Our Standards

Our Standards

Yamabushi Kai Ken are selected to meet the Kai Ken Aigokai breed standard. Our Kai Ken foundation stock has been carefully selected from Kai Ken Aigokai kennels in Japan. Through the selective breeding of our imported Kai Ken we hope to make a positive contribution to breed's future in North America. For more information on our preservation efforts please read our mission statement.

Kai Ken Aigokai Breed Standard

Translated by Shigeru Kato

Physical Proportions:

Substance and Appearance: Showing proper sexual dimorphism, and an unadorned unsophisticated air coupled with composed boldness. Movement light and nimble, the breed is agile and powerful with strong homing instinct and a propensity toward loyalty to one master for life.
  • The outer coat standing upright, undercoat thick, and animals should have a mane.
  • The breed is split into three coat colors, black brindle, medium brindle, and red brindle.
  • There are two body types, boar type, and deer type.
  • Height roughly 40-50 centimeters at withers.


Moderately thick, triangular in form, of good shape and angled forward, spacing between ears neither too wide apart or close together, lines clean and without looseness, and ears slightly larger than the other Japanese dog breeds.


More or less triangular in shape, the iris dark brown, which depending on coat color may show some shading.


Lips tight, with good pigmentation, teeth strong, proper bite.

Head & Neck:

Forehead wide falling to a moderate stop, neck having appropriate thickness and length, without looseness.

Back & Hips:

Line of the back straight, hips powerful and tight.


Tail thick and strong, either sickle tail or curl tail type, roughly reaching the hocks in length.


Robust with hocks especially well developed, firm while providing for excellent leaping ability and speed.

Yamabushi Kennel is taking an extended break from our preservation and breeding efforts. We are no longer accepting reservations for future litters. Please feel free to email us at info@yamabushikennel.org with questions or join The Nihon Ken Forum to learn more about the six native Japanese breeds. To learn more about the Kai Ken, breeding, training, health, or genetics please visit our links page.