Karafuto Ken

Sakhalin Husky

The Karafuto Ken is not for everyone. This magnificent, very intelligent dog must benefit from certain conditions in order to be happy, and from a master able to deal with his strong temperament.

A predator and hunter initially, despite his magnificent qualities as a life companion and his great love for human beings, he will always remains a free dog at heart.

This very rare but yet magnificent breed never made it across the Japanese borders. It is therefore necessary to go to Japan to discover this superb specimen.

Height 56 to 66 cm
Weight 30 to 40 kg
Life expectancy 10 to 15 years
Home country Japan

Quick Overview of the Karafuto Ken

Temperament

  • Energetic
  • Worker
  • Affectionate
  • Loyal

Appearance

  • Variety of different colors
  • Very dense hair and coat
  • Little pointy ears
  • Spitz-type tail

Health

  • Generally very robust
  • Some are affected by dysplasia
  • Survives in extreme conditions

Temperament of the Karafuto Ken

Energetic, hardworking, loyal and very affectionate, the Karafuto Ken is a free dog who needs his own space in order to be able to play, run and do what he pleases.

Breed Appearance

The Karafuto Ken is a Nordic Spitz-type dog, like the Akita Inu, and many other similar dogs from Japan.

Height

Between 56 and 66 cm (22.05 to 25.98 inches) for the male
Between 56 and 66 cm (22.05 to 25.98 inches) for the female

Weight

Between 30 and 40 kg (66.14 to 88.18 pounds) for the male
Between 30 and 40 kg (66.14 to 88.18 pounds) for the female

Color

There is a variety of possible colors.

Hair

The hair on his dress is very dense.

Morphology

His ears are pointy and small. His tail is typical of Spitz dogs.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 5, section 1 and is #

Health of the Karafuto Ken

The Karafuto Ken is generally very hardy and can easily survive the most extreme conditions.

Some specimens are however affected by dysplasiadislocation problems as well as heart issues, but these are fortunately only rare cases.

GROOMING

This dog with dense fur typical of his Nordic category requires vigorous brushing on a fairly regular basis .

History of this breed

No real official documentation exists for this rather rare breed. The Karafuto Ken apparently originated in Japan in the early part of the 20th century.

There is no evidence to support this hypothesis, but he apparently comes from a mix between the Japanese Spitz and the Akita Inu.

This dog was mainly used by the Japanese as a sleigh, hunting and guard dog over the years.

This breed, native to the land of the rising sun, is very rare and remains practically unknown on the entire surface of the globe.

For the Japanese, he is an excellent working dog, as well as an extraordinary life companion, but unfortunately remains confined within the Japanese borders.

It was in 1958 that the breed became very popular following an emergency evacuation during an expedition to Antarctica, that forced the explorers to leave 15 dogs behind.

They believed then that another rescue team would come shortly after to retrieve the dogs, but this was not the case.

Almost a year later, a new expedition discovered that 2 of the 15 dogs had survived entirely on their own in the wild. Taro and Jiro thus became very famous heroes in their country.

Taro lived until his death in 1970 at the University of Hokkaido. He is now stuffed and exhibited in a museum in the country.

Jiro died in 1960. His body is kept in the Ueno Park, at the National Museum of Nature and Science located in the city of Tokyo.

A more fictionalized version of this event was produced on the big screen in 2006. The movie Eight Below referred to this expedition, but the production used Siberian Huskies and Malamutes instead of using the true breed of the event, the Karafuto Ken.

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