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Klee Kai vs. Shiba Inu
    Posts: 1507
    Today I met my neighbors new puppy and I first thought it was a Husky with a Shiba tail. Turns out its a Alaskan Klee Kai (a recent designer dog)
    first marketed in 1988.


    The dog interested me so I looked up info on it and came across a quote that disturbed me and seemed insulting to our guys. Not that I want to start a debate
    and its one breeders opinion. Nor am I thinking of mixing them.

    "Alaskan Kai Dog/Shiba Mix – Alaskan Klee Kai and Shiba Inu mix. There was a reason this breed was not used in creating the Alaskan Klee Kai and that was temperament. Shiba Inu’s are very reserved with strangers, have a very strong prey drive, and tend to be aggressive towards other dogs. It is like an AKK temperament at its worst. My god, why would anyone in their right mind breed these dogs together?"

    "Stereotyping" our guys at its worst in my opinion.
  • anyone who buys a designer dog loses a few points in my book. if you want a designer dog you go to the pound and rescue one. they have all kinds and you can make up your own name. a designer dog is a good ole lovable mutt with a fancy name and a big price tag.

    most of the description is pretty good except the agression part. i think that shibas agression is way overblown, and a lot of it can be attributed to their play style.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    LoL Joe, that should be shelter/rescues new adoption pitch, give every mutt there a designer dog breed name to ring in the interest of people who are looking for one.

    I'd say that the reason for the shibas "aggressive" reputation is cause this is a breed that has to be worked with in order for them to be friendly towards stray things. They are not like other popular breeds that can get away with being treated similar to a house cat and still greet everyone.
  • As I recall from reading some of the Klee Kai development info, the developer of this breed wanted a cute, small version of a husky that would be very sweet in terms of temperament. Her description of the Klee Kai was almost dreamlike; she had her "vision" of what a Klee Kai should be. She was not looking for an independent, strong-willed dog.

    That said, I know of at least one older Klee Kai who was saved through the efforts of the Northern CA Shiba Rescue and sent to a Klee Kai rescuer/breeder. Have seen a Klee Kai at the dog park and he was a nice little guy.
    Posts: 1507
    Both my guys have great temperments and are sweethearts. I'm not anti Klee Kai, the puppy I met today was mellow but the "who in their right mind" is what ticked me off. Not to mention using "Kai" in their name is misleading. No Ken in them just Northern Spitz types. Shiba Inu- 6,ooo years of breeding and refinement vs. 20+ for the AKK.
    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2010-11-11 01:42:15
  • I'm anti designer breeds, actually, and am pretty annoyed by the Shiba slam, too. And I don't like "miniaturizing" dogs either. But love your last sentence there, Inu Ryuu....yeah!

    Plus, the original breeder's page is really annoying. "Breed the best, cull the rest?" I have problems with that as a breeding policy. I also found her (mis) information on Alaska annoying (I'm mostly annoyed by how she conflates and confuses Native groups in Alaska. I grew up in Alaska, so this is stuff that pisses me off).

    and why do some small breeds have protruding eyes? I really hate that. A lot of American Eskimos have it, and some of the AKKs do. I'm so glad Shibas don't!

    Ok, enough rants from me.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2010-11-11 04:03:10
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I've never seen a klee kai up close or owned one so can't comment on their temperament, but I didn't like this breeder comment about the shiba yes they can be dog aggressive, but sometimes it's due to lack of socialization, bad breeders, or something bad happened in the shiba's life...

    They look cute and stuff, but I'd rather own a husky or a shiba inu..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    I owned a Siberian Husky that was a mutant - he was more in the size range of a very large Malamute. After he died, I wanted another spitz type dog, but not one that would be as big as a normal Siberian - my life had changed and there would be children helping with the dog (walks) and I wanted to make sure they could handle it.

    That's when I began looking for an existing breed that met my qualifications - I never looked at a designer breed because there was no need. There are so many dogs out there already. I would have taken in a mutt without any problem, but then I met a shiba and my heart was lost forever.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I felt the same way when I met Saya I think shiba inu are a perfect breed for me wouldn't mind having rescued shiba inu all in my life and maybe a kai ken here and there.. lol
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Why are people so against new breeds being developed? I don't think every new breed should just blanketely be labeled a designer dog. Most of the breeds we have today were created in the same fashion. Nor do I think all downsizing is really horrible (I for one think some breeds who have painfully short lives should be downsized), I don't hear people boycotting Pomeranians when their original size was 40 + pounds. While I don't believe in their creation for looks, I do believe in their creation for working purposes. Creating better bomb sniffing dogs or service dogs, in my opinion is a great idea. Just as its a great idea to breed dogs that better fit into our current environment instead of preserving breeds that have highly strict requirements in order to properly fit into today's world. I want to stress that "hybrid" dogs don't fit into what I'm saying here, but if a person has enough individuals to breed dogs that predictably come out the way any established breed would, and if they put the huge amount of time and effort into doing this, I don't think they should be scorned.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I agree with ya Ariel I don't have too many issues with this, but when people are making designer dogs for profit not to improve on or make a new breed then I disagree with doing that..

    I believe some people are making an improvement on English bull dog the new breed is old English bull dog are much more healthier can breath better etc..

    Main issue on this thread is that the breeder commented on the shiba like it's some aggressive mean dog.. >.<

    There's a list online somewhere with a list of a lot of designer breeds and it's crazy the combination some people are making..

    If your making a breed or trying to improve fine, but lot of designer breeders are doing it for the money and are not concerned if the poodle and retriever are of good health..

    The breeding down are size that's fine and dandy, but the who teacup chihuahua or teacup Yorkie is crazy my mom's friend has a teacup chihuahua that dog is so tiny I was afraid of even petting it..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Ariel, developing a new breed for a PURPOSE is not a bad thing, and I do not think anyone here would look down on someone doing that.

    However (and I could be wrong, as I have not done a lot of research on this), the AKK was bred for looks as a companion dog, not as a dog that has a purpose that another existing breed of dog could not already do. This is where the 'designer' part comes in. The AKK breed was designed by someone who wanted a dog that looked like a husky but smaller. There was no purpose for this other than 'looks'.

    As for the temperament slight on the Shibas... I take offense to that. Shibas are amazing dogs and if properly socialized are accepting of most other dogs. Shibas are not 'generally' dog aggressive. I honestly can not name one Shiba that I have met that is dog 'aggressive'. I have met a couple that are dog 'reactive', but that was due to lack of socialization at an early age.

    But personally, I am glad that whoever wrote that thinks that mixing another breed with a Shiba is a bad idea. Because I do not want Shibas mixed with another breed for someone's enjoyment. I want Shibas to remain Shibas.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I agree with that Casey I hate seeing shiba mixes breed on purpose one local breeder selling shiba/husky mixes on purpose calling them mini huskies..

    Or someone breeding a shiba with a chihuahua or pom to make a smaller shiba.. >.<

    If I get a shiba mix it'd be from a rescue not a breeder..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    Casey stated it well concerning creating a new breed. If there is a purpose that isn't being met, I completely understand it. For instance, there truly was a purpose behind the labradoodle and it wasn't for looks. However, that breeder regrets doing it because he believe that it set off the designer craze. He seemed (from what I've read) to consider the lines he mixed in hopes to create a truly hypoallergenic breed. Unfortunately, many of the "designer dog breeders" are truly trying to cash in on a fad.

    Breeding 2 dogs together without consideration for the genetic lines or temperment tests isn't good. The AKK (because of it's smaller size) isn't going to be performing any task that a husky would. My husky (since I live in the Southern US) was harnessed to a wagon and would pull my gardening supplies around. It gave him a job that he loved - the rare times we had enough snow for him to pull a sled - he was in heaven. Genetically, this dog was predisposed to working.

    To further my thoughts - I had an English buldog when I was younger. I loved Rascal, but he had tons of respiratory issues. My niece has an adorable pug, but the breathing sounds horrible. Those are 2 breeds I wouldn't want to own because of how far it has gone because of looks. I doubt you would find a bulldog today that could perform the job it was originally bred to do, as is the case with many older breeds. It's because of this, I see no reason to create more just because we can. If there is truly a breed that could serve a purpose (non-cosmetic/companion) that needs to be created, I'd be for it, but I can't think of a single one.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
  • I met a Klee Kai once and the owners freaked out when Yoshi went to play with him because Yoshi is waaaay too rough and aggressive and a maniac and might break their precious dog in half. Seemed to me that the little Klee Kai could've handled a little Shiba wrestling but whatever.
  • RorsRors
    Posts: 165
    I see a difference between new breeds and designer breeds. In Australia in the last few years a certain shopping centre / mall pet store franchise has expanded and encouraged the whats that puppy in the window concept, I dont know the source of these dogs but have heard disgusting stories on how these dogs are bred and treated if not sold within a determined time frame.
    I see these and the backyarder sold versions of randomly breed animals as Designer dogs - purely for profit.

    New breeds however have to come from some where. If Klee Kai are a new breed then they will have a consistent standard that breeds true.

    Look at Shibas exsisting for thousands of years but they weren't establish as a NIPPO standard until 1936, they were a breed that had regional traits. Its size and shape specifically selected for the mountainous regions they came from - these selections took into account the need for an agile independent dog that could survive the wild. (Source paraphrased "The Total Shiba" by Gretchen Haskett and Susan Houser)
    BTW is anyone using them to hunt?? Apartments and cages are their natural environment?

    Please understand I mean no offense to those that dont hunt or have apartments BUT look after their charges with love and respect.

    Any dog attribute selected as a focus to be a integral part of that breed is a man made design Purpose is relative. To labour the point: if it is not a wolf it is a designer dog.

    Look at horticulture should we only ever grow what can be eaten?

    I believe what reflects in a good breed is the ethic and respect for the life (including plants no GM!) that is being created.
    PS the breeder is out of line.
    Post edited by Rors at 2010-11-12 19:47:50
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Yeah the comment didn't make any sense to me, especially the part about prey drive, if I remember correctly they used Siberians in this breed and I know for a fact their prey drive is just as big as a shiba's. The whole aggression towards other dogs doesn't really offend me much. Untrained I can easily see how a Shiba may behave that way, especially towards little dogs. I personally rather see negative comments like that, so that people can get an idea of how intensively socialization needs to occur. All too often I run into people who only ask me two things when they see Kenshin "What is he?" and, "How much does he cost.". I take the time to tell them how much work he is, but I always worry about the people who I talk to and just seem to be lost in his cuteness factor....
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    What I find funny is that there is a breeder out there that has actually created min sibes without the need to breed in other breeds. If you mention Klee Kai to her, she get's really pissed as if your insulting her by comparing her mini-sibes to mutts.

    I think the Klee Kai is cute and all, but if they really didn't want a dog that is "very reserved with strangers, have a very strong prey drive, and tend to be aggressive towards other dogs", they shouldn't have mixed schipperke in there. Schips are very similar to shibas in that they are independent, intelligent dogs that favors one person (thus can be reserved around strangers) and can have a tendency to be aggressive when not properly socialized. They also have a terrier like prey drive since they were originally used as ratters in the barges. So this person is pretty much shooting themselves in the foot since her stock contains a breed that can have similar "faults" as a shiba and yet she complains about how bad shibas are.
    Post edited by Calia at 2010-11-12 20:52:13
  • Yeah, I'm not necessarily against cross breeding for a purpose, whether it is for health reasons (with the Dals, for example) or for dogs to do a certain line of work (like some of the hunting dogs Brad posted about on the NK side). I'm less sympathetic to designing yet another companion dog, though, because I think there are a plenty of breeds out there already.

    And the downsizing for cuteness (which is how I see the AKKs) is annoying to me, but that's my personal issue with the obsession for miniatures. I just don't get it. I didn't know Poms were orginally bigger--I'd like 'em much better at that size!

    I just find that most of the designer breeds are for no particular purpose. I'm thinking of labradoodles and golden doodles and all that...
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    I haven't noticed any aggression in the Shibas I've met.

    Not going to touch the designer breed debate. It'll turn into an argument
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    Wasn't the labradoodle created to be a hypoallergenic version of the "lab" or something?
  • Brad, I also remember reading that many of the various "poo" mixes were designed to mitigate allergic reactions in people with dog allergies who still want a dog... That said, I think I also read that there's no such thing as a "truly" hypoallergenic dog, so all the -poo crosses in the world are not going to help.

    And to add something else to the bias against Shibas... While I don't agree with the disdain expressed in the original quote, there actually does seem to be some truth in this assumption that Shibas are predisposed to aggression. I've read a few articles from Yukari Takeuchi, a University of Tokyo researcher who has done a lot of work on native Japanese dogs and their temperament. Shibas have been found to rank higher on traits such as aggression towards other dogs, watchdog barking, territorial defense, and snapping at children, at least of those surveyed in Japan. But Takeuchi did note in at least one report that native Japanese dogs like Shiba and Akita are often kept as watch dogs, and so those kinds of traits match favorably with their function.

    On the plus side, they are considered just as trainable as Siberian huskies (which are ranked low aggression, low reactivity), so the message is that if you want a Shiba as a pet, you must socialize, socialize, socialize.

    Full text of at least one report is here:

    Some interesting stuff there. For example, I didn't know that American Cocker Spaniels and Irish Setters were considered highly reactive and likely to turn on their owners!
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Oh yeah, the other main article by Takeuchi that talks about Shiba aggression is a tentative search for a genetic basis for dog aggression -- I followed up on a link that sukoshi's mom posted a while back, and traced his work back to this article:

    * Takeuchi Y, Kaneko F, Hashizume C, Masuda K, Ogata N, Maki T, Inoue-Murayama M, Hart BL, Mori Y (2009)
    Association analysis between canine behavioural traits in the Shiba Inu and genetic polymorphisms. Anim Genet 40: 616-622.

    It's a little too technical for me to fully understand, but he's basically saying that there MIGHT be a genetic link that explains why Shibas are prone to various types of aggression. But he also concludes by pointing out that there are many types of aggression and factors contributing to aggression, so more research needs to be done.

    It'd really be something if one could breed aggression out of dogs by locating *just* the right gene, though...
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Hhmm Interesting! =)

    Saya seems to be only leash reactive takes a few times meeting a dog on leash to feel OK, but off leash she is wonderful with dogs. She never seems to try to hurt other dogs when she is on leash she just snaps and growls trying to tell them to back off.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    I'm sure there is a genetic component to aggression in breeds, otherwise why would aggressive breeds consistently reproduce aggressive dogs?

    Think about boar hunting dogs, a good boar hunter is said to be "imprinted" with their prey. Meaning, they are naturally aggressive toward the prey they are selected to hunt, in this example that would be wild boar. If you can select dogs to be aggressive toward one specific species, then I think you could certainly select them to be aggressive toward their own species too. Actually, in many breeds canine aggression is part of the breed - its what they were specifically designed/selected for (like the Presa Canario and Wolfhound, for example).

    Now think about HD or LP, those traits were never selected for in a breed - no one wanted HD or LP - but some how they have become part of a breed, a trait that is now more common than not common. Somewhere a long the line the selective breeding of that breed lead to unintentionally include the genes that cause HD and LP. Some trait/quality the breed was selected for resulted in the "piggybacking" of this other trait (HD and/or LP in this example).

    So, couldn't aggression, or more specifically human/canine aggression, also be carried along in a breed the same way HD and/or LP is?


    When I was in Japan last week I noticed most of the dogs I met who were kenneled were pretty dog reactive. Even the Kai Ken, who are not typically aggressive dogs.

    Most of the breeders I spoke with, once they heard about how we do not kennel our dogs, and therefore have no aggression issues, admitted (without me asking) that NK are better kept in a group to freely interact with each other without the frustration of a kennel or a tether. I thought it was interesting that they understood that concept but couldn't manage their dogs like that due to space and time. I also found it interesting that, due to this limitation in space and time which resulted in a specific type of kennel management, the typical behavior of a frustrated NK has become part of the breed's standard - dogs in shows over there are discounted for not showing that frustration while in the ring.

    On that note, another thing that I found very interesting (and kinda sad) is that, whether in NIPPO, one of the Aigokai, or JKC (tho it seemed to be taken a bit further in NIPPO), since the judges over there liked to see some level of reactivness in the dogs they judged while in the ring, it was therefore selected for in the dogs - and even promoted in husbandry/kennel management. One Shikoku breeder I spoke to had it suggested to him by a NIPPO judge that he keep his dogs in smaller kennels in order to bring out more of their "character" (i.e. frustration) while in the ring. So this breeder actually changed his kennel from being a setup where multiple dogs shared one large kennel space to being single dogs in very small kennels (think large crate). For this breeder, he was doing what was recommended to him by a NIPPO judge in the hopes it would improve his dogs, which would improve the breed. When in reality he was really just promoting anxiety and frustration in his dogs... Kinda sad.

    I think that mentality and husbandry, and its physiological effects on the dogs, MUST, eventually, become a genetic factor in these breeds, one which may helps to lead them to being "aggressive". Add to that the selection of dogs that do better in the ring, which need to have a certain level of "character" (i. e. frustration & reactiveness) and you can see how "aggression" has become a breed trait in many of the NK breeds.

    Anyway, point is, I think (and it was reinforced by these Japanese breeder's comments) barrier frustration, misdirected frustration aggression, reactiveness, predatory instinct, and higher-than-average drive are all common NK traits. (which are all traits that can be considered "aggression" by an observer)

    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2010-11-14 15:03:47
  • JudyJudy
    Posts: 183
    Frodo is reactive to other dogs and would try to hurt them. I feel we were very fortunate to be able to add Chelsie to our home, but it took 6 months of walking them together, but far enough apart to not elicit a reaction from Frodo. Over time we were able to walk them closer together and it progressed from there. He would play with her while on leash, but only outside. Inside he would still go after her. After about 5 months, he would play with her on leash inside and finally, inside off leash. I think Chelsie was determined to stay with us and she was submissive to him while not to some other dogs. Frodo remains reactive to any other dog while Chelsie is ok with other dogs as long as they do not show aggression to her. The main problem we have between them is they have to be fed in separate areas and treats need to be something that can be eaten quickly.
  • Curlytails and Brad, really interesting discussion on genetic issues with aggression. I was willing to believe it WASN"T genetic, because one of the books I'd read, a pretty good one, suggested it was not, and I thought, huh, well, what do I know of genetics? But it makes MORE sense to think that it would. I was once told--and this may or may not be true--that some people believe that the long coated Akitas have a better temperament, which is why they like having them in the breeding pool, even if a long coat is a disqualifying fault for show.

    anyway, it's very interesting, and I'll have to read up on it some more.

    Brad, I was really struck by, and saddened, by the story of the NIPPO judge telling the breeder he should create more "character" in the dogs, which resulted in a smaller kennels to create more barrier frustration. It's an interesting and illustrative story, though, in that it shows how dogs can be conditioned to this sort of "aggression."
    Posts: 1507
    While walking my guys this morning they finally met my neighbors Klee Kai "Sonny". Surprisingly Penny was non reactive. No agressiveness and both my guys did the hello new dog survey and the Klee Kai let them smell all they wanted. This meeting gave me the opportunity to compare the breeds phyysically.

    Maybe I am biased but Shibas' rule. The Shibas appear more muscular, athletic and "NATURAL". I could clearly see the Eskie in the Klee. If I wanted an Eskie then I would get an Eskie. It seems that the Klee is an Eskie in Husky Clothing. Even so Sonny is a nice dog but Shibas still have their Pariah Dog attractiveness and demeanor. This is the point that the breeder whom I quoted at the beginning of this thread seemed to miss.
  • glenglen
    Posts: 5
    When I hear people criticize todays designer breeds, I would remind them that many of the breeds that exist today once were designer breeds. Three examples:
    1.German Shepherd: developed by Capt. Stephanitz and others from a "wolf-like" dog and various farm and herding dogs (no one is certain which breeds), to produce a dog that could both herd and guard livestock.
    2.Doberman: Developed by Louis Doberman, a tax collector, to protect him on his rounds, bred from German Shepherd, German Pinscher, Manchester Terrier, Greyhound, and Weimaraner stock.
    3.Rhodesian Ridgeback: Developed by European settlers in Rhodesia to hunt and guard in temperature extremes, bred from (it is thought) Mastiff, Great Dane, Bloodhound, a Pointer Breed, Greyhound, and a native dog of the Hottentot tribe (which had a ridge of hair down the middle of its back).
  • Yes, but the fact is, those dogs were created for a specific purpose. And we're also talking about a century ago, when we did not have so many pure bred dogs. Most of the so-called designer breeds these days are created simply to be companion animals, and to serve as working dogs. There are PLENTY of breeds already, and many companion dogs. We do not need more, especially since many of these have been bred without much care or concern for the mixes.

    I don't have a problem with some of the mixes, like the American Bulldog, for example. But I do have a problem with a Yorkie-poo and I have a real problem with people not even charging the prices for a purebred, but for MORE than a purebred because their "mix" is new.
  • zobie02zobie02
    Posts: 89
    I was originally going to get a Alaskan klee kai until I decided on a Shiba Inu. Both are very beautiful dogs.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Actually I don't really mind the description in the original post. Makes the Shiba sound like a total sociopath - secretly hates people and dogs and uncontrollably wants to murder chickens and squirrels while breaking free of your leash and laughing while they run away.

    How is a soft tailed Klee "Kai" gonna mess with that?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Actually met a nice AKK at the dog part this past Saturday. It had a nice temperament and same play style as Bootz. Although I was insulted when the people thought the AKK was a black shiba...I told them black Shibas don't have coloring like that and they brushed me off x.x and resume saying its a shiba too.....
    Post edited by Bootz at 2012-10-23 00:57:07
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    This sickens me.
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012

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