Kai Ken Needing Homes

A friend of mine alerted me to the fact that there are six Kai Ken in Oregon needing homes.  The owner is willing to ship to approved homes.

Kai Ken are medium-sized brindle dogs that were used for hunting in Japan… much like the Shiba was.  Now I don’t think I’ve ever met one in the flesh and I’m certainly not an expert, so it might behoove you to hie thee to the Nihon Ken forum for more information.  ***UPDATE*** Here is an excellent post on Kai temperament from the Nihon Ken forum:  Misconceptions about Kais- For prospective Kai owners

Here are bios and pictures of five of the six dogs.  For more information, contact Cheryl Yoshioka (not the owner, but involved in rehoming).


Yama was born 2/7/11.  He weighs in at 41 lbs and is altered. He is one good looker and the clown of the pack he gets along with all other dogs except for Ochi. He is the clown because he instigates play and if someone does not want to play he bothers them until they give in and rough house with him. If two others are playing together he will run and body slam right into their play to join in.

When Yama was 12 or 13 weeks old he broke his back leg. He was operated on and caged in crates he could not do anything but stand on all fours and turn around in as he grew (quickly at that age) the crate got bigger but not allowing him to stand more than all fours. He had to stay in it 24/7 except to go out to the bathroom on a leash so he would not disturb the healing and to do his range-of-motion which he hated.

I worried he would have problems socially but we put him in the hall in between often traveled rooms with mirrors on the wall so he could see everything and had foot and dog house traffic, traveling frequently and always included him activities verbally. He ended up well socialized – the only evidence that there is is once in a while when he is running he may favor it a little.

Yama loves being with his people and all the attention he can get. He enjoys going on walks, outings and camping.

Since Yama likes to join in with others he will be glad to dig with anyone digging and once while lots of cooking was going on he ate some turkey right off the counter to be apart of the cooking. If someone is getting tattled on he is usually right with the violator joining in. I find if I call another Kai to come to me he is racing them to get there first and always in the middle when I’m working with another. He also get away with a lot more than any other pack member with each other like they tolerate him trying to sneak off with what they are enjoying and horning in front of them.

But Yama is the pack clown and he just makes you love him because he enjoys life so much always wanting to have some fun. I must admit living in this pack it is his action and the others reactions that make me laugh the most. When I hear a commotion and look and Yama is in the mix I know it is just the clown getting gripped at for stirring the pot.

Yama is a true gem that steals a spot in your heart.



Claira Bell or Claire was born 1/1/12. She weighs in at 36 lbs and is altered.

This is one sweet Kai that is very reserved with strangers. Out on walks she does all she can to avoid them, taking after her mother. She is considered the baby of the pack because when the pack is waiting for a treat she is always in the back waiting to be the last one to get one. She also has a little whine she does when she wants in the house. She is a tattle tell when another Pack member is doing something or has something they should not have just like her mother she hurries to her people and to the violator back and forth until the people get the message to check it out.

Claira Bell loves treats and to chew on antlers, cow’s ears, bully sticks, and pork rolls but she never takes from another she waits and then lays on it to chew so they can’t sneak it back from her. She likes to dig. It is not to dig out it is just for joy and when it has been raining she often comes in with a brown nose. When there is snow she is in heaven digging and rooting all around in it having a grand old time.

Claira Bell gets along great with the other dogs. She also loves to cuddle with her people and will wait while another Kai gets attention but when her people are finished she will sweetly let you know she is here and wants a turn too.



Ochi or as he is called by some Archie. He seems to not mind either just loves the attention. He was born 6/15/11 is altered and weights in at 52 lbs.

Ochi is a real ball fan no matter what size or type. He love to play ball and is thrilled to have you throw one for him to retrieve and has yet to be the one to call it quits first. Ochi likes to disassemble stuffed toys but has learned to
trade one for a treat when he gets too rough. With the Verbal command ‘trade’, he will drop the toy near you or if too many other Kais are around he will just bring it to you and trade for a treat.

Ochi does not feel comfortable when someone goes over his head with their hand. I believe it is because when he was very young he was bit on the head by an older dog, but that is just my guess because he still has two little scars if you look hard.

He does not like to have his nails cut and one nail a day is enough for him. If it is time for a real good brushing he seems to prefer splitting up to two setting and his choice would be if it could be two days.

What he really likes is to have his chest scratched, he just melts in pure joy.

There are two males in our pack that he does not get along with. This started when all were intact and there was heat in the house and they have yet to make amends.

On request he may shake with you and with some verbal coaxing has been know to speak. He is also one that waits patiently for a treat in the group getting treats and does not grab unless the treat is dropped.



Chiba weighs 30 lbs at best. He was born on 1/1/12 and is altered.

Chiba is a little cutie that loves his people and keeps an eye on them at all times. He loves to be held, brushed, pet and likes having his nails trimmed. Matter-of-fact if you are working on another dog he is right there nosing his way between so you won’t forget about him. Most of all he likes sitting right next to his people with his head resting on them or at there feet if he can not get up. He is not one you can get a kiss from unless you are in his face and ask him for one.

He also loves to be held and carried around so he can get a view from up high. He will hold on to your arm with his paws (legs) it is gentle and sweet.
When he is not with or keeping an eye on his people he can be found relaxing in his cage if not outside. When I say cage up to the pack before I leave or go to bed he is the first one to his cage waiting for a cage up treat and the door to be shut.

He gets along and plays well with the others but because of his smaller size is on his back a lot in the submissive position except for with the pack clown
whom he jumps on his feet and yaps at as if to say ‘you are not going to bother or boss me’.

Chiba is a good jumper. He does not use this skill to jump up on people but has used it for jumping and climbing up on trees and over fences on occasion.
All of the pack members chase squirrels, mice and the laser light well Chiba is a smart one and knows he doesn’t have a chance and will be one of the quickest to move on to do something else.



This is Priscilla. She weighs 38 lbs. she is sweet but reserved with strangers.

Loves to be petted and will remind you by giving your hand a nudge if you are sitting with a free hand. She is always up to chase a squirrel she would be great as a hunter if there was a chance to go. Out all of the pack she is the one to stay outside the longest weather does not seem to bother her at all.

She gets along great with all dogs and is always up for a good game of chase but would prefer to chase any cat right out of the yard. She was born 1/1/12. She is one that can be a little picky about treats but is right there to make the choice when offered.


For more information, contact Cheryl Yoshioka (not the owner, but involved in rehoming).


  1. Many of these Kai Ken have been adopting out. You should update it so new people know who is available (I've taken Chiba)

  2. It’s been a long time but I looked up this post for a little nostalgia. We took Priscilla after reading this post. She is doing well in her old age and has two packmates under 6onths old that she’s helping me raise, including a 4 month old Kai that we got from a breeder close with Priscilla’s original owner. Our lives changed forever because of this post – we have become a give in Kai breed preservation and have never been happier. Thank you!

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