5 popular dog breeds from Japan

September 18, 2023

Dogs from the land of the rising sun are currently having their moment in Montreal. Here are some of our favourites.

Shiba Inu

Considered a national treasure in Japan, the Shiba Inu is perhaps the most popular Japanese canine to grace our sidewalks. The trend towards smaller-sized dogs is making the breed a better fit for city living. According to The Kennel Club of America, the Shiba Inu is spirited, good-natured and has a bold personality.


The imposing Akita is a member of the Spitz canine family and, with its long fur and double coat, is ideally suited to cold Canadian winters. Akitas are venerated in Japan as symbols of dedication and long life. The Kennel Club of America salutes the breed’s dignity, profound loyalty and courage.

Japanese Spitz 

This ball of fur is a popular companion animal for city dwellers and is related to the larger Siberian Samoyed. The Kennel Club of America notes that Japanese Spitz are canine comedians who like to make people laugh and are happiest when in human company. They can also be energetic and big on barking.

Kai Ken

Kai Kens are striking dogs that were originally bred to hunt game. They are strong, active animals with a keen sense of smell, known to some as “tiger dogs” due to their distinctive colouring. This rare Japanese breed is loyal, agile and intelligent, observes The Kennel Club of America.

Japanese Terrier

These remarkable dogs—with their white bodies, black heads and pointed ears—aren’t common. The relatively compact Japanese or Nihon Terrier is thought to be a mix between Fox Terriers imported by Dutch traders and native Japanese breeds. They are considered lively and cheerful by the United Kennel Club.

Photo 1: Shiba Inu Lovers
Photo 2: Japanese Akita Club of America
Photo 3: Japanese Spitz Club
Photo 4: Kai Ken Society of America
Photo 5: Dogs in The World


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