Kai Ken is a very old hunting breed from the Japanese island of Honshu. Although not very large, these dogs hunted a variety of game, even wild boar. The Japanese people designated the Kai Ken as a national treasure in 1934 and, as such, all dogs are protected by law.
The Kai Ken dog breed stands from 17 to 22 inches tall and weighs 30 to 40 pounds. The head is wedge-shaped, with small, dark eyes and upright ears. The body is sturdy, and the tail curls up over the hips. The coat is double and does shed. All Kai Ken are brindle, although the colors can vary from red brindle to brown and even black brindle. The coat needs brushing twice a week; make sure to get through the thick coat to the skin. During the worst shedding, usually in spring and fall, the coat may need to be brushed daily.
The Kai Ken needs daily exercise; however, since the breed retains its hunting instincts, all exercise should be within a fenced-in yard or on leash. The fence should be away from any overhanging trees, as this breed is known to climb trees capably. Socialization should begin early in puppyhood and continue on into adulthood. Training, preferably in a group class, is helpful for socialization as well as behavior. Training should be structured yet fun.
The Kai Ken is intelligent, loyal to owners yet aloof with strangers, and very easy to housetrain. This is not a city dog; he rarely does well in the hustle and bustle of an urban environment. The Kai Ken needs an owner who understands northern and spitz-type breeds. A Kai Ken is devoted and loyal to his family and watchful of strangers. He will thrive with attention and will do best when he can spend time with his owner. The breed is good with children who treat the dog with respect. Although Kai Ken may be good with smaller pets, owners should keep in mind that this breed was bred to hunt and retains those hunting instincts. Kai Ken is a healthy dog breed.