Can you tell Kai Ken coloring at puppy age?
  • so I know Kai Ken can typically continue to develop there brindle up to the age of five. However I curious if there is a way to tell the over all coloring? I ask because I only have my one Kai and he is a beautiful black color with some alot of brindle in the light. Most Kais i see are very close to this, however I've seen some Kai online that are mostly brown or other shades with a little black fur or there brindle being black. Can this typically be identified at the puppy stage? Or based upon there parents? etc?
  • AstorAstor
    Posts: 10
    I was always taught that Kai are born completely black, but the more I got into the community, the more lighter coloured pups I was seeing born. My Akiko is almost completely black at just short of 5 months of age, with only a few stripes of brindle, but her parents are aka-tora and chu-tora so I’m not sure parents have anything to do with it. But then again, both of her siblings clearly chu-tora from only a few weeks old. I think it depends entirely on the puppy, but I am still learning myself so it’ll be interesting to see what others say.
    Living in the UK with Akiko the Kai Ken. Founder of the Nihon Ken Network (, and vice-chair of the Association of Nihon Ken (
  • TheWalrusTheWalrus
    Posts: 1624
    You can generally tell what color a pup will end up being when it is born. However they are quite a bit darker when they are first born, so you have to factor that into the equation.
  • Basically all the red and urajiro parts in a Nihon Ken’s coat start out with grey/black overlay that fades in time. They also have a grey/black puppy mask that goes away too. So all red parts appear brownish, and lighten to more orangey as they get older. Black parts do not change, but it can be hard to distinguish the black from red early on if the stripes are dense and the red is really dark brown.

    Knowing this and having good lighting to look at a pup’s coat, you can know how their color will look as an adult pmuch from birth.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2018-11-05 22:41:35
  • Agreed! A red will be red as a puppy, anything else is either chuo/brown or black. I think my dog is light enough to be a "dark brown" but he was basically black when I got him so that's what he's registered as. So, black can have striping or be solid.

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