Pet Advisor Blog

Japanese Terrier – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small
Weight: Both males and females: 5 to 9 pounds
Height: Both males and females: 8 to 13 inches
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: Medium


The Japanese Terrier is an active and cheerful breed. Also, they are very affectionate and will be close to their owners.

The Japanese Terrier dogs are wearing a short coat and are often very good hunters. Therefore, squirrels watch out! Grrr! In addition, the presence of black hair all over the head and the rest of the body covered with white hair makes this breed very unique.

Official Name

Japanese Terrier
Other Name:
Nippon Terrier
Nihon Teria
Nihon Terrier
Kobe Terrier
Mikado Terrier
Oyuki Terrier
Snowy Terrier


Date – 1920
Country – Japan
Family / Group – Terrier, Companion


The Japanese Terrier is a dog breed native to Japan and one of the youngest purebred in its native country. This terrier-type breed was started to be seriously developed as a distinct breed during the 1920s. However, unlike most Fox Terrier breeds and varieties, the Japanese Terrier was specifically bred to be companion pets.

This dog breed descended from Dutch dog breeds that were brought to Japan by Dutch merchant ships when the Japanese opened its Nagasaki port to western trade during the late 1600s.

In addition, the Japanese Terrier is quite unknown outside of Japan. However, it has gained a few admirers in some areas of the European continent but these dogs are still considered rare outside and even in its native country.


The Japanese Terrier’s well balanced physical appearance matches its pleasing and well-balanced disposition. In addition, these are lively and very cheerful terriers. Also, they are dogs known to be swift with their movement. However, unlike other terriers, this dog breed possesses desirable traits that make them ideal lap dogs and family pets.

Bred For

The Japanese Terrier was originally bred to be companion pets and not as a typical working terrier breed.


Japanese Terriers can adapt to city living as well as rural life. Therefore, they can be apartment pets if sufficiently exercised. However, the ideal living situation for these dogs will be a rural or suburban house with a big yard, where they can run freely.


Grooming the Japanese Terriers will not be time-consuming and will be very easy. Therefore, brushing them once a week to remove dead hair will help maintain their coat healthy. Also, bathing should be done only when necessary, or twice a year.


The Japanese Terrier can be trained and will be easy compared to other terrier breeds as they were created to be companion dogs that are obedient and eager to learn. Also, these dogs are very intelligent. Therefore, training them should be as easy as a breeze.

However, as for any dog breed, early age socialization and training will help them become mentally healthy grown-up dogs. As a result, they will become friendlier and will get along with other dogs or household pets.


There is no known major medical problem or genetic disorders affecting this Japanese dog breed. To sum up, it is a fairly healthy type of terrier. However, they can be prone to ear infections and eye problems. Therefore, an occasional eye and ear examination are recommended!


The Japanese Terrier requires moderate exercise to satisfy their activity levels. Therefore, taking them out for brief walks should be sufficient. Also, giving these terriers ample time to play and run freely across open spaces will benefit these dogs. In conclusion, these are not that active dogs and will be perfect for families that are moderate in energy levels!



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