Pet Advisor Blog

Ainu Dog – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 18 to 22 inches
Height: 46 to 65 pounds
Longevity: 13
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: High
Compatibility to other pets: Low


Are you looking for a rare breed of dog? Adopt an Ainu Dog is what you should do! Rare, can hunt bears and designated as a Japanese Natural Monument, the Ainu Dog is an awesome breed! This breed is extremely rare, with only a handful seen outside Japan. The Ainu dog numbers less than 12,000 in its native country. Originally, the Ainu Dog was bred to hunt big game animals. More specifically, this breed was developed to hunt down bears! But aside from being a bear hunter, the Ainu Dog is also a guard dog and an excellent working dog as well.

Official Name

Ainu Dog


Date – Ancient Times
Country – Japan
Family / Group – Northern, Spitz, Hunting, Watchdog


This breed is considered to be one of the most ancient breeds of dogs still existing today. The Ainu Dog originated several thousand years ago from Japan and was utilized by the Asian Ainu Tribe, hence the name Ainu. This breed is also called the Hokkaido Dog, named after the island where the Ainu Tribe settled. They are members of the Spitz family of dogs, one of the six, who are famous for their guardian and companionship traits. They were primarily worked as hunting bear and deer by the Ainu people. It is one of the rarest and oldest dog breeds today.


When you talk about the good guys of the Japanese Dog Breed world, the Ainu Dog is one of the stars. This goody goody breed is packed full of qualities that make them a perfect pet. The Ainu Dog has a proven track record when it comes to being a dedicated watchdog, a guardian, a hunter as well as a defender. They were first used to hunt big bears, so expect a dog that is fearless! But they are not really that aggressive when it comes to humans. These dogs are well-behaved pets that show loyalty and devotion!

Bred For

Originally bred as guardians and companions, the Ainu dog was also used to hunt bears.


The Ainu Dog is not for an apartment type of dog. To adopt an Ainu Dog requires owners to have a large yard.


The Ainu Dog is low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Cleaning them is simple but has to be done regularly.


Training should start very early. Trained right from puppyhood will make the Ainu Dog a very social pet to have around children and family.


Health problems are rare for the Ainu Dog. Well, reports are rare and that is primarily because of this breed’s low population. Their geographic isolation makes them prone to other ailments of related breeds such as the Kai, Shiba, Akita, Kishu and Shikoku. These are eye problems, immune system problems, allergies, cardiac issues, luxating patella and hip dysplasia.


When you do choose to adopt an Ainu Dog, prepare a long and daily exercise regiment that can start from walking and elevate to jogging/running. This breed loves to run and they enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to bring them to a safe area!



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