The Hokkaido Dog
The Hokkaido Dog, also known as Ainu Dog, is a medium-sized spitz-type breed, originating in Japan, and it is considered the oldest of all the Japanese breeds, dating back to the 12th century, when it accompanied people from the Honshu Island to Hokkaido. The Ainu (Japanese for “human”) were former inhabitants of the Hokkaido Island.
This dog is wild, active and strong by nature and it is a vigilant watchdog, an excellent scenting hound, draft dog, guardian and defender of the family members and property, agile hunter, even of big game and loyal family companion. This breed has several black spots on its tongue, which suggests a genetic link to the Shar-pei and the Chow Chow.
In terms of general appearance, the Hokkaido Dog has a well-developed, muscular body, small-sized, triangular and upright ears, small almond-shaped and brown eyes, lean forelegs, strong hind legs covered with a double coat, broad chest, light gait and spitz-style curly tail. Its average height is 18-22 inches and its average weight is 45-65 pounds. The outer coat of the Ainu Dog is longer, straight and harsh, and it comes in a large variety of colors, including brindle, wolf-gray, red, white, sesame and black and tan. Its undercoat is soft and short. Grooming is easily achieved, as it requires only regular brushing.
This breed is alert, energetic, resilient, impulsive, courageous and very dedicated to its family, being renowned for its loyalty. Obedience training takes little time, because it is very intelligent and willing to please its master. The owner should not raise its voice when training it. Proper socialization is essential and this dog should be accustomed to the presence of children and smaller animals from an early age.
The Hokkaido Inu is typically not very good with smaller pets and it should not be left alone with them if not properly trained, because it can attack them. It generally displays aggressiveness towards other dogs. In order to protect its owner, this breed is able to fight against the Hokkaido brown bear, by attacking the bear s back and biting its neck until the bear gives up. It also has a strong sense of direction and it is able to reunite with its family regardless of the distance which separates them.
Its double coat enables it to withstand extremely cold climates and heavy snow, but it can easily adapt to all weather conditions. This fearless, yet gentle and obedient breed is not suitable for apartment living conditions, although it is moderately active indoors. It thrives on proper exercise, on a regular basis and it is best for it to live in a large courtyard, where it can run at will and maintain its health. It is very suspicious of strangers with malicious intentions. This breed has a unique way of showing its undying affection and happiness when its owner returns home it starts to howl. This is a rugged breed and it does not suffer from hereditary diseases. Its life expectancy is 12-14 years.
If you adopt a Hokkaido Dog, you will have the most loyal, dedicated, courageous family companion you can rely on for the protection and guarding of your family members and property, while giving you plenty of love and affection.