Welcome to HANA

The North American Parent Club of the Hokkaido

HANA was selected in 2011 as the designated parent club of the Hokkaido efforts in North Americ​a. We are dedicated to promoting quality in the breeding and exhibition of purebred Hokkaido; and to protect, promote, and preserve the interest of this growing breed.  HANA also supports and funds scientific research to improve the health of the Hokkaido for future generations.

We promote the Hokkaido as a hunting dog, companion dog, a performance dog, and a show dog.  This web site provides information about HANA, its programs and events, as well as links to other online resources.

The Hokkaido

The Hokkaido is a brave, devoted, and intelligent dog.  They are one of the oldest of the six native Japanese spitz breeds with roots dating back nearly 8,000 years ago. Their first recorded history began from 300 AD to 710 AD when the indigenous Ainu people (and subsequently their hunting dogs) were pushed out of the main island of Japan by the Yamato people, and up into the northernmost island of Japan, known as “Hokkaido.”  Over time, the Ainu people and their dogs adapted to survive the severely cold winter climate and rugged landscape.  The dogs developed thick weatherproof coats, large paws, small ears, powerful chests, strong jaws, and robust features.  They were revered by the Ainu people for their devout loyalty, bravery, and large game hunting ability.  Ainu were bear and deer hunters by culture, and their livelihood depended on their renowned bear dogs.

Once named the “Ainu Ken” after the tribes who developed them, the breed was designated a living monument of Japan in 1937, and the name was formally changed to “Hokkaido Inu.”  Today, most native speakers will refer to the breed as “Hokkaido Ken” (ken meaning dog), or simply the Hokkaido.

We are excited to have you visit and learn more about this amazing breed!