Kai: full dog breed information

Kai rennend

The Kai is one of the six native Japanese dog breeds and was discovered in 1929 in the mountains around Yamanashi. Today, this primitive dog is also suitable as a companion animal. It is a loyal, friendly and protective dog. These character traits he shows especially with his family. Towards strangers the Kai is reserved and alert. It is therefore a good watchdog. The Kai has a beautiful coat and is therefore sometimes compared to a tiger. Like a tiger, this dog has a hunting instinct. Would you like to learn more about this rare dog breed? Then read this article for more information!


History: one of Japan’s six indigenous dog breeds

The Kai, also known as Kai Ken, is native to Japan and was discovered in 1929. This dog was used as a hunting dog and originated from mountain areas around Fuji and Yamanashi. The Kai helped the hunters here hunt big game, such as boars, deer and bears. In fact, this breed is a great climber and can run quickly through the forests and mountains.

At the time, this breed of dog was too primitive to function as a pet. But today, this dog is a lot gentler and can also be kept as a companion animal. In 1950, the first Kai was brought to the United States by the US military. From there the breed has been further bred with. This dog breed is very popular in Japan and is considered as a rare breed.


The character: loyal, intelligent and brave

The character of a Kai is not always easy. A Kai is intelligent and eager to learn, but at the same time he can be stubborn. He is independent and can be hard on himself. Nowadays the Kai is milder than his primitive ancestors though, he is less independent than he used to be and he is now more willing to please his owner.

The Kai is alert and reserved towards strangers and is therefore a suitable watchdog. If a stranger enters the premises, the Kai may start barking to warn his owner. Towards acquaintances the Kai is more friendly and loyal. A Kai likes to build a bond with his owner and will be very loyal and devoted. With proper socialization, a Kai can also deal well with children. In general, a Kai is naturally calm and quiet and will do no harm.

This dog breed is courageous and still has the hunting instinct in it. Therefore, it is wise to keep a close eye on a Kai around small pets and young children. Its hunting instinct also makes it difficult to run a Kai off-leash outside.

Kai puppy rennend

The appearance of a Kai

The Kai is a medium-sized dog with a distinctive coat. Because of its brindle coat, the Kai is also called the tiger dog. The coat of a Kai consists of two layers. The outer coat is short, stiff and straight. The undercoat is thick, dense and woolly. The hairs around the ears, head and legs are shorter. On the body and tail the hairs are longer. The coat of the Kai consists of three colors:

  • Black
  • Grey
  • Red

Puppies are born black and do not get red and gray markings over the body until they are adults.

A male dog has a height at the withers between 46 and 56 centimeters and weighs between 14 and 18 kilograms. A female has a height at the withers between 43 and 50 centimeters and weighs between 14 and 18 kilograms.

The head of the Kai is broad. The eyes are small, dark and are triangular in shape. The ears are medium sized, triangular and stand upright. The neck is powerful and muscular. The body and legs of a Kai are also powerful. The tail is set high and thick. Often coiled and carried over the back.


The care

It is important to take good care of the Kai to keep it in good condition. The coat of a Kai should be brushed every week. This keeps the coat free of tangles and mats. Twice a year a Kai sheds more than average, this period is also called the molt. During the molt, it is important to brush more often. This prevents the coat from looking unkempt and that your house is full of hair. Washing the coat only has to be done when it is dirty or soiled. In general, a Kai is a clean animal by itself and this is not necessary.

In addition, the ears and eyes should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. By making this a part of the grooming routine, you prevent infections and inflammations. The nails should also be checked regularly. Nails that are too long can cause annoying inconveniences. Long nails can be trimmed with a special nail clipper for dogs. The teeth of a dog also need regular care. It is important to start early. Then the dog gets used to brushing his teeth and you can easily do this with him.

The Kai needs high quality dog food, this means food with lots of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Always adjust your dog’s diet to his age and make sure he always has access to clean and fresh water. A characteristic of this breed is that they are able to decide for themselves how much food they need, so don’t be surprised if sometimes they eat more than other times. Do you have trouble choosing the right food? Then you can always consult your veterinarian.


Are there any diseases that occur in this breed?

A Kai lives on average between 12 and 15 years. It is generally a healthy dog breed and there are no known hereditary diseases and disorders. This is because this dog breed has not been bred much.

It is a medium sized dog, so you should always take into account the joints. In a medium sized dog, hip and elbow dysplasia is more common than in smaller dog breeds. Wi