Dogs in Japanese, have been a staple of Japanese culture for centuries. Historically, these dogs were used for everything from hunting wild boar to sitting on the laps of the wealthy. Six native breeds—the shibu inu, Akita, Kai ken, Kishu, Tosa inu, and Hokka have been designated “Nihon Ken” by the Japanese Dog Preservation Society. These dogs’ ancestry stretches back thousands of years, to the Paleolithic era. The Japanese people value their canine companions highly and frequently celebrate and commemorate them.

Some rarest dogs breeds are not exported very often because of the country’s strong attachment to its cultural assets. Japan’s longstanding affection for canines is reflected in the country’s literature, art, and even ancient funerary customs, which date back thousands of years. Japanese hunting dogs became essential for the old sport of falconry during the Kamakura period, and literary works like The Pillow Book and The Tale of Genji show dogs wandering freely throughout the early capital of Heian-ky.

Dogs Native To Japan Are As Follow

Shiba Inu


The Shiba Inu is the most widely owned breed of dog in Japan. Being originally bred as hunters, these little, fox-like canines are good natured and strong. They can reach a size between 13.5 and 16.5 inches in height and 17 and 23 pounds, thanks to their thick double coat of fur. Shiba have been in existence for centuries, with the earliest examples appearing around 300 B.C. They first arrived in the country in 1954 and have been officially recognized as a breed by the AKC since 1992.

Breeders have responded to the demand for a smaller Shiba by developing the Mame Shiba. These are a favorite among city dwellers and those who just want to improve their aesthetic. These are also small Japanese dog that looks like a husky. Male Mame Shibas are small, reaching only a foot in height and weighing 10 to 14 pounds at maturity. Shiba Inus are the most well-known and well recognized Japanese dog breed due to its voluminous coats, cute expressions, and endless supply of internet memes. Despite their cute appearance, Shibas are not an extremely friendly breed. They are high-energy and need regular exercise.



Kishus are medium-sized dogs with a high level of physical and mental vigor. They have short, dense fur that can be white, red, or sesame. Their tail is curled and their ears are pointy. Males can range in height from 17 to 22 inches and weight from 30 to 60 pounds. Breeding has resulted in many all-white Kishus. White dogs were favored by hunters because they stood out more in the snow.

The Kishus originated in the Wakayama prefecture of Japan. They were developed from hardy canines that roamed the mountains and made excellent hunting companions. Despite being a friendly breed, a Kishu shouldn’t be adopted unless you have a fenced-in yard for him to go around in. Large game hounds like Kishus, also known as Kishu Kens, do best in wide areas where they may patrol and protect their territory. However, it is their pleasant demeanor and obedience that make them such a wonderful pet, especially for the busy person.

Japanese Chin


The Japanese Chin, despite its small size, is the least important of Japan’s six approved dog breeds. In addition, this breed has long hair and was not developed for hunting. These dogs are popular as companions in both Japan and the United States. Although their origins are up for question, it is certain that these canines were beloved companions of Japanese nobility hundreds of years ago. They’ve been in the West since at least 1888, when the American Kennel Club officially recognized them as a breed.

The Japanese Chin, also known as a Japanese Spaniel, is a tiny dog that stands 8 to 11 inches tall and weighs 7 to 11 pounds about the same as an adult cat. While this breed of silky coat may be on the little side, its heart is anything but. The Japanese Chin is kind and caring with his friends and family, yet he isn’t afraid to branch out and meet new people. Despite their reputation for intelligence, Japanese Chins are notoriously lazy and prefer lying on the couch over playing at the dog park.



The Akita, like other spitz breeds, has characteristics and a common ancestor with these other dogs. The Akita is a popular family pet despite the fact that its thick double coat takes considerable upkeep on account of the dog’s courageousness, strength, loyalty, and affection. They can get rather big, topping 100 pounds at their heaviest. After World War II, the Akita was smuggled into the United States via airplane, where it swiftly captured the hearts of American servicemen and helped to establish the breed’s reputation here.

These dogs are reserved and reserved around strangers, yet they open up to their families and show them their playful and cuddly sides. Comparatively, the Akita has the largest paw among the Nihon Ken. These massive, double-coated canines can easily reach 100 pounds and 2 feet in height. Originally developed as sturdy hunting companions in the early 1700s, Akitas now spend most of their time protecting their human families. Because of the breed’s high esteem in Japan, Akita figurines are frequently given as presents to the parents of newborn children to represent health, prosperity, and longevity. Akita is also one of the big Japanese dog.

Tosa Inu

The Tosa inu, a rare breed of Japanese mastiff, is the largest and most powerful Japanese dog breeds. In the region of Tosa where it first appeared, dogfighting was a popular spectator sport. Tosa ken, Tosa token, Japanese fighting dog, and Japanese mastiff are some of its alternate names. Dogfighting is still legal in Japan, therefore it is used today. Tosas are not only incredibly athletic, but also extremely people-oriented and ready to please. Some countries have outlawed these large, menacing dogs because they may weigh up to 200 pounds.

The modern Tosa exhibits shy displays of devotion for family members but is often reserved towards outsiders. They keep a close eye out for other dogs, especially strangers. The Tosa Inu is among the most dangerous dog breeds. This behemoth can range in size from between 130 to 200 pounds and 32 inches at the shoulder, depending on the specific breed. Several countries have banned the breed because of its violent past. It was created in Japan for the sole purpose of being a fighting breed. Even under ideal conditions, dogs of this breed’s tendency toward overprotection might lead to aggression. The Tosa Inu is a breed of Japanese dog that was originally bred for fighting. They require professional caretakers, socialization, and training to overcome their aggressive tendencies, as they can be territorial and dominant.

Japanese Terrier

The Japanese Terrier is happy to fill the role of lap dog if that’s what you’re after. Japanese Terriers are happy to join the family and can brighten anyone’s day with their boundless energy and sense of humor. They are, however, as scarce as many other Japanese dogs. In the 17th century, little native Japanese dogs were bred with smooth fox terriers, creating the first taneko.

Popular as lap dogs, they weren’t formally recognized by the Japan Kennel Club until 1930.Even if you’ve never seen a Japanese Terrier before, you can tell one by its distinct coloring. The rest of their body is white, but their head and upper neck are black. You can picture this unusual dog breed by picturing a black dog with a white coat.

Hokkaido Inu

This purebred, which is also known as the Hokkaido Ken, has the longest lineage of any Spitz breed. Intelligent, hardy, and loyal, Hokkaido Inus are wonderful companion animals. This breed has incredible stamina and endurance thanks to its sturdy build, thick coat, and big paws. Their short ears and thick fur help them stay warm in chilly environments.

These dogs were bred to take on large game like wild boars and bears, and they delivered thanks to their sturdy builds and independent natures. As long as they are properly socialized and trained, they also get along well with other animals and people. Hokkaido encourages affection and can pay it back with hugs, kisses, and a willingness to play.

Kai Ken


Despite its Japanese heritage, this breed is thought to have descended from the Northern Spitz. The Kai region of Yamanashi prefecture is home to the Kai Ken, where he serves as a hunting dog in the Southern Alps. The mature fur of a Kai Ken, which weighs 12–18 kg, takes on the coloration of a tiger and has a steely face and solid body. A strong predatory mentality makes it challenging to socialize and teach this dog as a pet. When it comes to the original Japanese dog breeds, the Kai Ken stands out as one of the most unique.

It’s simple to see why these dogs have earned the term “tiger dog”; their fur is a vivid shade of red and orange. The Kai Ken was developed to hunt wild boar, deer, and even birds. The breed’s origins in the mountains of Japan explain why dogs of this type are very agile and muscular. They are independent but devoted to their owners and have a high capacity for learning new things. Given their ancestry, Kai Kens are high-energy dogs with a natural propensity for hunting.


Dogs of Japanese origin tend to be friendly, devoted, and energetic pets. Many of these breeds are not recommended for first-time dog owners because of their high intelligence and protective nature. In the end, your knowledge, tastes, and way of life will determine which breed is best for your home. Dutch can help you find a suitable apartment dog or locate training materials to curb destructive behavior. The veterinarians in our network are well-versed in diagnosing, treating, and controlling a wide range of ailments, from behavioral concerns to serious illnesses. Japanese dog breeds are some of the world’s oldest, making them ideal for those who want an “old-world” pet.


What is the largest dog breed in Japan?
The Japanese mastiff, or Tosa Inu as they are called in Japan, is the largest dog breed in the country. The Tosa Inu, unlike most other Japanese dog breeds, is a mastiff rather than a spitz.
What is the most intelligent Japanese dog?
The Shiba-Inu is the most common dog in Japan, making up 80% of the total number of dog breeds there. The breed is smart and very people-oriented. They enjoy exercise and playing with toys because they descended from little hunting dogs.
Are dogs popular in Japan?
Those who are unable to keep their pets for whatever reason often abandon them there. Dogs have a wonderful existence in Japanese culture. Even in restaurants, both the owner and the dog are welcome to dine together.
What is the expensive Japanese dog?
The Shikoku, a Japanese breed made famous by the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” consistently ranks among the most expensive canine species. Typically, you should expect to pay between $4000 and $6000.
What Japanese dog is similar to the Shiba Inu?
Hokkaidos, another breed with a similar appearance to the Shiba Inu, are active dogs with a thick, fluffy hair and a generous disposition. Hokkaidos are great guard dogs because of their protective attitude, and they also make great family pets because of their kind, loyal nature.

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