Japanese Terrier

Nihon Teria

The Japanese Terrier is still an unknown breed. Even if he belongs to the category of Terriers, he has many differences with his canine family. He is very easy to live with and docile. The Japanese Terrier has all the necessary aptitudes and characteristics to become the best companion for life. Even if the breed is not very widespread, he is worth discovering.

Height 30 to 38 cm
Weight 8 to 12 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 13 years
Home country Japan

Quick Overview of the Japanese Terrier


  • Lively and cheerful
  • Very playful character
  • Loves children and family
  • Very gentle with everyone


  • Clearly defined profile
  • Compact and elegant silhouette
  • Distinguished look
  • Flat and narrow skull


  • Robust
  • Generally in excellent health
  • No particular pathology
  • Sensitive to cold

Temperament of the Japanese Terrier

Lively and cheerful, the Japanese Terrier has a very playful character. He loves children and the rest of the family.

He is very gentle with everyone and loves to play. He is rather docile with humans, and very close to his family in general, especially to his master.

Never aggressive, he tolerates everyone, even other animals. He is obedient and very intelligent, which greatly facilitates his education.

This little dog has all the necessary aptitudes to become the best companion dog there is.

Breed Appearance

Japanese terrier

The Japanese Terrier is a small dog with a very clearly defined profile, compact and elegant silhouette.

Resembling his ancestor the Smooth-coated Fox Terrier, he is distinguished by his very short coat and its colors. His small size does not diminish in any way his elegant and very distinguished appearance.


Between 30 and 38 cm (11.81 to 14.96 inches) for the male
Between 30 and 38 cm (11.81 to 14.96 inches) for the female


Between 8 and 12 kg (17.64 to 26.46 pounds) for the male
Between 8 and 12 kg (17.64 to 26.46 pounds) for the female


His dress is white, but with a black and red head.


His coat is smooth, short, thick and very shiny.


His head has a flat and narrow skull. His eyes are medium size and dark. His ears are set high, in v-shape and falling forward.

His nose is black. His thin tail is cut off, usually at the level of the 3rd or 4th vertebra.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 3, section 2 and is #259

Tips About this breed

Essentially a house dog, he greatly appreciates the cozy comfort of his home.

Since he barks much less than others in his category, he is easy to live with, even if neighbours are nearby.

Even though he fears the cold, it is good to let him run freely from time to time outside, in the garden, or during a walk.

Thanks to his small size, he does not need a large space to spend his energy, but running outside will allow him to spend his overflowing energy in order to be calmer and quieter once inside.

He is much more docile and easier to train than other Terriers. Naturally obedient, his education is all the easier as he is very intelligent.

Health of the Japanese Terrier

Despite his small size, he is very robust and generally enjoys excellent health. No pathology is directly related to the breed.

His smooth fur does not, however, protect him from the cold, so you must be vigilant during the winter.


In spite of his short coat, this small dog must be brushed regularly. No other special care is necessary.

History of this breed

Created in Japan during the 17th century by crossbreeding small native pointing dogs with the smooth-coated Fox Terrier from the Netherlands, the Japanese Terrier was greatly appreciated by Japanese ladies at the time.

He was nicknamed the "ladies' dog" because he was the most sought-after companion dog by ladies.

It is around 1920 that the breeding really started, but the breed was not fixed until 1930. In 1940, the Kennel Club of Japan officially recognized the breed, but the Second World War nearly wiped him out. Even if the breed is still present today, he remains very little known.

This funny little dog is an excellent hound, a great search dog and also a good retriever, but he is mainly used as a companion dog. His reputation as a "ladies' dog" continues to stick to him.

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