Hokkaido Dog (Hokkaïdo, Ainu , Ainu Ken)

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sesame (red fawn hairs with black tips), brindle, red, black, black and tan, white
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The Hokkaido Dog (Ainu Dog) is a moderate-sized, muscular, frost-resistant dog. This breed will be a brilliant companion for hunters, who want to have dog possessing exceptional qualities such as excellent scent, intrepidity, great stamina and excellent spatial orientation. Moreover the Hokkaido Dog can be a loyal friend for families.

The Hokkaido Dog is one of the most ancient Japanese breeds. It is also known as Ainu Inu or Ainu Ken. The Japanese words «inu» and «ken» both mean «dog». These spitz-type dogs were brought to Japan by the tribe Ainu who populated those territories about 3000 years ago. The Ainu Ken was a working dog for people of this tribe that used their dogs for hunting a huge game such as bears and deer and also they were used as sledge dogs.

The English zoologist Thomas W. Blankiston called this breed the Hokkaido in 1869, after he used these enduring dogs during his searching expedition in the Hakkoda Mountains. In 1937 the Hokkaido Dog was proclaimed a Living Natural Monument that is liable to state protection.

The breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Nowadays the Hokkaido Dog is generally used as a companion or a perfect guard dog. It is a rare dog that is found not often outside its motherland where most breed members inhabit on the Hokkaido Island.


The Hokkaido Dog has immensely fearless temper. This dog is sincerely devoted to their masters with whom it will be very affectionate and loving. It tends to be well-behaved, but can be also willful and stubborn. However, this loyal breed makes an excellent family companion.

The Hokkaido Dog can be a true friend for children provided that they are raised together. As the dog has perfect guarding abilities, it is alerted and mistrustful towards stranger people. Your pet make a great guard and watch dog that is always ready to protect its family.

If it is properly socialized, this dog can treat other pets friendly. However, it is a hunting dog with strong instincts, so it should be supervised. With other canine animals your Hokkaido Dog will be rather aggressive.

Health Problems
The Hokkaido Dog may be susceptible to some diseases such as:

• entropion;
• ectropion;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• glaucoma;
• gastric torsion.

The Hokkaido Dog needs moderate grooming. You should brush your dog two or three times per week. As this breed sheds heavily, it must be brushed daily when the season of shedding comes. Bathe your dog only when it is necessary.

The Hokkaido Dog is a very clever and independent minded breed that is capable to learn easily and fast. Your dog may do different amazing tasks and tricks. For successful training the Hokkaido Dog requires steadiness and insistence.

You must display absolute leadership and confidence otherwise your dog becomes obstinate, uncontrolled and even aggressive. During training sessions use repetitive tasks based on positive reinforcement.

The Hokkaido Dog is a very energetic breed that requires a great amount of daily physical exercises. This dog likes long walks and active games. The Hokkaido Dog devoid of sufficient amount of physical activity becomes nervous, aggressive and displays other destructiveness.