Kai Ken, also known as Kai Dog, Kainu, Tiger Dog or Tora Inu, are a native Japanese breed of dog that are considered to be national treasures in their homeland. They are incredibly agile, quick, and fearless, making them excellent hunters. Kai Ken are also known for their loyalty and can be used for a variety of purposes. Here’s everything you need to know about this unique hunting breed.

History of The Kai Ken Dog

The Kai Ken was a wild mountain dog that was created as a result of the formation of the Nihon Ken Hozonkai and is named after the nearby province of Kai, an island in Honshu where the breed is said to have originated. They were isolated for many years, since the Kai province is difficult to reach due to the mountain area.

Kai Ken Dog: a Multipurpose Dog Breed

The breed was used to hunt deer and boar, and is considered a versatile multipurpose dog. They are effortless climbers and have a strong prey drive. They were used to hunting primarily Japanese serows, deer and boars in steep, mountainous areas. The first Kais are said to be brought to United Stated in the 1950s by American servicemen. Today, they are considered a rare breed and are difficult to find in the United States. They were recognized by the Japanese Kennel Club in 1934 and are considered native dogs of Japan.

Dog Breed Appearance

They are medium-sized, spitz-type dogs, standing about 18 to 22 inches tall and weighing about 25 to 45 pounds. They have a double coat, consisting of a coarse outer coat and a soft, dense and thick undercoat that helps keep them warm in cold weather climates. Kai Kens may have brindle, red brindle or black brindle coat. They may have markings around their eyes and on their muzzle, chest, and legs. They have a wedge-shaped head with pricked ears and a tail that curls over their back. Furthermore, they are sturdily built and are powerful and muscular dogs that are adapted to living in a harsh environment.

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Kai Kens are generally low-maintenance dogs and are considered to be quite clean. Brushing their coat once or twice a month is generally sufficient, although they may need more frequent brushing during periods of heavy shedding. They do not typically require professional haircuts, but their nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent overgrowth. Ears should also be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent infection. Bathing is not required frequently, but may be necessary if your buddy becomes particularly dirty.

Activity Level

Kai Kens are born hunting dogs and are one of the most agile dog breeds. They are considered to have a high activity level, meaning that they need plenty of exercise and stimulation. If you don’t have the time or space to provide your Ken with enough exercise, this breed is definitely not for you. At least 70 minutes of exercise per day is recommended for Kai Kens. They love to run, play fetch, and go on long walks. They have a strong instinct to hunt and will take off after anything that moves, so be sure to keep them on a leash when outside in the urban area.


Feeding Kai Ken a high-quality dog food is important, as they are prone to developing health problems if they do not receive the proper nutrients. Adult Kai Kens should be fed two cups of food per day, divided between two meals. Kais should be fed one to three cups of food per day, also divided between two meals.

Kai Ken can become overweight if they are overfed, so it is important to monitor their diet and exercise habits closely. The exact amount of food that your dog should eat will vary depending on their age, activity level, build and sex, so it is important to talk to a veterinarian or dog nutritionist about the best diet for your specific Kainu.


Training is very important for a Kai Ken. Many owners find that basic obedience training is a good place to start. Kai Kens are bred to be working dogs, so they can be prone to boredom if not given a job to do. Training is a good way to keep your Kai Ken mentally stimulated. They’re very intelligent but may be a bit stubborn, so consistency is the key.

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Kai Ken Temperament and Personality

Kai Kens have a strong personality and are not recommended for first time dog owners. They are loyal and protective of their family, and make excellent watch dogs. Kai Kens are not as friendly with strangers as some other breeds, but once they get to know someone they are very loving and devoted. They can be quite territorial or suspicious towards people they do not know. They are alert and protective, which makes them superior guard dogs.

Trainability Level

They may be problematic to train due to their independent nature, and can be quite headstrong, however, once socialized they are extremely devoted and loyal to their master. Training should begin very early to avoid any dominance issues. Their natural instinct is to be a pack dog and they do best when living with other Kai Kens or in a home with a large yard where they can run. When they’re socialized, they get along well with children and families, although they are quite self-willed and may not be good for first-time dog owners.


The Kai Ken is considered to be a healthy breed of dog. They have few health problems and tend to live 14 to 16 years. Some of the health concerns that may affect this breed include:

  • progressive retinal atrophy;
  • hip dysplasia;
  • luxating patellas;
  • allergies;
  • cancers.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary disease that affects the retina and can lead to blindness. Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint is malformed and can cause pain and arthritis. Luxating patellas are kneecaps that dislocate easily and can cause lameness. Allergies can cause skin problems, itching, and sneezing. Cancers can occur in any breed of dog and should be suspected if the Kai Ken develops a lump, has trouble breathing, or loses weight rapidly.

Health Care

It is important to have your Kai Ken examined by a veterinarian at least once a year and to keep up with their vaccinations and deworming schedule. Before you bring a Kai Ken into your home, be sure to research the breed and ask your veterinarian any questions you may have about their health. Make sure to provide your Kai Ken with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

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For Whom?

Kai Dogs are incredibly active dogs that need plenty of exercise and room to run. They are not recommended for people who live in apartments or lack a yard. The breeders will typically ask potential buyers about their living situation to make sure the dog is going to a good home.

Kai Ken: an Excellent Watchdog

They are quite reserved towards strangers, but make great family dogs once they’re socialized. They are excellent watchdogs and will sound the alarm when anyone approaches their property, so if you’re looking for a guardian, Kai Ken is a great choice. Kai Inu is a perfect dog for active people who have plenty of space to run and play with their pet. Although they do not develop strong separation anxiety as some other dog breeds, they do require a lot of human companionship and play.

Kai Ken Puppy Price

The price for a Tiger Dog can vary, depending on the breeder, location and other factors such as lineage. Generally speaking, the cost for a Kai Ken puppy is anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500. They are a rare dog breed, so Kai Ken dog breed may be slightly more expensive than other breeds. Before you buy a puppy, be sure to research Kai Ken breeders and ask for references. Buying a dog from a responsible breeder is important, as these dogs are prone to health problems if not bred responsibly. Make sure you are fully prepared to commit to this dog before you make the purchase, as Kai Kens require a lot of exercise and attention.

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