Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Gaggle of Hokkaido Puppies

Earlier this year I was fortunate (unfortunate?!) enough to have a batch of Hokkaido pups assault my house. Due to the fact that most of the breed population is up north in Hokkaido, and the fact that they're not that well known overseas, I haven't seen more than a few examples of the breed, and have not had any puppies come through my kennel.

I get questioned about the temperament of the Japanese breeds, their similarities and differences, quite often. While I have yet to own any adult Hokkaido, I'm getting an idea of what the puppies are like, since I've had 5 now, from different kennels and litters, come through over the past few months.

I've found them to be very vocal, and yes, they do yodel and grumble a lot. When they get excited, they let you know about it, when they're stressed, you know about it. For a hunting breed bred to bay bear, and mind you still tested on live bear at shows, a low vocal threshold is to be expected I guess. They are high energy, and very agile. I'd say they're similar to Shikoku in energy, with Kai agility, some Kishu confidence, and Shiba snark. A couple of the pups that have come through have shown some separation anxiety, ie they start bawling the moment you step out of the room. They're a handful for sure, but for an active person with plenty of time, I imagine they'd be a lot of fun.

They seem to argue a fair bit, and can be pretty Shikoku rude. I think they retain a lot of hunting instinct from what I've seen of these pups, so while I'm interested to see how that goes, I don't have room in my kennel for another breed at the moment. A boar hunting friend of mine just added a B/T Hokkaido to hunt with his Kai, and I've had the pleasure of seeing that female work, so hopefully I'll be able to keep tabs on the breed through her.

Health issues I've seen so far are heart murmurs, which unfortunately are more common that they should be, and cryptorchidism. As usual the kennels here do not check testicles till just before the males are shown, so this does mean that there is almost no awareness of this genetic issue.

It's been a while since the pups were here, but I've only just gotten around to editing some of the video I took. So here it is, A Gaggle of Hokkaido Puppies starring 'Maru', 'Meitou', 'Hime', and 'Sho'. After watching this video you'll have to agree with me that while Hokkaido pups are many things, chief among them is cute.

While you're reading this, I do still have one high octane fueled Hokkaido puppy available, Katana (aka Kachi).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this blog post love how you describe the puppies.