The Ainu dog is thought to be one of the oldest breeds of dog in the world, first bred by the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido, to hunt Salmon, Deer and Bears. Despite being hunter-gatherers that survived in freezing conditions, the Ainu are thought to have kept Dogs from the very beginning and respected them in nearly the same way as other Humans. The Ainu Dog is thought to have descended from medium-sized Dogs that arrived on the island with migrants from the main island around 3,000 years ago. Today, despite it's strong links to the Ainu people, it is more commonly referred to as the Hokkaido-Ken by the native Japanese people. Although the characteristics of the Ainu dog are thought to have changed a little over the years due to cross-breeding, this breed is said to still have a very wild streak.
The Ainu Dog is a medium sized canine that is well known for it's strength and power. Generally the double coat of thick fur used to keep the Dog warm, is light in color, with white, grey and fawn being especially common. They are known to have a fearsome expression, due to their small dark, brown eyes, a broad head and a pointed muzzle that is tipped with a black nose. The ears of the Ainu Dog are small and sharply pointed making this breed appear even more alert. The tongue of the Ainu Dog is commonly covered in black spots which is said to suggest a relation to the Chow Chow, a smaller species of domestic Dog that is natively found in neigh bouring China.
|Average Size (H):||50cm (20in)|
|Average Weight:||30kg (65lbs)|
|Average Life Span:||12 years|
|Average Litter Size:||7|
|Colour:||Grey, Tan, Brown, White|
|Temperament:||Fearless, determined and loyal|
|Distinctive Features:||Sharply pointed ears and upturned tail|