Breed Health

The Kai Ken Society of America strongly encourages breeders to screen dogs in their program for health conditions that can be passed on to progeny, and to make owners and cooperating breeders aware of issues that develop so the entire community can limit and eliminate preventable conditions in the overall pool of stock.

We feel the breed is one large project that many breeders work together on, and no breeder is an island working alone. Cooperation, sharing of information, and being able to ask questions without fear of judgement are all ethics which we
foster in our community. We value that CHIC certification promotes not just the testing of dogs, but also the disclosure of information- a dog need not pass every certification to be awarded a CHIC cert, the award is for completion of the list of
required tests and that the results are public. This is significant for rare breed populations in which retention of diversity is critical- for example, a breeder can CHIC a valuable but PRA-affected dog that they will breed to a clear dog in their program. The CHIC means the dog is tested, documented and info is available, and does not eliminate dogs.

While the Kai Ken is not a numerous breed, we in the US have the good fortune of having the greatest genetic diversity of all of the Japanese breeds due to preservation of the best of the 1990’s lines, plus the infusion of multiple lines from Japan in the 2010’s. This diversity is supported by our registration with AKC-FSS, which accepts the greatest variety of pedigrees of any registry of the breed (FCI/JKC, UKC, KKA). There is some room to breed around carriers of conditions without crippling loss of this diversity that we treasure.

OFA-CHIC Health Testing Requirements

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) DNA Test
    DNA based test from an approved laboratory
  • Cardiac Evaluation (One of the following)
    Congenital Cardiac Exam
    Advanced Cardiac Exam
    Basic Cardiac Exam
  • Health Elective (One of the following)
    OFA Hip Evaluation
    OFA Elbow Evaluation
    Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist – results registered with OFA
    Autoimmune Thyroiditis evaluation from an approved laboratory – results registered with OFA
    OFA Patella Evaluation

All breeders will know their own stock and may prioritize various tests as needed to confirm progress in elimination of certain conditions. The KKSA also encourages breeders to prove their dogs at conformation, trials, and events and via temperament testing (CGC and its advanced forms, and/or ATTS) and makes every effort to advance opportunities for Kai Ken to participate and be recognized for success!

Documents –
Caring for a Kai Ken