Can You Guess How Many Dog Breeds Are Native To Japan?

There’s more than the Shiba-Inu and the Akita!

By Justyne Yuen-Lee


Shibas get all of the Internet’s attention.

Ah, the famous Shiba-Inu – just like their ancestors in Japan, they are known to have the attitude of prestige and royalty. Or the ones I’ve met do – one time I wanted to pet my neighbor’s Shiba and they told me no because apparently “she bites.” Have you ever met any dogs that just sneer at you like you’re not worthy? (?Pekingese ?) When you think of a Japanese breed, your mind might automatically go to the famous meme of “Doge” and the Shiba’s derpy face that goes against all prestigious background. I have learned that if you dig a little deeper in the Japanese dog culture – there’s actually several more than just the Shiba! However, even in Japan, these breeds are rare and very expensive and importing them is an even scarier thought, so the Internet is where we must satisfy our need of Japanese floofs.


Credit: Tumblr / @john-smith93

The infamous Russian president, Mr. Vladmir Putin loves dogs and recently got a new puppy. One of his other dogs, Yume, is an Akita and was a gift from the Japanese government. Apparently, they wanted to gift him another, but he refused as Yume was a bit fierce and “bites a lot.”


Japanese dogs have similar traits.

Native Japanese dogs are known as “spitz” dogs and have similar characteristics – thick fur, pointed ears, a cute curly tail and muzzles (and an attitude problem apparently). There are 7 breeds from Japan and are usually named after the location they come from.


Credit: Tofugu / Japanese Dog Breeds and How To Get Them

A helpful map from Tofugu shows the breeds and the area of Japan they come from. The Shiba-Inu isn’t named after an area and probably just claims the whole country.

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