Frequently Asked Questions

How do I inquire about purchasing a puppy?

If you are interested in purchasing a Japanese Akita or Hokkaido, please fill out our puppy questionnaire. This is not a sales contract or adoption application and no deposit is required with your questionnaire. This form lets us know what kind of dog you are looking for and what your lifestyle is like so that we can inform you when an upcoming litter might suit your needs.

There are no wrong answers on the questionnaire; we simple want to get to know you and your ideal puppy. The more detailed and honestly you answer the questions, the better we will be able to match the right puppy with you. After a litter is born, we will follow up with more detailed application and interviews to fine tune your puppy criteria.

What happens after I send the questionnaire?

You will be notified by email when your questionnaire is received and reviewed. We make an effort to respond to every inquiry, so if you receive no response, please contact us again. If there is a problem with your questionnaire, such as blank areas of the form, you may be asked to fill it out again or provide more detailed information.

Upon receiving your completed questionnaire, you will be added to our email list. The mailing list is used to keep interested parties up to date on important news and events regarding our kennel or Japanese dogs. Typical emails include invitations to club sponsored events where you can meet the breed, mating and birth announcements, and on occasion available puppies or rescues from close friends of Kaiju Kennels.

How long is your waiting list?

We do not sell puppies on a “first come, first serve” basis. Every person who sends a questionnaire prior to the litter being born is added to our mailing list and has an equal opportunity to apply for that litter. That said, we generally have 60-100 people on our mailing list at any given time.

Estimating how long you may wait is difficult. Sometimes the perfect pup arrives relatively quickly, sometimes it’s a few litters before the right match comes along. Very few litters of purebred Japanese Akita or Hokkaido puppies are born in the US each year, so it could be months or over a year.

In any event, we want you to have the opportunity to continue your search without being tied to a particular breeder or litter. Please keep us informed if you find a puppy elsewhere and would like to be taken off our list. We are always happy to hear about new additions to the family, even if the puppy was not bred and raised by us. Keeping us in the loop also makes it easier to match our puppies with other new owners.

Once you have puppies available, what is the next step?

We will send out an announcement to the mailing list with the birth photos, weights, and genders of the puppies after they’re whelped. An application will also be sent with the announcement. Anyone on the list may apply for a pup, even if their preferences have changed. To make sure all the info is up to date, a new application must be filled out for each litter. Please do not send an application before a litter is born.

The puppy application will go into greater depth about your home life and ideal dog. It will supplement the questionnaire you already sent us. We want to ensure that our puppies grow up in the best possible environment and are highly compatible with their new families. If we determine that yours is the type of home that we are looking for, then we will approve your application and start to evaluate each puppy with you in mind.

When will I know if my application is approved?

Applications are due within one week of the birth announcement email. We will not consider any application sent before the announcement or after the deadline. Two to three days after the deadline, we will contact you and let you know if your application was approved.

Due to high demand we cannot approve every application. Typically we will accept one or two more candidates than there are puppies in a litter. Whether a puppy is standard or has a breed standard fault cannot be determined until roughly 6 weeks of age, so we like to have a few backups in case there is an unusual number of one or the other.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

No deposit is required with your questionnaire or application. We do not accept any money prior to reviewing and approving an application, nor do we accept money for puppies that have not yet been born.

When your application is approved, you will be asked to pay a $500 holding fee. This non-refundable fee is not a deposit but will be applied towards the total price of the dog. You must pay the reservation fee within two weeks of your application being approved. Otherwise, we will find a different candidate for the litter.

Do I have to apply for the next available litter?

No. We understand that you may be waiting for a particular pairing, sex, or color of puppy or if the timing just is not right for you to raise a puppy. You will not be removed from our list if you wish to wait for a future litter instead. However, if you skip applying for two litters in a row without talking to us about it, we will assume that you're no longer interested and remove you from the list. You will also be removed if you do not even open the birth announcement email within 3 weeks.

How much does a puppy cost?

Our price guide can be found here. We offer discounts for standard faults, but our price is the same regardless of sex, color, or markings. These traits have no bearing on the health, temperament, and longevity of the dog and do not make it more valuable or a better pet than any other in its litter.

We believe it is unethical to charge more for superficial qualities, and any breeder who markets a color or pattern as "rare" or "unique" should be cause for concern. Such things are usually uncommon for a reason - a health issue or fault against the breed standard - so beware of breeders trying to fool buyers and turn an undesirable trait into extra profit. Good breeders sell non-standard dogs as pets and do not advertise them like a sideshow.

Can I pay extra for first pick?

No. Do not expect to pick your puppy. We will make all of the placement decisions based on each puppy's personality and each candidate's lifestyle and goals. We spend weeks evaluating our puppies and recording observations in a development diary for each pup. What you think you see on our puppy cam, photos, or in person visit is only a tiny part of the picture; it is not reality.

There is no such thing as a "pick of the litter" because every buyer is looking for something different. One might want a dog who will get along with children, another looking low key hiking companion, and another a prospect for agility. If two pups are born matching two different buyers' goals, both buyers can get the best pup for their lifestyles.

Do you ship puppies?

We can ship, however, the USDA requires that we make all sales "face to face" where the seller, the buyer, and the animal being sold are all present in the same physical location at some point before transferring possession of the dog. I usually recommend candidates visit at about 5-6 weeks of age before I have made my placement decisions so they can interact with the whole litter and give me feedback on any preferences, and I can observe how each pup connects with them. This will help with placement decisions as well as qualify as a face to face sale, allowing me to ship the pup when the time comes. Otherwise, the buyer must pick up in person.

What is a moku, long coat, or LC?

Such a coat is long, incredibly soft, each hair is very narrow and fine, and the coat is almost straight but completely matte in texture. The cuticles of each hair shaft are rough, not smooth, so the coat does not reflect light. When the rough cuticles rub against each other, the effect is like felting a piece of wool; the tangle becomes tighter and tighter until the hairs form an actual piece of fabric. These coats will not just mat; they will create a spongy and absorbent cord. And these coats will hold on to every bit of detritus and mud and dirt the dog goes through. They have zero ability to shed any kind of moisture and in fact draw it up into the hair; these [dogs] can get colossal skin problems going because the skin cannot dry out.