History of the Kai Ken Breed
This breed hails from the province of Kai located on the island of Honshu in Japan. It was developed to be used as a hunting dog. The breed was isolated by geography for a long period of time because its homeland is circled by mountains. But once the use of firearms became popular, the Kai Ken began to be used by those involved in big game hunting, especially the hunting of wild deer and boar. It is said that this breed demonstrates incredible courage as well as agility, and it has been reported to swim and climb trees while tracking down its prey. It wasn't until 1934 that the Kai Ken was recognized in Japan, and it remains a rare breed to this day. While not originally known for popularity as a family pet, the Kai Ken is enjoyed in America as a loyal and gentle companion. This breed was recognized by the UKC in 1997, but it is not yet recognized by the AKC.
Size and Appearance of the Kai Ken Breed
A sturdy dog of medium size, the wedge-shaped head of the Kai Ken features a tapered muzzle with strong white teeth that meet in a scissors or level bite. The tongue can vary in color, including pink or blue-black. The nose is black, and the small, slightly triangular eyes are dark brown. The triangular ears seem large in proportion to the rest of the dog, and they are held erect. The shoulders are well-muscled, and the front legs are straight with heavy bone. The muscular thighs of this breed are quite powerful, and the medium-sized feet have thick pads. The hard nails are generally black in color. The thick tail is usually carried like a sickle. The double coat of the Kai Ken includes a harsh, straight outer coat of medium-length hair, and a soft, dense undercoat. The coat pattern of this breed is brindle, but most puppies are born with black coats. The brindle coat may not fully develop until the dog is almost five years old. The gait of the Kai Ken is best described as an agile and quick trot.
Kai Ken Temperament
According to traditional Japanese writings, the Kai Ken is not only described as a natural hunter, but also a guardian that can be very devoted to its family. It is said that this breed can be rather reserved and suspicious of strangers, but are also very friendly around people it knows. It is usually quite good with other dogs and will rarely show signs of aggression. The alert and attentive behavior of this breed makes it a wonderful watch dog. This breed is considered to be a "national treasure" in its native Japan.
Kai Ken Recommended Maintenance
As with many similar breeds, coat care is necessary, but minimal. Occasional brushing or combing should suffice, taking care of removing mats or knots in the soft undercoat if the dog has been out in the fields or woods. Bathing is only recommended on an occasional basis. This energetic breed should be provided with daily mental and physical activities, including long walks and time to play.
Kai Ken Health
Life span: 12 - 15 years
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: none