The Kai Inu, also known as Kai Ken, is thought to be the most ancient and the purest dog breed in Japan. In originated on the Honshu Island in the province of Kai. The breed served as a tireless, all-weather hunter across mountains, through rivers and even up trees. The Kai was especially good at tracking wild boar and deer.
Physical characteristicsThe Kai belongs to the Spitz family. It has a stocky, athletic body with a thick neck, wedge-shaped head, erect ears, and strong limbs. The tail can be either sickle-shaped or curled over the back. Compared to the other Japanese dogs, the skull is somewhat more narrow and the head is more tapered.
Males are usually 18 to 22 inches tall, while females are 17 to 20 inches. The weight is 30 to 50 pounds.
TemperamentThe Kai's strong temperament with a bold streak requires an experienced owner to deal with it. With proper human leadership, Kai Kens are very loyal, friendly, and good with children. Intelligent, agile, alert and brave. Good guard and watch dogs as they have strong protective instincts. Reserved with strangers. Aggression to other dogs should not be a problem provided that the dog has been properly socialized. While Kai Kens can adjust to small apartments, they require a sufficient amount of physical and mental exercise. A bored or frustrated Kai Ken can develop behavior problems. Many Kai Lens love to swim.
Coat and groomingThe coat can be brindled black, brindled red, and brindled red-black. Puppies are born solid colour, and the brindle pattern develops as they mature. It becomes apparent at about six months of age. The hair of the Kai is harsh, medium length. These dogs are easy to groom, and they are known to have little to no doggy odour. Regular brushing and an occasional bath should keep the coat in a good condition.
HealthKai Kens are known to be healthy and robust dogs. The lifespan is up to 16 years.
Other interesting factsThis breed is also known as "Kai Tora-Ken", where Tora means tiger. There are different opinions about the origin of this nickname. It could have been given for the dog's wild, untameable disposition, and it could also have been given because of the brindle patten of the coat. The Kai is a very rare dog breed. It was classified as a national treasure in Japan in 1934.
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