SoftBank Commercial and rare dog
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Posted 12/29/11 , edited 12/29/11
Has any else seen those SoftBank Mobile Corp. commercials for cell phones? They are funny. Dante Carver, an African American expat in Japan, has apparently found more fame in Japan than America being in those commercials.

The highlight of the commercials for me is the Hokkaido dog plays Otou-san.

(http://www.nihonken.org/forum/index.php?p=/discussion/6071/the-hokkaido/#Item_31 From a NihonKen.org forum post by TheWalrus describing it

"The Hokkaido Ken is one of the six, native, Japanese spitz type dogs. A medium sized breed that originated on the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido, they are often referred to as Ainu Ken after the original indigenous people of Japan. The Ainu called their dogs 'seta' or 'shita' and used them to hunt bear and deer. The Hokkaido Ken is thought to have crossed over to Hokkaido with the Ainu as they were pushed north by the arrival of the Yayoi from the Korean peninsula.

An aka Hokkaido male

The Hokkaido are thought to carry more of the genes from the older type of dogs that arrived in Japan with the Jomon. Although they did interbreed with the dogs brought over by the Yayoi, due to their exodus across the sea to Hokkaido they were geographically isolated. Studies have shown they share DNA with the Ryukyu Ken of Okinawa which are also believed to carry more genes from the original Jomon dogs.

The Ainu passed on stories by word of mouth, and several legends featured dogs. In the legend of the birth of the Ainu people, a princess was washed ashore on a desolate beach. As she was crying over her plight a white dog appeared and brought her food. From that day on the dog lived with her, and one day a child was born between them. The child grew to be strong and powerful, and the forefather of the Ainu.


A shiro Hokkaido male

The Hokkaido was declared a Living Natural Monument in 1937. Today there the two main breed registries, the Hokkaido Ken Hozonkai (Hokkaido Dog Preservation Society) and the Hokkaido Ken Kyokai (Hokkaido Dog Association). Almost no Hokkaido are registered outside of these two clubs.

The breed was originally made up of several bloodlines named after the areas they originated, with the most famous lines being the Chitose, Biratori, Atsuma, and Yuwamizawa. Today the Chitose line is most prevalent due to the quality of the line in the breed's early days. White, smaller sized dogs with small ears and wide foreheads were common in this line. In comparison the Atsuma line had a large number of brindle dogs, with more tapered muzzles.

The Hokkaido is renowned for it's bravery. While very few are still used to hunt bear today, at breed shows hunting tests are conducted where the dogs are shown a live bear and scored on their movement, reaction, and hunting drive.

The Hokkaido Ken is a medium sized, strongly built dog. They have longer thicker coats than the other Japanese breeds, and also have wider chests, and smaller ears. Like all the Nihon Ken, they have a double coat made up of protective coarse outer guard hairs, and a fine thick undercoat that is shed seasonally. The breed comes in several colors: white, red, black, brindle, sesame, and grey. Many Hokkaido also have spotting on their tongues. The breed has prick ears, and curl or sickle type tails. Dogs are between 48.5-51.5cm, and bitches 45.5-48.5cm.

The Hokkaido is a brave, energetic breed, capable of withstanding the cold temperatures of the Hokkaido winter. They have a life expectancy of around 15 years. The breed is extremely rare outside its native country. In Japan there is an estimated population of around 10,000-12,000, and yearly registrations of between 900-1000 (all registries). The breed has recently seen a rise in popularity in Japan due to a long running series of commercials featuring a white Hokkaido Ken called 'Otousan' (father)."

More links
www.hokkaidoken.blogspot.com
http://hokkaidoinu.jp/

There's only 5-10 of these beauties in the USA.
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Posted 12/29/11
the dogs are soo cute~~~!!

I wish I had one~~!!
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Posted 12/29/11
I kinda noticed that the Shiro Hokkaido kinda looks like a wolf-sheep and the Aka Hokkaido[is that what they're called? I kinda got confused] looks a little like a Shiba Inu ^^
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Posted 12/30/11
KyZombiE, these terms would be used to describe the color/type of Hokkaido they are. Other of the Japanese Spitz-type (while there is a breed called that, I used "type" to refer to the other Spitz breeds) can resemble the Shiba.
Posted 12/30/11
The top picture dog with red hair looks like a Shiba Inu which aren't that rare. There's lots of them its the dog in the movie Hachi A Dog's Tale.
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Posted 12/30/11
The Shiba was used for the puppy version of Hachi in that movie and they are rare in America compared to dogs like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers.
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Posted 12/30/11 , edited 12/30/11
What is Softbank Mobile?
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Posted 12/30/11
SoftBank is a telecommunications company and this would be the mobile division. They are famous for their cell phone plan commercials in Japan.
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