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Japanese Terrier:Dog Breed Profile

Japanese Terrier breeds are often identified by their unique blackhead. They are very sociable animals, so if you are wondering why to consider this small friend, this could be a major reason. As they are known for their friendliness, these small companions can adapt to new lifestyles and environments in a very quick time.

In a small body of playfulness, there is a hidden skill of high intelligence, which might surprise anyone. The small Japanese Terriers are lively, loving, and loyal to their human friends. They can bond in very well with your family, and other pet animals. Japanese Terriers are a versatile learner but are cute little attention-seekers. They love to play chasing and fetching games with their owners and other animals.

Mostly they like to spend time in your lap. It is a sensitive breed and is very protective of its human friends. However, due to its sensitive trait, Japanese Terriers like to be in a calm and comforting indoor environment. They are very good companion pets for single people. Their high vocal personality can be useful in guarding houses, people, and property.

Japanese Terrier Breed Picture & Video

Japanese Terrier Breed Characteristics

  • About Japanese Terrier Breed

    Japanese Terriers are seen as lively little lap dogs with a very good sociable trait around humans. They can be seen jumping and running all around your living space. While you walk in your garden, these little spirited animals can be spotted chasing birds and other small creatures for fun. They have inherited their energetic nature from their parent breeds, i.e., the Fox Terrier types. An average Japanese Terrier can weigh around 5-9 pounds and have a life span of over 10-12 years, and a maximum of up to 15 years.


Japanese Terrier Breed Daily Care

Hair: To keep fleas and other issues out of them, daily brushing is an essential requirement. You can bathe them in clean water or wipe them with a damp cloth to maintain the glossiness of their coat.

Certified dog shampoo is mandatory to keep them away from unnecessary fur loss or skin infection. They have moderate levels of shedding and are not considered hypoallergenic.

Nails: Like other dog breeds, nail trimming and teeth cleaning is a critical factor to keep them healthy. Their toenails need to be cut at regular intervals.

Teeth: Regular brushing is mandatory for a pet dog’s good oral hygiene.. This is good for the Japanese Terriers' health and also to keep your family's hygiene safe.

Ears: Japanese Terriers have a pair of high set ears, which they usually fold forward unless they are in an active state. Checking and tending to their ears with prescribed ear cleaners is recommended. Regular cleaning of ears and removing any dirt and debris of these small dogs is advisable.

Eyes: Japanese Terriers have medium-sized oval-shaped dark eyes. So it is hard to find any debris in dark eyes which highlights the necessity of checking their eyes every day. Check for teary eyes, inflammation, or any irregularity in their pattern of eye scratching, and clean their eyes with plain water. In case the problem persists, immediately consult your nearest vet.

Recommended daily amount: Dog owners need to make sure that they are feeding good quality food to Japanese Terriers. Generally, 8-12 months old pups should be fed 4 times a day. Also, it is essential to include protein in their diet adequately since these little dogs are very active. Apart from providing high-quality food to them, cleaning their water vessels and food bowls regularly should be adopted for maintaining the proper hygiene of your furry friend.

What food to choose: A high protein food is generally given to these active dogs.

How to keep good shape: Regular exercise with a balanced diet keeps them in good shape.

How many times to feed your dogs: Generally, two to three times is recommended.

Japanese Terriers are mostly a healthier dog breed. However, a few common health issues like an ear infection and eye problems may develop with age.

Patellar Luxation

Condition: Japanese Terriers might develop patellar luxation or dislocation of joints ( generally knee joints). A very common way to notice this problem is when your small pet starts running or walking on three legs and then suddenly returns to its usual four-legged stroll.

Treatment: If the condition is moderate then you can perform an "extend and flex" exercise on the affected limb. However, if the seriousness increases, your vet might suggest to perform a surgical procedure and fix the patella in its correct position.


A highly intelligent dog breed, Japanese Terriers are very easy to train. Trained with affection and handled carefully, these small dogs can actively engage in new tricks and behavior very quickly.

Their good socialization and intelligence go hand in hand to turn them into a very loyal and smart human friend. Dog owners can train them easily, but additional help from professional trainers will definitely offer satisfying results.


Japanese Terriers are small highly spirited animals which is why they require some space for their daily exercise. As they are lap dogs, most of the time they need love and care from their owners. They hop into the laps and like some warm cuddles and a lot of attention from their humans.

They are a very sensitive breed and might get disturbed with longer lonelier periods. They, however, like shorter or longer trips with their owners. You can go on a long hike with these small companions as they are very enthusiastic and animated animals. Although Japanese Terriers are very sociable and have not much aggressive behavior, they can become suspicious around strangers.

Japanese Terrier Breed History

These little dogs are native to Japan. Initially, they were developed by mixing native dogs and small pointer breeds with the other terrier breeds (specifically Fox Terriers), that came on board with the European traders in the 18th century. With a dominantly whitish body and black or tan spots, the Japanese Terriers are counted among some of the best companion dog breeds. The Japanese Terriers are rarely found in other regions but has a considerable number in its native Japan. They are also named as Nippon Terrier, Nihon Terrier, and Oyuki (which means Snowy) Terrier.

It is said that these small dog breeds were used as vermin hunters and then they became famous as lap dogs. However, the Japanese Terrier breed nearly came to its extinct after World War II. But a few dogs survived through which the breeding continued.