Kitty is a red brindle (aka-tora) Kai, 25 pounds (12kg), of slender build. Born 27 August 2012, she will be almost two years old when her litter arrives.
It’s traditional to give Kai Ken Japanese names, so we named her ‘Hello Kitty’, because she gives you a perfect Hello Kitty look– especially after she’s been naughty. Kitty is affectionate and charming, combining insouciance with elegance and grace. If Audrey Hepburn were to reincarnate as a dog, she would become Hello Kitty.
Kitty comes when we call her– usually, and she is generally obedient and very intelligent. She is very affectionate and while quite independent minded, she would win her way through charm rather than defiance. Kitty learns very quickly in her classes, and loves the agility course. She knows class time is approaching when we get out the treat bag, and shows her enthusiasm with a sly whimper and wag of the tail.
Kitty’s temperament seems a bit different from what I’ve read about Kais. She has little interest in hunting, and she prefers her meat to come from a butcher shop. While shy at times, she is happy to meet new people, and she fawns like a puppy when she meets children.
Our life this past year has been a revolving door of dogs. We’ve hosted our neighbor’s boxer mix for several months following a house fire, rescued a husky, and have recently kept our son’s two shiba inus for several weeks. This gives us confidence that Kitty gets along with other dogs. She has clearly established dominance over our other two dogs (the husky and a shiba inu). When she gives them a stare, they know not to push it.
Kitty is an excellent watchdog. Watching the street from a strategic upstairs window, she’ll let us know when suspicious characters pass our house, without barking excessively. (Her favorite suspicious characters are the collies who live down the block.) She has strong bite inhibition and will not attack anyone. But if someone were to attack us, he would have to deal with a wolverine.
We’ve owned dogs for almost 30 years and Kitty has benefited from extensive training and early socialization. We cannot say what she would be like without this, nor do we recommend you own a Kai unless you are willing to train and socialize it. But given these things, Kitty is a pure delight.
Kitty’s sire is a UKC champion who has two grand-champions for sire and dam. Kitty’s dam is a UKC champion whose sire and dam hail from Japan. Kitty herself is a UKC champion, a title earned at the 2013 Premier Show. She has passed an eye test administered by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and appears in the OFA eye clearance database.