Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Ryukyu Inu (Photos) Okinawa's Pedigree Dog

Lots of people have heard of Japan's pedigree dogs like the Akita and Shiba because they're popular up there in the mainland.  Okinawa has it's own pedigree dog, too.  It's the Ryukyu Inu.

Here are some photos of what the Okinawan's call Turra-in.  That's because they have black stripes like a tiger.  The breed was nearly wiped out during World War II and there was a lot of cross-breeding going on when foreigners brought German Shepherds, French Poodles and all kinds of non-native dogs over here.  Mostly because dogs don't need marriage licenses, I guess.

But, back in the 1980's somebody discovered a pack of these dogs up in the mountains we call Yanbaru.  Scientists grabbed a bunch of them and checked them out.  These critters were the real deal.  They didn't have any mixed blood in them and were different in genetic makeup from any other breed.  So, they became a Protected Species. There were only about 800 of them back in the 1980's but, there might be 1,000 or more on the islands these days.

There are a few other colors in the Ryukyu Inu breed.  Some don't have the tiger stripes and are red so, they call them Aka-in ( Red dog) in Okinawan dialect.

I just don't take their pictures.

When I shoot a dog and post a photo online, I want to know what it is first.

Like this guy here.  He's got the head of a Ryukyu Inu and I even talked to his master before I shot the photo.  I know a Turra-in when I see one, for sure.

This is the first time I saw one with white patches of fur.  Think maybe a Poodle got in there?

Reference: Japanese Dogs by Michiko Chiba Copyright 2003 ISBN 4-7700-2875-X

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