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Kai Ken Dog Breed

An extremely rare dog, it is also called by other names such as Tora Dog, Tora Inu or Tiger Dog. Originating from Japan, it was hailed as a national monument in 1934 and is considered as the most ancient and purest dog breed in the country. It was developed in the district of Kai as a hunting dog, hence the name. It is a medium sized dog weighing about 30 to 40 pounds and has a height of 17 to 20 inches. It has a flat top skull with a narrow muzzle. The nose is black and the ears are triangular and prick. Its front legs are strong and straight and the tail may be curled over the back or carried in a sickle position. It has a coat of harsh hair, of medium length and black or brindle in colour. There are three recognized varieties: the Aka-tora is a red base of coat; the Kuro-tora is black and the red/black is called Chu-tora.

The Kai Ken was bred as a hunter and some are known to swim or climb trees when pursuing their prey. Highly intelligent, they are also easy to train and are devoted, loyal house companions. They are also known to be good watch dogs, reserved with strangers and would always be found perched on high grounds to keep an eye on things. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

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