The Kai Ken is a medium-sized dog with a wedge-shaped head and prick ears. The tail may be curled over the back, or carried in a sickle position. Limbs should be strong and hocks should be well developed reflecting the dogs’ history of mountain life.
Black or black-, gray-, red-brindle in color. Another distinct characteristic of this breed is that puppies generally have a solid black colored-coat that gradually turns brindle as the canine ages.
The coat is of harsh texture and of medium length. They are a double-coated breed with the top coat being straight and harsh to the touch; and a dense yet soft undercoat that sheds once or twice a year. Because of their double-layered coat, grooming these dogs requires that one brush and clean not just the top coat, but also to reach the undercoat.
The Kai Ken is not known to be prone to the usual congenital and hereditary problems other canines seem to have. Although the breed appears to be a hardy lot, owners must still be diligent and watch out for signs of PRA, and Canine Hip Dysplasia.
The Kai Ken is a natural hunter, but can also be used as a guard dog, as it is very courageous and protective. Due to its wild background, a Kai Kan may act timid and suspicious towards strangers, but will be totally devoted to the family and will be very friendly with the people it knows.
Early training and socialization is recommended, because Kai Kens can be very willful and headstrong and it has the natural instincts to chase small animals. They are more of a one-owner type.
They will do best when kept inside. Kais can make great apartment dogs as long as the owner allows time for some walks and romps in the park. They should have plenty of space. Daily walks and yard play is necessary for them.