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Kai Ken – 12 Dog Breed Information You Must Know

Kai Ken
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Looking for a family pet as well as the watchdog of Japanese dog breed? “Kai Ken” is the best breed for your family, then. A native of Japan, this is a purebred, medium-sized dog. He is sincere to his master and you can blindly trust him.

Intelligent and fast learners, Kai Kens were bred initially as a hunting dog. These dogs are wonderful swimmers and climbers. Serving more, this breed creates a strong bond with your family and will be too affectionate with your children.

Amazing na! Come, let’s have a look at this article to know more interesting information about Kai Ken.

Kai Ken Breed Characteristics Sheet

  • Origin: Japan
  • Size: Medium
  • Dog Breed Group: Working
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Height: 18-20 inches (male); 20-22 inches (female)
  • Weight: 20-40 lbs
  • Coat Appearance: Double-coat, medium length, harsh overcoat, and soft undercoat
  • Coat Colors: Brindle, Red brindle, black brindle
  • Temperament: Loyal, Affectionate, Active, Energetic
  • Good With Children: Yes
  • Intelligence Level: High
  • Good With Pets: Yes
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Grooming: Minimal
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Barking: Average
  • Suitable For Apartments: Moderate
  • Need For Exercise: More
  • Easy To Train: Yes
  • Good For First Time Owners: Moderate
  • Health Issues: Luxating Patella, Heartworm, Hip dysplasia
  • Litter Size: 3 puppies
  • Average Price: $1500

Kai Ken History And Origin

The name “Kai Ken” itself refers to his origin as Japan. In 1929, people first found Kai Ken in the province “Kai” close to Mount Fuji in Japan.

In 1931, the first Kai Ken dog “Aigokai” was developed. This breed is well known for his hunting and agility.

Service personnel in the United States first brought them to their homeland during 1950. Later between the years 1990 and 1992, few more dogs were brought and bred in the United States.

Thus, you can get the Kai Ken breed in the US. Japanese Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1934.

Kai Ken Breed Information

It is one among the six dog breeds native to Japan. So, get a chance to know how this breed appears different from his counterparts.

Kai Ken Appearance

It has a well-balanced body with a wedge-shaped head and triangular-shaped ears. His ears make him listen to prey.

He has a tapered black nose, small dark brown eyes, sharp white teeth, and power-packed legs. These features make him a perfect hunting dog.

This breed has a deep chest and a curled tail or carried like a sickle.

Kai Ken Coat

It is a double-coated dog of medium-length. The outer coat’s texture is harsh with straight hair and the undercoat’s texture is soft with dense hair.

It has long and off-standing hairs on his tail.

Kai Ken Coat Colors

They have a “brindle-colored” coat. Due to this color variation, he differs from the other Japanese dog breeds.

The brindle coat of this dog may vary in 3 shades: brindle, black brindle, and red brindle.

Due to these different colors, it is called by different names:

  • Brindle – Chu-Tora
  • Red brindle – Aka-Tora
  • Black brindle – Kuro-Tura

The brindle pattern varies with each dog. The puppies have black-colored coat usually. But, the coat color becomes brindle while they grow and the color change continues as well in the first five years of his age.

Kai Ken Temperament

They are an energetic, alert, loyal, intelligent and brave breed. Now, have a look at the temperament of this breed and how he does various roles.

A loving family pet – It is friendly and affectionate with people. He also needs love and attention specifically from his owner. This trait makes him a loving family pet.

Child-friendly – Its protective nature makes him well behaved with children and other pets like cats. He won’t show aggression toward them.

Good guard dog – They have natural hunting ability. So, he always keeps an eye on his family and protects the people from danger.

Great watchdog – It is generally reserved with strangers and he is alert as well. So, these traits make him a great watchdog.

House dog – Attentive and alertness will lead him a good house dog. These dogs are much helpful in housebreaking.

Kai Ken Size And Life Span

Kai Ken Size

They are neither too small nor too big dogs. He is correct in size and that’s why he is a medium dog breed.

Male dogs are taller than females. Males stand between 18 and 22 inches whereas the females stand between 17 and 20 inches.

He weighs anywhere around 20 and 40 pounds.

Kai Ken Life Span

It is a very healthy breed generally. He lives for about 12 to 15 years.

Kai Ken Maintenance

Kai ken needs minimal maintenance as he is a clean dog by nature and sheds only two times a year.

But, you have to groom him as you do for other dog breeds:

  • Comb his coat a few times (two or three times) in a week using a mating rake to keep the coat healthy and to prevent matt formation.
  • It is just to trim his nails regularly using a nail clipper to reduce the overgrowth.
  • Check her ears for the formation of wax or dirt if any to prevent ear infection.
  • Brush his teeth on a regular basis.
  • An occasional bath using a good quality dog shampoo is enough for him.
  • During shedding time, it is must to bath and brush her.



Kai Ken Training And Exercise

Training a Kai Ken dog is an easy task as he is a fast learner and pleases his owner. Yet, you have to ensure a few things.

As it is not an aggressive dog, he responds gently to training. So, your training should be positive.

It is a must to train him from an early age and ensure to provide consistent training.

Like another breed, it is recommended to provide socialization training from his puppyhood. This training will help him to be more attached to children and other animals.

They may be stubborn at times. So, reward-based training will help him to overcome this nature.

It is an active breed. So, he needs daily exercise such as walking long, playing in the fenced area, etc.

You can also stimulate his mental health by giving him activities such as ball chasing, hide and seek and occasional water sports, etc. You can also make him learn new tricks as well.

Always keep this dog in leash in unfenced locations because of his hunting nature.

If you meet its need for exercise and spend some time with him, he will be suitable to live in an apartment.

Kai Ken Foods

The amount of food and feeding methods always differ with each dog breed. Thus, you must know what to feed and what not to your pet, and how much to feed and how often.

Generally, they need a well-balanced diet with the right amount of minerals, proteins, and vitamins. Now, take a look at the suitable foods and avoidable foods to your dog:

Suitable Foods

Avoidable Foods

Kai ken may get food allergies. Thus, you have to avoid:

How Much to Feed and How Often?

Always remember that you have to feed your pet based on his age, weight, eating habits, activity levels, and health issues.

  • You have to feed 4 meals a day to a 3-month-old puppy.
  • From 3 months to until the pup turns 6 months, you have to feed him 3 meals a day.
  • An adult Kai Ken dog needs 2 to 2.5 cup of food per day.
  • Always provide clean and fresh water to him every day.

Kai Ken Interesting Facts

Eager to know the interesting facts of this breed? Here’re a few for you:

  • Hollywood director and producer Bryan Michael Stoller owns a Kai Ken dog named “Little Bear”. Little Bear acted in Hollywood movies such as “The Amazing Wizard of Paws” and “Santa Stole Our Dog”.
  • The American singer and songwriter “Dolly Parton” inspired about Little Bear and has written a couple of songs for her movies.
  • Another name of Kai Ken is “Tora Inu”. The Japanese word “Tora” means “Tiger” in English. This name comes for him due to the brindle-colored coat.
  • It is the national treasure of Japan from 1934.
  • This dog breed has been participating in AKC companion events from 2010. Approval for participation is in effect from 1 January 2010.
  • They acted in Yoshihiro Takahashi’s series “Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, Ginga Densetsu Weed” and “Kaachu no Senshi Gamu” in which Kai ken played the character called “Gama”.

Kai Ken Health Problems

Generally, Kai Ken is a healthy breed and does not have heart problems.

But, he may get:

  • Luxating patella – the dislocation of the kneecap (patella) from its normal position
  • Lyme disease – illness due to the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by black-legged ticks
  • Heartworm – A small thread-like parasitic roundworm, which will cause dirofilariasis
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – rod cells in the retina will die
  • Hip dysplasia – degeneration of the hip joint
  • Seizure – an uncontrollable electrical disturbance in the brain
  • Elbow dysplasia – abnormal development in the elbow-joint such as the cartilage growth
  • Allergies

Thus, it is advisable to consult the vet and get his advice for any health issues if your Kai ken has.

Kai Ken Price And Breeders

Kai Ken Price

It is one of the rarest dog breeds. So, if you want to buy this dog breed, you should first find the most popular Kai ken breeder.

A Kai ken puppy costs about $1500 on average. But, if you want to adopt this dog from dog rescues and shelters, you will get him at a cheaper price between $50 and $400.

Kai Ken Breeders

Breeders in the United States of America

  • Rogue River Kai Ken
    Becky Rowell
    Contact: 262-930-5886
  • O’iKon Nihon Ken
    Timberlake, North Carolina
    Contact: info@o-ikon.com
  • Hello kennel
    Sycamore, Illinois
    Contact: Leif Allmendinger & Debbie Brandt
    email: deborahBrandt@charter.net
  • Mike Kennel
    Yale, Michigan 48097
    Contact: 810-531-0832
  • Apricity Kennel
    Lex Blanton (Lex Bryson on Facebook)
    McLean, Virginia
    571 249 0638

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