Japan is known for preserving its native dogs as they are a source of great pride and reverence. Japanese dog breeds may seem almost similar in temperament and appearance; however, each breed has its distinctive personality and traits. Throughout history, these dogs have been entrusted with many coveted missions.
6 Japanese Dog Breeds
Akita Inu is well-known as ‘Hachiko’. This adorable pup’s legacy lives on as a Japanese dog statue in Shibuya. Akita Inu is more considerable and bulkier and is part of the spitz family. Their traits are ideal for cold weather, such as long and thick fur and a double coat.
With a bear-like face and large bone structure, this Japanese dog breed can be brindle, red, sesame, fawn, or pure white. However, having urajiro markings on cheeks, chest, and tail areas is a must.
The Akita is a confident, independent, and reserved dog, and are highly loyal and protective of their family members. Belonging to a territorial breed, they don’t bond well with members of the same sex.
Kishu Ken is rarely found, even in Japan. According to a Japanese legend, this dog breed is believed to be descended from wolves, thereby being called a hunting dog. They have a powerful hunting instinct, are very intelligent, independent, friendly, and brave. However, by being more impulsive than other Japanese dog breeds, they are not be left alone with smaller pets.
Being often used in modern-day hunting, this medium-sized dog breed is slightly heavier and has more developed muscles.
Shiba Inu is the most famous Japanese breed, being the smallest among dogs’ spitz breed in Japan. They have a wedge-shaped snout, small pointy ears, and a curly tail. Shiba Inu possess an almost perfectly balanced, compact, and muscular body. Their coat colors include sesame, red, black/tan, and cream.
They need to be socialized early. Otherwise, they can be aloof and stubborn. Many new dog owners are attracted to it due to its stunning good looks and compact size.
Hokkaido Inu or Hokkaido Ken has a thicker outer coat, smaller ears, and more gigantic paws that help them deal with the intense cold. Being intelligent, devoted, and healthy, they are bred to be hunting dogs such that they are capable of managing wild boars and even smaller bears.
Hokkaido Inu develop a powerful bond with their owners, and they are attention-seekers. Having more of the older genes, they are strong-willed and can be fiery at times. However, with the right training, they can be very obedient dogs.
Kai Ken is affectionately nicknamed ‘tiger dog’ due to their coat colors while being the most distinctive of the original Japanese dog breeds. This dog breed originated in Japan’s mountain regions and was bred to be hunters with well-developed muscles. Other traits include quick learners, knowledgeable, like to please their owners, and are relatively independent.
The Kai dogs are available in three colors, red brindle, medium brindle, and black brindle. Their temperament is somewhat similar to other native dogs – loyal, independent but fierce, and they will fight to the death to protect their master.
Shikoku Ken is a beautiful looking spitz-type breed having a wolf-like appearance. As a result, they are hard to find, even in Japan. Shikoku Ken is more comfortable to handle, more friendly with other dogs, and is not stubborn.
The Shikoku is a striking looking dog with fierce features, having sesame, black/tan, red, and white as their coat colors. They need extensive physical and mental stimulation and can be even aggressive to strangers. However, they form a strong bond with their owners.
Japanese dog breeds are beautiful, and by making them pets, they can be great companions. These dog breeds can be small, fluffy, large, or smooth. So, next time if you’re considering buying a fur-baby, do check out these Japanese breeds.