The Hokkaido is a dog of noteworthy endurance and dignity. His temperament is faithful, docile, very alert and bold.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Hokkaido is a fairly self-managed breed. The natural oils on their skin and coat help to keep them clean and dry despite unfavorable weather conditions. No trimming or shaving of their fur is required or recommended, just regular brushing to remove dead fur and keep the coat healthy.
Hokkaido blow their undercoat roughly twice yearly. During this time, a bath and frequent brushing to remove the dead fur are necessary. Their nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Exercise Tips

The Hokkaido is a very active breed with high needs for exercise. These dogs were developed for hunting, so they have excellent stamina. This breed requires at least an hour of vigorous exercise per day and will appreciate having a fenced yard in which to run. He may also do well in dog sports.

Feeding Tips

As a medium-to-large breed, you can feed your Hokkaido a high-quality adult dog food that is rich in protein with plenty of healthy fats for energy.
You might consider a working breed formula if your dog is very active or a large-breed formula if he weighs more than 50 pounds.

Health Tips

Generally speaking, the Hokkaido is a healthy breed with no known inherited health problems. These dogs are, however, prone to certain conditions including hypodontia, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism, and collie eye anomaly (CEA).


The Hokkaido has a stubborn streak that makes him a challenge to train. An experienced dog owner will be firm and consistent in training, which is exactly what the breed needs.
These dogs are fearless in their pursuit of game and they are extremely loyal and devoted to their family. In order to understand his role in the family, however, he needs constant training. It is best to incorporate training into his exercise as well, to reinforce your role as the leader.


The Hokkaido is one of the oldest of the six native Japanese spitz breeds. They are said to have originated from medium-sized Japanese dogs that accompanied the Ainu people from Honshu (the main island of Japan) to Hokkaido during the Kamakura era in the 1140s, when exchanges were developing between Hokkaido and the Tohoku District.
Over time, the Ainu people and their dogs adapted to survive the severely cold winter climate and rugged landscape. The dogs were revered by the Ainu people for their devout loyalty, bravery, and large game hunting ability.The Hokkaido was classified as a Living Natural Monument by the government of Japan in 1937. There are two main breed registries, the Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai (Hokkaido Dog Preservation Society) and the Hokkaido Ken Kyokai (Hokkaido Dog Association). Almost no Hokkaido are registered outside of these two clubs.