Top 13 Dog Breeds from Japan (with Pictures & Facts)

The roots of today’s Dog Breeds from Japan can be traced back to thousands of years ago. Through millennia of crossbreeding, breeding and fine-tuning, it’s generally accepted that there are only six breeds that are native of Japan: Shiba Inu, Hokkaido Inu Kai Ken, Shikoku Ken, Kishu Ken and Akita Inu. (Haruo Isogai was the famous Japanese Cynologist, discovered those breeds during his study of 1930 on the development of Japanese dogs.) Different breeds have developed in the past, and are often crossed with one of the six breeds native to Japan. Recent studies have revealed intriguing similarities between Japanese breeds that bind them together and differentiate them from Western breeds. For example Many Japanese breeds of dogs sport curly hair, pointed ears, and short snouts, with soft double coats. Japanese dogs are also known to be a bit protective and serious. They’ll certainly lavish their beloved family members with affection and love but they’re also cautious of strangers and are territorial with other dogs. These are broad generalizations that aren’t true, but a rigorous training regimen and extensive socialization early on are crucial if you’re planning to make the Japanese “inu” or “ken” (the two Japanese words that mean “dog” in Japanese) part of your family.

List of 13 Dog Breeds from Japan

Akita Inu

Akita inu
Akita inu

Similar to the Akita Inu is also the biggest and most bulkiest of Nihon Kens. It’s also a long-standing breed, revered and admired in Japan as an emblem of longevity and happiness among young parents.

Breeders created Akitas in the 17th century to be big hunting dogs They are now more of a household pets now. They are loyal, brave loving, brave, and affectionate however they can also be aloof and territorial at times.

Akitas may also appear to be temperamental, but it can also be affectionate and loyal to your family members if you exercise and interact with it.

As a member belonging to the Spitz family, Akitas has dense double coats and long fur that combat cold weather. It is easy to identify these dogs with their bear-like appearance- almond eyes sharp ears, a broad head, and massive bone bodies.

Lifespan: 10-13 Years

Temperament: Quiet, loyal, faithful, stubborn, willful, sweet, confident,

Color White, black Chocolate

Height: 24 to 28 inches

Weight: 70-130 pounds


Hokkaido Inu

Japanese Chin
Japanese Chin

Also called Hokkaido Ken Dog Breeds from Japan, this purebred has the longest bloodline when compared against the other Spitz breeds. Hokkaido Inu is smart strong, sturdy, and loyal to their owners. This makes them excellent pet for families.

It’s a muscular breed that has a thick outer coat and large feet, and remarkable stamina and endurance. Their coats and ears are small. make them able to handle colder temperatures more effectively.

Breeders designed these dogs to hunt and they are able to fight bears and wild boars thanks to their sturdy bones and strong-willed nature. They can also be a good companion for the other dogs and people when you exercise and interact with them.

Hokkaido breeds are affectionate and will reward you with cuddling, kissing and a desire to play.

Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Temperament The word “docile” means bold attentive, loyal and dignified.
Color: Black, white, red, black and sesame, brindle, tanColor: Black, red, white, brindle, sesame
Height 18-20 inches
Weight: 44-66 pounds

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin
Japanese Chin

Also called also known as Japanese Spaniel, this dog is a perfect oriental dog with a broad, large head, a smashing face and floppy ears with a V-shape with spaced-out eyes and a fully-plumed tail. Although these dogs are known as Japanese Chins, they likely came out of Korea as well as in the Chinese imperial court about 500 years ago.

The Japanese elite regarded them as highly and often offered gifts to emissaries. they must have made their way to Japan when they presented them to the Japanese Emperor. While highly regarded in Japan but these hounds remained in the shadows until 1853 when the Commodore Mathew Perry went to Japan and established international trade.

This dog is an indoor dog and won’t mind being all day long. It’s stylish, well-mannered playful, and sociable toward other dogs and children. With a weight of less than 10 pounds the hound is toy-sized and is a cat with characteristics, such as the ability to jump , and the ability to clean its fur with silky fur!

Lifespan: 10-14 Years
Temperament: Happy, affectionate, intelligent, sensitive, devoted, social
Color: Black and White, Red & White black, white and Tan, sable, white and
Height: 8 to 11 inches
Weight: 7-11 pounds

Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz
Japanese Spitz

If you’re in search of a cuddly, tiny family pet with a heart of a watchdog look into the Japanese Spitz. They have snouts that are wedge-shaped with sharp ears and their coats are soft. This breed is often mistaken as American Eskimo Dogs, white Pomeranians or Samoyeds.

Japanese Spitz are also a great mix of characteristics, from intelligence, training ability, low maintenance to being friendly with people. While they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club has not yet recognized this breed but it is recognized by the United Kennel Club recognizes it as component of the Nothern Breed.

Lifespan: 10-16 Years
Temperament: Obedient, affectionate, proud, active, companionable
Color Pure white
Height 12-15 inches
Weight: 10-25 pounds

Japanese Terrier

It is believed that the Japanese Terrier is a rare Dog Breeds from Japan, also known by the names of Mikado, Nihon, Oyuki as well as Nippon Teria. These are mini breeds thin, with a dense coat of hair that is stiff.

They are not bite-prone dangers, are lovable and bond only with one family member. It is believed that the Japan Kennel Club recognized the breed in the 1930s, and was beginning to gain popularity and spreading across Japan during the 1940s, when World War 11 and other increasing species threatened to make them extinct.

They remain ardent boar hunter, and are also great pet dogs for families today.

Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Temperament: Lively, swift, affectionate, vigilant
Color: Black and white tri-color
Height 8-13 inches
Weight: 5-9 pounds


Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Temperament: Brave, energetic, agile, loyal, intelligent, docile
Color: Sesame, black sesame, red sesame
Height: 7 to 21 inches
Weight: 35-50 pounds

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