“I became interested in Hokkaido in 2011 and established a rudimentary blog to begin gathering information in English for publication. My own background was with showing and doing performance dog sports with my Shibas, I also developed an interest in the lesser known breeds like Kai, who are growing and in AKC FSS, and I have now met all 6 of the native Nihon Ken breeds.
I have a love of pedigree research and dog behavior, and realized not much at all was known about Hokkaido outside of Japan. Even Europe was only a few years ahead of us for knowledge of what it was like to live with the breed. There were maybe 4 dogs in total living in North America in 2011. In early 2013, efforts to establish a true breed club in the USA kicked off with the first wave of new imports to the states and Canada, seeing the arrival of Oni, Meitou, Yezo, Genko, Katana and a little white female in Canada.
This was the time we established the HANA project with a small but growing pool of fanciers, geared towards breed preservation and establishing the breed in North America. I like to think of HANA (the Hokkaido Association of North America) as my own brain child, but in truth there were multiple people involved later on in its infancy, including Brad Anderson, Shigeru Kato, Chrys Cleary, Angela An, Krisztina Illes, and other Hokka owners.
2015 has seen the arrival of an additional 3 males that I am aware of, and the arrival of Genko to my doorstep. 1 week prior to writing this, the 1st ever breeding occurred. I hope the future for this breed and club is bright, and that 2015 will conclude with a healthy litter of Hokkaido puppies in the hands of other breed enthusiasts.”
Written by Lindsay Tompkins