UKC shares historic update for Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) eligible breeds. See News section for full details.

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram Subscribe to E-news YouTube


Northern Breed Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Kishu is descended from the medium sized dogs that existed in Japan in ancient times. It became established as an individual breed in the mountainous regions of Kishu, and takes its name from the region in which it was developed. Originally, the breed was found in varying colorations, but after 1934 only solid colors were accepted. The Kishu is a hunting dog, used mainly on wild boar.

The Kishu was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006.

General Appearance

The Kishu is a medium sized, well-balanced, compact and muscular breed with prick ears and a curled or sickle tail. The breed gives the appearance of being capable of great endurance. Males are distinctly masculine and females feminine.

Faults: Lack of secondary sex characteristics.


A noble and dignified breed, the Kishu is faithful, docile and alert.



The forehead is broad. There is an abrupt stop, with a slight furrow. The cheeks are relatively well developed.


The muzzle is wedge shaped, fairly thick, tapering but not pointed. The nasal bridge is straight and the lips are tight.


The Kishu has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Disqualifications: Extremely overshot or undershot bite.


Generally black, but flesh colored is accepted in white dogs.


Fairly small and nearly triangular in shape, the eyes are set well apart and are dark in color.


Small, triangular in shape, firmly pricked, and inclined slightly forward.

Disqualification: Ears not pricked.


Thick and muscular.


The shoulders are moderately sloping and well muscled. Angulation between the shoulder blade and upper arm is moderate.


The forelegs are straight, with the elbows held close to the body, and the pasterns slightly inclined. Bone is strong.


In proportion, the Kishu is slightly longer than tall, measured from the breastbone to the point of buttocks and the withers to the ground. The chest is deep, and the ribs are moderately sprung. The withers are high, and the back is short and straight. The loin is broad and muscular, and the belly is well tucked up.


The upper thighs are long, and the lower thighs are short. The hocks are tough and strong.


The toes are close and well arched. The pads are thick and elastic. The nails are hard, and preferably dark in color.


The tail is thick, set on high, and carried curled or curved like a sickle over the back. Pulled down, the tail is nearly long enough to reach to the hock joint.

Disqualifications: Short or hanging tail.


Double, with a harsh, straight outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. The hair on the cheeks and the tail is fairly long.

Fault: Distinctly long coat.


Red, white and sesame (red hairs with black tips).


Height at the withers for males is 20.5 inches. For females, it is 18 inches. There is a tolerance of one inch in either direction in both sexes.


Light and resilient.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Extremely overshot or undershot bite.
Ears not pricked.
Short or hanging tail.

UKC Breed Standards: Kishu

Looking for a Dog?

Find a dog that will fit your family.

Note: The breeders on this list are not endorsed by UKC.

Official UKC Breed Standard

©Copyright 2006, United Kennel Club