The Delightful and Tiny Japanese Terrier

The Delightful and Tiny Japanese Terrier

Terriers are lively characters by nature and they are great fun to have around because they are so very entertaining. One such dog is the Japanese Terrier, a lesser known dog that hails as their name suggests from Japan. These dogs are delightfully, cheery characters and like so many other terriers, they boast a tremendous amount of energy even if they are on the small side!

A Little Background History

These little dogs first appeared on the scene back in the 17th century when both British and Dutch traders took Fox Terriers over to Japan with them. Once there, the Fox Terriers were bred with native Japanese dogs as well as small Pointer-types and the result was the little Japanese terriers we see today. Back in the 17th century, these new terriers soon became firm favourites with Japanese nobility as companion dogs and it is thought they were kept as pets and never used as working dogs.

These little dogs are also called Nihon Terriers or sometimes they are referred to as Nippon Terriers with the breed not being formally recognised till the thirties by the Japanese Kennel Club. Although, adored in their native Japan, these little dogs are not that well known elsewhere in the world although things are now changing as more of them are appearing on the scene in other countries including here in the UK.

Lovely Looking Little Dogs

The Japanese Terrier is a very striking looking little dog with compact, muscular bodies and cuter than cute faces. Their coats are white in colour with darker flecks and spots that typically cover their entire body, but their heads are typically black which really does make the Japanese Terrier a very unique looking dot. Sometimes they can be black and tan in colour which adds to their overall delightful appeal which is understandably why they were so popular in ancient times as well as today.

The Japanese Terrier is always very alert and full of energy loving nothing more than to play interactive games with people, but just as happy to snuggle up on the couch once a game is over. They stand at anything from 11 to 13 inches at the shoulder and can weigh around 6 to 9 lbs which in short, means they are very small in stature even for terriers, but they have larger than life personalities which more than makes up for their tiny size. Although, these little dogs make the perfect companion, they are not the perfect choice if you share your home with other pets and they are not particularly good around very young children either.

Exercise Needs of the Japanese Terrier

When it comes to exercise, these little terriers might seem quite at home lounging around on the sofa with you, but they are quite high energy for such tiny dogs. As such, they need to be kept busy both mentally and physically. They enjoy nothing more than playing interactive games both indoors and outside in the garden and if left to their own devices, they will get bored very quickly which could result in them becoming a little destructive and noisy around the home when nobody is about to keep them occupied.

Early Socialisation and Training is a Must

The Japanese Terrier is an extremely sensitive character by nature which means they need to be well socialised from a young age so they grow into more confident, mature dogs. They need to be handled and trained with a firm, yet fair hand when young too so they learn who is the boss in a household. Even when well socialised and trained from a young age, the Japanese Terrier is much happier when kept as an only pet and as previously mentioned, they are not a good choice for families with small children.

Robust, Healthy Little Dogs

The Japanese Terrier is known to be a very robust and healthy little dog that does not suffer from any known hereditary and/or congenital health issues. These lively, little dogs can live anything from 9 to 11+ years when well cared for and fed a good nutritious diet to suit the different stages of their lives.


There are many lovely terrier breeds on the planet and the Japanese Terrier is just one of the lesser known breeds that really does stand out in the crowd. Not only are these tiny dogs extremely attractive with the black heads and speckled bodies, but they boast fun and lively natures too. They are not the best choice of family pets for people with younger families, but they are the ideal dog for anyone who loves to spend time in the great outdoors with an energetic albeit tiny companion.

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