Top 10 Popular Japanese Dog Breeds List

10 Japanese Dog Breeds

Ah, Japan. A true love of mine. Of these ten breeds, I'd own seven of them. Check out ten dog breeds originating from Japan.

1. Akita Inu
The Japanese Akita is a brave, loyal dog. The most famous of them being Hachiko, the dog who waited for his owner every day at the train station to come home. When his owner died at work, Hachiko stayed at the train station every day, waiting for his master, until the day he died. Akitas are super dominant dogs, not for a first-time owner. (Brindle is very rare, they are most commonly orange or white)

2. American Akita
















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The American Akita, or Great Japanese Dog, is the Akita Inu's Americanized counterpart. American Akitas come in two coat types; long (L), and short (R). American Akitas have great loyalty, tremendous bravery, and a lot of love. These dogs are way more dominant than the Japanese Akitas, and they really need a no-nonsense owner.
3. Hokkaido Inu
The Hokkaido Inu, also known as the Ainu Dog, is a often used for hunting. It's hard to tell looking at their size (18-20 in.  30-45 lbs.) and their cute faces. They are fearless hunters who have been around for so long. Hokkaidos are very sweet and loyal dogs, they're also really smart pups.

4. Japanese Spitz
This is a fairly new breed, they were bred in the early 1900s by a breeder in Tokyo who brought two Samoyeds from Canada, who were then bred with two random white dogs. By 1955, the Japanese Spitz was the most popular breed in Japan! The Japanese Spitz is merry by nature, very friendly, loving, loyal, intelligent, and they love children!

5. Japanese Terrier
Also known as the Mikado Terrier, this dog is the smallest of the Japanese breeds (12-13 in.  10-13 lbs.). Like most little dogs, they can become nervous and develop Small Dog Syndrome. With the right owner, the Japanese Terrier is an agile, cheerful, intelligent, alert dog who is eager to learn, and eager to love!

6. Kai Ken
I've been told this breed is called the Tora Inu, due to its astonishing brindle markings. They have a wild spirit but they will always remain faithful to their masters. They have a natural instinct to roam and hunt.

7. Kishu Inu
The Kishu is an ancient breed hailing from the mountains of the Wakayama and Mie prefectures. Today they are loyal, loving companion dogs, but their original purpose was to hunt wild boars. They are devoted to their families and are very smart.
8. Shiba Inu
The Shiba is the most popular indigenous Japanese breed today. They are available in four colors; red, black and tan, white, and sable/black sesame. Shibas are obedient, smart, shy, and extremely patient. They aren't the most friendly or most affectionate dogs, but they make good watchdogs, and are very loyal to their master.
9. Shikoku Inu
Another ancient breed, the Shikoku is still used today for boar hunting due to their muscular body, outstanding stamina, and ferocious hunting abilities. Shikokus are great companion dogs; they are loving, devoted, and very smart.

10. Tosa Inu
On the left is a male Tosa. Look at those folds, that massive muscular body. On the right is a female Tosa, much smaller and lighter. The Tosa Inu was used as a terrifying fighting dog. On average, they weigh about 150 lbs. They were bred from crossing Shikokus with large, aggressive mastiff-type dogs, during the Ansei era (1854-1860). During the Showa era (1926-1989), the original Tosa was bred with dogs like the Bullmastiffs and English Bulldogs, to create a much less feared, less aggressive dog who could serve as a companion as well. Tosas are patient, fearless, friendly, and loyal.


Japanese Chin:
Despite their names, Japanese Chins actually originated from Korea, and were later brought to Japan to be further developed.