Japanese breeds of dogs: Top 12 Most Popular Dog Breeds

The Japanese breeds of dog are the Akita Inu, Kishu Ken, Shiba Inu, Shikoku Ken, Hokkaido Ken and Kai Ken. They are all native to Japan.

Japan has many native breeds of dog, five of which are officially recognized by the Kennel Club of Japan. The five breeds are the Akita Inu, Hokkaido dog, Kishu Ken, Shiba Inu and Shikoku.

Japan is a country with a rich culture and an ancient history. The Japanese people are very proud of their country, and they have many traditions that are deeply rooted in Japanese society.

The Japanese have a long history of dog breeding. In fact, the first breed of dogs in Japan was the Shiba Inu and it is one of the most popular breeds today.

The Akita is another popular dog that has been bred for centuries in Japan. This breed has a number of features that make it stand out from other breeds and it is also known for its loyalty to its owner.

There are many more breeds that originated from Japan, including the Kishu Ken, Hokkaido Ken, Kai Ken, Hokkaido Inu and Shikoku Ken.

Top 12 Most Popular Dog Breeds

1) Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a small, agile dog that originated in Japan. They are known for their bright red coat and their independent, stubborn personality. They are members of the Spitz family and have been used as working dogs for centuries.

The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized dog, usually weighing between 18-22 pounds. The breed has a double coat which is short on the head and legs but long and thick on the tail and body. The breed sheds heavily twice a year but they are one of the few breeds that don’t shed at all in between these periods.

The Shiba Inu can be an excellent pet for someone living in an apartment or small house. They are generally energetic and intelligent dogs who need regular exercise and mental stimulation as well as plenty of affection from their owners.

The Shiba Inu has many health problems that need to be taken into consideration before adopting one as a pet. These include: hip dysplasia, cataracts, deafness, entropion.

 Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu

2) Shikoku Inu

Shikoku Inu is a Japanese dog breed. They are medium sized and have a square shaped head. They have a double coat with a short, straight outer coat and an undercoat that is soft to the touch. The color of their coats can be black, or brown with white markings on their chest and feet.

Shikoku Inus are relatively healthy dogs but they may suffer from health problems such as hypothyroidism, allergies, cancerous tumors, cataracts and patellar luxation. Shikoku Inus should not be fed table scraps or other foods that might cause allergic reactions to the dog’s system.

The temperament of the Shikoku Inu is described as alert, intelligent, and easy to train, though they can be stubborn at times. 

Shikoku Inu
Shikoku Inu

3) Hokkaidō-Inu

Hokkaido-Inu is a Japanese dog breed that was originally bred for herding. They are very intelligent and have the ability to work in all kinds of weather conditions. Hokkaido-Inu are also known as the “Japanese Sheepdog” because they have been used for herding sheep, cattle and other livestock.

It is one of the oldest native breeds of Japan. It is also known as Ainu Dog or Hokkaido Dog. The Hokkaido-Inu has a medium build with a height of about 50 to 60 cm and weight from 15 to 25 kg. They have double coats, which are thicker in the winter and lighter in the summer, with a long mane around the neck and back. The hair on their backs forms an arrow shape pointing down towards their tails.

Appearance: They are often confused with Akita Inu dogs because of their similar appearance.

Temperament: The Hokkaidō-Inu is generally friendly with people and animals alike. They are energetic and intelligent dogs that can be trained to do a variety of tasks including herding cattle or guarding homes.


4) Kishu Inu

The Kishu Inu, or “Kishu Ken”, is a medium-sized breed of dog originating in Japan. The Kishu Inu gets its name from the region where it originates, which is Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan. Its name means “lively dog of Kishu.”

The Kishu Inu is a medium-sized breed that closely resembles the Akita. The coat is short and dense with a double coat, which consists of a soft undercoat and coarse outer coat. The color can be red, black, brown, or any combination of these colors.

The Kishu Inu has an average life span of 12 to 15 years and usually weighs between 25 and 45 kilograms (55 to 99 pounds). It has an average height of 51 cm (20 in) at the withers.

They are alert but not aggressive dogs who are very good with children and make excellent companion dogs for the elderly. 

The Kishu Inus temperament depends on the environment it lives in. If it does not live with other dogs or in an active household, it can become timid and shy or aggressive to strangers or other animals.

Kishu Inu
Kishu Inu

5) Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is a small dog that is native to Japan. They are often called “the little lion” because of their appearance, which features a long and thick coat, a bushy tail, and a mane that frames the face. They have an alert temperament and they are very intelligent. The Japanese Spitz is also hypoallergenic and can be good for people who have allergies.

Japanese Spitzes are very active dogs that need plenty of exercise to stay healthy. They should be walked for at least 30 minutes each day or allowed to run free in a safe space like a yard or park. Careful consideration should be taken when choosing the breed’s food as they can’t eat many types of food due to their sensitive stomachs.

Japanese Spitz
Japanese Spitz

6) Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu is a large, powerful dog that is most well-known for its striking appearance and courageous temperament.

The Tosa Inu originated in Japan and was bred as a fighting dog to hunt bear and wild boar. The breed was originally called the Japanese Fighting Dog, but has since been renamed to the Tosa Inu.

There are no health problems specific to this breed other than those that are common to all large dogs. They have a low rate of hip dysplasia, which is an inherited condition that can be passed on from generation to generation.

The Tosa Inu has a very clean coat with minimal shedding, making it an excellent choice for people with allergies or asthma. It also does not drool much, which makes it suitable for

The Tosa Inu is not an easy dog to live with as they have high energy levels, are very stubborn, and can be aggressive at times. The care of the Tosa Inu should be consistent and firm but fair. This will help to maintain their obedience and keep them from developing health problems later in life.

Tosa Inu
Tosa Inu

7) Chin (Japanese Spaniel)

The Japanese Spaniel is a small, active dog. It has a long, soft coat that comes in different colors and patterns. The Japanese Spaniel is not an aggressive or territorial dog. It is friendly with other animals and people.

The Japanese Spaniel needs to be groomed regularly to avoid tangles and mats in its coat. It should be bathed at least once a month to keep it clean and healthy. The Japanese Spaniel does not have many health problems, but some of the most common ones are hip dysplasia, eye problems, and ear infections.

Japanese Spaniel
Japanese Spaniel

8) Kai Ken

Kai Ken are very popular in Japan. They are often associated with the divine. It is believed that they have a high intelligence and are very loyal to their owners.

It is a medium-sized dog with a double coat of fur. Kai Ken are very intelligent and are usually used as hunting or tracking dogs. Kai Ken are also good at herding livestock and can be used as guard dogs.

The Kai Ken has a calm temperament and is easy to train. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time and can suffer from separation anxiety if they don’t get enough attention or exercise.

The Kai Ken is a healthy breed with few health problems, but they can be allergic to things such as corn, wheat, soy, beef, pork, chicken eggs, dairy products like milk and cheese.

Kai Ken
Kai Ken

9) Japanese terrier

The Japanese terrier is a small breed of dog. The height of this breed ranges from 12-15 inches and the weight ranges from 10-20 pounds. The Japanese terrier is a lively, intelligent, and alert dog. This breed is also an excellent watchdog.

The Japanese Terrier’s appearance is characterized by its short coat that stands out from the body in a ruff or mane around the neck and shoulders. The dog’s front legs are straight and parallel to each other while its back legs are slightly longer than the front ones.

It has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, but can live up to 16 years if it is taken care of well enough.

Japanese terrier
Japanese terrier

10) Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is a medium-sized, spitz-type dog breed originating from the mountainous regions of Japan. They are a very popular breed in Japan, but are not as well known outside of their country. The Akita Inu is one of the most intelligent and courageous dog breeds, with a strong sense of loyalty to their family and strong protective instincts.

The Akita Inu has a thick double coat which can be straight or wavy and long on the body with shorter hair on the face, ears and legs. They have an undercoat that is soft and dense for insulation during cold weather. Their coat color can be black, red or sesame (a mixture of black and red). The Akita Inu usually weighs between 55-75 pounds .

Akita Inu
Akita Inu

11) Sakhalin Husky

The Sakhalin Husky is a medium-sized, spitz-type dog that originated in Japan. They are known to be intelligent, energetic, and social dogs. The Sakhalin Husky has a double coat with the outer coat being thick and the undercoat soft. These dogs are not hypoallergenic and can suffer from health issues like hip dysplasia or eye problems.

The Sakhalin Husky has a friendly temperament with an alert disposition. They are intelligent and independent animals who need regular exercise to keep them from getting bored or destructive.

Sakhalin Husky
Sakhalin Husky

12) Jōmon Dog

The Jōmon dog is a rare dog breed that originated in Japan. They are considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world. The Jōmon dog is one of the most popular pets in Japan and has been for centuries.

The Jōmon Dog’s appearance is similar to an American Eskimo, with a long, narrow muzzle and erect ears. They have a double coat that consists of a soft undercoat and harsh outer coat that helps keep them warm during winter months. The coat comes in many colors including white, brown, black, tan, red and more.

Their temperament is friendly but they are not aggressive like some other breeds might be. This makes them perfect for families who have kids or other animals in their home.

The Jōmon Dog is hypoallergenic and sheds very little hair. This makes them an excellent choice for people with allergies or who have asthma or other respiratory problems because they don’t produce as much dander as other breeds of dogs do.

Jōmon Dog
Jōmon Dog

Published by

Henry Mark

Mark is Editor at dognamesbest.com covering Information about breeds, naming dogs. He's a graduate in veterinary medicine at the agricultural academy.