet-travel-options.html#check

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  13. Hopefully it was useful. I'm disappointed because Delta does non-stop flights from Narita to US airports I need to fly to. This is a setback, but I think Air Canada may be an alternative.

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  14. Hello, I will be visiting Japan this year and would like to bring home shiba inu with me. Can you give me some breeders over there?

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately none of the breeders I work with speak English. Do you speak Japanese? my email is kato.the.walrus@gmail.com

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    2. Hi Kato! Do you have a phone number that I can speak to you directly?

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  15. Hi kato, I recently emailed one of the breeding groups for Japanese Akitas and no one answered. Is it because I speak English and no one understood my email? I really would like to have an Akita but nobody speaks English and I know very little Japanese. Could you help me in any way? Thank u

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  16. Hello from Finland ! I need some help. I very interested at bying NIHON TERIA and searching breeders of this breed. I know that this breed is very rare even in Japan. Can't find any information about breeders at Internet. Maybe you can help me? I don't know Japanese , so it difficult to find something at Japanese websites. I am searching dog for show with good pedigree . Ready to come even in Japan to pick up a puppie by myself by plain. Please I'm desperate ....
    BRG Natalia Samelin
    e-mail n.samelin@gmail.com
    Facebook Natalia Samelin

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  17. Hello Kato
    I´m very intrested in a female shiba inu could you help me?
    Do you have a number o e-mail where can find you?
    Regards

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  18. Hi I'm interested to get a Hokkaido Inu. Would you be able to help

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    1. You can drop me an email at kato.the.walrus@gmail.com

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