Height - Weight
Height: 18-22 inches (46-56 cm.)
The Ainu Dog is a thin, muscular, sturdy-looking dog. It is impulsive and fast and has a light gait. Ainu's have small, erect ears that are at a right angle to the brow. Its eyes are somewhat small, dark brown and set triangularly. The teeth are healthy, solid and non-protruding. Some have spots of black on their tongues. The bridge is straight leading to its dark nose. The well-fitted lips have dark pigmentation. The tail curls in typical Spitz fashion. The Forelegs are straight and lean and the hindquarters are covered with a double coat. The harsh, straight coat colors come in sesame, brindle, wolf gray, red, brown or white.
The Ainu Dog's character is packed full of desirable qualities. He has proven a fearless and determined hunter, watchdog, guard and defender, and at the same time a loyal and well-behaved dog. They have also been used as sled dogs and scenting hounds and can be trained for defense. It is intelligent and quickly trained. This large game hunter is extremely courageous for its size, willing to attack a 650 pound bear! Yet it is still gentle, obedient and home-loving. It has an innate sense of direction and can therefore return to its master no matter how great the distance. This is a typical Shika-Inu, or medium-sized dog. If it's owners do not display true pack leader qualities they can become headstrong, stubborn, and aggressive with other dogs. They need an owner who understands what it means to be a leader and the differences between human and canine. Despite its long history as a working breed, the Ainu Dog ideally combines the roles of family pet and hunter. This breed should not be allowed to run free around other animals. They are good with children if they are raised with them from puppyhood and/or properly socialized. Children should be taught how to display leadership skills, and the dog should be taught to respect the child.
The Ainu Dog is not recommended for apartment life. It is moderately active indoors and will do best with a large yard. They can live outdoors - for their warm coats protect them from the cold.
The harsh, straight, double coat of the Ainu Dog should be brushed and combed on a regular basis.