Dog Breeds

Kai dog

Kai dog is one of six native Japanese spitz. Medium-sized, short-haired, always with a brindle coat, although many dogs look pure black. Stubborn and independent, but at the same time strongly attached to the owner. Calm and balanced, who likes movement and activity. Has a strong hunting instinct. An excellent watchman, but not showing excessive aggression.


Kai is a sturdy, medium-sized Oriental Spitz. He is extremely devoted to his family. I need a lot of attention from the owner to make him feel happy. This is a typical “one man’s dog” – he often chooses the person to whom he attaches the most.

Kai is a dog with a strong hunting instinct, which you can not forget when going for walks with him. Like other primitive races, he is stubborn, independent and likes to bet on his own. He is lively, he likes movement, long walks and all kinds of fun. He should be provided with gray cell involvement, e.g. olfactory tasks. Many dogs of this breed love to swim.

Kai dog

Kai usually shows distance and even suspicion towards strangers. However, he treats people he meets friendships. He usually gets along well with other dogs at home, and accepts other pets with whom he grew up (an adult kai who is just getting to know them may treat them as a prey). His relations with older children are good.

He is usually not offensive to foreign dogs, as a primitive dog he reads the signals well and “talks” in a dog’s language, but he doesn’t like intrusions. He is not obtrusive and expects other dogs to respect his space too. It learns cleanliness very easily – sometimes in just a few days.


Kai was formed as a hunting dog. In addition, he is a great guard dog. Despite being vigilant and distrustful, he rarely shows aggression. Today, he is mainly a companion dog, but in Japan hunters still hunt pheasants, wild boars and deer with this breed.

In Japan, it was also used as a police dog. To this day, some kai work as rescue dogs. Although kai is intelligent and learns quickly, however, as a master’s dog, he is very attached to the chosen person and does not tolerate the change of guide. This prevents the race from being used more widely for police work.

Training and education

Kai is an intelligent dog that learns quickly, but due to the nature of this spitz, it is very important to start training at a young age and maintain iron consistency. It also requires careful socialization.

Kai dog

Opinions about the ease of raising him are contradictory. Some say he is the most independent and stubborn of all Japanese Spitz breeds, while others say the opposite. It probably depends on the individual. It is different with loose walking kai on walks – you can not forget about the strong hunting instinct.

Who is this race for?

This breed should go to the hands of experienced people who devote time to the dog. Although kai is resistant to weather conditions, it is best for him to live in a house – isolated from a man can become wild and unpredictable. It adapts well in the apartment, if the owner devotes time to walks and play with the dog.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • stubborn and independent
  • has a strong hunting instinct
  • very rare breed – difficult to get
  • attached to owner
  • great watchman
  • usually not aggressive
  • balanced
  • easy to learn cleanliness
  • easy to care for
  • healthy


Kai is a generally healthy breed, no information about any special predisposition to genetic diseases.


Kai dog has no particular nutritional requirements. He should get good quality commercial food or food prepared at home, tailored to the needs of the individual.


As a short-haired dog, kai does not require complicated care. It is enough to brush the hair from time to time (once a week or two), more often during the molting period. Molting occurs twice a year or more often. The breed is known for its purity. In addition, as with any dog, it is enough to check the condition of the ears and claws from time to time – and trim the latter if they are not rubbing on their own.



For kai dog care, a bristle brush or a rubber scraper for short-haired breeds is enough. During molting, a furminator for short-haired breeds is also useful.


It is a very old breed, known for many centuries. Kai ken (ken – from the Japanese “dog”) comes from hunting dogs from the mountainous province of Kai. He is also known as tora ken, or dog – tiger, because of the brindle coat. The breed took its name from the historic province of Kai. Currently, this area is administratively governed by Yamanashi Prefecture. It is a region surrounded by mountains in the central part of the island of Honshu.

For a long time, the breed was quite isolated from the rest of the world, by natural barriers such as mountains. Due to geographical isolation, it is considered the most primitive and the purest genetically of all Japanese breeds.

As firearms and larger game hunted, the breed began to gain popularity. Dogs from the province of Kai were used to hunt a variety of animals, but mainly curly serra (mammal from the bovine family), deer, wild boars and sometimes also bears. They were known for their great ferocity and perseverance in the pursuit of animals.

Kai dog

In Japan, kai gained the status of a “natural monument” in 1933 and was officially recognized by the cynological association in 1934, but it is still a rare breed. This is one of six breeds of Japanese Spitz, which is guarded by Nippo, or Nihon Ken Hozankai (Association for the Behavior of the Japanese Dog).

Outside the homeland, it is very rare. The first kai came to the United States in the 1950s, brought by soldiers on duty in Japan. It is not known, however, what happened to them. In the early 90s, another dozen or so dogs of this breed were imported, from which her breeding began in the United States. The UCC recognized the breed in 1997, but the AKC still does not recognize it. FCI recognized kai in 1994. Apart from Japan, the largest breeding breed operates in the United States. 


Kai – Group V FCI, section 5, reference number 317

  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Character: dog distrustful of strangers, alert, independent
  • Size: dogs – 50 cm +/- 3 cm, bitches – 45 cm +/- 3 cm
  • Weight: not specified in the standard, but usually 14-18 kg
  • Coat: double-layered: coat hard and straight, undercoat – soft and dense; the hair on the tail quite long and protruding
  • Color: black brindle, red brindle and brindle; a characteristic feature of the breed is that the uniform (black) color of the puppy can become brindle when the dog is growing up
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years
  • Vulnerability to training: average
  • Activity: likes movement and long walks, but at home he is calm; I feel good in the apartment
  • Living costs: approx. PLN 100 per month
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: very resistant

Interesting facts

All kai are genetically brindle, but puppies are usually born black. As time passes, some of them brighten so that the brindle becomes clearly visible, while others remain black, although some can see lightening – barely visible evidence that they are actually brindle dogs. Sometimes only five-year-old dog brindle is fully visible.

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