Kai Ken

The Kai Ken is considered a rare breed even in Japan. He is highly intelligent and learns quickly, and also friendly, loyal and athletic.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Kai Ken has a medium-length double coat. They are a naturally clean dog that only requires the occasional bath.
Being a double-coated breed, they do lose their undercoat twice a year. During this time, additional bathing and brushing will help remove the thick undercoat. When not shedding their undercoat, occasional brushing will keep their coat in good condition.
Their nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Exercise Tips

As a hunting breed, the Kai Ken is fairly active but the breed only has moderate needs for exercise. You will not need to take your dog out for hours every day – a long 30-minute walk or a brisk jog will be adequate.
This breed is adaptable to apartment life and can get along without a yard as long as its daily exercise needs are met. Because this breed is so intelligent, it requires frequent mental exercise as well as physical exercise to engage your dog in games often and consider agility training to keep him sharp and active.

Feeding Tips

Given that the Kai Ken is a naturally active breed, you should consider providing him with a dog food formulated for active dogs. They should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval.
Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not.
Kai Ken is a breed known to self-regulate their food intake, so it is not unusual to see variability in the quantity of food consumed. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

Kai Ken is an overall healthy breed, andresponsible breedersscreen their stock for health conditions such as allergies, luxating patella, and seizures.Those wishing to own a Kai Ken can work with a responsible breeder to gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed.


Originally bred to hunt boar and deer, the Kai Ken makes a great hunting dog. These dogs are highly intelligent and respond very well to training, especially if it is started at an early age.
This breed learns very quickly, so if you provide firm and consistent training you may be amazed at how much this dog can learn and retain. The Kai Ken is not as independent or strong-willed as some highly intelligent breeds – they have a natural desire to please their human companions.
What’s more, positive training methods should be used. Early training is encouraged to establish a solid foundation and also offer socialization. Due to the strong desire to hunt, it is not recommended that Kai Ken be allowed off-leash in unfenced areas.


The Kai Ken is one of the six native Japanese breeds. The breed was discovered in 1929 in the mountainous regions of Kai province near Mount Fuji. In 1931, the Kai Ken Aigokai was formed and is the oldest and largest Kai Ken registry. Due to the breed’s hunting prowess and agility, it was traditionally used to hunt a wide range of games from pheasants to bear.
The Kai was recognized in 1934 by the Japanese Kennel Club. Because of the language barrier, there is very limited information on the breed, but it is believed that the first Kai Kens were brought to the United States in the 1950s by US servicemen in the military.
In 1991, six more puppies were brought over and in the following year, one more male puppy was imported. These dogs made up the genetic pool for all the American bred Kai Ken; they are the foundation of the Kai we have today.
Currently in Japan, the Kai is regarded very highly by the Japanese people, they do not distinguish the two types anymore, and no one type is preferred over the other. The Japanese describe the Kai as a trustworthy guardian, extremely devoted to his master, and they say a Kai will lay down its life to protect its master. They are very loved and protected in their native country and are considered a natural treasure in Japan.