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Ainu Dog
Loyal, sharp, fearless and fierce, the Ainu, one of Japan's last working breeds, is said to be an irreplaceable friend to its family.  Developed for a variety of tasks, it does not shirk even taking on a bear.  It's intensity would likely make it a bit difficult to acclimate to the crowded societal life of the West, but in its local province of Japan, it is one nordic breed that is greatly appreciated.
By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): DraftWorking Height: 18-21 inches
Weight: proportional Longevity: teens
Colors: various Coat type: plush double coat, quite thick
Recognized Registries: FCI
Overall Appearance: Of nordic extraction, the Ainu is similar to its cousin the Akita and Shiba but a bit coarser and primitive. Known for being clean (as are many of the Japanese breeds), his moderate size can be deceiving as to his physical abilities as he is used for guarding now and previously as a draft animal.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high
General Nature: intense
  with Children: wonderful with those of the family
  with other pets: good with those it is familiar with
  with dogs: good with those it is raised with
Socialization requirements: very high
Ideal home characteristics: one that recognized this breed's intense desire to be of service, without purpose this dog will develop a job and that could likely be dangerous or destructive left to its own devices
Temperament Notes: intense, powerful, fearless, intelligent
Training requirement: Ideally, someone very experienced with dogs as this dog is not developed for the society most people live in today.
Trainer notes: The individual attitude common to most of the Japanese breeds is here in its fullest force.  Fiercely devoted to family, the Ainu is willing to live by its own judgment of friend and foe.  As such, careful work needs to be done so as to be able to have guests in the home.  Additionally, without proper socialization, a simple outting to the vet or boarding kennel could be dangerous.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: ancient
Country of Origin: Japan
Original Function: Draft dog
History: developed by the ancient race of Ainu (white race) who lived on the islands of Japan 1000 BC from Nordic Dogs they had with them
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: unknown
Health Testing: unknown
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!


  • How long have you had Ainus?
  • How do you select your breeding stock?
  • What health issues exist in the breed?
  • What health clearances do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • How often do you breed?
  • Will you be keeping a puppy from this litter?
Web Sites: No rescue or other reliable sites regarding this breed seem available in English.
Other Resources
Breed standard: No parent club in the West, thus no standard or code of ethics has been established.  References indicate that the breed is "protected" by a group of fanciers and breeders in the Hokkaido province of Japan with few dogs leaving the area.
Breeder Ethics:
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