Japanese Terrier
Japanese Terrier 0
Japanese Terrier 1
Japanese Terrier 0
Japanese Terrier 1

Japanese Terrier

Last updated: Aug 31 2023

Japanese Terrier is a smart and energetic small dog breed that was originally a lap dog back in history. This is a very rare dog breed, even in their native land – Japan. Japanese terriers are very devoted and affectionate, and they form strong bonds with their owner. It is believed that this dog breed is a descendant of Fox Terriers.

The Hallmark of a Japanese Terrier is their black head with a white body. These dogs will bring joy to every family, and you can be sure that you will be happy with this dog.

FUN FACT: Japanese Terriers are also called Nippon Terriers.

Japanese Terrier


8-13 in (20-33 cm)

Japanese Terrier


5-9 lb (2-4 kg)

Japanese Terrier



Japanese Terrier

Life Expectancy:

9-11 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health


The coat of Japanese Terrier dogs is short, dense, and glossy. To keep their coat in the best possible shape, only weekly brushing is advised. These dogs will shed moderately, but if you brush your dog regularly you will not have a problem with the amount of hair around the house.

Japanese Terrier coat colors:

  • Tricolor with a black, tan, and white head
  • White with black spots, black or tan markings on the body

Dogs’ coats have natural protective oil that can be washed off if washed too often. They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them only if your dog rolls into something dirty or smelly, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.

japanese_terrier dogs


Japanese Terriers are active dogs and will require daily activities to be satisfied. You will have to provide your dog with a few daily walks, playing with the ball, or other animals. They are very adaptable dogs and can live in an apartment, but they will do best in a house with a yard where they can explore.

If you are thinking about getting a Japanese Terrier, ensure you have enough free time and energy to spend outside playing and training your Japanese Terrier. If your schedule can’t allow you that, consider getting some less active breed.

To make this dog happy you will have to devote your time to playing sessions if you don't want him to develop behavior problems. They will become bored and destructive if they don't spend all their energy outside.

Japanese Terrier


Japanese Terriers are very devoted dogs that are eager to please. That will make training them a lot easier. Like any other dog breed, even Japanese Terrier requires early socialization. It is essential to secure that your dog doesn’t become shy or aggressive. Expose your dog to many different people, dogs, sights, and situations to secure a well-rounded dog. They can adapt to any environment as long as you secure them with plenty of physical and mental activity.

Socialization can even be done at home. Dress differently; wear glasses, hats, and baggy clothes so your puppy can’t recognize you right away. Teach your puppy to stay alone and not make a fuss about it. It is the best way to make sure your puppy will grow up to be a stable, confident, and well-behaved dog.

FUN FACT: Japanese Terriers are very jealous dogs that will be angry if you show your affection to someone else besides them. They will display their displeasure by barking.

Kids and other animals

Early socialization and proper training can teach them to behave even when children are around. These dogs can play for hours upon hours without getting tired or bored. Children should never be left alone with any dog no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and that they understand how to properly interact and play with them.

Japanese Terriers can get with other dogs and animals, especially if they are raised together from an early age.

japanese terrier in stance


Japanese Terrier is dogs with a life expectancy of 9-11 years. They are like any other dog breed prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To be sure that you'll get the healthiest possible dog never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Japanese Terrier can suffer from:

  • Ear infections - Especially for dogs that love water, you need to check their ears regularly for signs of infections or redness
  • Patellar luxation
  • Eye problems

Japanese Terrier Breeders

If you decided that this is the right dog for you, now it's time to find a good and responsible Japanese Terrier breeder. Buying a dog from such a breeder will provide you with a healthy puppy who will not have health and temperament problems.

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. If you don't have money we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find a Japanese Terrier dog in it.

Since Japanese terriers are really rare dogs you must know that you will have to wait for your puppy. Every breeder will put you on the waiting list but only if you are a serious buyer.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at31.08.2023.

Breed History

Japanese terriers date back to the 1600s. These dogs were very popular in the Nagasaki area. Mostly they were used as companions but in some cases for vermin hunting. Soon after that, this dog breed became popular all over Japan. In 1920 breeders started to standardize Japanese terriers and they were officially recognized by the Japanese Kennel Club in 1930.

Japanese Terrier

Many dog breeds in the world nearly went extinct after the World War and the Japanese terrier is no different. A few enthusiasts who decided to save to breed were directly responsible for keeping this dog breed alive. Today they are still rare, even in Japan.