The Ainu is thin but sturdy and muscular. Here is a spontaneous and speedy dog. The Ainu has upright triangular ears; these are at right angles to the dog's brows. It has small but triangular dark brown eyes. The teeth are non- protruding, solid and healthy. In some dogs, we see black spots on the tongue.
The muzzle is straight and ends with a black nose. The tail has a curl like the Spitz family. The legs are straight and lean. It is 18-22 inches in height and the weight is 45-65 pounds. This breed has a double coat that is harsh and straight. The colours are white, wolf, brindle, red, brown, and sesame. The life expectancy is 11-13 years.
This dog came from Japan and is part of the Japanese Spitz family. This breed is still rarely seen outside of the country. The start, and history, of this breed is not known, but we know that they were in Japan some 3,000 years ago where they were brought by the Ainu tribe. This led to the tribe, and the dog, being pushed onto the island of Hokkaido. Here the dogs' role was one of the guardian to the local villages as they are very alert.
The Ainu is thought to be one of the oldest dogs' of Japan. The blue-black tongue shows a distant relationship with the Chow Chow and the Shar-Pei. This dog is good at big game hunting such as bears and has now become a designated Japanese Natural Monument. Some of their talents are in guarding and hunting. This dog has been used for sledge pulling and can be trained to be defensive.
The dog has a fantastic ability to sense direction and can find its owner over vast distances. This dog is also called the Hokkaido, after the area it lived, by Thomas Blankiston in 1869. This is a rare dog breed.