Top 10 Japanese Dog Breeds

The Japanese dog has earned its popularity because all breeds share something special, both in their eyes and in their personality.

They are beautiful and very faithful dogs that have even won the hearts of people who live outside of Japan.

For this reason, at present, they can be found in many countries of the world and here we will know 10 of the most important Japanese dog breeds.

Japanese small or dwarf dog

Although most breeds of Japanese dogs are large, robust and imposing, we can also find those that, despite also being strong, are smaller.

So many of the inhabitants of this country choose them to be their strong companions.

We are going to know which are these small Japanese dog breeds that have captivated the hearts of many people.

Japanese Spitz

This breed originated during the 20th century, it is a small Japanese dog that weighs no more than 6 kilograms and has a height that does not exceed 36 centimeters.

They were used mostly as pets, due to their small size and beauty.

Currently, although they also play the role of life companions, they are very popular as surveillance dogs , this because they have a unique and very good ability to give warning in dangerous situations.

The Japanese Spitz breed can live for about 12 years , everything will depend on the care that these dogs obtain from their owners.

Unlike other Japanese breeds, this is ideal to have them in homes with the presence of children, in addition, they are perfect for people who live in the city, since they easily adapt to that lifestyle.

They are a very intelligent breed, so they learn quickly, they are also dogs that love to learn new things. Good at living with other dogs and pets, so they will not be a problem.

Because they have a fairly long, abundant and white coat, the Japanese spit requires constant care and regular brushing.

Japanese spaniel

The Japanese Spaniel has emerged since the Middle Ages, so they are quite old, since that time, this breed has been considered as companion dogs.

Being a small breed, it does not usually exceed 5 kilograms in weight or measure more than 25 centimeters in height ; in addition, they have an average life span of 12 years.

They are suitable to have in a house where there is the presence of children, as they are dogs of good character and very docile.

They can adapt to living in urban areas and are able to live with other pets without problems, they are also able to adapt to living in cold areas.

A negative aspect that can arise from this breed is that because they are dogs that are always alert to their environment, they tend to bark constantly.

In addition, they require continuous care, since their long coat requires constant brushing, regular cuts and rigorous hygiene.

Japanese terrier

They are a breed that has its origin in the middle of the 18th century. They were dogs that were used to hunt rodents , however, today, they are used as companion dogs.

They have a life expectancy of between 12 and 14 years and are considered a small breed, they do not measure more than 33.5 centimeters in height or weigh more than 6 kilograms .

These dogs are ideal for almost all families, this because they adapt to living in closed places such as apartments, since they do not require large amounts of exercise and as they have short hair, constant care will not be necessary .The Japanese Terrier is perfect to serve as guard dogs, since they tend to warn their owners when someone strange enters their territory, however, this is not a breed that can adapt to living outdoors, so , they prefer the interior of their homes.

Big Japanese dog

These breeds of Japanese dogs are the most popular within the territory, therefore, they can be found in a large part of the homes and enclosures of the country.

They are a bit special canines since, despite being fluffy, cute and affectionate, they are robust, large and have a quite imposing personality, which makes everyone see them again wherever they pass.

Currently, many of these breeds can be found in various countries of the world and are highly valued. We are going to see the largest size Japanese dogs.

Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu, is a Japanese breed of dogs, which has its origin in the 19th century, it stands out mainly for its large size, these can reach a maximum height of 65 centimeters and reach 90.5 kilograms. These dogs live between 11 and 12 years.

They were used as fighting dogs, not enough, we must give thanks that this cruel practice is now in the past and now these canines enjoy being companion dogs and part of the family that raises them.

The Japanese dog, Tosa Inu, requires fairly constant care, therefore, it is always recommended that it be adopted by people with experience in raising this breed. The Tosa Inu are usually adaptable when it comes to living outdoors, so there will be no problems in this regard.

However, they are not usually very tolerant with city life, nor with the presence of children or other dogs or pets, so it is advisable to have them alone at home and better, in a home without small children.

They are very active dogs, so it will be necessary for them to exercise a lot every day.

In addition to this, it is essential that they are educated firmly and the appropriate behaviours are always reinforced, since they are Japanese dogs with a stubborn personality, that if they are not given due attention, they will try to contradict them.

Akita Inu

Considered as an ancient race and one of the most important in the country, they originated in the seventeenth century. This breed was used for fighting, however, today, it is one of the most sought-after Japanese dog breeds for companion dogs and they are also highly appreciated by Japanese and foreigners.

Today, Akitas are in high demand by security companies and even a large part of the Japanese police have them as part of their squad, as they are a breed that can perform jobs as police and security dogs . In Spain the Akita inu is considered a dangerous dog.

This large breed dog can be around 71 centimeters tall and weigh approximately 50 kilograms. In general, they can live between 10 and 13 years , although cases that have exceeded this age have been known.

Although Akitas are very beautiful dogs, it must be taken into consideration that they have a fairly strong and special character, so they are not recommended to be kept in homes with children and other pets.

Being temperamental dogs, their upbringing is a bit complex, so it is recommended that they are not bred by first timers .It can easily adapt to the outdoors, since due to its thick and abundant coat they are not prone to cold , in addition to being dogs that like to be active, so having activities outside will be ideal for them.

Shikoku inu

This is another of the ancient Japanese dog breeds, they were regularly used as hunting dogs, so their energy level has always been high.

Even today, many Shikoku inu continue to be used for hunting , however, the vast majority of them are now companion dogs.

The Shikoku do not weigh more than 20 kilograms and do not usually measure more than 55 centimeters in height , so they are considered a medium breed. These dogs have a life expectancy of around 11 and 13 years , so you can enjoy their company for a long time.

They are not easy to train or teach, as they have a fairly strong personality, however, they are very adaptable, they can get used to living in urban areas and they have no problem being in places with hot or cold climates .

Unlike some other breeds, the Shikoku does not have a long coat , however, it is quite dense, so the cold is not a problem for these beautiful animals.

Hokkaido inu

This is considered a medium-sized Japanese dog breed, although they also fall into the category of large dogs.

They can reach around 49 centimeters tall and their weight can vary between 20 and 30 kilograms, however, you have to be very aware of their weight since they are a breed prone to obesity.

It is considered an ancient race, it is said to be more than 3,000 years old, according to beliefs this race comes from China, however it is not something that has been confirmed yet.

They are dogs that have long been used for hunting larger game. These are included within the Spitz breed.

These dogs are genetically very healthy and are generally born without congenital problems, so they will enjoy formidable health.

They can have a life expectancy of between 11 and 14 years, depending on the care provided to them.

Kishu Inu

It is a local dog, that is, it belongs to the homonymous island (which bears the same name ” Kishu “). It is not a dog that is well known in the West, so it can be seen most of all, in Japan.

In the past, this breed had a variety of striking colors in its coat, but over the years, the common colors have been simplified to only white, beige and black .

This breed of dog is typically 18 to 18 inches tall and can weigh 15 to 20 pounds . They usually have a life expectancy of between 12 and 14 years , as they are in good health.

They are quite calm dogs and in addition to that, they are also docile, so it can be quite easy to train and educate them, if you have a little patience and perseverance.

Depending on the specimen, your exercise routine may vary, as some become much more active than others.

In the event that it is a very energetic Japanese dog and it does not burn all the energy it has in its body, it can become quite a nervous animal, which could lead to it barking constantly and being excessively noisy.

They are animals that can perform work as caretakers, this because they are good at announcing dangerous situations . Ideally, these dogs are in places with large fields where they can run, it could be a farm or a farm.

Kai ken

A breed of Japanese dog that comes from the 18th century and was used for the sport of hunting big game. At present these dogs are used as a companion breed, so they always remain close to their owners.

Its size is medium, it does not exceed 18 kilograms in weight or 58 centimeters in height. Their life expectancy is between 11 and 13 years old.

They are quite adaptable dogs, so you can let them live both indoors and outdoors, as they have a fairly dense coat , they will not get cold, even in winter times.

They are ideal guardian dogs , as they are always alert to changes within their territory and to the presence of strangers.

However, it cannot be very good at socializing with other dogs or pets, as it is very territorial and with a fairly strong character .


This is a relatively new breed of dog, since its origin dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. They were created from the crossing of a Chinese Chow with some of the Japanese breeds belonging to the Aichi region.

It is a medium breed, as it can measure between 45 and 55 centimeters tall and weigh between 20 and 25 kilograms . They can usually live to around 11 and 13 years of age .

They were animals that began as guardian, hunting and companion dogs, although today, they are seen more as life companions and guardians. They are friendly and very affectionate, in addition to being obedient, intelligent and not having a tendency to destroy gardens.

Although it is not considered a purely Japanese breed , due to its mixture with a foreign breed, they have been gaining popularity among the Japanese, since they are very trainable and calm dogs. However, the JKC and the FCI do not consider them as original Japanese dogs.

Its physique is very similar to that of a Japanese breed but with small similarities to those of Chows, especially in its coat and the shape of its eyes and tail, which is why it does not meet the standards of the Japanese breeds.

Now that you have learned about the Japanese dog and the various breeds of this canine, you can share this article with your acquaintances and family so that they can also learn about these incredible pets.

In addition, if you have any opinion about these breeds, do not hesitate to comment, it always makes us happy to read to all our readers.

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