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History The ancestors of the Japanese Terrier are said to have been brought to Nagasaki by Dutch merchant ships during the 17th century. Japanese Terriers were probably descended from Smooth Fox Terriers that were crossed with local Japanese dogs. Originally, these dogs were bred for hunting vermin, but through the years, they were used more as lapdogs and companion pets.
Selective breeding of Japanese Terriers began only in 1920. In 1930, this breed was granted recognition by the Japanese Kennel Club. Japanese Terriers dwindled in number and were in danger of extinction during the World War II, but some specimens survived. Today, there are a few of these dogs in Japan, and even outside of the country. In 2006, the Japanese Terrier became recognised by the United Kennel Club. Although this breed has its own share of admirers in Japan and even in Europe, it's still fairly rare and little known.
Appearance Japanese Terriers are balanced dogs with a square build. The ears of these dogs are set high on top of their head and fold forward. Their nose is black, and their nasal bridge has the same length as their skull. These dogs have tight and thin lips, and strong white teeth that meet in a scissors bite. Their oval eyes are moderately sized and dark in colour. They have a deep chest, well-sprung ribs and a well-tucked up belly. Their feet are tightly closed and have elastic pads. They have hard nails that are usually dark in colour. The coat of these dogs is smooth, short, glossy and dense.
Colours The coat of these dogs is white with tan and black. The body of these dogs is predominantly white with some black or tan markings, and their head is black.
Temperament These dogs are lively, loyal, playful and happy. As companions, they are affectionate and need to be with their family. Although these dogs are relatively active and have much energy, they are lapdogs and shouldn't be left alone in a yard. Often, these dogs have a favorite person in the family. Undemanding and sensitive, Japanese Terriers are eager to please and fairly easy to train. These dogs get along well with children. They are also good with other dogs, and can be taught to live harmoniously with cats.
Weight Dogs of this breed have a height that ranges from 8 to 13 inches and a weight that falls between 5 and 9 pounds.
Problems There are no known health problems that are specific to this breed. The illnesses affecting Japanese Terriers are those common to other types of dogs as well.
Living Conditions These dogs are suitable for apartment dwellers. When the weather is cold, these dogs must be protected with a coat or sweater. Owners should also make sure that these dogs are provided with shade and water when the weather is very warm.
Requirements Like other dog breeds, Japanese Terriers need to be taken out for walks on a daily basis. When outside, they should be kept on a leash, but these dogs will also appreciate being allowed to run around in a large, fenced area. Play sessions will also benefit Japanese Terriers.
Training Requirements These dogs are fairly easy to train due to their eagerness to please. Because of the sensitivity of Japanese Terriers, owners must train them using consistent and gentle methods.
Life Expectancy Japanese Terriers are expected to live for approximately 9 to 11 years.
Grooming The short coat of these dogs makes them easy to groom. Owners just need to brush the coat of these dogs on an occasional basis to remove loose and dead hair. Brushing should be done more frequently when the dog is shedding.
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More Japanese Terrier Information: Check out our Japanese Terrier Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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