Walking down the street with Yuki often leads to many curious stares and questions from those who walk past. Looking at her medium size, small erect ears, short white coat, curly tail, and a sturdy (yet athletic) build often begs the question, “What on earth is it???” Yuki is a Hokkaido Ken, also referred to as an Ainu Ken, Hokkaido Inu, or simply, the Hokkaido. Her favorite activities include long hikes in the woods, splashing in at the creek, playing fetch with her favorite ball, and cuddling with her family on the couch. The Hokkaido is a brave, devoted, and intelligent breed. They originated from the hunting dogs accompanying migrants from Honshu (the main island of Japan) to Hokkaido (the northernmost island of Japan) in the mid 1100s; though they have roots dating back to nearly 11,000 BC. The dogs were bred to hunt large game such as deer, elk, and even bear. Their powerful chest, sturdy build, thick harsh coat, and small ears helped them survive the severely cold Hokkaido climate. The breed was originally known as the Ainu-Ken, after the native Ainu people who once lived on Hokkaido. The Hokkaido's medium size combined with their exceptional agility, strength, and stamina allows for the perfect active companion for experienced dog owners. They crave affection, and love nothing more than to be with their owner. Wherever you go, the Hokkaido wants to be by your side. They will likely follow you around the house and sleep by your feet whenever you sit down. The Hokkaido's adoration and dedication towards their owner is something unmatched by any other breed. Hokkaido will howl like a wolf while waiting for their owners to return home, as well as howl in delight when their owner gives them affection. Though you will rarely hear one bark, they are a very vocal breed and can make a wide variety of unique sounds.
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