10 Dog Breeds From Japan

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Uncategorized

Dog Breeds From Japan,Red Shiba Inu
Dog Breeds From Japan,Red Shiba Inu

The origins of our current Japanese dogs can be traced back thousands of years ago. After millennia spent crossbreeding and fine-tuning, it’s widely believed that there are only six breeds indigenous in Japan: Shiba Inu, Hokkaido Inu Kai Ken, Shikoku Ken, Kishu Ken, and Akita Inu. (Haruo Isogai is a famous Japanese scientist who recognized those breeds during his study of 1930 on the development of Japanese dogs.) Other species have appeared in the past and are often crossbred with these six indigenous breeds. In recent times, further research has revealed fascinating similarities between Japanese breeds that bind them together and distinguish them from Western species.

For example, Many Japanese dogs breed sport curly-cue hair, pointed ears, and short snouts, with soft double coats. Japanese canines are also known to be severe and protective. They’ll undoubtedly lavish their family members they love with affection and love, but they’re also cautious of strangers and are protective of other dogs. These are broad generalizations; however, a firm and consistent training program and plenty of early socialization are essential if you’re thinking of making a Japanese “inu” as well as “ken” (the 2 Japanese words that mean “dog” to Japanese) an integral part of your household.


Humans and dogs are a long way back. As long as 15,000 years. It was around this time that people from Eastern Asia began domesticating wolves.

The Jomon people were hunter-gatherers around 12,000 years old and decided to themselves, “Let’s abandon the continent of Asia and take our pets to Japan!” They relied on their pets to provide companionship, protection, and help (dogs are more adept at hunting wild boars than humans). Medium-sized dogs are the ancestral ancestors of the six native Japanese breeds identified by Isogai.

Crossbreeding began as people migrated across the Korean Peninsula and China to Japan. The dog-human bond also changed. Since the sixteenth century, there has been a change in how dogs were treated. The Japan Kennel Club says owning an animal was typically considered a sign of prosperity and power. Animals such as the Japanese chin became popular presents and show dogs along Silk Road trade routes.

For more than 200 years, Japan has been essentially isolated from the world concerning travel and commerce. This time, also known as Sakoku, was in place from 1635 to 1854. It gave the indigenous Japanese dog breeds the chance to flourish without the influence of Western species.


Following when Sakoku was over, European breeds practically flooded into Japan. There were many puppies in Japan, and many dogs were crossbred to produce new species of the older breeds. At the same time, hunting in rural areas and farming societies kept the dogs in a secluded area that preserved indigenous Japanese dog breeds.

When World War I ended, two things took place that sank Japan’s economy, and the citizens of Japan returned to a sense of love for all things Japanese. Few people could afford dogs for pets; however, many were eager to keep Japanese tradition.


Nihon Ken Hozonkai or NIPPO roughly translated to The Japanese Dog Preservation Society. It was established in 1928 to preserve and promote the six indigenous Japanese canines. NIPPO will be a valuable resource over the next few decades as breeders select standards and form groups dedicated to protecting these extremely loving and loving dogs.

10 Japanese Dog Breeds


Average Height: 12-15 inches

Average Weight: 10-25 pounds

Temperament: Playful, Intelligent

Shedding Factor: Seasonal

Activity Level: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Spitzes are famous for their smiley faces, pointed ears, and curly tails. They are incredibly affectionate and playful dogs who love to run around in a flurry, yet they are at ease once you’re ready to lay in a comfortable position. The white Japanese Spitz is two coats, which shed tons of weight, but only during the season (usually every two years). They were bred from the German Spitz breed as companion animals in the 1920s, and the Japan Kennel Club finalized the breed standard in 1948. In the words of the Japanese Spitz Club of America, they will be with you throughout the earth.


Average Height: 8-11 inches

Average Weight: 7-11 pounds

Temperament: Mellow, Regal

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Activity Level From Moderate to Very Low

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

As a member of the toys group that resembles cats, the Japanese Chinese chin is a minor noble dog. They have silky coats available in a wide range of hues and are usually a blend of black and white and red or tan. The regal inclination is expected considering the chins past as companion animals for Imperial household members. As per the Japanese Chin Club of America, at one time, they were valued more than gold and were presented as gifts or artworks (in fact, those less wealthy were not even permitted to have the chin).


Average Height: 13.5-16.5 inches

Average Weight: 17-23 pounds

Temperament: Affectionate, Protective

Shedding Factor: High

Activity Level: High

Life Expectancy: 13-16 years

It’s not easy to be in love with the passionate Shiba Inu. The name is believed to come from vibrantly colored brushwood found in the forest areas where they were bred for hunting; Shibas come in shades of copper, red or sesame, and black and Tan. While they’re the most miniature indigenous Japanese breeds of dogs, Shiba Inus exudes affection towards their families and aren’t afraid to guard their beloved family members (or their bowls of food) against strangers. They are great companions for those who are introverts. They are the National Shiba Club of America suggests plenty of exercises, both physical and mental, for Shiba Inus.


Average Height: 17-22 inches

Average Weight: 35-55 pounds

Temperament: Alert, Energetic

Shedding Factor: Moderate to High

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Sometimes referred to as the Shikoku Ken or Kochi Ken, The dogs are named for the island from which they came off the southeastern coast of Japan. They are bred to hunt big games (like boars) in the mountains, and it’s no surprise that they look like wolves in miniature. While they’re small, Shikokus have immense dog power and are incredibly athletic. Shikoku is firm and highly agile. North American Shikoku club says Shikokus are available in four primary colors, which are Goma (sesame) as well as or aka (red) and the euro (black or dark black Tan), and the Shiro (white or creamy). Shikoku is generally territorial and independent, so early and consistent training is crucial. 1937 was the first time NIPPO designated the Shikoku Ken as a “Living Nature National Monument” in Japan.


Average Height: 24-28 inches

Average Weight: 70-130 pounds

Temperament: Loyal, Brave

Shedding Factor: Seasonal

Activity Level: High

Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Welcome to a highly loyal dog breed. Akitas are incredibly reliable. Akita is almost as protective to the point of being a nuisance. This makes them excellent watchdogs, but they are not precisely the ideal partners for other dogs. Be wary of strangers and quick to chase small animals; it’s good to begin leash training and introduce them to people while they’re young. Although the first Akita came to America at the age of 1937 (no except Helen Keller, who called her Akita the “angel of fur”), the breed didn’t become famous throughout the U.S. until after World War II. They are big dogs with long, fluffy fur and straight, spitz-like tails. They were first introduced in 1931. Akitas became “National monuments” to be found in Japan.


Average Height: 21-24 inches

Average Weight: 100-200 pounds

Temperament: Easy-going, Loving

Shedding Factor: Low

Activity Level: Low

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

They are American Kennel Club says Tosas were created in the 1800s, combining mastiffs and bulldogs with German pointers and Great Danes. Tosas are, unfortunately, breeds to fight. But today, they are loved by all families as gentle giants who are ready to show and receive the most affection they can. Tosas could be the most prominent Japanese breed, but they are the longest to grow up, with an average of 4 years of age. Their short coats are dark brown, fawn, or reddish Apricot, with dark black or brown noses.


Average Height: 8-13 inches

Average Weight: 5-9 pounds

Temperament: Cheerful, Lively

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

A more modern breed (relatively speaking) is the Japanese terrier was first introduced during the period of 17th-century. Smooth Fox terriers were introduced to Japan by travelers from the Netherlands. They are lively dogs that love to chase any object that is moving. Their short coat is typically white and has black or brown spots. Japanese breeds also sport small bobtails, which add an extra point to their cuteness factor.


Average Height: 15-20 inches

Average Weight: 20-40 pounds

Temperament: Loyal, Athletic

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Activity Level: High

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Kai Ken Kai Ken is more eager to be loved by its owners than other Japanese breeds (Akita, look at you). They are also intelligent and quickly master commands. They are bred in the mountains. Kai Kens are agile and athletic, with brindle coloring, which helps disguise them when out on hunts. They’re also very uncommon, including in Japan. Don’t be afraid, however. Kai Kens were designated “Natural Monuments” in 1934.


Average Height: 18-20 inches

Average Weight: 44-66 pounds

Temperament: Smart, Devoted

Shedding Factor: Seasonal

Activity Level: High

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Talk about an all-in-one threat! Hokkaido’s are intelligent, athletic, and affectionate animals. They’re as loving to their family members as they are guardians of their homestead, and they love working for a living (like protecting the home). Hokkaido’s lived for centuries in the frigid and snowy peaks of the Hokkaido mountains and their indigenous Ainu people. Therefore, their coats are robust and weatherproof. They can be black, white, red or grey. The “National Monument” designation was announced in 1937.


Average Height: 17-22 inches

Average Weight: 30-60 pounds

Temperament: Athletic, Dedicated

Shedding Factor: Minimal

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

The American Kishu Registry and Breed Club recommend against trying to keep Kishu Ken in a Kishu Ken fenced-in. The dogs thrive in large-open spaces where they are free to roam, as they used to do for hundreds of years in Kyushu in the southern part of Japan. Kishu Kens are fond of playtime and engaging games. After receiving the “National Monument” status in 1934, the breed sank somewhat but returned due to breed clubs. They typically are white and bright, but they may also be dark brown. Be on the lookout for a strong prey drive and lots of love.

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