Fun Hokkaido Dog Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Nov 17, 2022 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Find out more about the Hokkaido dog breed with Hokkaido dog facts

The Hokkaido dog, a medium-sized dog, is similar to Ainu dogs and Seta dogs, and their native country is Japan. According to history, Hokkaido dogs were classified as a living natural monument by the Japanese government in the year 1937 .

These dogs are also known as Ainu-ken, Seta, and Ainu dog in Japan. The Hokkaido is known for its loyalty and devotion towards its owners.

They were originally bred as a guard dog and are super active. They require lots of exercise and physical activity.

The Ainu people who bred the white Hokkaido dog were hunters of bears and deers in Japan in the 1100s. Eventually, this tribe settled in Hokkaido, and, therefore, this breed of dog is known as Hokkaido or Ainu. Hokkaido dogs are known to defend their owners from bears still today.

Hokkaido dogs are loyal and playful companions with a strong leadership personality. Their fur is black, red, black and tan, white, brindle, or sesame colored.

These dogs are a highly intelligent breed, which makes their training easier. They are known to listen to their owners’ commands at all times.

Hokkaido dogs don't like taking baths as their thick fur takes a long time to dry, but they are known to be clean pets with no odor. This breed is susceptible to various health conditions like hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, and luxating patella.

The Hokkaido Inu are medium-sized dogs with small triangular ears standing upright and a curled-up tail. They have small eyes, and their fur coat is long, stiff, and dense.

During 1902, Ainu ken dogs were used for the search and rescue of survivors of an Army expedition that was stuck in a heavy snowfall while crossing the Hokkaido Mountain of Aomori Prefecture. After reading these interesting white Hokkaido Dog facts, make sure you check out our other articles on Alaskan husky and Shiba inu.

Hokkaido Dog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Hokkaido?

The Hokkaido is a spitz type dog breed. This breed is named after Hokkaido after the prefecture was founded. The English zoologist Thomas W. Blakiston named the Ainu people’s dog Hokkaido.

What class of animal does a Hokkaido dog belong to?

The Hokkaido belongs to the mammal class of animals as it gives birth to offspring like other mammals. The breed is known to be located in Japan and can rarely be found outside of Japan.

How many Hokkaido dogs are there in the world?

Hokkaido dogs are not found outside Japan. In Japan, the population of Hokkaido dogs is around 10,000-12,000. The Ainu dog has a yearly increase in population, with around 900-1000 puppies. Out of Japan, the numbers of Hokkaido dogs can be difficult to confirm.

Where does a Hokkaido dog live?

The Hokkaido dog is a domesticated dog species. The dogs were bred as hunting dogs. Hokkaido dogs are found in rural Japan.

Since it is an active dog breed, it needs space to run, play and exercise. They may be more comfortable in a house with a yard. It may not be comfortable in an urban setup like an apartment.

What is a Hokkaido dog's habitat?

The Hokkaido dog is found on the main island of Hokkaido, Japan. They are courageous dogs that can chase bears and catch fish. They can stay in mountainous regions with snow and cold weather.

Who do Hokkaido dogs live with?

The dog Hokkaido Inu is a domesticated dog breed. They love their owners and are known to be loyal, brave, loving, and devoted. These cute animals can live with older children but not with smaller children. Hokkaido ken dogs are comfortable with people who can respect their boundaries.

How long does a Hokkaido dog live?

The Hokkaido dog's life expectancy ranges between 12-15 years. Hokkaido ken dogs are very active dogs who require regular vigorous exercise.

Therefore, their diet needs to be high calorie, too. Feeding this dog breed good quality products and with vegetables and giving them enough space to play is the best way to ensure that Hokkaido ken dogs have a long and healthy life.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction process takes place only when both the male and the female Hokkaido dog are sexually mature and of adequate size. The female dog must be going through her heat cycle.

The male dog will mount the female dog from behind, and the entire mating session could last for 20-25 minutes. The gestation for the pregnancy is 50-70 days, after which the female dog will give birth to a small puppy. The litter size could be 4-7 pups.

What is their conservation status?

Since it is a domesticated breed, the conservation status of the Hokkaido dog would be of least concern. In 1937, the Japanese government designated the Hokkaido dog as a rare species protected by law. This designation was conferred by the Ministry of Education in Japan. The official name of the dog is Hokkaido-Inu.

Hokkaido Dog Fun Facts

What do Hokkaido dogs look like?

Hokkaido dogs look like a fluffy ball of fun. They have thick coats of fur on their body to fight the cold. They are vigilant dogs who occasionally bark to warn of any danger.

They have small triangular eyes outlined. The fur color could be red, white, black, brindle, sesame, tan, and wolf gray. They are recognized by their triangular ears and a curled tails.

A Hokkaido dog has a curled tail.

How cute are they?

The Hokkaido is a cute, loving, loyal companion. It was originally bred for hunting and as a working dog who would work along with its master to manage the population of wild boar and bear.

They have an amazing sense of direction and smell and can find their master or way back home from a distance. They do have a prey drive and should be trained from a younger age for socialization.

How do they communicate?

The Hokkaido dog is not a loud, constant barking, animal. It may bark as a signal for any imminent danger. They are a vigilant breed who still have a good prey drive. They may howl a long or short bark to give out a sighting signal during hunts.

How big is a Hokkaido dog?

The Hokkaido dog is a medium-sized, compact dog with a muscular body and a strong bone structure. They are working dogs who like to be super active and playful.

How fast can a Hokkaido dog run?

The Hokkaido dog is an agile, active dog who loves to run and play. It requires a daily exercise routine and playtime. They can also be great exercise partners as they love to play and take commands very well.

How much does a Hokkaido dog weigh?

The Ainu dog weighs around  45-65 lb. Female Hokkaido dogs are slightly smaller in size and may weigh around 44 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male Hokkaido dogs are called dogs, and female Hokkaido dogs are called bitches. The species are also known by the name of Ainu-ken, Seta, and Ainu dog.

What would you call a baby Hokkaido dog?

The Hokkaido dog baby is called a Hokkaido puppy.

What do they eat?

The Hokkaido dog is an active species that requires regular exercise and a good quality diet. The best kind of diet for them is a high protein diet with a good amount of vegetables in it.

They must be fed low-fat meat with vegetables like green beans, and carrots. Care should be given and it shouldn’t be overfed and also, let them exercise and play on a regular basis.

Are they slobbery?

The Hokkaido dog is an average drooler. They slob more only when there is an underlying health issue or dental and oral health issue.

Would they make a good pet?

The Hokkaido would be an idle pet for a family with older children. They are considered loving and loyal dogs who love to play and stay outdoors. They are an active dogs who are known for their hunting skills. They can, to date, protect their owner from a bear attack. They are great at catching fish.

Did you know...

They are one of the original dog breeds from Japan.

They are known as a working breed, that will be a family pet dog and a hunter too. They still have an active prey drive. Early socialization and regular training programs can make them one of the most loyal pets to you.

The Hokkaido dog pups are also active, agile, and playful and can be easily trained from an early age. Their high intelligence enables them respond to their owners’ commands in a positive way.

They are known for their pack mentality and have a strong sense of hierarchy. They do not like their boundaries being crossed. This makes them excellent guard dogs.

They are also great at search and rescue missions due to their strong sense of direction and smell.

Hokkaido dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. In order to buy a Hokkaido puppy, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500-$1000.

Breed characteristics and health issues

Hokkaido dogs are known for their commitment to their owner. It is one of the dog breeds known for their bravery, hunting skills, and playful nature. This Hokkaido dog is rarely found outside of Japan.

They have an unusual fighting style against the Hokkaido brown bear. They can protect their owners from any form of a bear attack.

They are very easy to train as they can be motivated with food for a treat. They must be trained into socialization by an early age so that they adjust well with other smaller animals. They should be allowed for free-roaming with regular set exercise patterns.

Hokkaido dogs are known as healthy dogs, but they may be prone to hereditary health problems. They should be taken for regular health checkups along with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Some of the common health issues they may face are heart murmurs, pica, Collie eye anomaly, psychogenic polydipsia, hip dysplasia, luxating patella, anxiety and idiopathic seizures.

Getting your own Hokkaido dog

The Hokkaido dog puppy may cost around $500. The Hokkaido dog doesn't require too much grooming. It has a double coat, with a soft undercoat and thick straight dense overcoat.

They are not hypoallergenic. You must check their ear regularly and clip their nails. Their fur coats need brushing regularly to prevent matting and excessive shedding. They have to be brushed at least twice a week.

They do not require regular baths as they are known to be extremely clean dogs who do not smell. They shed their winter coats at the onset of summer. Once they are properly socialized, they are extremely devoted to their human families and are good with children.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Tibetan Mastiff, or Mexican wolf.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Hokkaido dog coloring pages.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

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Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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