The Kai is a Japanese breed of hunting and companion dog, originating in Yamanashi Province. It is one of the six native Japanese dog breeds and is valued for its loyalty, intelligence and hunting abilities.

General details

The Kai is a medium-sized Japanese dog breed, with a weight ranging from 20 to 25 kg and a height between 45 and 55 cm at the withers. Its average life expectancy is around 11 years. According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), this breed is classified in Group 5, which includes Spitz-type dogs and primitive-type dogs.

Breed history in brief

The Kai is a Japanese dog breed that developed in the mountainous Kai region of Yamanashi Prefecture. These dogs were originally bred for hunting wild boar and deer, and are known to have existed for at least 300 years. In the past, Kai were highly valued for their hunting ability and were considered a national treasure in Japan. However, the breed's popularity declined after World War II and it is now considered a rare breed, although it is still used for hunting and as a companion.

Breed characteristics

The Kai is a medium sized dog with a head proportional to the body. The eyes are medium sized, slightly almond-shaped and dark in color, conveying an alert and intelligent expression. Its ears are triangular and carried erect. The tail is set high and is carried curled over the back or in the form of a sickle. Its coat is thick, harsh and water resistant, with a dense undercoat to protect it from the cold. Typical colors include black, brindle and red, although they may also have white markings. The Kai is a courageous and confident dog, showing loyalty to its family. Although he can be reserved with strangers, he is friendly and affectionate with those he meets. He is an active and energetic dog, requiring daily exercise and mental stimulation. His temperament includes hunting instincts, working ability and willingness to learn and obey.

Common health problems

Some of the diseases that can affect Kais include hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, Von Willebrand's disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Do you still not know the true nature of your dog?

Unlock the secrets of your pet's DNA with our two ranges.


Breeds + Physical traits


Health + Breeds + Physical traits

Special Christmas offer

Only until January 7

-15% on our dog DNA tests

Use our code XMAS15