At this point in time, the Hokkaido does not have an official American Kennel Club approved breed standard which will be used to judge Hokkaido in AKC sanctioned events. However, HANA recommends breeders breed in accordance to the standard set forth by the Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai (DOKENHO). The DOKENHO standard was made into effect in Japan on April 11, 1945.
The Hokkaido has a rustic appearance. Secondary sex characteristics are clearly defined. He is balanced, clean cut, and well muscled. He is highly intelligent, keen, active, and agile. His movement is light, easy, and strong.
The Hokkaido has a strong, compact appearance, and he has a sense of dignity.
- Males are about 48.5 cm, plus or minus 3 cm (18 to 20 inches)
- Females are about 45.5 cm, plus or minus 3 cm (17 to 19 inches)
- The ratio of height to length is 10:11; females may be slightly longer.
The forehead is wide with strongly developed cheeks. The stop is shallow but defined.
- Ears: The ears are triangular, small, and thick. When viewed from the front, the ears should be parallel to each other and should stand at a 90 degree angle to the forehead.
- Eyes: The eyes are triangular shaped. They angled upwards from the inside corner to the outside corner of the eye. Eyes are dark brown in color. The expression they give is careful, wary, and it shows boldness.
- Muzzle: The nasal bridge is straight, the lips are tight and tense, and the teeth are strong.
The neck is strong, powerful, and clean cut. The skin should be tight and not loose.
- Chest and Torso
The chest is deep, the ribs are well sprung, and the forechest is well developed. The back is straight and strong.
- Girth, Waist, and Croup
The girth is proportional to the chest, the loin is strong with moderate width, and the croup is slightly inclined.
The shoulder is slightly sloping, the forearm is moderately angled, and the front limbs are straight.
The rear is strong, moderately angled, clean cut, and resilient.
Paws grip well, toes are thick, and nails are black or darkly colored.
Outercoat is rigid, straight, and moderately angled. Undercoat is soft and dense.
Tail is thick and strong. When let down, the length almost reaches the hock.
Red, white, black & tan, brindle, wolf grey, and sesame.