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Kai Ken


Kai Ken is the sixth native Japanese breed found in 1929 in the Kai province adjacent to Mount Fuji. Kai Ken Aigokai was developed in 1931 and it is the largest and oldest registry of Kai Ken. Due to its agility and hunting powers, it was used by the local people for chasing a bear, pheasants, and other wild animals.

In 1934, it got its recognition in Japanese Kennel Club. But formation is insufficient due to the language barrier. However, in the year 1950, it was transported to the United States by US military, but is not known they survived or not. In 1990 puppies were imported again in the United States which led to the establishment of the American Kai Ken in the country.

Facts About Kai Ken

Breed Group Working Dog, Rare Dog, Hunting Dog
Breed Type Purebred
Country of Origin Japan
Other Names Tora Dog, Tora Inu, Tiger Dog, Kai, Kai Inu, Kai Dog
Size & Height Medium

Male: 18-20 inches

Female: 20-22 inches

Weight 25-55 lbs
Competitive Registration / Qualification Information DRA, NAPR, FSS/AKC, APRI
Shedding Medium
Hypoallergenic No
Litter Size 2-4 puppies
Color Churro Tora: Black and Red

Aka tora: Red

Kuro tora: Black

Life Expectancy 12-16 years
Coat Stripped appearance with tough furs
Price $1400-$1800

Temperament & Personality

They are shy towards strangers but are ideal watchdogs. With its excellent visibility, it also checks for intruders from a point like a porch, balcony, etc. Kai Kens puppies are excellent swimmers and can cross rivers easily while working. It is a trusted and loyal companion that is extremely devoted to its family. They can adapt to any living conditions easily and go well with other pets and children. They have hunting instincts which requires strong control at an early age to prevent unpleasant situations.



Kai Ken is moderately active but requires regular mental and physical activity. Exercise options comprise of play time in a fenced area or Dogs Park, and short walks few times a day. It also preferes indoor activities like ball chasing, hide and seek, Frisbee, learning tricks, etc. With an adequate exercising schedule, they also fit into the condo life. Inadequate activity levels and loneliness can make them destructive.


Kai Ken has a double coat with medium length furs and does not require regular brushing. Being naturally clean, it only needs periodic baths. They shed twice a year and need special assistance like regular brushing and bathing to keep them clean and remove loose furs. Their overgrown nails can break and split which needs regular trimming. Make sure they have cells in their nails that can bleed if not trimmed carefully. Hence, first-time owners can take them to professionals to avoid an accident.

They are prone to ear infections due to water and dirt buildup. If not cleaned sufficiently, it can cause infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. If they have tear stains, wipe it with a damp and a wet towel. Brushing their teeth twice a week prevents tartar development and hinders oral problems.

Health Problems

There is no known health problem symbiotic with this breed, but like all dogs, it is prone to some common health issues like Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, and Cataracts with growing age. Hence, random tests like Eye examination, Blood Tests and Complete physical examination will keep it healthy.


With their loyal, calm and gentle attitude, it is not robust to train these dogs but requires careful handling. Positive reinforcement and variety of training sessions can make them learn quickly. Leash training cna help in checking their chasing instincts. They are shy with strangers that makes it essential to provide them with socialization training. Familiarizing them with new people and different situations will help in distinguishing between good and evil.

Obedience training at an early stage will also prevent them to chase other animals. Make them learn commands like, “sit,” “stop,” “no,” “yes” etc. to enhance the communication between the dog and owner.


High Quality food will be ideal for them whether it is commercial or homemade. Owners should take approval from the veterinarian depending on the weight, size, and activity. Treats are crucial to teach them new tricks, but too much can lead to obesity and different health issues. They are famous to self-regulate food consumption, and it is not uncommon to see unevenness in the amount of food eaten.

However, apart from quality food, they require a nutritious diet that is full of adequate amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to energize them. 2 ½ cups of high-quality dry dog food will be sufficient to maintain their health. For any weight or diet-related concerns and issues check with the experts.

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