General Information

Dog NameKai Ken
Other NamesTora Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
Breed ForHunting small and big game
Country of OriginJapan

Physical And Size

Min Life Span12
Max Life Span15
Min Ideal Weight for male12
Max Ideal Weight for male15
Min Ideal Weight for female9
Max Ideal Weight for male15


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentAgile, Loyal, Alert
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyLow
Dog FriendlyMedium
Office FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyLow
Senior Citizens FriendlyLow
Service DogLow
Search and Rescue DogLow
Biting PotentialMedium
Country of OriginJapan
Nicknames and Other NamesKai, Tora Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupSpitz Group
Bred ForHunting small as well as big game
Recognized ByAKC, UKC, FCI
Life Span12-15 years
Ideal Weight20-40 pounds (male and female)
Ideal Height15.5-19.5 inches (male and female)
Fur TypeRough outer coat, soft undercoat
Common ColorsGray Brindle
Black Brindle
Red Brindle
AvailabilityRarely available
AchievementsNational Monument of Japan
Suitable for ApartmentsNot suitable
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToShikoku

The Kai Ken is a hunting dog of Japan which is athletic, strong, and an excellent swimmer. They are a rare breed of Japan which got its nickname as Tora Inu in its native land, Japan. This means “Tiger Dog” as they have stripes like tigers on their body.

The Kai Ken is a well-muscled, medium-sized dog with an athletic and sturdy appearance. They are double coated with a short length and soft undercoat. The outer coat is harsh and in medium length. The head is of square-shaped with smiley eyes and alert ears. Kai Ken is suitable for apartment also but should be taken out for a walk or a play regularly.

Origin and History

Kai Ken is a native of Japan, originated in the mountainous region of Kai territory near Mount Fuji. This breed was kept isolated in the mountain area and it was discovered in 1929. It was originally used for hunting small as well as big game from pheasant, rabbit to wild boar and bear.

Kai Ken was recognized by Japanese Kennel Club in 1934. The American Kennel Club has kept this breed in the Foundation Stock Service since 1997.

Is Kai Ken Child-Friendly?

Kai Ken gets along with children very well and is best suited as a family pet with kids. They are gentle and tolerant of children, especially if they are raised together. However, like with every dog, children should be supervised and taught to approach them and behave around them.

Kai Ken is child friendly
Kai Ken Puppy Taking A Walk With A Boy
Image Source-instagram-@jaxattaxaz

Temperament, Behavior and Personality

Temperament: Kai Ken has a keen temperament. They are very active and intelligent breed who loves human company and want to be part of their activities. Kai Ken is not an aggressive dog and generally get along well with other pet if introduced properly and socialized.

Behavior: Kai Ken sometimes shows quite stubborn behavior but it can be trained out of them. They are bit reserved around strangers and are wary of them. However, they can be made welcoming of them with proper training in socialization.

Personality: Kai Ken is a loyal and affectionate dog. They are very devoted to their family and need a good amount of love and attention from their owner. They are hunting dogs and are usually aware of the activity in the surrounding which makes them a great watch and guard dog.


Kai Ken is not very independent and is eager to please their owner which can make training easy. They can be stubborn sometimes but with firm leadership and confidence, they can be trained. Apply positive methods of training where treats and praises are involved as a reward for the task they complete. Keep the training session short and interesting so they don’t get bored and distracted.


  • Kai Ken is been protected by law and it was assigned a natural treasure in Japan in 1934.
  • Kai Ken shades twice a year and only need grooming once or twice a week.
  • The life expectancy of Kai Ken is around 15 years.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Retinal Atrophy, Allergies,
Lens Luxation, Bloat, Obesity
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Leptospirosis, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Canine Parainfluenza,
Canine Coronavirus, Kennel Cough
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingHigh Drooler
GroomingEasy and Minimal Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergy, Food Allergy
Diets and SupplementsProtein

Kai Ken is generally a healthy breed that is not likely to suffer from some serious diseases. However, they can suffer from some canine disease during the course of their life. They are:

  • Hip Dysplasia: It is a health condition that causes on the hip when hip joints are not developed or are dislocated. It causes extreme pain on the back of the dog which makes moving from one place to another difficult.
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Allergies


Kai Ken comes in following colors:

  • Black Brindle
  • Gray Brindle
  • Red Brindle


Cost: The average cost of the Kai Ken puppy is between $1500- $2000, depending on the type of breeder. Adoption cost usually $300 USD with the expenses on puppy.

Height and Size: The average height of the Kai Ken is 15.5-19.5 inches at the shoulders. The average weight is between 20-40 pounds.

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