Hawaiian Poi Dog

Hawaiian Poi Dog

Breed Fact

Country of Origin: United States of America
Breed status: Extinct
Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris
Higher classification: Dog
Rank: Breed
Other names: ʻĪlio, ʻĪlio mākuʻe, Hawaiian Dog

Brief info: The Hawaiian Poi Dog is a Pariah Hound that has become extinct. It came to Hawaii with the Polynesians during the first settlement more than 1,000 years ago.

At one time this breed was an important part of the Polynesian people's life. The dogs lived amongst the tribes.

Female tribe members took care of these dogs and even nursed Poi puppies, believing it would give them more protective instincts.

The Hawaiian Poi Dog is an extinct breed. It was short-coated, and its coat came in a variety of colors. The body was low and barrel-shaped with a destined belly and short legs. The head was large and flat due to the lack of chewing from its vegetarian diet.

The Hawaiian Poi Dog is clumsy, but friendly and playful. It was said to be fat and lazy and rarely bark. Poi Dogs were fattened up to be eaten by the tribes in which they lived.

Fed a paste made from ground, baked and fermented taro root, they were sluggish and were not very smart. Hawaiian Poi Dogs liked to play with the children, but were too slow to catch the fruits the children would playfully throw at them. Lots of times they ran with the hogs, which the tribes also ate, and acted more like hogs than dogs.