The Adventures of Lucy and Ethel – weeks 4 and 5

Lucy the Japanese Akita puppy at week 5
Japanese Akita puppy Ethel at week 5


Here’s a little video (see below) we shot of Lucy and Ethel playing on the grass. Japanese Akita pups often play rough with each other as they develop their social skills, and sometimes mommy Kaki has to step in to keep things from getting out of hand.

More than a month has passed since Kaki’s Japanese Akita twins, for lack of a better term, were born. We’re beginning to wonder if we gave them the wrong names because Ethel has recently started to become quite the mischief maker. Although Lucy seemed to be developing slightly ahead of her sister in the previous weeks, Ethel has managed to escape from the whelping box and ended up peeing on one of their doggy mattresses (ironically, both pups have fallen asleep on the pee pads we provide). So, sleeping on pee pads and peeing on mattresses. Apparently, someone didn’t read the memo. Ethel also decided Judy’s foot would make a fine place for pooping. Lesson learned: unless Ethel is asleep, just assume the world is her toilet. But rest assured, when we’re dealing with Japanese Akita puppies, we can easily overlook these little mishaps because they’re just that cute. Plus, there really is something intoxicating about puppy breath!

In addition to the physical changes, the unique personalities of the puppies are more apparent now. Ethel continues to whine much more than Lucy who is the quieter, more cautious of the two. Ethel is adventurous and loves to go exploring everywhere; it seems this puppy has no fear. In contrast, Lucy likes running on the grass but is wary of other mysterious surfaces in the backyard; however, she’s getting a bit more confident every day. Where Ethel looks like she’s always got a smile on her face, Lucy seems more serious and stares at us as if she’s trying to read our minds (or maybe she’s working on her Jedi mind control to get more food – dogs can do that, in case you didn’t know).

Last week, we started giving them a little bit of wet kibble to give Kaki a break from feeding duties and sharp puppy teeth and this week we’ve introduced the crate. We always let our puppies investigate the crate on their own so they don’t ever view it as a negative place but as a place of respite. Ideally, we want our puppies to naturally gravitate to their crates because it can help them adjust when they go to their new homes. It also helps with potty training too.

Soon enough, Lucy and Ethel will be meeting some of our other Junketsu Japanese Akitas, so be sure and check back again soon!

The Adventures of Lucy and Ethel – Weeks 2 and 3

The holidays are usually a little crazy for everyone. Here at Junketsu Kennels, it was no different, especially with the puppies around. Kaki has been a pretty good mommy to Lucy and Ethel, and thankfully, all three are doing well. We got through the season, for the most part, with sanity intact. One minor dilemma we had this year was having to force ourselves to join in on the seasonal festivities with family, friends and co-workers when all we really wanted to do was watch the puppies!

Kaki Milk Bar Week 3Lucy&Ethel Sleeping

The development that goes on during weeks two and three include the puppies’ ability to hold their own weight standing up, as well as the beginning stages of sight and sound. As expected, Lucy and Ethel are starting to move around a bit more. Pups know to look for their mother to suckle, but sometimes they require a nudge in the right direction from their mom. Lucy was the first to start walking! Well, maybe not so much walking but ambitiously teetering on all fours with intention. Ethel soon followed suit.


Both girls are responsive to sound and both are becoming slightly more expressive (in other words, their cute little whining when looking for Kaki is a bit louder than before). Their eyes opened too on the same day though at this point, their vision will still be fuzzy. In the coming weeks, we’ll look forward to them becoming even more active as their senses continue to develop. We’re well aware that this was Lucy and Ethel’s first Christmas and New Year, so like the rest of our dogs, they got a few gifts as you can see.

Check back in a couple of weeks for more updates on the dynamic duo as we track their growth and development. On behalf of Lucy, Ethel, Kaki and the rest of the furkids, we wish you and yours all the best in 2016!

Xmas Eve NapEthel and Lucy passed outEthel and Xmas plushy

With love from Kaki and Jake – Week 1 (Meet Lucy and Ethel)

We’re extremely happy and proud to announce the newest additions to the Junketsu Japanese Akita family. Two females were born on Saturday, December 12. Kaki was kind enough to wait until Steve returned from the Akita Inu Hozonkai (AKIHO) Headquarters show in Japan before she started to whelp her litter. Maybe it was all that Meiyosho* mojo that induced labor.

As with all red Japanese Akita pups, their faces will turn white and the rest of their coat will lighten over time as well. It’s always interesting to watch how they grow and develop in the first few weeks. Like most newborns, they’re quite helpless and very adorable. What’s most important at this point is that Kaki gets lots of good nutritious meals, so she can nurse the litter and that the puppies remain warm and continue to get their fill from the moveable feast at the mommy milk bar.

We couldn’t be more pleased that these two little girls were born healthy. The first couple of weeks can be precarious, so we wait with cautious optimism that Kaki’s little girls will continue to thrive, and we will do our best to make sure that happens.

Their official AKIHO pedigree names are Izumi Go Junketsu and Kotama Go Junketsu. Izumi means spring, as in fresh water, not the season or the verb, though she’ll probably be springing around soon enough. Kotama means little jewel; she has the diamond-shaped patch of white on the back of her neck and white blaze on her head. Izumi’s call name is Lucy and Kotama’s call name is Ethel.

*Meiyosho is the highest award given by AKIHO at a headquarters show. Eligibility is based on those dogs having won the Tokuuyu, which is the highest award given at a branch show. Once a dog wins the Meiyosho title, he is retired from the ring and can no longer compete.

We’re Expecting a Japanese Akita Litter!

We opted to take a break from breeding for a couple of years. A lot of work goes into making sure a breeding goes well starting with finding dogs that are good examples of the standard (usually because they’re proven in the show ring), health testing them prior to doing the breeding, ultrasounds and other considerations for veterinary pre-natal care, building a whelping box, going through applications and interviews to find the best homes for the puppies, etc. But the truth is we’ve missed the pitter patter of little paws, the cute whining for mommy the milk bar and chasing after the adorable little guys. And we think our Kaki is a beautiful Japanese Akita, so before she was due to come into season, we contacted Rich Quesada of Kashinoki Soh and “borrowed” the handsome Jake for a date night with Kaki. The breeding took! We’re super excited to announce that Kaki and Jake are going to be parents. Their litter is expected in December 2015. More updates to come.

Kaki-Jake Love Match

Kaki’s official name is Kaori-Go Junketsu.
Jake’s official name is Tokimasa-Go Ryuukaen.
Both sire and dam took first place (male and female) in Sohken Class at the 2015 AKIHO LA Branch show.

Our Senior Dogs

Kuma (a.k.a. Kuma Bear Fathead Raisin Eyes) and Yumi are our resident senior citizen dogs. They’re 13-year old littermates. Yumi was our very first Japanese Akita and we’ve had her since she was a puppy. She has been an absolute treasure – playful but on the mellow and reserved side. She’s put up with all the new additions to the household with dignity and grace and is like the grand old dame of the place (adjectives usually reserved for humans but they totally apply to our Yumi!).

Kuma was a gift to a college-age boy whose parents eventually sold their house and couldn’t take Kuma with them so they arranged for him to live with their daughter. Then, the daughter moved house and couldn’t take Kuma with her, so he was sent to the original owner’s friends house. But then the friend’s wife became pregnant, and they didn’t want to keep him, so Kuma was about to be homeless again. By this point, the boy had graduated college but was living in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs so he reached out to Kuma’s breeder who put the word out that Kuma needed a home. Since we had Kuma’s sister Yumi, we decided to give him a permanent home because all dogs need stability and seniors especially deserve a comfortable life! Everyone says Kuma’s lucky to have landed with us but really we think we’re the lucky ones.

Yumi and Fathead in a saloon