11 Japanese Dog Breeds

Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Becky Roberts

Japan is well-known for its delicious Sushi and stunning Cherry Blossom trees to name only a few. However, Japan isn’t that popular in the field of dog breeds. Except for some, Japanese dogs rarely make it into the top 50 breeds in any kennel club. However, within this piece, we’re going to learn that they’re among the most beautiful, loving and secure dogs in the world and are incredibly underrated.

A lot of Japanese breeds are named with the words Inu and Ken added to an end to their names, which is simply a translation of the word “dog” in Japanese and are frequently utilized in conjunction. There are six officially recognized Japanese Spitz breeds, the Akita, Shiba Inu, Kai Ken, Shikoku, Hokkaido and the Kishu Ken, who are the most well-known. There are seven other breeds of non-spitz that we’ll also examine.

A lot of Japanese dog breeds are very similar due to the fact that these are hunter dogs which came from specific areas, and are naturally guardians of their property and their family. Let’s take a close look at the 13 most sought-after, but uncommon, Japenese dog breeds.

Japanese Dog Breeds

Japanese Spitz

It is believed that the Japanese Spitz is among the newest Japanese breeds listed on this list. He is an ancestor from the German Spitz being introduced to Japan in the beginning of the 20 century. century. It is a tiny marshmallow fluffball, also known as a “ground cloud” according to some that measures between 12 and 15 inches tall and weighs between 10 and 15 pounds in weight. The white fluff of his is very high maintenance and sheds quite a bit and will leave a smudge of mallow on your furniture. He sports the usual pointed triangular Spitz ears, as well as an elongated muzzle. He also has extremely dark eyes.

He’s described as a extremely intelligent and loyal, who would love nothing more than to spend the entire day with his family So he should be a part of a family which will remain with him for the majority of the time. The canine’s smile will make your day full of joy and laughter, and is is a wonderful companion dog and there is no reason to not abandon him!

He’s great with children as well as other dogs. He is a great dog watchdog thanks to his sharp bark. And while his size isn’t the size of these other Japanese dogs in the list below, his bark can make him an effective repellant!

Japanese Chin

The flat-faced little man is the smallest on the list, however due to his lively personality He certainly creates a strong impression. It is said that he is being more like a feline than a dog, and you’ll often see him climbing up to higher levels of the room, like shelves or tables. The description of him is elegant and charming, and it’s evident why he is adored in the eyes of Japanese Royalty. He is a well-mannered dog that loves every person he comes across!

A Japanese Chin has the classic appearance of tiny Asian breeds. The eyes of this breed are spread wide apart, and he has wide smile and a straight face. While many think that this is cute (and that’s true! ) however, it can cause the sufferer to develop Brachycephalic Syndrome, which is a serious issue and extremely risky for the health of his. He can be anywhere between 8 to 11 inches tall, and weigh between 7 and 11 pounds of weight.

Shiba Inu

It is believed that the Shiba Inu is approximately 13 1/2 to 16 1/2 inches tall and weighs between 17 to 23 pounds. The fur of his is a deep orange with a white underbelly as well as a distinct curling tail. With his tiny triangular ears, erect ears and a the fire-colored fur, he appears much like the Fox. The Shiba Inu breed is growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why visit the ‘ Shiba Inu Daily Instagram account for the latest news on everything Shiba.

In 2019, the Shiba has become the most sought-after breed in the country where he was born however in America the Shiba is regarded as being the 44 the most loved dog breed. The breed was originally developed to hunt however, he can now be often found with his family and master instead of out looking to find his master’s next meal.

He’s a highly smart dog, but one that is as attentive as goldfish, which is why you can expect him to be a challenge to train. The breed is also known to be a bit obnoxious about food and toys, but this can be controlled by a strict approach to training, but make sure you be vigilant when he is around other dogs or small children.

Tosa Inu

We have the largest Japanese canine that is frequently confused with an mastiff cross that weighs between 100 to 200 pounds. It has a minimum height of 21 1/2 inches tall However, due to being breed outside of Japan because of his size, it is frequently believed to be larger than the size of this. The colossal dog is strong, muscular and extremely strong, and you would not wish to be in trouble with his, but he’s also a sweet and loving dog and loves his loved ones. He has a broad neck, a deep chest, and has big dropdown ears, which is quite different from the majority of Japanese breeds.

He is also also known by the name of Japanese Mastiff and is a major player in Japan’s history in dog fights. He was bred with previous Japanese fighter Shikoku Inu, Shikoku Inu, and other bigger breeds like Bulldogs, Mastiffs and Great Danes to produce an even more formidable canine fighter. The Tosa Inu is on a number of prohibited breed lists in different all over the world If you’re considering purchasing one of these dogs make sure you examine the laws in your area. However that in the home of the family, Tosa is an calm and gentle dog that is utilized as a watchdog or the family pet. To discover how adorable and well-suited to the family lifestyle he is, take a look at Danny tosa’s Instagram account.

Japanese Terrier

Also called known as the Nippon Terrier, this dog is extremely uncommon even in his home country, making it unlikely you’ve ever seen one. He is between 8 and 13 inches tall, and weighs between 5 and 9 pounds, making the dog with the lowest weight on the list, so should you be looking for an adorable handbag dog, this could be the dog for you. The body is white, while his face and the other half of the neck dark brown and black. He’s slim and often you can observe his ribcage. his tail dangling in between the legs of his.

It is believed that the Japanese Terrier is another of the most recent breeds, having his ancestors being that of the Fox Terrier of England and the Pointer of Germany which is believed to have come to Japan during the 17 century. century. The breed was then breed to be smaller in size. despite the Terrier name, he was created to be a companion dogand not to hunt.

Shikoku Inu

Shikoku Inu Shikoku Inu is another Japanese Spitz dog that comes from Shikoku, the Japanese island. Shikoku in Japan, in which the wild boar hunt was his specialty, and is also the first Japanese combat dog. The Shikoku Inu is also referred to by the name of Japanese Wolfdog because it has the standard Spitz size, but has the head of the Wolf. He has an extremely thick coat which comes in three shades: black sesame, red and white, as well as pointy triangular ears. Also, he has the distinct curly tail that is similar to the Akita. He is 17-22 inches in height and weighs between 35-55 pounds..

He was usually kept out to maintain his hunting abilities however, he’s now frequently found in the couches of his loved ones. Despite his desire for cuddles however, he is an active and outdoorsy dog that requires an expansive home that has access to a larger backyard, or else it is possible to suffer from cabin fever and can become very destructive. If that is something that you could offer him, you will find him to be a very affectionate and loving dog that is a wonderful pet in the end. In general, he’s described as lively, alert and enthusiastic.

Hokkaido Inu

It is said that the Hokkaido Inu is described as intelligent, devoted and dignified that makes a great pet for your family. He is smart and is among the top problem solvers and is among the many charming qualities that are listed on his dog’s C.V. For this reason it is not uncommon for him to be engaged in activities or playing and therefore, don’t let him sit in a solitary position for long periods of time or else he’ll cause you, and your furnishings, suffer for it by exhibiting destructive behavior. He’s also cautious of strangers So don’t count on him to be everybody’s favorite companion, but he’s extremely affectionate towards his family.

He is one of the most thick coats in this list If you’re not a fan of dogs who sheds, then this dog should be the last in your checklist of Japanese dogs. The most popular color is white. popular coat color, however the majority of his coats are black brindle, sesame red, and wolf grey. Additionally, he has the smaller triangular ears as well as the curly tail. He is 18 and 20 inches from shoulder to paw and weighs between 44 and the weight of 66 pounds..

Ryukyu Inu

This could be the most sought-after dog on the list as in 2015 it was reported that there were as few as 400 remaining, it is unclear on how the numbers have decreased since. The dog is not even recognized as a member of The Japanese Kennel Club! The only thing we know about the dog is that it is confident and courageous. The breed was originally developed for hunting wild boars in the islands of Ryukyu. At home, he’s quiet and calm, and barks a little. He is the range of 18-19 inches tall and has several Spitz similar features like the pointed ears, curly tail and curly eyes.

Due to his heritage the fact that he spent a lot all of the time in the forest and, as a result, the unique dewclaw that is believed to aid in allowing the tree climber to do so. Due to his wild nature it is believed that he will exhibit a pack-like behavior so should you be fortunate enough to have one of these animals, then you’ll need to be more strong willed than he is, or else you will be the one to dominate the pack!

Karafuto Ken

Also called also known as the Sakhalin Husky It is believed that they are extinct. The dog is a bit like the Akita or a Siberian Husky. In the days before the last Karafuto Ken breeder died, his statement was that the two left dogs Taro as well as Jiro, were not able to be bred because of genetic similarities. A tragically failed Japanese trip to Antarctica was forced to call for an emergency evacuation leaving behind fifteen of the dogs.

It wasn’t until a few years after that the explorers revisited the site, and discovered the remains of Taro as well as Jiro survived the entire year. Taro and Jira are now kept in Museums of Japan and are adored for their role as heroes of the nation. This tragic story is meant to demonstrate how scarce certain Japanese dog breeds are.

Kai Ken

Kai Ken Kai Ken is another more rare dog that is on this list and even in Japan. It was originally designed to hunt, however in the past, he has grown more comfortable with the warmth and comfort of his human at home and, in return, provides canine companionship and plenty of love. He’s more aloof than these other Japanese breeds listed on the list and he prefers to please his master. The breed was initially used to hunt game which is why is a predator with a strong drive. He is also one of the fastest dogs on this list, so he requires an area that is secure and can’t escape from. He should be surrounded by a lively family in order to release his energy.

He is available in three brindle colors including brown, black and red. This helps him to disguise himself when out in nature (even an additional reason to you to not be concerned about losing him!) The majority of puppies are black in color and the stripes appear as they age. Kai Ken is a breed that Kai Ken is self-cleaning breed. although that doesn’t mean that it won’t take in a bath, he’ll maintain his coat in top and in good condition, meaning that the requirement to bathe him is unlikely. He weighs anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds and is between 15 1/2 to 19 1/2 inches tall.

Sanshu Inu

It is believed that the Sanshu Inu is another relatively new breed that is thought to have evolved in the 20 century. It is believed to have evolved in the early 20 century from unknown Japanese dogs as well as those of the Chinese Chow Chow and is evident in the larger size of his frame. Since he’s relatively new, he’s becoming quite well-known in Japan but he is extremely rare in other regions around the globe. He has a look that is very similar to the Hokkaido and people believe that the Hokkaido could be his ancestral home.. He was designed to be a guard dog for families. dog and also a faithful pet for the young children in the household. As such, it makes a great family pet, and is a very sensitive and sweet spirit.

It is said that the Sanshu Inu measures 16 to 22 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 55 pounds. There are a variety of shades, including grey red, tan white, black pied, salt and pepper or even a mix of all of them which is why he’s the most vibrant dog on the list. In contrast to the majority of dogs in this list He has a straight and strong tail. Not curly Catherine wheel tails that are common in other breeds however, considering that both his parents have curly tails, nobody knows the source of this!

Final Thoughts

Japanese canines look alike, with their pointed triangular ears, distinct curly tails, muscular and athletic appearance as well as long two coats. If you are a fan of the look of a Japanese dog, then you’ll have plenty of options on the Japanese list!

Japanese dogs are also one of the most secure and affectionate breeds around the world If you’re looking for an animal that is a protector then, again, there are plenty of options. Most of them were originally bred to hunt and therefore have an innate sense of security and high prey drive that needs to be taken into consideration. However they are all adorable and loved families, and you only have to choose the one that’s perfect for your family and you!

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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