Hokkaido Dog Info And Characteristics

The Hokkaido Dog (Hokkaido Inu) or Ainu Dog (Ainu Inu) is a Spitz type working dog originating from the Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. Some experts believe that this is probably the oldest (more than 3.000 years) and most primitive of all Japanese breeds – even older than the Kai Ken, but that is up for debate. Ainu Ken is the descendant of ancient Japanese hunting dogs (Matagi-Ken) that were brought from the Tōhoku region (Honshu Island) by the Ainu people (thus the name Ainu Dog) sometime during the Jōmon period. There, in the isolation of the Hokkaido Island, the genetic pool of these dogs left relatively pure and safe from interbreeding with dogs of another breed that were later brought to the Tōhoku region by the Yayoi people. Many Ainu Dogs have blue-black tongues, which suggests that they are of the same origin as the Chow Chow and Shar Pei dogs. In 1937, the breed was designated a Living Natural Monument in its native country. Since then it has been protected by law. The Hokkaido Dog was recognized by the FCI on a definitive basis in 1964 and belongs to the group 5: Asian Spitz and Related Breeds in the class of primitive dogs. Continue Reading →