Japanese dog breeds have a rich history dating back thousands
of years, and following World War II many of the far east
breeds gained popularity in the United States. The dogs that
make up this group are some of the most beautiful out there,
and also some of the rarest. You are probably familiar with the
most popular of the Japanese breeds -- the
Akita and the Shiba Inu -- but there are a number of other
Japanese dogs that make wonderful pets. Some of the breeds are
considered national treasures and are rarely seen outside of
Japan, but those who are lucky enough to find one will get a
combination of affection, loyalty, and in many cases, a regal
spitz-type appearance. Below are some breathtaking breeds
native to the Land of the Rising Sun.
In 1937, Helen Keller brought the first Akita puppy to the
United States from Japan, and the breed has since enjoyed a
great deal of popularity. The Akita is a strong and sturdy dog
with a spitz-type appearance. Protective, territorial, and
alert, the Akita does not typically get along well with other
pets or strangers, and requires supervision around children.
However, these dogs are affectionate, and adequate training can help them to be
better household pets.
The Hokkaido is one of the most ancient and wild of all the
Japanese breeds. Like many of the other Japanese breeds, this
dog was bred for hunting, but also makes a good family pet. These robust dogs are very
committed to their owners and will perform acts of bravery if
needed. They are medium sized dogs with classic spitz features.
Despite their name, the Japanese
Chin actually originated in Korea. These dogs later to traveled
to China and Japan where they were often presented as gifts,
and they gained worldwide popularity in 1853 when a pair was
gifted to Queen Victoria. This long haired toy breed makes a
wonderful companion pet, but they can be wary of strangers.
These dogs prefer to be around people they trust and locations
they know. They love being the center of attention and are all
around charming and obedient dogs.
The Kai Ken is an extremely rare Japanese dog, and is a
considered a natural monument in their native land. These
intelligent brindle dogs are born hunters and make excellent
watchdogs. They are intensely loyal to their owners and are
eager to please. They learn quickly, and tend to be less
independent than some of the other native breeds.
Like many of their cousins, the ancient Kishu was originally
used for hunting boar and deer. Today, their docile
temperaments make them excellent family pets. This spitz-type
dog was declared a natural monument in 1934, and since then
only solid colored coats have been accepted when showing. White
is the most common color for the Kishu Ken.
The Shiba Inu is the smallest of all the Japanese native
breeds, and shares a similar but more compact spitz-type
appearance with the Akita. These dogs were originally bred for
hunting, and the name "Shiba" means "brushwood,"
referring to the dog’s hunting terrain. This breed can be
independent and aloof, but these dogs are exceptionally
affectionate and devoted to those who earn their respect. Shiba
Inus require regular exercise and
training can be very beneficial.
The Shikoku is a dog native to the island of Shikoku in Japan.
Due to their isolated island origins, this dog avoided
crossbreeding, and is thus one of the purest breeds in the
world. The Japanese have helped this effort by restricting any
crossbreeding, and the breed is rarely seen outside of Japan
today. These spitz-type dogs were bred for hunting, and retain
a rather high prey drive. They are rugged dogs who are fit for
an active, outdoor life, but they are calm and quiet when
Other Japanese dogs include the Japanese Spitz, the Japanese
Terrier, and the Tosa.
Dogs Trimmed into Cubes? A New Japanese Trend
To a western sensibility, a lot of the trends that come from
Japan can seem a little out there. Things like
boyfriend pillows, skin whitening, cucumber flavored Pepsi and
eyelash wigs are all everyday occurrences in Japan but would
turn quite a lot of heads here. But that rarely stops them from
making their way stateside - trends like Tamagotchi, harajuku
-style, and Pokemon are all Japanese
trends that changed the American pop-culture landscape.The
newest Japanese/Taiwanese trend that is making a lot of
westerners’ eyeballs pop is trimming a dog’s fur into cubes.
See for yourself.
While it may look a little out there, in terms of the dog’s
level of comfort, it is no different than any other style of
haircut.The rationale for the new trend is believed to
be social media. People love
sharing pictures of their pets, but they also love it when
people like/share their pictures, and what better way to get
other’s attention than by giving your pooch a new do -
especially a wildly cube-y one.Here are some more pics of dogs
sporting this new style.
So what do you think? Are you a puppy purist or do you think
these new styles could one day become haute couture?
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