Dog Breeds: K

A noble Japanese Spitz that has been in existence for thousands of years, the Kai Ken is a beautiful brindle-coloured breed, that is also known as the Tiger Dog. With its hunting prowess, loyal personality and athletic ability, this versatile dog is rightfully recognised as one of Japan’s national monuments. Despite this, even within Japan, the Kai Ken is rare.

The Kangal is a courageous guardian of sheep flocks in its native Turkey. Bred to tackle wolves, bears, and even lions, it has a gentler side that can be seen in its protective and gentle nature when kept as a pet. It needs a firm and confident owner, but with the right guidance, it is a steady and good-natured companion and protector.

A breed of dog that has been traditionally used for many centuries as a livestock shepherd and guardian in Bulgaria, the Karakachan is incredibly rare, with less than a thousand in existence. A loyal and trustworthy dog, they are known to form very strong bonds with their family and will instinctively protect them and their property without question.

A medium-sized, Spitz-type dog, the Karelian Bear Dog is native to Finland, where it is commonly kept as a hunting dog. Fiercely loyal to their owner, courageous when working and highly intelligent by nature, this breed of dog is revered for its role as a bear hunter in Northern Europe, as well as in Canada and the United States.

The Karelo-Finish Laika is a small hunting dog with a resemblance to the Finnish Spitz. Energetic, gregarious, and loyal, he’s a good family dog, but his love of barking may trouble your neighbours.

A medium-sized herding dog that originated in Slovenia several centuries ago, the Karst Shepherd is still used for farmyard work today, though is equally suited to family life as a companion animal. As long as owners can meet their exercise and grooming requirements and are willing to start strict training from a young age, these independent and territorial dogs can make good pets.

This fluffy and friendly breed has lived with traders and barge-dwellers in the Western and Central Europe for centuries, and was once implicated in a popular uprising in the Netherlands. Despite its thick mane, it is easy to care for, and is extremely gentle with children and other pets. If ignored or under-stimulated, it is known to be very vocal.

The Kerry Blue Terrier is an intelligent and engaging breed of dog that originates from Ireland. They are renowned for their soft and wavy ‘blue’ coat and fluid like movement. Akin to other terriers, they can be stubborn, independent and a challenge to train. They are natural born hunters, herders, retrievers and love spending time outdoors chasing and swimming.

The King Cavrin is a hybrid dog, a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Cairn Terrier. When socialised well as a puppy, they make for a great family dog with a happy blend of loving nature and energetic curiosity. However, they can be prone to health problems, such as heart problems, largely down to the Cavalier heritage.

The King Charles Spaniel is the lesser known cousin of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. With a faultless character, it’s perhaps this spaniel’s small size and health problems that are against him, as it makes him physically fragile. Indeed, despite having an outstanding temperament, the numbers of King Charles Spaniels are considered vulnerable to extinction by the UK Kennel Club.

The King Charles Yorkie is also known as the Yorkalier or Cava-Yorkie. A small to medium sized dog, they have a low shedding, long silky coat which needs regular grooming. They have an outstanding temperament and are a good choice for first time dog owners. However, they are barkers and can be prone to health problems.

A kind and considerate companion animal that craves attention and companionship, the King Schnauzer is a good choice for busy families with children. They do need a decent amount of exercise each day and should not be left by themselves for too long. Some are more responsive to training than others but all have a good deal of potential.

A handsome and dignified Japanese dog, the Kishu Inu is not well-recognised internationally, but is known as a ‘national treasure’ in its homeland. While once used to hunt animals, such as bears and boar, the Kishu is now more likely to be found inside a family home. Once sufficiently exercised, this loyal dog makes a pleasantly calm companion.

Classed as a national treasure in Hungary but rarely seen elsewhere, the Komondor is a loyal working dog. They are renowned for their intelligence and physical strength, which they use to protect their family and flock. They are excellent guard dogs, but these traits could prove problematic for inexperienced owners.

A hunting dog from the Netherlands, the Kooikerhondje is a rare breed in much of the world at this time, though its popularity is growing. Quiet, reserved, and gentle, it is a dog that enjoys a peaceful, low-stress home and plenty of exercise. Genetic illness has been a problem in the past, and prospective owners need to do their research when sourcing a Kooikerhondje puppy.

A hard-working, energetic dog, the Koolie has existed in Australia for several hundred years, where it is prized by rural farmers for its athleticism and endurance when herding livestock. Diligent when at work, once its task is complete, the Koolie adapts well into the modern home, and is gentle and affectionate with its family, making a fantastic pet.

The Jindo is famous for its loyalty and hunting prowess, both of which are woven into the folklore of its native Korea. Its classification as a national treasure has hampered its spread to other countries. Cautious of strangers but friendly and affectionate to their master, the Jindo is an active and intelligent companion.

A breed of dog that was developed in Germany in the 1940s by mixing Terriers and Griffons, the Kromfohrländer is a good-humoured little dog who is full of exuberance and loves to play. Happy when in the company of other pets as well as humans, this sweet dog is known to get along very well with just about everyone.