Japanese dogs – they’re cute, they’re cuddly, and we often find them as the subject of silly dog memes circulating around the internet! Read on and find out why Japanese dog breeds make for the perfect pet!

A Great Origin Story

Even though Japanese dog breeds look like harmless little pups that couldn’t even hurt a fly, historical records show that they were actually bred to hunt. They are a great asset to the ancient hunters of Japan known as the “matagi”. In the past, they were also popularly known as Japanese fighting dogs.

It’s quite easy to point out where certain Japanese breeds of dogs came from. Usually, they are named after their native land in Japan. Some examples of this would be the Akita Inu which is a native of Akita in main island Japan, Tosa Inu from Tosa which is a city in Shikoku, and Hokkaido Inu from Hokkaido which is an island in the northern part of the country.

Japanese Pups Have an Amazing Personality

Japanese dog breeds are known to be aloof with strangers but they are the sweetest companions to humans who they consider as family. They are usually very good around children as well. Japanese pups are dominant but those who are well-trained are capable of controlling their aggression towards other dogs.

Did You Know Japanese Dogs Make Great Emotional Support Animals!

Japanese dogs have always been a good companion to hoomans ever since the hunter-gatherer days. These good-natured creatures can effortlessly calm you down even in the most stressful situations with their adorable little face and funny quirks. These are just a couple of reasons why Japanese dog breeds are the perfect emotional support animals.

7 Japanese Dog Breeds that Can Make a Great Pet

There are a lot of Japanese dog breeds out there but here a few that could make a great ESA for you!

1. Hokkaido Dog: A Faithful Companion

This medium-sized purebred makes for a lovable companion, especially around kiddos. While they are very nice to children, a Hokkaido is never afraid to bark at strangers. These dogs also LOVE to explore and wander outside the fence but these escape artists usually find their way back home. That just proves to you how loyal they are!

2. Shikoku Inu: An Ancient Breed of Japan!

The Shikoku Inu is another native purebred dog who loves to hunt outside and play indoors. Its pack-oriented nature makes it very protective of children. Shikoku dogs love to be around people, and will rarely bite. Instead, they would greet strangers by jumping and licking!

3. Kai Ken

This is the rarest of the medium-sized Japanese purebreds. It is a natural hunter driven by curiosity and athleticism. It will even climb trees as a means to escape fences! Although it is loyal and friendly towards family members, the Kai Ken is more of a one-person type who prefers the company of its primary owner.

4. Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz are smaller than purebreds but they bark with the confidence of an XXL hound! This highly obedient, alert, and playful dog thrives on outdoor environments. They are the type that craves human attention.

5. Tosa

Also known as the Japanese Mastiff, the Tosa breed is larger than other Japanese dogs. Despite its loud bark, the Tosa is quiet most of the time. Because of their introverted nature, they prefer to spend most of their time indoors with their owner.

6. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin – the best choice for those who prefer smaller dogs. They are obedient, mild-mannered, and rarely bark at strangers.

7. Akita

The Akita breed is famous for their loyalty, obedience, and courage. These large, imposing dogs were bred to protect families and their homes. Intelligent and vigilant, the Akita is alert in identifying strangers and threats.

Akita Vs Shiba: The Two Favorite Dogs of Japan!

These popular Japanese dog breeds, Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu, are two of the most popular Japanese companion dogs. Owning both of them can be a very fun experience for dog lovers. If you wanna know which one fits your personality best, here’s a quick comparison of the two breeds.

The Akita requires more grooming because it is larger and more muscular than the Shiba. The Shiba, on the other hand, is half the size of an Akita. However, it requires more exercise because it is twice as energetic as the latter.

A well-trained Shiba can maintain a reserved demeanor in the presence of strangers. The Akita is friendlier to humans because to its pack-oriented nature, but, it is more aggressive towards other animals.

Although both breeds always enjoy the presence of their human companions, the Akita is more of a one-person dog who prefers its primary owner while the Shiba craves the attention of the entire family.

Hachi the Famous Akita

One of the greatest examples of the Akita Inu’s loyalty is the real-life story of the faithful Hachiko.

In 1924, a university professor named Hidesaburō Ueno adopted a golden brown Akita whom he named Hachiko, or Hachi for short. The two formed a special bond, and Hachi always accompanied his owner to the Shibuya Train Station in Tokyo every the morning before he left for work. Hachiko then comes back in the afternoon to wait for the professor as he returns from work.

But on May 21, 1925, the professor suddenly died due to a cerebral hemorrhage and never returned.

Hachiko was adopted by a new owner, but he still kept coming back to Shibuya Station every day and waited for Professor Ueno to arrive. The Japanese media published his story in 1932 and Hachiko became famous. People visited him in the station every afternoon to give him treats, until he died peacefully on March 8, 1935.

He was buried beside the tomb of Hidesaburō Ueno in a Tokyo cemetery. A bronze statue of Hachi the faithful dog was placed outside Shibuya station in honor of his memory.

The Doge Breed aka the Most Famous Japanese Dog Meme

Dogs are one of the most meme-able creatures because of their funny facial expressions and quirks. A famous example is the meme popularly known as “Doge”.

A photograph of Doge from 2010 has been used as a meme template for internet users to repost with texts in Comic Sans font which express their interior monologues. The silly captions, together with Doge’s adorable face, made the meme popular in 2013.

“Much famous, so attention!”

What Type of Dog is Doge?

The original Doge is based on a picture of a Shiba Inu owned by Atsuko Satō. The dog was named Kabosu because her face was round like the citrus fruit of the same name. Another Shiba Inu which became a Doge meme was Suki, a female dog who was given a shrunken scarf by his owner Jonathan Fleming.

Spitz Breeds: They’re Not All from Japan!

American Eskimo Dog

Originating from the German Spitz, this companion dog was bred to guard families and their homes. They are generally non-aggressive but very alert and territorial in nature.

Siberian Husky

The famous medium-sized sled dog was originally bred in Northern Asia. They are gentle, intelligent, and easy to train. They also love to howl!

Spitz Dogs Who are From Japan!

The Japanese Spitz is a crossbreed of other spitz breeds. They are popularly known for their fluffy, white double coat and curled over tail covered in long, soft fur. The Japanese Spitz is small to medium in size and resembles their Pomeranian cousins.

Japanese Dog Names for Fluffy Dog Breeds

Need help naming your Japanese dog? We have a list for you! Japanese names are beautiful and full of meaning, so here are a few examples that would be great for your dogs.

Japanese Pet Names for Your Spitz Dog

Female names:

Akira – bright/clear

Hiromi – generous beauty

Katsumi – victorious beauty

Natsumi – beautiful summer

Sakura – cherry blossom

Male names:

Haruki – shining sun

Kenji – strong, healthy second son

Shinji – true second son

Takashi – prosperous, noble

Yoshiro – righteous son

5 Facts You Need to Know About Japanese Dogs

  1. There are two types of Akitas. The Japanese breed has a refined bone structure and a distinct fox-like head, while the American-bred Akita has a larger bone structure and is very muscly like a bear.
  2. The Shiba Inu’s coat has unique colors. Red is their most common fur color, but some of them have the color of sesame or a combination of black and tan.
  3. The Japanese Chin behaves like a cat. It wipes its face using its paws and has no trouble balancing itself in high places.
  4. The Kai Ken is considered rare even in Japan because their breed was isolated in the mountains of Kai Province for centuries. Their natural habitat was also the reason why they developed amazing climbing skills!
  5. The Tosa originated from the native Shikoku Inu which was crossbred with large European dogs like the Old English Bulldog, Mastiff, and Great Dane.

So, How to Choose the Best Japanese Dog to Be Your ESA?

All Japanese dog breeds make for a very good companion. They will be there to help you get through even the most difficult days. No matter which breed you choose, these Japanese doggos are surely going to be a great source of comfort and happiness! See if you qualify today to begin your ESA journey!

Common Questions