Six Japanese Dog Breeds And Other Dog Babies You Should Know

A dog sitting on top of a grass covered field

Six Japanese dog breeds are called Niho-ken, and these dog breeds are considered the national treasure in Japan, and exporting a dog from japan has its challenges. The six Japanese dog breeds consist of Shiba Inu, Kishu Ken, Shikoku Ken, Hokkaido Ken, Kai Ken, and Akita Inu. The famous dog Hachiko who showed the world how loyal dogs are and have a statue in Shibuya was an Akita Inu. The standard was determined in 1934 by Nihon-ken-Hozonkai. This organization is responsible for the preservation and maintaining of the registries of the six Japanese dog breeds.

Six Japanese Dog Breeds

A large brown dog lying on the ground

Following are the six Japanese dog breeds: –

Shibu Inu: – Shibu Inu is the smallest of the spitz breed and one of the most popular Japanese breeds, and a Japanese national treasure. They weigh around 7-10 kilograms and are 33-45 centimeters tall.

Kishu Ken: – these dogs are hunting dogs and are descended from wolves. These dogs are still rare even in Japan. They weigh from 14-27 kilograms and are 43-55 centimeters tall. They are active, intelligent, and very impulsive compared to other dog breeds.

Shikoku Ken: – this dog breed is an attractive spitz-type breed whose appearance resembles a wolf. They are easy to handle and are not aggressive towards other dogs. They weigh from 15-20 kilograms and are 43-53 centimeters tall.

Kai Ken: – they are more commonly known as tiger dog because of the color of their coat. They weigh from 4-9 kilograms and are 33-43centimeters tall.

Hokkaido Ken: – Hokkaido Ken has an older bloodline compared to other Japanese dog breeds. They have a thick coat, small ears as well as large paws to help them survive the harsh winters. They weigh approximately 20 kilograms and are 46-52 centimeters tall.

Akita Inu: – this breed of dog is very dominant and is very good with children. They weigh about 35-45 kilograms and are nearly 61-71 centimeters tall. They are also known to behave very poorly with other dogs of the same sex.

Owning a Japanese dog outside of Japan

A woman holding a dog posing for the camera

It is difficult to get any Japanese dog breed outside of Japan. Many people come to Japan to buy a dog, and exporting the dog comes with its unique challenges. Since dogs are considered Japanese national treasures, not all breeders want to export the dogs. Prices for younger pups are less compared to older pups. Along with the cost, the person must also pay for the vaccinations, crate for the dog, kenneling fees, animal quarantine inspection, among others.

Japanese dog names

Here are some of the Japanese dog names you might want to explore.

Some of the popular names for Japanese male dogs are – Aki, Sora, Ryuu, Koji, Kuma.

Some of the popular names for female dogs are – Momo, Nana, Natsume, Hana.


Japanese dogs are cute, but exporting them is an expensive matter but is all worth going the extra mile to get. The next time you are planning to adopt a dog baby, you should be considering one of these beautiful dog breeds to be your best friends.

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