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Despite only owning a cat, I’ve always considered myself a dog person. More specifically, a Japanese dog person. Yes, I’m totally dogist against non-Japanese dogs (okay, Chow Chows and Malamutes are alright). On top of that, small dogs freak me out (so puntable). There are a couple of problems with loving Japanese dogs, though. First, many breeds are very rare even in Japan, which makes them expensive and, well, rare. The other problem is that if you can’t find one in the country you live importing them is full of its own problems. In some cases it’s impossible.

So, for now I’ll just have to share with you my love for Japanese dogs via the internets. Yes there will be some puppies. Hopefully in the future I can grace you with real life puppy videos after I retire and become a Shikoku Inu breeder / tea farmer.

The Japanese Dog Breeds Map

Native Japanese dogs are “Spitz” type dogs, meaning they tend to have thick fur, pointed ears, and muzzles. Their tails are also curled like a little spring. In Japan, many of the native dog breeds are named after the area in which they came from. For example, the Hokkaido-inu is from Hokkaido. The Shikoku-inu is from Shikoku. The Shiba-inu (perhaps Japan’s most well known dog thanks to the Shiba-inu cam) isn’t really from anywhere in particular, but it’s still very cute.

japanese dog breed map

This little map should give you a little bit of an idea of where these dogs came from. Let’s look at them a little more closely.

Native Japanese Dog Breeds

Japanese dog breeds are some of the most ancient in the world. If you want an “old world” dog, most of the native Japanese dog breeds will do the trick. Have you noticed how many of them look pretty wolfy? That’s a pretty good sign in terms of how old the breed is, I’m guessing.

Shiba-Inu

shiba inu

Almost certainly the most well known Japanese dog.  You may know of this type of dog from the Shiba-inu puppy cam that took the world by storm.

They’re a medium sized dog, have a thick double coat, and has pointed ears with a curly tail (it’s a spitz, after all). They’re one of the  oldest dog breeds, so they tend to be harder to control and don’t do great with children and other dogs without good training. Also, they’re fairly independent and are also known to enjoy running away.

Still, they’re particularly nice dogs and keep themselves nice and clean. I wouldn’t mind having a Shiba-inu if Shikoku-inus and Akita-inus didn’t exist.

Akita-Inu

akita inu

There are several different types of Akita-Inu, including a fairly distinct looking American Akita breed. It has the traits of the Spitz breed, but is one of the larger Spitz dogs. They actually almost went extinct during WWII when soldiers would kill them for their warm coats. An interesting book on this subject is “Dog Man.” It’s about the guy who brought the Akita back from near-extinction. Also, this was the dog in “Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale” starring Japan’s favorite actor of all time, Richard Gere.

The Akita is a combination of dignity, courage, alertness, and devotion. It is however fairly territorial and may not be good with strangers. That being said, it’s also known for “having an affinity for children, just as retrievers have an affinity with sticks and balls,” so, uh, I guess just make sure you don’t toss your child across a field when an Akita is around.

Just like a Shiba, they’re also very clean even licking themselves and cleaning their face after eating, making them my ideal dog.

Hokkaido Ken

hokkaido-inu

Photo by Yukun615

This is a medium sized dog, kind of like a Shiba-inu. It is known for loving its owner, bravery, and its thick coat (it is from Hokkaido after all). Most unusually, it is able to fight the Hokkaido Brown Bear by attacking the bear’s back, holding on to the bear’s neck until the bear runs off. It’s also a good hunter so… not a great farm dog if you want your chickens to stay alive.

Oh, and if you’re wondering where you may have seen this dog before, maybe it’s from reading about these Softbank commercials?

Kai-Ken

kaiken

Photo by Yamabouzu

The Kai-ken is an interesting breed. It’s a medium sized dog  with a harsh feeling coat. It’s known for its tiger-stripe fur. They’re definitely very wild looking. They’re intelligent, agile, alert, and brave. They’re hunters and guard dogs, and do well with their owners but are reserved around strangers without good training.

Shikoku Inu

shikokuinu

Photo by Elektra96

A little bigger than a Shiba, more wolfy, and from the Shikoku area of Japan. The thing that differentiates this breed from Shiba-inus is that they’re a lot less aloof and a lot more alert to what’s going on. That’s pretty much the reason why I like these dogs the most, though they’re harder to come by. They’re loyal, cautious, brave, and are known to chase wild boars for fun. They’re good for more active people since they need to run a lot, so don’t get one and let it sit around in your apartment all day long.

Kishu Inu

kishuken

The Kishu-inu is usually white, has a thick coat, and is a one person / family kind of dog (aka they’re super loyal). They’re good hunters and like to chase prey, but will usually do fine with other dogs if socialized properly. Because of all these things, you’ll want to be an active owner if you own one of these dogs. They need to runnnn.

“Imported Into Japan” Breeds

There are a number of breeds that are considered “Japanese” but were obviously imported. You can tell because they’re as not awesome anymore.

japanese chinJapanese Chin

Ugh, here’s where my dogism shines through. This dumb looking dog is small, has long hair, and is supposedly pretty calm despite being a tiny dog. They were originally brought over from China though Japan created their own distinct version of the breed. Noble houses would keep this breed as a companion / house pet, as it had no actual useful function beyond this. Seriously, though. What a derp-fest that face is.

Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is a fluffy small to medium sized Spitz breed dog that was developed in the 1920s by mixing various spitz dogs together. They’re active, loyal, and fairly smart. They’re good with children, too. One thing that makes them stand out is their longevity. These dogs live 10-16 years, making them one of the longest living dog breeds.

Japanese Terrier

The Japanese Terrier is a small dog that’s “lively and cheerful” in character… aka, it’s probably yappy and annoying. They were brought over via Dutch merchant ships in Nagasaki. They became popular lap dogs in their time, though now they’re a fairly rare breed in Japan.

tosa inuTosa Inu

Some would call this a Japanese breed, though it’s a bit in between. It’s a mix between the Shikoku-inu and European dog breeds (such as the Old English Bulldog, Mastif, St. Bernard, German Pointer, Great Dane, and Bull Terrier. So, there’s many different kinds and they don’t look like Native Japanese dogs, though they are half. This breed is somewhat known to be a “dangerous dog,” though I’m sure with proper raising it’s just as nice as every other dog everyone’s afraid of. It was also raised to be in dog fights back in the day, so, well, yeah, that.

Sakhalin Husky

Not sure if this is really a Japanese dog or not, but it is related to the Akita inu. They were used in the ill-fated 1958 Japanese Antarctic research expedition. The dogs were left behind due to the researchers thinking a relief team would come to save them, but no relief team ever came. These dogs are very rare in Japan right now, probably because they were all left in Antarctica.

Getting A Japanese Dog

hachiko

No matter what the breed it’s definitely harder than easier to get one outside of Japan. The Shiba-inu is probably the most  common outside of Japan, but everything else is somewhat rare. Akitas and Shikoku-inus aren’t impossible to find, but then you run into the Kai-ken and Hokkaido Inu, which are really really tough to find. If you look around you’ll find breeders for a lot of these dogs, but just be prepared to travel a few hours to get to them unless you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky you won’t find any breeders at all. Some of these dogs are Japan-only because they’re “national treasures.”

Importing a Japanese dog from Japan has its own challenges as well. You’ll have your work cut out for you in terms of finding a breeder first of all willing to export their dog overseas, let alone to someone who’s not Japanese. They’re Japanese dogs so many Japanese breeders want to keep them in Japan. The dogs are so rare already.

No matter what you do be prepared to pay up the nose. The most common type of Japanese dog, the Shiba, is probably the cheapest. Still, that will run you ~$1000+. It basically goes up from there. Shikoku-inus will run you a couple thousand. And, if you’re planning to import from Japan be prepared to pay an extra $1000+ to get them shipped. Even if you do it yourself via the airline it’s a few hundred dollars, and there are many hoops around this you’ll have to jump through.

So, basically it’s really hard to import. It’s also hard to find many of these breeds in your own country. It’s not impossible, but if you want a Japanese dog be prepared to spend a lot of money and run into a lot of obstacles.

Any of you have native Japanese breed dogs? I’m guessing it’ll be Shibas and Akitas all around, but would be really interested to hear if anyone has any of the other types of dogs out there. Please don’t tell me you have a Japanese Chin, though. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy please…

P.S. Did you notice the “inu” and “ken” thing after each dog’s name? They’re both readings of the kanji for dog: . The kun’yomi reading is いぬ (inu), and the on’yomi reading is けん (ken). Sometimes they can be switched and that’s okay, so you’ll see DOG+ken and DOG+inu a lot. Just know that if you see either it probably has to do with dogs, not Ken dolls.

Bonus Wallpapers!

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  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    I’m definitely more of a cat person, but I love Shiba and Akita dogs! They’re so adorable!
    I haven’t heard about the other dogs yet, so this was very interesting!
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lissinwonderland Alice Donoghue

    I think you read my mind koichi ( ^-^ ) I’ve been looking at Japanese dog breeds for the past week! Great article! :)

  • http://twitter.com/KillingJar_89 Gianmarco Russo

    Small dogs freak me out as well…they’re kinda hysterical! D:

  • Please consider adopting a rescue dog too!

  • DAVIDPD

    I have spent way too much time on the sub-Reddit for Shiba Inu fans…they are just too cute! Especially when they are pups. Too bad about their temperament being so bat-sh!t crazy!!!

  • simplyshiny

    I love Shibas. Those Shikokus look pretty adorable too. My Vet Tech-y ness will shine through when I say you need to make sure you’re aware of the potential health problems these breeds may have…as well as behavioral and trainability…I also have to say I agree with the person who said to rescue a dog….I have never been as close to a dog as I am to my rescue baby!

  • http://www.awesomegames.co.uk Awesome Games

    I came so close to getting an Akita-Inu as my first dog but ended up with an adorable black lab instead. I will own one of these magnificent animals one day!

  • Aya

    Omg. That Richard Gere photo in the end, I JUST CAN’T.

  • Mescale

    Buy a Japanese dog egg and hide it in your suitcase when you fly back.

    Its a fool-proof plan!

  • Yuume

    I’m really glad this article was written, because most people only know of Akitas and Shibas. I have wanted a Kishu since I first learned about them in 07~!

    Unfortunately, you will only get them in Japan more than likely because there are only two certified breeders outside the country, one in the UK and one in Texas.

    Fortunately for me, I live in Texas, and only a few hours from the breeder! Still unfortunate though, I’ll still have to pay A LOT. However I’m sure it will be well worth it, I am/have been saving up ^_^

    Anyone looking to adopt or purchase a Japanese dog though, please be aware that they are very independent and learn VERY quickly (even to the point of seeing someone open a door and learning how to work the handle). The are one of those dogs who will walk all over you and manipulate you if you let them. Don’t let this deter you though, just a friendly warning that you have to have a strong hand in training and disciplining them. One of the Shiba rescues near me says one of the biggest reasons people leave their dogs with them is because they did not realize how intelligent and high maintenance these dogs can be without the correct training and energy outlets (aka: lots of play and walks/runs).

  • Yuume

    Also, yay! You mentioned Jiro and Taro (the Sakhalin huskies! Should link back to your old article about famous Japanese dogs here~!) sort of…not by name, but you did give them a nod ^_^

    And, just a fun fact, regarding the Akita, they are so loyal and protective of their family, that in old Japan, mothers used to leave their kids alone with an Akita babysitter while they went up the road or to the market.

    However, they do NOT welcome guests or neighborhood kids that might try to come to your fence to pet them. THEY WILL BITE. Even if YOU welcome the guest, you Akita will NOT. They have to get used to them, so be sure to have an introduction plan ready.

    Be sure to socialize your Akita early and teach your kids how to behave around to dog. Also, they see eye contact as challenge, and can act aggressively. Try not to make direct eye contact or get anywhere near the dogs face level.

    (Just some facts from a previous Akita owner, to those aspiring Akita owners. I don’t want to turn anyone off these kinds of dogs, but all the Japanese dogs in this family of dogs are all really high maintenance regarding training and socialization and exercise and health, so PLEASE do LOTS and LOTS of research before getting one. I hate to see good dogs end up in pounds or for adoption because the owner was ill prepared to take care of/train it. These dogs can be some of the most loveable, kindest, fun dogs you’ll ever own.)

  • mo

    I had a Japanese Spitz, lovely dog, so cute! I’ve always been told they only live around 9-11 years and they tend to have knee problems but still my favourite dog of all time!

  • Elliot

    As great as Japanese dogs are, it’s kind of a shame to spend so much time and money to transport a Japanese dog far from its home when there are already so many kinds of lovable dogs in need of homes in your own country.

    Personally, I have a great little ten year old mutt who is honestly the cutest, most adorable dog I have seen so far in my life. Plus, money and transportation were no issue as she was adopted from a local shelter.

    I know Japanese dogs are cool and all, but to me it feels like going through the whole importing process is kind of wrong, like if someone went through so much trouble to adopt a child because they only wanted a white baby or something like that. If you truly want a dog as a companion or extra member of your family, chances are their specific “pure breed” won’t really matter that much.

  • Jay Sanders

    I’ve always had Basset Hounds. I’m guessing the culture never really supported scent hounds or dogs that hunted in packs like European culture did. I wonder what Japan’s increasing urbanization is doing to some of the working breeds and such. I’m imagining miniaturization…and yipping, lots of yipping.

  • Alvin B.

    My mother here in Texas ended up with 3 Shiba Inu back in the 1990s. I’m not sure how she got them, as she doesn’t have a lot of money. One was named Kenny, one Ishiban (of course we know that is spelled wrong lol) and the other I can’t remember the name. They were awesome little dogs, though a bit high-strung. Kenny would get so excited at feeding time that he would come to the front of the run (they had large kennel runs) and jump up and hang on the fence with ALL FOUR PAWS… completely off the ground clinging to the gate. You could open the gate and he would swing right along with it, not letting go until food was in his bowl.

    Sadly, my mother despite many years as a professional breeder and AKC showdog record, couldn’t do much with these three due to declining health and finances… so while she took good care of them the rest of their lives, she didn’t breed them or show them, which was a shame as they were from a very good bloodline.

  • http://thepretentiousgamer.blogspot.com Rachel

    I have a shiba! My friend’s sister breeds them at her house in AZ as a hobby, so we didn’t have to pay all that much for our dog. Raising a puppy was hard U_U but I think it was worth the effort. Our shiba still has some behavior problems, but she’s come a long way since she was a puppy (now she only chews on her toys, pillows, and tissues). I love how bold and confident the shiba personality is–she loves playing with dogs much bigger than her. And since she’s so energetic, it helps us get exercise by walking her. :-)

  • Alvin B.

    I wonder if that is the breeder my mother got her 3 Shibas from back in the 90s? I don’t recall the details, just that she had planned to show them, and ended up not being able to as her health/finances were declining. Prior to that she’d professionally bred & shown both Alaskan Malamutes and American Foxhounds…

    A sad note on the foxhounds recently, the breeder who took over the bloodline my mother had taken over from a previous breeder (a 100 year old bloodline) recently got caught up in a scandal with “animal rescue” in Washington. Most charges were eventually defeated in court, because she was a responsible breeder and a victim of overzealous rescues, but by the time the court case had completed the “rescue” had already spayed/neutered all the dogs and given them away to “new homes” which of course all provided the required adoption fee… so she was only able to recover two of her dogs, and no breeding stock. 100 year old bloodline basically wiped out.

    *ahem*… sorry for the deviation… Some folks don’t realize how difficult it is to operate a breeding operation, especially today when there are numerous legal issues that are not friendly to even the most professional and caring breeders. Then you get a rare breed like a Shiba and you literally can be depending on one or two breeders.

  • syrup16g

    You can still see Tosa Inu fights in Kochi prefecture :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/silvia.lopes Sílvia Lopes

    ^ this.

  • MrsSpooky

    Rescue dogs, yes! A close friend of mine has two Akita Inus. Sadly, I haven’t met the doggies yet (they’re only in Florida for part of the year), but those doggies are their babies. They’ve had Akitas for years. Hadn’t heard about some of the other dogs in this list, they’re so CUTE!!! As much as I love dogs, I’m a cat person, having six now (and possibly a seventh if I can lure him into the house). And for those who might say it, they ARE all rescues. ;)

  • Flora

    I thought for sure Tosa’s were full Japanese….

    Japanese people have kind of a love/hate relationship with them nowadays. I noticed. On the one hand, they’re considered a Japanese dog (and can be great if very well trained); but then there are stories like last year, when an elderly woman was killed by someone’s out-of-control Tosa Inu in the middle of the street.

    They’re the pit bull of Japan, basically.

  • Flora

    You also forgot to mention that Shiba Inu’s & Akita’s are on a lot of insurance watch lists, along with Pitties, Rottweilers, and Chow-Chows.

    They’re reputed to bite (again, owners who don’t bother with training), so if they find out you own one, some companies will hike your rates or simply refuse to cover you.

  • Mandarina

    Don’t you think a smiling face is quite creepy after such a sentence? °°

  • Mandarina

    I totally agree with your comment =)

  • Issei

    It’s important to make something clear about Tosa-ken “fights”. Although I have never been to a match, or seen a video of one (probably due to the ignorant complaints of those who don’t know better), I understand that they are much more like sumo wrestling matches than any kind of bloodsport. A match is cancelled if one or both dogs refuse to fight. Barking and growling call for automatic disqualification. The dogs do not attempt to hurt or kill each other; rather, the objective is to push the opponent out of the fighting area. Sanctioned Tosa-ken matches never result in death. As in sumo, the champion dog is named “yokozuna” and fitted with ceremonial robes. In contrast to Western dog fights, Tosa-ken matches appear much more humane and civilized. My own grandfather is from Kochi prefecture, the home of both Tosa and Kochi-ken (the latter is also known as the Shikoku-inu). It is my hope to one day visit Shikoku with my grandfather and see a Tosa-ken match for myself, to verify that it is not a bloodsport, and simply a display of competitive spirit.

  • grimpoteuthis

    And your header haha, it’s like there was a Richard Gere matrioshka doll with puppies inside ^^

  • el

    My friend had an Akita, he was big. Have not seen another one his size. He got a lot of attention from Japanese visitors when we walked him. He never barked just looked at you with his expressions.

  • Jon

    I’m also a cat person. It’s much easier to do embarrassing things to a cat than it is to a dog, after all. I haven’t made my cat ‘dance’ in years, though.

    I wonder if cats have invaded the internet in Japan as much as they have in America?

  • ウィット

    Koichi! If you like Native Japanese dogs then you should like Thai dogs as well. They’re also “wolfy” and share many similar traits. Japanese dogs are not too hard to come by here in Thailand.

  • Ido013

    You’re wrong, the Softbank CM employs an Akita-inu.. At least that’s what they said they were going to visit to see Otousan’s breeder.

  • じょじざ じゃてく

    Is it just me or are northern dogs cuter :3

    I know someone in japan that said they have a tosa dog and its really lazy :/

  • Kasma88

    The Akita seems to be becoming pretty popular in England at the minute although I’m not sure if that’s the American type rather than the Japanese. What really gets me is that It’s almost like people see dogs as simply a fashion. Over the last few years it’s been fashionable to have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Husky and now it’s Akitas. Problem is, people buy them because they look cool or everyone else is getting one without giving any thought to whether they have time or space for them! Anyone else in the UK noticing this?

  • Ari Tamat

    I also support ADOPTION. Here are two of many websites with information about adopting. Run through Google Translate to get English.
    Chiba Prefecture Animal Welfare Center – http://www.pref.chiba.lg.jp/aigo/
    Shiba-ken Family http://kenkichi48.exblog.jp/

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Housebreaking Richard Gere is a pain. I just had to rant about that.

  • Argos

    I would guess the fact that they look so wolf-like is why they’re so independent. I saw a TV program about dogs that said most dogs have been bred to be so obedient that we’ve basically bred them to stay in a puppy-like state, and that’s why they’re so obedient. It’s also why so many dogs bark a lot and have floppy ears. If you look at wolves, they bark a lot and have floppy ears when they’re pups, but stop barking and get pointed ears once they’re adults. I wouldn’t be surprised if the independence of Japanese dog breeds is related to the fact that they’ve retained their wolf-like characteristics.

    I could be wrong. Like I said, this is just what I heard on TV years ago, but thought it might be interesting :)

  • lonewolfsinger

    me thinks you have met Jeff Dunham and his idea on what is considered a dog. paraphrase “If i can drop kick it over the fence, it ain’t a dog” grins. Of course he was joking about his daughters chihuahua which later he came to his Golden Retriever right hand dog.

  • http://mistersanity.blogspot.com Jonadab

    I think the akita is a significantly more famous breed than the shiba, at least in America.

  • Jo Somebody

    That’s weird, I would have thought that puppies were LESS obedient than adult dogs, rather than the other way around?

  • Cattie

    I remember in 5th grade my friend got a Shiba-inu puppy and brought it to our class. They are truly adorable.

  • Argos

    I’d have thought so too, since wolves learn their rank in the pack as they get older. I could be misremembering since it was just a show I saw on TV and it was so long ago, but I do remember hearing about dogs looking the way they do because they’ve retained some puppy-like traits.

  • http://twitter.com/NekoNekoNyaaa Neko Nana~

    I so agree, I didn’t know about the Shikoku-inu nor the Hokkaido-ken. I love cat’s and most dogs don’t really appeal to me, small dogs are to small and noisy and not really something you can cuddle with and big dogs take too much space, and you can’t really cuddle with them either. I’d been dreaming about getting a japanese dog, since some time ago, but when my mother told me she heard they were hard to bring up because of their strong and dominating personality, I got a little unsure. I’m aware I got neither time nor the money (since I just graduated from highschool) to get myself one now, but I hope I’ll be able to do so some day. Yet it is kind of sad to only keep it and not breed, spending so much money on a rare dog like these, it’d be a waste on both sides. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/zacharymrubin Zachary Rubin

    Another awesome article Koichi! Also, legend has it that before WWII there were actually 7 distinct types of Shiba, but they were eventually combined keep the breed alive. anyone know of any documentation on this? I hope someone thought to take pictures back then.

    >Any of you have native Japanese breed dogs? I

    well not exactly. But 悪戯-ちゃん (below) is 1/2 Shiba , 1/4 Lab, and 1/4 German shepherd. Also known as a German Shlabinu or Mutt.

    and now i spam you with puppy:

  • http://www.facebook.com/kareki84 Tanja Marion

    I have issues while reading your “article”. As a owner of two Shibas and handling a lot with a male Akita, I don’t know if you are aware of what are you talking about…
    http://hoellenhunde.tumblr.com/

    All photos and videos with the Akita here: http://hoellenhunde.tumblr.com/tagged/shiro

    Shibas are by far cleaner than Akitas, cleaning their coat almost like cats (and I dislike cats)… and an Akita is not only loyal, but headstrong as well. They aren’t easier to train per se. As I know a lot of people who have issues with their Japanese breeds, I think your view on them is a bist romanticised… they aren’t all Hachikos.

    As for Shikokus: They tend to have a stronger prey/chase drive than Shibas and most Shibas are almost uncontrollable when they hunt. It takes a lot of time and energy to get a controlled a bit. I don’t know why you want to have such a dog. Not for the reasons you have mentioned.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kareki84 Tanja Marion

    No, I have seen the same thing. It is not about that pups are more “obedient” but can be trained easier than adult wolves – they have something alike a will to please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kareki84 Tanja Marion

    A Shiba has a average size of 40 cm – that is a bigger cat. I don’t know, but although one of my Shibas is bigger than the average (he had no siblings, that’s why), it is still pretty small… misconception much?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kareki84 Tanja Marion

    Over herein Europe as well. Thank you. My Shibas are often identified as “Hachikos”… especially my red one… or they are foxes… for people. Almost none does know Shibas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kareki84 Tanja Marion

    Just in the USA, I guess -. in Germany their aren’t on any list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kareki84 Tanja Marion

    And by the way, Shibas are considered as the oldest (!) breed, with the closest relation to wolves.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/build-a-dog/dog-families-graphic

  • Kate

    Well written article, I totally agree! :-) My first dog was a Shiba inu. My second and third dog is a Shiba. My fourth dog is Kishu inu. In the winter I hunting with my dogs wild boars. My dogs live in the house with me. They are members of the family. I love native Japanese dog breeds! (I´m from Czech Republic – in the heart of Europe)

  • Nancy Crutcher

    It is also great if you first consider on checking on dogs for adoption. They are the ones who needs shelter and someone who will love and care for them. I have already adopted three dogs and I am so happy I did. It just makes me feel great knowing that I have helped them and save their lives. -http://www.k9stud.com/

  • Bella

    Since I’m moving to Japan in two months, I’m planning on getting a Japanese breed in the future. Obviously not until I’ve got a stable income and know for sure I can stay there. Akita’s you can find here – Sweden – but good luck in finding any of the others… So yeah, lucky me I won’t have to tug the Japanese dogs away from their home country.

  • Bobby

    Can any one help me on how to get Shikoku in the uk / were as I’m traveling soon

  • thijs

    I thought it would be as you say but its not so I’m afraid. I cycled around shikoku during golden week and went to the fighting centre and saw the champion. he was in a small glass cage, all torn up from his fights, they lie when they say the skin doesnt tear.
    No matter how much you dress up a dogfight, its still a fight, with injuries.
    I just hated how they kept him locked up like that, youd think hed deserve more respect, at least a bit more space.
    Dogfighting is just wrong.

  • Daren

    I have a 12 year old Kai-Ken, black brindle. She is my soul dog. Very independent and very loyal. And, I believe, the most intelligent dog I have every had the honour to meet.

  • Saimu-san

    Damn, now I’m being pulled in all directions by awesome dog breeds I could get someday when I move out!

    I always loved German Shepherds and Dobermans (my mum had a mix between the two when I was a baby and my great aunt’s got a beautiful creme white female of the former) but I’m also keen on a Prague Ratter, Tamaskan Hound and now those lovely Kishu, Shikoku and Hokkaido Inu!

    And even before I make a bid for independence, our jack russell is a bit lonely since his brother died last year so he needs a new brother or sister to play tug of war with and chase.

    My sister’s saving up for a chihuahua but there’s no way one could keep up with him. Guess we can’t get a dog that’s too big, though considering that he sneaks into my parents’ bed during the night and it wouldn’t be fair to leave the other one out because they couldn’t fit. Lol.

  • Deidra

    Almost 14 years ago, a friend’s daughter in Tucson, AZ came home with what we think was a 3 week old puppy. I made the statement of, “I will take her until we find a home for her.” After bottle feeding her for almost 2 weeks, she was found in my Doberman’s bowl of food. I had no idea what she was for the first 2 years of her life. Vets just called her a spitz mix. Then I found out about Shibas (wish I knew about the temperments earlier! Would have helped with training) and decided that must be what she was and was just a bigger one. Then I finally found information on Hokkaidos. She is a dead ringer. Unknowingly, the best breed of dog for my personality found me. She was absolutely defiant with me as a puppy and growled all the time. I was a full time college student with a full time job, so I had to learn quickly how to be alpha with her. Unfortunately I did not socialize her enough, although she and my Doberman got along brilliantly and she never fought with other dogs at the park. Until she was about 7 years old, she could be aggressive towards strangers, although she was immediately wonderful around small children. Maybe it was because they were closer to her level, and she can read their innocence. But until she knew that we were both safe, she was very guarded. As a single woman most of this time, I never let it bother me too much. She has been my protector for all of these years, and I wouldn’t change a thing. A few times she has gotten out of a fence, but when I go looking for her she would be on her way back to me on the sidewalk. And as she has gotten older, she doesn’t like being around other dogs who get in her face and want to play. Her fur is my nemesis, but I just try and brush her as much as possible and have her bathed every few months (and tip the groomer!) This breed isn’t for anyone, and I was lucky to form a bond with her as a young puppy. I am saddened to hear that I will have troubles finding another one, but I seriously doubt I could ever replace my Mia anyway. She is still going strong, but sleeps on my couch or bed about 20 hours a day now. Oh, and I used treats to train her to come to me and kissing noises. I could always trust her off the leash as long as she didn’t get too far away from me so she could act “deaf”.

  • Wendybird

    They’re dogs, they have teeth. Of course the skin will tear. But Western fights are to the death, the surviving dog may require stitches or surgery after a match, and they’re completely unnatural.

    When two dogs fight, naturally, all they try to do is get the other dog to submit. Laid back breed will do this as a form of play, competitive breeds do it aggressively and bite,Boxers fall somewhere in between. All the Japanese are doing is putting two competitive dogs together to perform their natural ritual. And that is NOT a “small glass cage”. It looks to be the size of a pretty average kennel for a dog that large, perhaps even a bit generous in proportion if all the dog is doing is resting there, go too a boarding kennel and the place they keep their dogs will be about that size. It is glass because he is on display as the victor. Also probably because as a guard breed he would be agitated if he couldn’t see what was going on.

  • damien byrne

    I have a shiba named keiko and is honestly the best dog in the world she is so quiet and friendly with her own personality and agendas super clean and beautifully Japanese dogs are the best

  • http://thedailydemagogue.blogspot.com/ CaptBuck

    I have an Akita Inu I got while living in Japan, I am a Japanese dog guy for life now!

  • Anon

    OH for crying out loud, some people like certain dog breeds, let them be you asshole

  • Njhhfuhjjjk

    How can you get a Shikoku Inu in America.