Their most recognizable feature is their small and erect ears that form a right angle to the brow. They have small eyes that are always dark brown in color. Some dogs of this breed may have all black or black spotted tails though some do not. Their coats are straight and harsh in texture.
They vary in color, the most common being tan. Other colors can include but are not limited to, brindle, gray, brown, and white or any combination of these colors. The exact origin of the breed is unknown. They are almost never found outside of Japan. They are used for big game hunting and for guarding property.
Also Known As
- Hokkaido Dog
Ainu Dogs are fearless and loyal to their owners. They are normally very well-behaved and take orders very well, making them ideal for training. These dogs can be aggressive, as it is what they were bred for in the first place. They are not recommended for households with other pets as they must always be the dominant dog. They do quite well with children and can be very gentle when trained to be. It is necessary that smaller, non canine, pets be kept at very far distances from an Ainu Dog as they have a keen hunting sense.
There are no known health problems related to the breed. They are very strong dogs, much stronger than their size would lead one to believe.
An Ainu Dog requires a moderate amount of exercise. They do enjoy being outdoors most of the time, whether it is running and playing or just relaxing in the fresh air. Since they were bred for hunting, it is a great idea to play fetch and other games that will help to keep their senses sharp. They are not recommended for apartment life because of their need to run, hunt, and play. Ainu Dogs also enjoy cold weather and their thick fur protects them from the harshest cold.
Special Grooming Needs
The Ainu Dog has a coat that requires little grooming. Because it is so harsh and straight it can become matted if the dog rolls in dirt or mud. Brushing your Ainu Dog’s coat once every couple of weeks should help to keep the coat healthy and straight. Bathing with a regular dog shampoo once every couple of weeks is also recommended, but not required. You can bathe an Ainu Dog as often as needed to keep their coats looking shiny and clean and keep fleas and ticks from infesting, especially if the dog is outdoors a lot.