||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.
This breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but it is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and the United Kennel Club. Considered as a rare breed, Ainus are rarely seen outside of Japan.
||Sesame, brindle, wolf gray, red, brown or white.
||Coarse, short, straight hair that is longer on the tail. Ainu dogs have a double coat of thick fur to protect them from in extreme climate.
||Ainus are intelligent, alert and spirited dogs. They are suitable for hunting or as guard dogs.
||The ainu is gentile and affectionate with family members. The Ainu Dog breed is a naturally wild and powerful Dog, making this breed an excellent guard Dog, They are also suspicious and alert and incredibly courageous when needing to protect their owner. The Ainu Dog is well known for it's faithfulness, bravery, and the ability to withstand the cold, among it's other desirable traits. It has an innate sense of direction and can therefore return to it's master no matter how great the distance it has travelled alone. The Ainu Dog is also known to howl, making a similar sound to that of a Wolf, when it believes it has done good by it's keeper. They are incredibly active Dogs and are known to not be suitable for apartment living or in households that contain other animals or young children.
||This breed's double coat requires regular brushing to minimize the chances for mats and tangles. Brushing 2 to 3 times per week should be sufficient. However, you may want to brush daily during spring and fall when heavier shedding occurs.
||Training needs to be consistent and firm training is needed.
||With a past as a hunter, guardian and sled dog, this breed has plenty of energy to spare. You want to find a job for this dog so he remains happy.
To drain off some of that pent up energy, it helps to walk this breed at least once a day and play some outdoor games such as Frisbee or fetch. Failure to provide sufficient exercise may lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing, excessive barking and whining.
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||The Ainu-dog has a very high rate of Collie eye anomaly (CEA). About 1/3 of Ainu-dogs are affected by CEA while 2/3 are carriers.