7 Japanese Dog Breeds You Should Know

japanese dog breeds

Japanese dog breeds have a fascinating history. They are special dogs and have been declared as national heritage.

Japanese dog breeds are among the most popular in the world. They are dogs with a high instinct that was originally developed for hunting and has been passed on to today’s breeds. They vary in size, fur and color, but what they all have in common is that they are beautiful and loyal!

They are usually named inu, which means dog in Japanese. In this article, we will present you 7 Japanese dog breeds – loyal and determined companions you will love!

Japanese Dog Breeds

Some Japanese dog breeds date back more than 3000 years. They are very special with their physical or temperamental traits that make them quite unique. Here is our list of dogs that we have specially selected for you.

Akita Inu

akita inu

The Akita Inu is a very ancient breed, also popular and quite large – it can measure up to 67 centimeters (2.2 feet) at the withers and weighs 30 to 45 kilograms (66 to 100 pounds). It has small eyes, triangular ears, a muscular, strong body and a very peculiarly curved tail. Additionally, its dense, soft and hairy coat in tawny, sesame, brindle or white complements its features and makes it a fine specimen.

These dogs were first used to hunt bears and later as fighting dogs. Today, they are very energetic but very quiet, have a calm and manageable character.

Shiba Inu

shiba inu

Another Japanese dog breed you should know is the Shiba Inu. Similar in appearance to the Akita, but much smaller (up to 40 centimeters, 1.3 feet). It has a muscular, strong body with dense fur with a beautiful red or fiery red color that makes it look sweet and attractive.

They are agile, lively, fast, sharp-sense animals, first used for hunting. These cute, energetic dogs are also known as “cat dogs” thanks to their independence as they love to do things whenever they want! However, they are affectionate and very loyal dogs; You just have to show them who’s boss from the very beginning!

Hokkaido Inu

japanese dog breeds

Also known as the Ainu Ken, it is used as a hunting dog and pet, and is even used to hunt grizzly bears. As you can see, we are faced with a very strong race despite its medium size. The FCI has confirmed that Hokkaido Inu males are very strong. Males can reach 51.5 centimeters (1.7 feet) at the withers and females up to 48.5 centimeters (1.6 feet).

The Hokkaido is an all-around strong dog, and its dense fur and sturdy body enable it to withstand freezing cold and heavy snowfalls. In addition, his courage, nobility, loyalty and mobility are among his other characteristics. It’s also very intelligent – ​​after all, it’s a truly fascinating breed.

Tosa Inu

tosa inu

Another of our large Japanese dog breeds is the Tosa Inu. It is a breed with a fighting instinct and is strong and a very protective guard dog for the family. Males can reach at least 60 centimeters (2 feet) at the withers, while females can reach 55 centimeters (1.8 feet).

He has an imposing air, thanks to his solid build, broad chest, straight back and well-raised belly. It also has a noble expression. Additionally, they have drooping, triangular ears, a long, thin tail (thicker at the base), and short fur that makes them easy to groom.

Kai Ken

kai ken

The Kai Ken breed is very popular in Japan and was even declared a national heritage breed in 1934. Its distinguishing feature is its mottled or striped fur and long, shaggy, messy tail. It is a very robust dog with well developed muscles and strong legs. It is also very energetic. He is medium sized – between 45 and 50 centimeters (1.5 to 1.8 feet) at the withers.

These dogs were used as hunting dogs, including wild boars. Their alert and lively temperament allows them to continue to perform their hunting functions, but they are also excellent companions; He is affectionate, social and protective.

Japanese Spitz


The Japanese Spitz is a beautiful white dog that stands out for its thick fur. It extends all the way to its tail, while on the face it has very short hair. It has large eyes, a sharp mouth, and triangular and erect ears that complete its elegant, stylish appearance.

This dog falls into the category of small dogs, measuring just 30 to 38 centimeters (1 to 1.2) at the withers. Its sturdy body and lively character make it a wonderful, highly intelligent and loyal companion.

Japanese Chin


Also called the Japonese Chin, this is another small breed of dog that measures around 25 centimeters (10 inches). It has white, long, smooth and silky fur with black or red spots. It has large eyes, wide and drooping ears, and a long hairy tail. These features give it an elegant look. In addition, it is an obedient, sweet, intelligent and very attractive pet.

As you can see, Japanese dog breeds are fascinating so would be a great choice for anyone to have at home. Of course, at the end of the day, all dogs are cute, regardless of their ancestry or place of origin.

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