Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido Ken and
Some Thoughts on Hokkaido from the Breed Founder in North America
My goal as a Hokkaido breeder and breed founder in the US, is to preserve the breed ideal as handed down to us from those in Japan, while not breeding myself into a corner chasing a type "ideal" at the expense of genetic diversity, health and temperament. So that I may achieve this goal, I need to have enough numbers to breed from, and NOT limit breedings to only the most ideal specimens. The very head of the Hokkaido Preservation Society in Japan even relayed this while I was there when asked what they would like to see from the American Hokkaido club: Breed more Hokkaido! As I don't like to physically keep more than a handful of dogs at any one time, I do place most of them into cooperative breeding homes on co-ownerships and work together with their co-owners to establish the breed here. I believe that many of the Hokkaido here have traits that would be beneficial to the overall genepool, which is why I do not easily eliminate one of these dogs from breeding based on type faults like color, and tend to place them where they may fully develop and remain intact, in cooperative homes.
What I would like, is for breed fanciers here to keep some perspective and support each other. By that I mean, not every breeding program is in the same place as someone else's. What's good for you, may not work for someone else. Please don't "cull" breeding dogs because they have a weak expression, are not white, or are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Please don't automatically cull even if they are genetically affected by CEA though not blind. Do NOT publicly snub your peers who do have dogs you think lack good type or don't conform to what you think they should be doing. Please, for the sake of the breed, don't drink the kool aid about health testing time lines where you end up wasting their most fertile years, believing that show wins guarantee quality, or using those blasted "good breeder" charts to chastise one another. This breed will fail here if fanciers lose sight of the larger goals of improving diversity, becoming islands unto themselves and refusing to climb down off of a moral high horse. I don't want things like this to undermine my efforts of expanding the breed. Breed preservation for a very rare breed like the Hokkaido is not going to follow a black and white formula!