Ainu Dog (also known as Hokkaido)

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Group: Working

Three thousand years ago, the Asian Ainu tribe brought the Hokkaido dog to Japan. Ainus were bred for guarding and companionship purposes.

Size: 45 to 65 pounds. 18 to 22 inches.

Color: grey, tan, brown, white.

Life span: Up to 14 years.

Ainu dogs have small dark brown eyes, a broad head, a pointed muzzle and black nose. Their ears are small and sharply pointed. Their tongues are covered with black spots, which suggest a relation to the Chow Chow, a dog native to China. (The exact whereabouts of the Ainu dog’s origins are unknown.)

Ainu dogs are natural protectors. They are incredibly faithful, brave and their coats allow them to withstand cold temperatures (they were once used as sled dogs). If you lose your Ainu, fear not, they have an innate sense of direction. They are naturally athletic and require long daily walks and a large yard. Ainu dogs will not do well in an apartment. Regular brushing will keep their double coat in tip top shape.

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