Pet Advisor Blog

Kai Dog – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 25 to 55 pounds
Height: 17 to 22 inches
Longevity: 15
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Medium
Compatibility to other pets: Medium

Adopt a Kai Dog, Dog Breed Guide


The Kai dogs of Japan were once seen as too primitive to be used as family pets. This is because they can be quite reserved with strangers. But the Kai or the Tiger Dog of Japan is actually very loyal and devoted to their families.

Official Name

The Kai Dog is also known as the Kai Ken, Kai Inu, Tora Inu, Tiger Dog and more popularly known as the Ainu Dog.


Date – Not Known
Country – Japan
Family / Group – Northern, Spitz

Recognized By

American Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.


One of Japan’s ancient dogs which can trace its roots in the island of Honshu located in the province of Kai which is part of the Yamanashi Prefecture, hence their name. The Kai dog was developed as a hunting dog and has shown impressive hunting traits when going after deer and boars that they earned the nickname the Tiger Dogs. It is one of the rarest dogs today and has been in total isolation in its native island up until 1934. This has made it as one of the purest of purebred


The Kai dog is a sturdy spitz looking dog that is known for its impressive courage while out on the hunt. They have a very strong prey drive, making them aggressive to other animals but generally, they are gentle and devoted family members. Although this breed can show aggression on prey like animals, they are not dog-aggressive. When it comes to strangers, these dogs will be wary but will never be aggressive. One of the most famous traits of Kai dogs is their abilities to climb trees and swim to cross rivers!

Bred For

Kai-ken dogs were used as hunters for a game such as boars and deer.


Kais can make great apartment dogs as long as the owner allows time for some walks and romps in the park.


Kais are very clean and only need light brushing and an occasional bath.


These are dogs that are easy and fast to train housebreaking and obedience.


The Kai is rather healthy. This is because of their athletic and sturdy physique. Because of these traits, the Kai Dog has shown no alarming health issues.


Kai’s are highly energetic! Regular exercise is needed to keep them from being high strung.