Monday, May 19, 2008

About the Kai Dog

The Kai is an ancient Japanese breed that was developed as a hunting dog in the province of Kai on the island of Honshu. The Kai's homeland is surrounded by mountains, so the breed remained geographically isolated. With the introduction of firearms, the Kai was used by professional big game hunters who specialized in hunting deer and wild boar. The breed was not recognized in Japan until 1934 and it is still quite rare. In part because of its legendary courage, the Kai was once thought to be too primitive to serve as a family pet, but that myth has been dispelled. In the United States, the Kai has proven to be a gentle and loyal family companion.

The Kai is a medium-sized, sturdily-built, Spitz-type dog, with a wedge-shaped head, prick ears, and a harsh, straight brindle coat of medium length. The correct relationship of height to length of body is 10:11. The tail may be curled over the back or carried over the back in a sickle position. The appearance of the Kai is similar to the other working Japanese Spitz breeds, smaller than the Akita and larger than the Shiba.

The Kai is a sturdy, muscular dog of exceptional courage and agility. Kai have been known to climb trees and swim in pursuit of their prey. Traditional Japanese writings describe the Kai as a natural hunter, a trustworthy guardian and extremely devoted to its master. The brindle pattern of coat color is the Kai's most distinguishing breed characteristic. The tail of the Kai differs from the other Japanese breeds in that it does not form a double curl but is shaped like a sickle and carried over the back. While Kais may be somewhat reserved with strangers, they are very friendly with people and are not aggressive with other dogs. The Kai makes an excellent watch dog or home protector.

The Kai was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996.

This dog represents the force and will of the Japanese people, and one can even call it a samurai amongst the other dog breeds.

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