The Hokkaido - also called Ainu-ken or Ainu-Inu - was once bred to hunt bears and is characterized by remarkable endurance. Today, it is also considered a "monument of nature" worthy of protection.
This dog breed can grow up to 52 cm tall. The medium-sized Hokkaido dog has a strong stature and a robust bone structure. Its musculature is strongly developed. The coat of this breed is equally hardy. It consists of a hard outer coat and a soft undercoat. The coat can be a variety of colors from red to black or white.
Its appearance is similar to the Akita, which is also a breed originating from Japan. The dogs have a rather broad head with small black eyes and a mostly black nose. The ears are triangular in shape and stand on end. The dog carries the tail rolled over the back.
The Hokkaido dog only bonds to one human, who serves as his pack leader. He often takes orders only from this person and likes to ignore the orders of others. Towards strangers, the Ainu-ken is usually reserved and thus maintains a certain dignity. However, the dog's stubbornness does not always make it easy for the owner to enforce his will and often presents even experienced dog owners with a challenge. Its sensitivity often results in stubbornness when treated unfairly.
The right food
The Hokkaido usually shows an extraordinary preference for fish. The right amount of food depends on the age, weight and activity level of the dog. 300 g of fish or meat, 140 g of vegetables and about 100 g of rice or noodles divided into two meals should be sufficient for the dog per day. However, no other food sources should be available to him between feeding times and treats should also be given sparingly. However, fresh water must always be available for the dog.
You should brush your dog's coat well about two to three times a week, and during shedding, daily brushing is in order.
The dog's ears and teeth also need to be cleaned every now and then. Preferably twice a week. The claws should also be regularly checked for excess length and trimmed if necessary.
Otherwise, however, the Hokkaido dog is very clean. Bathing is therefore not necessary and could even be harmful to your dog's hair structure.
This breed of dog requires an extreme amount of exercise and exercise. Therefore, a large garden is already a prerequisite for the acquisition of such a dog.
For the forays is recommended at least a long leash. However, it is best for the dog to run freely, although, of course, good education is extremely important. A brush for the coat is also not to be forgotten.
Origin & History
The fact that the Hokkaido dog has its origins in Japan can be heard from its name. There he was mainly used for hunting big game. Also the catching of fish belongs to his tasks until today.
The breed is believed to have descended from other medium-sized dogs that were companions of emigrants in the Kamura period. Further breeding was done by the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. By them, these courageous dogs are almost revered. The breed received its present name together with its protected status only in 1937.