Kai Ken

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Kai Ken
Image of Kai (dog).jpg
A Kai Ken
Other names Kai
Common nicknames Tora Dog
Origin Japan
Weight 25–55 lb (11–25 kg)
Height Male 50–56 cm (20–22 in)
Female 45–51 cm (18–20 in)
Coat Double coat of medium length
Color Black brindle, red brindle and brindle.
Classification / standards
FCI Group 5, Section 5 Asian Spitz and related breeds #317 standard
The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS) is an optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration.
UKC Northern Breed standard
Notes The AKC does not have its own standard and instead links to that of the FCI
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Kai Ken (甲斐犬?, also called the Tora Inu or Tiger Dog) is a breed of dog that hails from Japan where it is a natural monument and has been bred for centuries. It is a rare dog even in its native land and is one of the six native Japanese dog breeds protected by the Nihon Ken Hozonkai.


Stuffed specimen of Kai Ken named "Kai-kuro-go" at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan.


The Kai Ken is a medium-sized dog with a wedge shaped head and prick ears. Males are typically 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder, while the females are slightly smaller, 17


The Kai Ken is intelligent, agile, alert and brave. They are natural hunters and make good watch dogs, being reserved with strangers but loyal to their families. They are friendly, often good with children and are not usually aggressive towards other dogs. Many love to swim, and have been known to cross rivers and climb trees while chasing their prey.[1]


The Kai Ken was split off from the Nihon Ken (Japanese Dog) landrace during the creation of the Nihon Ken Hozonkai (NIPPO) and named after Kai Province in Yamanashi Prefecture where the breed is said to have originated.

Being an agile and effortless climber, the Kai Ken was used to hunt in steep mountainous terrain in Yamanashi where's its primary quarry was the Japanese serow (Kamoshika), deer, wild boar, and occasionally bear.

After the creation of NIPPO in 1928, the Kai Ken was designated a natural monument in Japan in 1933. In 1931 the Kai Ken Aigokai (KKA) was formed and became the primary Preservation Society for the breed in Japan and still is today.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]