Japanese Chin

Type: Companion Dog

Height: 8 - 11 inches.

Weight: 4 - 11 lbs. There are two divisions: under 7 lbs. and over 7 lbs.

Life Span: 9 - 12 years.

Litter Size: 1 - 3 puppies.

Country of Origin: Japan (Korea/China)

Activity: Low

Watch-dog: Moderate - may be timid around strangers.

Guard-dog: Very Low.


Description: The Japanese Chin is a lively little dog with a dainty appearance who loves to cavort and play. They have a compact carriage and profuse coat. Their movement is stylish, lifting their feet high when in action, and carrying their tail proudly curved or plumed over their back. They are higher in stature than their cousins, the Pekingese, but still very small in appearance. They have a flattened face, large eyes and a very round skull. A gentle and affectionate breed, they are meticulously clean and very easy to house break. Some owners claim they are much like a cat in their cleanliness and habits. They are very playful, enjoyable and get along with almost anyone. This includes children, strangers and other pets. They are sensitive, mild mannered, low in activity and high in fun. They are intelligent, charming and sophisticated. Japanese Chins are said to have strong personality traits, such as strong likes and dislikes. If you enjoy an affectionate, playful lapdog, then a Japanese Chin would make an excellent companion.

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Other Names: Japanese Spaniel

Colors: White and black or white and red and white (all shades, including sable, brindle, lemon and orange).

Coat: Japanese Chins have a profuse coat; it is long, soft, straight and rather silky. They have a thick feathering, almost resembling a mane.

Temperament: Japanese Chins are intelligent, alert and playful. They love to follow their owners around, and joyously play with them. They get along with almost anyone, including other pets, children and even strangers. They sometimes have strong personality traits, such as strong likes and dislikes. Japanese Chins are sensitive, affectionate and well mannered. They are robust, hardy and independent, yet still love to be with their owners.

With Children: Yes, best suited for older children, however, as they will not tolerate rough handling.

With Pets: Yes, they are friendly to all.

Special Skills: Family pet.

Care and Training: Japanese Chins require grooming with a brush or comb twice weekly. This will keep their coat clean and tangle free. Dry shampoo when necessary. Clean and check the ears and eyes daily, as these can be prone to infection. Japanese Chins should receive short daily walks and an opportunity to play every day. Exercise is average. Like other breeds with flat noses, heart and breathing problems may occur.

Learning Rate: High, Obedience - Very High, Problem Solving - Very High.

Special Needs: Grooming.

Living Environment: The Japanese Chin is an easy-going breed and is well suited for apartment living as long as it is provided with a daily walk. They are very adaptable and can live in a city, suburban or rural environment equally as good.

Health Issues: Like other breeds with flat noses, breathing difficulties and heart problems may occur. Other health concerns include dislocated kneecaps, back problems, cataracts, low blood sugar, eye irritations, and possible problems with whelping.

History: Bearing resemblance to both the Pekingese and the King Charles Spaniel, the Japanese Chin may have come from two different country sources, although neither of these countries are Japan. There are two theories to the origins of the Japanese Chin: one states that they were derived from the Pekingese-like dogs that were brought to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks and teachers from China in 520 A.D., the other theory is that they descended from a lap dog brought to the Emperor of Japan by a Korean diplomat in 732 A.D. Either theory, the breed was probably bred from Pekingese and possibly King Charles Spaniel. Japanese Chins were highly valuable and kept by the wealthy. Some sources indicate that the Chin was held in bird cages suspended from the ceiling in Japanese culture. In the older days of Japan this breed was fed only rice and saki to keep its small stature. Strict laws governed the protection of this breed, and the protection and fame of the Japanese Chin may be partly due to the fact that the current emperor at the time was born in the Year of the Dog. It is known that Commodore Perry, an American naval commander, after opening up the trade route between the Far East and the West in 1853, presented a pair of Chins to the British Queen Victoria. In 1862 the breed made an appearance at the British Show Ring, and in 1882 ten of these dogs were in an American New York dog show. In America, the Japanese Chin was founded in 1912, and the Canadian club not long after. Formerly called the Japanese Spaniel, their name was changed to the Japanese Chin in 1977. Soon Europe and the American continent were in demand of these little dogs, and they became a popular household pet.

First Registered by the AKC: 1888

AKC Group: Toy

Class: Toy

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC