Japanese Chin

Smart, Sensitive and Sweet; Definitely the “Star of the Show”

Japanese Chin

An Adorable Toy Dog Who Is Smart, Sensitive and Sweet and Definitely the “Star of the Show”

It is easy to fall in love with the Japanese Chin Dog. Playful, smart, and sensitive, this toy breed is the life of the party. One of the most entertaining and loving little dogs you will find, the Japanese Chin is an adorable pet whether you live alone or have a large family with children. Be aware, though, that because of the breed’s royal heritage, this dog will not want to share the spotlight and will expect to be the center of attention, the “star of the show.”


Also known as the Japanese Spaniel, this cute-as-a-button toy breed is considered the dog of Japanese royalty, and has a distinctive heritage. Although ironic, most experts widely agree that the breed originated in China, and was brought to Japan around the year 732. While all other breeds of dogs in Japan were considered workers or helpers, the Japanese Chin was regarded as the epitome of pleasure, the ideal companion.

Japanese royalty soon discovered that this charming little breed captured their hearts, mostly due to its delightful personality and pretty features. Eventually, only members of nobility were allowed to own the breed. In fact, the Japanese Chin was the escort of honor for female royalty of the Imperial Palace.

There are numerous variations of the Chin since the Japanese royals each bred to their own standards. Today, you will find some Japanese Chin dogs are slender-boned or have a thick coat, while others appear more muscular and compact.

Strong evidence suggests that an American naval officer, Matthew Calbraith Perry, was presented with seven Japanese Chins by the Emperor of Japan when he visited the Orient in 1853, although it is believed that only two survived the passage back to America.


The Japanese Chin has an elegant presence, with small ears fully covered in hair set just below the crown of the skull. Generally speaking, this breed is about as tall as it is long, usually standing about 7 to 11 inches high. The average weight at adulthood is around 7 lbs., but can range between 4 and 15 pounds. This breed is characterized by widely set, alert eyes which have the look of extreme intelligence. With a long, silky coat, the Chin may be colored black and white, tan and white, red and white, or pure black. One of the cutest characteristics of the Japanese Chin puppy is a tail that arches in a plume over its back.


While this breed is ideal for families, individuals, or even the elderly, a word of warning: the Chin can develop “Small Dog Syndrome” if the dog is not taught proper conduct at an early age. This syndrome develops when the animal is treated more like a baby than a dog, which results in the creation of a “spoiled brat” defined by such undesirable behavior as growling, acting territorial, biting, or barking excessively.

As long as you establish yourself as the dog’s undisputed leader when the dog is young, the Japanese Chin will be a dainty, sweet pet that's devoted to its family with an attitude of eager obedience. It is important to expose your dog to the many aspects of life at an early age. While this breed is not prone to frequent barking, it may become noisy in situations which are unfamiliar, or when around strangers. Gentle and usually mild-mannered, the Chin responds very well to children as well as to other pets in the household as long as the situation doesn't become too rowdy.

Appropriate Environment

Japanese Chin puppies adapt well to almost any living environment, from the smallest apartment to a large, spacious home full of children and other animals. As with most breeds, the Chin will need regular exercise like a daily walk. A calm environment is best for this breed which can become a bit more nervous or aggressive in unfamiliar or noisy surroundings.

Younger children should be taught to handle the Chin gently since the dog cannot tolerate rough treatment. This is basically a snuggly little dog that will take pleasure in just lying in your lap while you read or watch television – the ideal pet for a quiet, peaceful person.


The Japanese Chin typically lives 9 to 10 years, and may suffer from eye irritations, low blood sugar, breathing problems, and dislocated kneecaps. Because the breed has a short muzzle, it may tend to snore. In most cases, health problems can be treated or even prevented through a balanced diet, exercise, and proper veterinary care.

The Chin is sensitive to extreme temperatures, so care should be taken to keep your pet comfortable. It's also important to provide your Chin with plenty of physical and mental stimulation.


Because of the oversized eye orbits of the breed, it is best to wipe your pet’s face occasionally with a damp cloth, as tears may become trapped in facial skin folds which can lead to fungal problems if not cleaned regularly.

The Japanese Chin dog does not need bathing on a frequent basis, as its single coat emits no odor. To keep your pet's coat healthy and shiny, brush or comb once a day, paying special attention to the legs and areas under your pet's ears.

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