Small Japanese Dog Breeds

Small Japanese Dog Breeds

Dogs hold a very special place in the hearts and lives of the Japanese, and are the most popular choice of pets in the country. Read on to know more about popular small Japanese dog breeds.

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The Japanese are extremely fond of dogs, and love to keep them as pets. In fact, according to a survey conducted in October 2020, dogs were the most popular choice of pets throughout Japan, with 13.5% of Japanese owning a dog (followed closely by cats, at 10.7%). This also explains the reason that dogs dominate the country’s pet-supplies markets.

The country is home to a number of dog species, and in this blog, we will be discussing some of the most popular small Japanese dog breeds.

Small Japanese Dog Breeds:

1. Shiba Inu

While the Shiba Inu might be the smallest of all the breeds that we will be discussing, the size of its body says nothing about the size of its personality. This breed is considered to be the most ancient of the Japanese dog breeds, and was once close to extinction.

The Shiba Inu weighs a mere 20 pounds and, with its white-and-orange coat, almond-colored eyes, and prick ears, closely resembles a fox. Thanks to its tremendous agility and athleticism, this breed is considered to be an excellent hunter.

While Shiba Inus can be stubborn, this trait can be curbed with early socialization and training.

2. The Japanese Spitz

Spitz is renowned for its curly tails, pointy ears, and genuine smiles. This snow-white dog breed’s double coat is prone to a great deal of seasonal shedding, which happens around twice a year. Much like the Shiba Inu, the Spitz possesses prick ears and a small head.

They are extremely playful and energetic, and love to frolic around, although they do not mind resting either. In addition, this breed is quite the spitfire, and is always ready to bark its head off as soon as it notices a stranger approaching your home.

All in all, the Spitz is an awesome companion dog. Its craving for attention and cuddles makes it an ideal choice for children and older people. They are unshakeable in their loyalty, and will follow their owners to the very ends of this earth.

3. Japanese Chin

The spaced-out eyes, feathery tail, and a ‘smashed’ face make the Japanese Chin a rather interesting spectacle.

One of the oldest dog breeds in Japan, the Chin used to reside in royal courts. The silken and long fur, lined with a feathery texture, has allowed this breed to retain its elegance across the decades. The Chin comes in two color combinations: red-white and black-white.

It is believed that this breed possesses several feline traits, which adds to its uniqueness.

If you are considering getting a Japanese Chin, the one thing that you need to remember is that this breed loves jumping above everything else. So, if you find your Chin leaping from one piece of furniture to the other, do not be surprised.

Its playful, well-mannered, and friendly demeanor makes it the perfect family pet.

4. Kishu

The Kishu (also known as ‘Kishu Ken) has been walking the face of this earth for several millennia. Originating from the Kishu region, this breed was one of the go-to choices for hunting deer and boar.

The Kishu’s build is quite similar to that of the Shiba Inu, while its curled tail, prick ears, and triangular ears make it evident that it is part of the Spitz clan.

This breed is immensely affectionate towards its family, and has a particular admiration for children. As such, you can expect the Kishu to be one-hundred percent devoted to its family or single owner.

Kishu has a lot of positive traits, some of which include competitiveness, alertness, intelligence, and playfulness.

5. Hokkaido

The Hokkaido is perhaps the Spitz family’s super-dog, and has thick skin, unwavering stamina, and strong bones. As such, this breed can withstand incredibly harsh and cold conditions.

The Hokkaido’s outside ruggedness stems from the fact that it was initially bred for hunting. Owing to its dominant streak and high intelligence, the Hokkaido also often serves as working dogs.

Much like the Kishu, the Hokkaido is extremely fond of its family, and will never leave its side. It does not shy away from expressing its affection, which means that you can expect to be bombarded with cuddles and kisses.

Last but not the least, the Hokkaido’s sense of smell is perhaps unmatched by any other breed.

6. Japanese Terrier

The Japanese Terrier is a rare breed, and goes by a number of other names, including the Oyuki Terrier, Nippon, Nihon, and Mikado.

Possessing a slim and slender build, Japanese Terriers hardly ever grow beyond 33 cm (13 inches) in height. The coat is dense and short, and will generally either have a white-tan or white-black color combination. Typically, the Terrier’s head is black.  

With this miniature breed, you need not worry about biting, although you can expect a lot of hugs and cuddles. The Japanese Terrier is a wonderful friend, and will never fail to bring a smile to your face. Sometimes, it tends to become specifically attached to a certain family member, and might become quite protective.

This breed is smart and easily trainable, and gets along quite well with other pets.

Final Word

 To conclude, every Japanese dog breed is different to the others, offering unique physical and personality traits. While some are known for their unique facial features, others are popular for their affectionate nature. Many of these breeds are quite sought after throughout the world, and are used as guard dogs, working dogs, hunters, and, of course, companions.

To learn more about different dog breeds and what makes them unique, please feel free to check out some of the other blogs on our website.