Japanese Terrier

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Terrier    Type: Pure Breed    Talent:


Size: Small     Weight: 15-32 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black & White, Brown & White


Life Expectancy: 10-12 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Japanese Terrier is also known as Nippon Terrier, Nihon Terrier, Nihon Teria. It is a small and rare terrier breed even in its country of origin, Japan. The dog is believed to have evolved from Fox Terriers which were imported to Japan from the Netherlands in 17th century. These dogs were bred with Pointers and indigenous dogs of Japan to give rise to the Japanese Terrier. Unlike other Fox Terrier descendants, the JT was developed as lap dog and its planned breeding was started in 1920s.

The Japanese Terrier is a small and well balanced dog with a compact outline that stands between 12-14 inches and weighs around 6-8 pounds. It comes with a flat and moderately narrow skull, same length muzzle and straight nasal bridge that has a black nose. Oval shaped and medium size eyes are dark in colour. V-shaped small ears are forward folded. Neck is moderately long and strong. Square body has deep chest with well sprung ribs. The back is short and firm with strong loin and well tucked up belly. It has a thin piece of tail and in certain areas, docking the tail is usually done when considered legal. This breed comes with short, smooth, dense and glossy coat usually in tri colour.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by FCI and UKC.


This dog comes with usually black head and predominantly white body that has black or tan spots on it.


The Japanese Terrier has a short coat that is smooth, dense and glossy.


Described as having a lively and cheerful character in breed standards, the Japanese Terrier is very loving, playful, active, loyal and faithful as well. Having these attributes makes this breed very endearing for its owners and families. Craving for attention, the dog will try to attract attention of its family members due to its very human oriented nature. It has a tendency to attach itself with one favorite in the family and may bark to anyone who the dog feels is unreasonable towards its favorite person. Otherwise the dog is very friendly and docile. It is a very playful dog that loves to play games with its family members, specially children. The Japanese Terrier is an intelligent breed that lives to please its master. It is very trainable due to its willing to learn nature. Clownish that the dog is, it can learn a few tricks and would love to perform them to amuse its family. As an alert family dog, it will make a good watch dog. This dog gets along well with other dogs. This very loving and versatile family dog will endear each and every family member with its very affectionate nature if the owner has no problem with little amount of dog hair in the house as this breed is a medium shedder.


This dog needs average grooming and will be O.K. with a weekly brushing. This clean dog does not have doggy odor and needs to be bathed when necessary. It should be protected from cold weather and should not be kept outside.


This intelligent and eager to please dog is highly trainable. It can learn quickly but needs to be trained in a sensitive manner as the dog is sensitive to harsh voice and training methods. Harsh methods can make this dog become reserved and shy and it may not train at all. Consistency and gentle handling is key to training this dog.


This dog is moderately active and would need daily leashed walks to remain healthy and fit. This breed will also enjoy playing in a safe and secure area.

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