Also known as the Ainu, the Hokkaido is a thin, muscular canine originating in Japan and thought to be one of the oldest breeds in the world. The species bears a thick coat of lighter fur, usually fawn, grey or white in color.
The medium-size dog ranges from 40 to 65 pounds. Named after the Ainu tribe, the dog was officially named the Hokkaido-ken in 1937. Distinctive characteristics include sharply pointed ears and an upturned tail. Due to its determined, fearless and loyal temperament, the breed is popular as a guard dog. An active species, the Ainu requires frequent walks and a large, enclosed yard.