Dog breeds, often known as “inu,” have been cultivated by the Japanese since ancient times. Throughout history, these dogs were used for anything from tracking wild boar to sitting on the laps of society’s wealthiest members as companion animals. The Japanese Dog Preservation Society identifies the following six indigenous breeds as “Nihon Ken,” which translates to “national dog of Japan”: the Shibu Inu, the Akita, the Kai Ken, the Kishu, the Shikoku, and the Hokkaido. In other words these six breeds are authentic native Japanese dog breeds.
The origins of these dogs trace back thousands of years, all the way to the Paleolithic period, when they were first domesticated.
The people of Japan are extremely proud of their dogs and regularly shower praise and accolades upon them. Because of this pride and commitment to their national treasures, certain rare breeds of animals are almost never shipped outside of the country.
Shiba inu is a Japanese word that literally translates to “brushwood,” which refers to the type of environment where the dog would hunt birds and other small prey. This breed has a history that goes back more than three thousand years. This dog is a member of the non-sporting group of the American Kennel Club and is one of the smaller dogs in that group. Non-sporting dogs are allowed to occasionally accompany their owners on hunts for larger animals such as deer, bears, and boars. The shibu inu is a self-assured breed of dog that is famous for his “shiba scream,” a distinctive sound that he makes when he is excited. Because of their lively personalities, attentive temperaments, and generally pleasant dispositions, these compact, muscular dogs are the most popular companion dogs in Japan.
The Akita is a breed of spitz that, like other breeds of dogs that are related to it, shares its characteristics and its ancestry. Despite the fact that its thick double coat requires some upkeep on the owner’s part, the Akita is a popular choice for a family companion due to its courageous, strong, loyal, and lovable nature. They are also capable of reaching sizes that exceed 100 pounds in weight.
After World War II, the Akita was smuggled into the United States by means of an airplane, where it swiftly captured the hearts of American servicemen and developed the breed’s popularity in the United States. These reserved and self-reliant dogs are wary of people they do not know, but they are more than happy to show their families the playful and friendly side of their personalities.
Although they are known by the names Japanese Chin or Japanese Spaniel, it is more than likely that these attractive and noble canines originated in China or Korea more than 500 years ago. The members of Japan’s nobility were responsible for popularizing these canines throughout the country, and the aristocracy held them in the highest regard. These petite and delicate canines, which weighed no more than ten pounds combined, were presented to foreign diplomats and other members of Japanese nobility as a token of gratitude for their service to Japan. In Japanese, the word “chi” refers to royalty. They have an unmistakable Eastern appearance, quite similar to that of pugs or shih tzus, and are bred exclusively for the home, making them the ideal loving companion.
The Shikoku, sometimes referred to as the “Shikoku inu” or the “Kochi-ken,” is a native breed of Japan that was originally used as a hunting dog. They were highly regarded by hunters in Japan for their ability to track game, especially wild boar. These canines are renowned for their stamina, intelligence, and keen awareness of their surroundings. The Shikoku is a submissive dog toward his owner, despite the fact that they are avid hunters.
The Tosa Inu is the largest of all Japanese breeds and a rare breed of dog that is similar to the Japanese mastiff. It was bred to become the best combat dog possible. It is believed to have started in the Tosa region, a place in the past where dogfighting was considered a significant and important sport. There are several different names for this breed, including Japanese fighting dog, Japanese mastiff, Tosa ken, and Tosa token. Today, it is still utilized in dog fights, and the sport of dogfighting is not outlawed in Japan.
Tosas are dogs that are attentive to their owners and eager to please, in addition to being exceptionally athletic. These large and fearsome canines can potentially weigh up to 200 pounds, which is one of the reasons why they are prohibited in several countries. The Tosa of today is reserved in her regard for her family but quickly warms up to new friends and acquaintances. They maintain a high level of vigilance toward other dogs, especially unknown dogs.
The Hokkaido inu is a bold, athletic, and muscular breed of dog that is assigned the roles of guarding, hunting, and sledding. It is considered one of the oldest and wildest dogs of Japanese heritage and is of Japanese descent. This breed is virtually unheard of in countries other than Japan. The Hokkaido is a hardy, dignified, and loyal dog that possesses an impressive amount of stamina and endurance. They are docile and possess a high level of awareness. They make wonderful, devoted, and eager-to-please friends; nevertheless, if they are not properly socialized, they might develop an excessively suspicious disposition toward strangers.
Dogs that originated in Japan make perfect sense given the country’s many climate areas; the most of them have a double coat to protect them from colder temperatures. A breed of dog that thrives in warm climates, the equatorial region, or a desert environment is not one that is in high demand in Japan. The mountainous parts of Japan experience temperatures that are very close to the Arctic Circle. It is possible for the subtropical southern parts to experience warm weather, but it does not reach as hot as the desert. Hairless dog breeds, such as the Chinese crested and the Xoloitzcuintli, as well as numerous Latin American dog breeds, are among the breeds that should be avoided.