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10 Interesting Facts About the Kai Ken Dog Breed

Is a Kai Ken the right dog for you?

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The Kai Ken is a very rare Japanese dog breed that is slowly gaining recognition in the United States. This unique breed has many interesting characteristics that make it a favorite among dog lovers. Here are 10 facts about the Kai Ken Dog Breed that may leave you wanting one of your own!

1) The Kai Ken are one of only six dogs recognized in Japan as being true native Japanese breeds. The other five are the Shikoku, Kishu, Hokkaido, Akita and Shiba Inu. They are considered a national treasure in Japan.

2) The Kai Ken was almost extinct after World War II. In 1931, the Kai Ken Aigokai club was founded for the preservation of the breed.

3) The first known Kai Ken in the United States were gifted to a Utah zoo in 1960 where they were exhibited but never bred. It was not until the 1990’s that the Kai Ken began to be bred in the U.S.

4) The Kai Ken is known for its intelligence, strength and willingness to learn. They are excellent hunters and swimmers and have been known to climb trees to chase their prey.

5) There are three coat colors in Kai Ken: Black Brindle (Kuro-Tora), Brindle (Chu-Tora), and Red Brindle (Aka-Tora). Red brindle is the rarest of all colors. Puppies may be born a solid color and turn brindle as the dog grows.

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6) Their are many names for this dog including Kai, kai-inu, kai-ken, tora, kai tora ken, kosh-tora, or just tiger dog!

7) The Kai Ken is said to be one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. They originate from an isolated region of Japan-Yamanashi Prefecture on Honshu Island. They also have one of the purest bloodlines of any dog breed. At one time, they were under strict quarantine making it difficult to send dogs to other countries.

8) The Kai Ken is considered a primitive breed by the FCI. They are very intelligent, territorial and independent and may NOT be the right choice for a novice dog owner or first time owner.

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9) The Kai Ken generally lives to 12-15 years. They are considered a very healthy breed with very few of the congenital or hereditary health issues seen in other breeds. This is due to their relatively pure genetic strain.

10) There are two types of Kai Ken. The Shika-Inu-Gata has a fox-like head and long and slender body and the Shishi-Inu-Gata has a bear-like head and larger, well-muscled body.


Take a Fun Kai Quiz


Kai Ken Dog Breed Quiz

Can You Identify the Spitz Type Breeds?


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