Japanese Terrier

5-9 lbs
Nippon Terrier, Nihon Teria, Nihon Terrier, Kobe Terrier, Mikado Terrier, Oyuki (Snowy) Terrier

The Japanese Terrier is an animated, smart and happy dog. He can be a little reserved but they love playing games and chasing squirrels. He is a gentle dog that loves cuddle time and sitting on your lap while you watch television or work on your computer. The Japanese Terrier will form a close bond with his family. He will quickly become jealous if his owner pays too much attention to other pets or even people. Expect him to bark loudly when he feels jealous and wants your attention. Generally, he will do well with other dogs as long as all dogs are given the same amount of attention.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Smooth Fox Terrier, German Pinscher, Kobe Terrier

Japanese Terrier Health

Average Size
Male Japanese Terrier size stats
Height: 8-13 inches Weight: 5-9 lbs
Female Japanese Terrier size stats
Height: 8-13 inches Weight: 5-9 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Yearly Eye Exam
  • Yearly Physical Examination

Japanese Terrier Breed History

The Japanese Terrier is believed to date back to the 1600s. It is thought that dogs such as the Smooth Fox Terrier and German Pinscher were brought into the Japanese port Nagasaki by Dutch and British sailors. These Smooth Fox Terriers and German Pinschers bred with local Japanese dogs producing small terrier type dogs that became very popular in the Nagasaki area. His popularity spread beyond Nagasaki and he was soon found all over Japan. It is unknown whether these little terrier type dogs were used solely as companion or lap dogs or whether they were also used to hunt small vermin. The Japanese Terrier has been exclusively a companion dog for decades. In the 1920s breeders of the Japanese Terrier began trying to standardize the breed and the Kobe Terrier was added to the gene pool. Consistent breeding practices successfully established a breed that was uniform in look and personality. The breed standard was written and then recognized by the Japanese Kennel Club in 1930. World War II caused dog breeding to grind almost to a complete halt and the Japanese Terrier’s numbers drastically dwindled. Post-World War II saw the breed rebound slightly, the Japanese Terrier is still considered a rare breed in Japan and is virtually unknown anywhere else in the world. There are a few Japanese Terriers that have been documented in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. The United States and Canada are even thought to have a few living within their borders. The United Kennel Club recognized the Japanese Terrier in 2006. 

Japanese Terrier Breed Appearance

The Japanese Terrier is a toy dog that only weighs between 5 and 9 pounds. Overall, he is a well-balanced, square dog that gives the appearance of being sturdy rather than fragile. His chest is deep but not bulky or broad. He has a tail that can be docked if he is born in an area that has not outlawed docking. When not docked, his tail is thin and medium long. Ears are set high on his head and when alert should be erected. When he is not alert, his ears should fold forward. He has a smooth, silky coat that is short and looks slick. His skin fits tight against his body. The Japanese Terrier commonly has a white body and black or tan head. He can have some black or tan speckling on his body. He has a small black nose and oval, medium sized dark brown eyes. His expression should be inquisitive and lively. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Japanese Terrier eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Japanese Terrier nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white Japanese Terrier coat
black Japanese Terrier coat
pied Japanese Terrier coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Japanese Terrier straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Japanese Terrier Breed Maintenance

The Japanese Terrier is a low maintenance dog and only requires a quick brushing weekly. He will shed moderately all year and there will be hair throughout your home unless you brush him daily. When brushing, use a soft slicker brush or soft bristle brush. You can also wipe his coat down with a damp cloth daily to help remove any dirt or loose hairs and keep him clean. Check his ears weekly and give them a quick cleaning if they look dirty to prevent any infections from starting. His coat should be naturally shiny and sleek, therefore, do not over-bathe him and cause the natural oils on his skin and coat to be stripped away. He should only need to be bathed a few times each year. Use a mild shampoo that has been veterinarian approved. Check his nails every few weeks to ensure they do not grow too long and cause feet problems.

Brushes for Japanese Terrier
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Japanese Terrier requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Japanese Terrier Temperament

The Japanese Terrier is a lively and intelligent breed that is very loving and affectionate towards his family. He will be somewhat reserved around strangers and will sound the alarm if anyone he does not know approaches his home. His main purpose in life is to be a lapdog and he does expect a lot of attention and cuddling from his family. Be prepared to spend plenty of time holding him on your lap throughout the day. He is a jealous dog and will show his displeasure towards you when you ignore him for another pet or person by barking. He is a sensitive dog and will become nervous or scared when he senses stress in the home. Being a terrier, he is active and will need time to run and play to wear him out. Because he is such a small dog, apartment living does work for him as long as his family spends time playing with him and taking him for daily walks around the neighborhood. 

Japanese Terrier Activity Requirements

Although the Japanese Terrier is a toy dog, he is very active and lively. Because of his small size, he does not require a large yard or a lot of space to exercise. He would do well in apartments and small yards as long as he can take daily walks and play with toys that stimulate his mind and keep his body moving. He can be sensitive in new situations; therefore you should keep his exercise regiment simple and not introduce too many new things. He may not do well visiting dog parks because of his small size and his unwillingness to share the attention of his owners.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes
activity minutes

Japanese Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$20.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Japanese Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Japanese Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 8.0 inches Weight: 4.5 lbs
Female Japanese Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 8.0 inches Weight: 4.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Japanese Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 6.0 lbs
Female Japanese Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 6.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Japanese Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 10.5 inches Weight: 7.0 lbs
Female Japanese Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 10.5 inches Weight: 7.0 lbs

Japanese Terrier Owner Experiences

3 Months
3 People
Run playin
Very playful and active
2 years, 8 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd