Folklore has it that Inugami can be conjured from a complex and cruel ceremony: A common pet dog must be buried up to his neck, only the head remains free. Then a bowl with food or water must be placed close but in unreachable distance before the snout of the dog. Several days after that, when the dog is about to perish and tortured by hallucinations, his head must be severed and buried beneath a noisy street. After a certain time, head and body must be placed in a well prepared shrine. Now an Inugami can be evoked.
Similar to Shikigami, possessed paper mannequins, Inugami are evoked for criminal activities, such as murdering, kidnapping and mutilation of the victims. If the evoker is perfectly trained, he can order his Inugami to possess humans and manipulate them. The victim is often forced to kill itself or other people, or to act like a lunatic. But Inugami are also said to be very dangerous for the evoker himself: since the Inugami´s soul is blinded by its desire for revenge and its unstoppable rage, the Inugami can quickly escape the master´s control and kill his own evoker.
Families that keep Inugami in their household are called Inugami-mochi (meaning "Those who have a dog-god as a pet"). It´s tradition within these households that family members always marry members from other Inugami-mochi families only.