Also known as the Hokkaido, Hokkaido-Ken, Hokkaido-Inu, Ainu-Ken, Seta, Shita, and the Do-Ken, the Ainu Dog is a loyal and outgoing breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Ainu Dog can be traced back nearly 1,000 years ago to ancient Japan. Enthusiasts believe the Ainu Dog to have descended from various Spitz breeds, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Ainu Dog has been most commonly used for hunting large game, sled pulling, as a watch and guard dog, and as a pet, proving its superior abilities to perform in most any terrain and climate while providing protection and companionship.
Today, the Ainu Dog remains rather rare outside its native Japan.
Best known for its outgoing and lively nature, the Ainu Dog is a genuinely happy breed that thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. These dogs are highly intelligent, generally easy to train, protective, and territorial. As a pet, the Ainu Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed is very active and enjoys spending time outdoors and playing games such as fetch and frisbee.
Due to its need for human relationships and leadership, the Ainu Dog generally responds well to basic training and commands. These intelligent dogs have the ability to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Ainu Dog. This breed requires a confident and strong handler with a firm yet gentle approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning an Ainu Dog. These active dogs are often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. This breed is highly intelligent, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Ainu Dog gets along well with small children and other pets. The Ainu Dog is very protective, dominant, and territorial, making an effective watch and guard dog, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The Ainu Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning an Ainu Dog. This energetic and active breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. An Ainu Dog not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Ainu Dog has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, this breed is rather quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Ainu Dog must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
This breed’s thick and full coat requires almost constant attention such as brushing, grooming, and bathing in order to prevent tangling and maintain its attractive appearance.
As previously mentioned, the Ainu Dog remains rather rare outside of its native Japan and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Ainu Dog is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, entropian – folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian – folding outward of the eye lid, glaucoma, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an Ainu Dog? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.