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Japanese Dog Coat Colors

Japanese dog coat colors are sesame, red, black, brindle, and white.

The sesame has a red coat base and a certain percentage of black coloring throughout the coat, and has a white hair part like the others. If black color is strong, it is called black sesame, and if red color is strong, it is called red sesame.

The red is different from the red that you would usually imagine, it is reddish shade of dead-leaf, mainly composed of yellowish brown.

The black refers to the so-called black tan. It is not the jet-black like Western dog's black, but is dull, slightly brownish iron rust black.

The brindle is called 虎(Japanese – Tora : tiger) in Japanese and is literally tiger pattern.

Generally, sheer "Tora" refers to black tiger stripe on silver gray base. If black tiger stripe appears on red base, it is called 赤虎(Japanese – Akatora : red tiger), and if the color of 赤虎 (Akatora) becomes deeper and blacker, it is called 黒虎(Japanese – Kurotora : black tiger).

Tiger pattern Japanese dogs are only “Kai Ken”.

  Image from ""

The white is also white as it is, but it is not bleached monotonous white but is moist white, close to cream.

(This photo shows “Kishu Inu”)

Also, the root of all coat color hair of Japanese dogs are light color. And the color gradually becomes darker as it gets closer to the top end. In other words, even a single hair has a complex shade that is not monochromatic.

One of the major characteristics of Japanese dogs is the part called "Ura-jiro", which is the white hair part which appears from the bottom of the chin to the abdomen.


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