Other names: Kaï Tora-ken, Kai Toraken, Tora Inu, Kai Ken

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The Kai is a medium-sized dog, of robust constitution, of harmonious and balanced proportions, with well-developed musculature and a body cut to allow him to evolve in the mountainous regions of Japan. Its appearance is characteristic of primitive Japanese dog breeds. Its limbs and hocks are powerful. The gaits of the Kai are characterized by light and determined movements.



Photo: Kai breed dog on Woopets
Hair type Short
Origin Japan
Template Average
Head shape Triangular
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 24 kg to 26 kg From 45 cm to 51 cm
Male From 25 kg to 27 kg From 50 cm to 56 cm
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History of the breed

the   Kai descends from ancient Japanese breeds traditionally used for hunting in the harsh mountainous regions of the archipelago. It was developed in the ancient province of Kai from which it bears the name. The latter corresponds to the current Yamanashi prefecture, located in central Honshu and west of Tokyo. In the past, the Kai specialized in hunting wild boar and deer . The Kai race has retained much of its purity due, among other things, to its propensity to group together in packs. In addition, it has been considered part of the Japanese natural heritage since 1934.

The Kai breed was definitively recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) on February 1, 1982. Its official FCI standard in force was published on October 30, 2016.

Kai Pictures

Photo by Stessy, KaiPhoto by Maxy, Kai

See all photos of Kai from Woopets members

Physical features

His hair: straight and fairly hard in texture. The outer coat is associated with a soft and dense undercoat. Longer on the tail.
Its color: black brindle, red brindle or simply brindle.
His head: well proportioned to the rest of the body. The forehead is broad, the stop abrupt and characterized by a slight furrow. The nose is black, the muzzle pointed, not very long and of moderate thickness, the lips very straight and joined, the jaws strong and articulated in scissors and the cheeks well developed.
His ears: triangular in shape, slightly tilted forward and firmly erect.
His eyes: almost triangular in shape and dark brown in color.
His body: robust and well proportioned as a whole. The neck is thick, powerful and well muscled, the withers rather high, the back straight and short, the kidney broad and muscular, the chest deep, the ribs moderately arched and the belly slightly raised.
Its tail: set high, thick, vigorously curved or in a loop above the back. Its end almost reaches the hock at rest.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

the   Kai is a lively and particularly alert dog. From his past as a hunting dog, the Kai notably retains his qualities of observation and determination. A very good companion for his master, to whom he is very attached, the Kai is also a good guardian, naturally wary and on the lookout for the slightest intrusion into the family home.

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The Kai calls for an education based on firmness , but without recourse to any form of brutality. The attachment he has for his master and his active nature make it particularly judicious to rely on exercises and positive reinforcement in his education. The Kai also requires quality socialization to reduce their distrust of people they do not know.

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

the   Kai needs a lot of space and freedom of movement . It prefers to live in the open air, in a large fenced garden and with a shelter protecting it from winds, sun and bad weather.


Ease of gaining weight

the   Kai is a generally resilient and healthy dog. If there is no particular hereditary disease in this breed, the risks of progressive retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia cannot be completely ruled out.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 4 and 6 puppies

Major concerns
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Hip dysplasia
Heart murmur
Minor concerns
Patella dislocation
Occasional concerns
Suggested tests

To protect you from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends Kai dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 12 years old

Maximum: 14 years

The life expectancy of a Kai is, on average, between 12 years and 14 years.

Calculate the human age of your Kai!

To choose… 1 year 2 years 3 years Four years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10 years 11 years old 12 years 13 years 14 years old 15 years old 16 years old 17 years 18 years old 19 years old 20 years 21 years old

Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

the   Kai is an easy-to-maintain dog , requiring only regular, low-pressure dogs to stay healthy.

It is recommended to brush the dog once a week to ensure the cleanliness of his coat and to remove dead hair.

Her teeth need to be brushed regularly to eliminate tartar build-up and the proliferation of bacteria. If they do not wear out regularly, its claws need to be cut. If you are new to this, it is recommended that you seek advice from a veterinarian or groomer.

Price and budget

Purchase price

1000 €
1500 €

The purchase price of a Kai is between 1000 € and 1500 €.

Annual maintenance cost

€ 450
650 €

The annual maintenance cost of a Kai is between 450 € and 650 €.

No name is currently proposed. Use our tool to find your Kai’s name!


The Kai is not a picky dog breed. All he needs is the right diet for his level of physical activity, age and size.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

the   Kai is a dog who needs to stay active , with long daily outings punctuated by exercises that allow him to be stimulated.


Classifications & Standards
(FCI) Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(AKC) American Kennel Club
(UKC) United Kennel Club


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

FCI Information



FCI Group

Group 5: Spitz-type and primitive-type dogs

Recognized by FCI

Since 1982


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