Kai Resource


A dog of legendary bravery, the Kai is an ancient Japanese hunting dog that was developed on the island of Honshu. Hunting everything from deer to wild boar, this determined, agile dog was said to have climbed trees and swum rivers and lakes to catch its quarry. The Kai’s key trait is its thick, brindle-patterned coat, which has resulted in the nickname “torah,” or “tiger,” dog. This breed is similar to other Japanese spitz-type working dogs, with a wedge-shaped head, double coat and prick ears, but falls between the Shiba Inu and the Akita in size and coat length. The double coat may be any color of brindle, including red or black, but the distinctive pattern may not clearly appear until a pup is 6 months of age, or sometimes as long as 5 years of age. At least once-weekly brushing keeps the coat shiny and tangle free. This sturdy, medium-sized dog may weigh 25 to 55 pounds. Ideally, males are 18.5 to 22 inches tall; females, 17.5 to 20 tall. An excellent watchdog and guardian of the home, the dark-eyed Kai may be reticent with strangers, but it is friendly and gentle towards people it knows, as well as with other dogs. This one-person dog is highly loyal and devoted to its master. Regular training and early socialization are vital.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Red or black brindle-patterned.

At least once-weekly brushing keeps the coat shiny and tangle free.

AKC Group:
UKC Group:
Northern Breed
Males: 18.5 to 22 inches; females: 17.5 to 20 tall.
25 to 55 pounds