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Kai dog (Dog standard)

The kai dog has the characteristics of a dog living in mountainous districts of japan.

FCI-Standard N° 317 / 16. 06. 1999 / GB


ORIGIN : Japan.


UTILIZATION : Hunting dog, companion.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 5 Spitz and primitive type.
Section 5 Asian Spitz and related breeds.
Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : This breed originated from medium-sized dogs that existed in Japan in the ancient times. It became established as a breed in the Kai district (Yamanashi Prefecture), which is surrounded by mountains. Another name for this breed is « Kai tora-ken ». A distinguishing feature in this dog is its brindled coat. These dogs are used mainly for hunting wild boar and deer. Their strong inclination to form a pack is thought to contribute towards maintaining the purity of the breed. The breed was designated as a « natural monument » in 1934.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Medium-sized dog, well balanced, sturdily built, muscles well developed. The dog has the characteristics of a dog living in mountainous districts of Japan. Limbs strong and hocks remarkably developed.

IMPORTANT PROPORTION : The ratio of height at withers to length of body is 10 : 11.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : The temperament is keen and very alert.


Skull : Forehead broad.
Stop : Abrupt with slight furrow.

Nose : Black, nasal bridge straight.
Muzzle : Pointed, not very long, but moderately thick.
Lips : Tight.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong with a scissor bite.
Cheeks : Well developed.
Eyes : Relatively small, nearly triangular and dark brown in colour.
Ears : Slightly larger than those of other medium-sized Japanese dogs, triangular, slightly inclining forward and firmly pricked.

NECK : Thick, powerful and muscular.

Withers : High.
Back : Straight and short.
Loins : Broad and muscular.
Chest : Deep, ribs moderately sprung.
Belly : Well tucked up.

TAIL : Set on high, thick, vigorously curled or carried curved like a sickle over the back. Tip nearly reaching the hocks when let down.


Shoulders : Moderately sloping with developed muscles.
Elbows : Close to the body.
Forearm : Straight, heavy and muscular.
Pasterns : Slightly inclining.

Upper thighs : Long.
Lower thighs : Short.
Hocks : Tough and elastic.

FEET : Toes well arched and tightly knit; pads thick and elastic; nails hard and preferably dark in colour.

GAIT / MOVEMENT : Light and resilient.


HAIR : Outer coat harsh and straight; undercoat soft and dense. The hair on the tail is fairly long and off-standing.

COLOUR : Black brindle, red brindle and brindle. As a feature of this breed, solid colour in puppyhood may turn brindle as the dog grows.

Height at withers : Dogs 53 cm.
Bitches 48 cm.
There is a tolerance of + 3 cm.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Bitchy dogs/doggy bitches.
Light-coloured nose.
Slightly overshot or undershot mouth.
Light-coloured eyes.
Long or short hair.


Aggresive or overly shy.
Extremely overshot or undershot mouth.
Ears not pricked.
Hanging tail, short tail.
Faded colour.
Coat with many white spots.
Extreme shyness.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.