The Japanese Terrier (日本テリア, Nihon Teria) is a small terrier native to Japan. It is believed to be descended from the progeny of fox terrier types, pointers and indigenous Japanese dogs. This dog is also known as the Nippon Terrier. The breed is rare, even in Japan.
Appearance The Japanese Terrier is a balanced, square dog, most often black head with predominantly white body that has little black spots. It is 8 to 13 inches tall (to shoulders) and weighs 5 to 9 pounds, its ears are high set and fold forward, and the coat is short, slick and fine. Its tail can be docked.
Temperament The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) breed standard describes this breed as having "a lively and cheerful character" and as "swift and lively in temperament".
It is generally believed that the ancestors of the Japanese Terrier were brought by Dutch merchant ships to Nagasaki, the only Japanese port open to the West in the 17th century. It is unclear whether these dogs were Dutch Boerenfox (a Dutch terrier strain, like the Fox Terrier of England or the German Pinscher of Germany) or whether these were dogs brought along by English sailors. Unlike other descendants of Fox Terriers, the JT seems to have been developed exclusively as a pet. The dogs became very popular as lap dogs in ports such as Nagasaki, Kobe and Yokohama. According to the Japan Kennel Club (JKC), planned breeding of Japanese Terriers did not begin until around 1920, when fanciers began selective breeding from the progenitor, the Kobe Terrier. The Japanese Terrier was recognized by the JKC in 1930. The Japanese Terrier is recognized by the Japan Kennel Club and the FCI. It is little known outside of Japan, but does have its admirers in Europe.