Kai Ken

The Kai Ken, one of Japan’s six native spitzes, is mainly regarded as a hunting dog.


It comes from the mountains around Fuji on the island of Hon Shu and is considered one of the most ancient of the Japanese spitzes. It is said to be a hard, self-confident hunter as well as being a guard dog that is wary of strangers.


At the withers, the dog should be 18-22 inches/ 46-56 cm. The various Japanese spitzes differ mainly in size. Their common features are a wedge-shaped head with pronounced cheeks, decidedly slanted eyes and hooded ears. The coat should be short and harsh, standing out from the body except on the tail and buttocks where it should be longer. The colors seen most frequently are black, red or very dark brindle, often with white markings.

The Kai Ken is rarely found outside Japan.


It is said that he is more ready to please than other spitz-type breeds, and although he may be reserved with unknown, he warms up to those he feels he can trust. He gets along well with children and does not act aggressively toward other dogs. The Kai Ken makes an excellent watchdog.


The sturdy Kai Ken is an athletic dog who needs and enjoys regular outdoor excursions. He should be kept on leash when out for some exercise, unless in a securely fenced area. Daily vigorous exercise will keep him sound in body and mind.


The Kai Ken is said to be more responsive to his trainer's requests than many of his close spitz-type relatives. He does best with motivational training that is done with patience and persistence, and he needs a firm yet fair leader.


His thick, double coat sheds, and the Kai Ken requires regular brushing. Otherwise, his coat is weather resistant and naturally lustrous.


There are no reported breed-specific health concerns. Average life span is 12 to 15 years.


As the three to seven puppies per litter are susceptible to the cold, they and the mother should be given a warm, secluded area for delivery during the winter, and one with plenty of ventilation during hot months. Puppies are born solid-colored, the brindle pattern appearing as they mature.

Gallery of Kai Ken