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. To minimize the risk of your dog developing any hereditary health issues, you should buy a Kai Ken dog from a reputable breeder.