The Japanese Terrier and the Rat Terrier. Only One Has “Menkaburi Donuke”

The uninitiated might mistake a Japanese Terrier for a Rat Terrier, and vice versa, but there are vivid differences. The Rat Terrier’s body is square in proportion, while the Japanese Terrier is longer than tall. The Rat Terrier’s muzzle is the same length as its skull, while a Japanese Terrier’s muzzle is just slightly shorter in length than its skull. The Japanese Terrier’s ears are set high, but the base of a Rattie’s ear is on line with the outer corner of its eye – and these are just a few of the many contrasts to be found between the two (If you need a bit of help, the Rat Terrier is the dog at the left).

Admittedly, there aren’t many Japanese Terriers outside of Japan, but there is the odd Rat Terrier in Japan which is where, we’re told, the mistake can be made. The error, we suspect,  comes as a result of the first thing many of us notice about a dog – it’s color.

Large patches of one or more colors in combination with white (also known as pied patterning) is acceptable in a Rat Terrier, and those colors can be with or without “tan points,” and include the predominate black, or chocolate, red, apricot, blue, fawn, tan, lemon, or white. The Japanese Terrier (also called the Nipon Terrier) is a tricolored dog –  white with black spots; white with black or tan markings on the body. The Japanese themselves, refer to the Japanese Terrier’s black facial area and white body as “menkaburi donuke,” or “face masked, body exposed.”

Once read, always remembered. 

Japanese Terrier images found on Pinterest and happily credited upon receipt of information. “Shortly,” a Rat Terrier image by Ranveig through Wikicommons.

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