Japanese Chin

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Is the Japanese Chin right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Japanese Spaniel; Chin

The basics:
The rather poorly named Japanese Chin is an ancient toy breed developed in China around 500 BC. This charming little dog was a favorite of the ladies of the Imperial Palace. When a Chinese emperor gave a pair to the Japanese emperor, the Japanese nobility was equally delighted. Eventually, the Queen of England and an American president also received Japanese Chins as royal gifts. To own this elegant little dog is to own a true aristocrat. This breed is a lap dog, not a companion for active owners who plan to spent hours tramping through the woods. If you're looking for a snuggler who loves being catered to and admired, you may have found the right pet to pamper.

Appearance / health:
The Japanese Chin is a dainty little dog that has a short, broad face. The forehead is round with a well-defined stop. The nose is wide and the nostrils open. It has an extremely short nasal canal. It has expressive, protruding eyes that are dark and almond-shaped. The teeth form a level or undershot bite. The upside-down, V-shaped ears are usually well covered with hair.

Its body is about the same length as its height. The front legs are straight and fine-boned. The Japanese Chin has an elegant high-stepping gait. The plumed tail is carried over the back, and curves to either side.

The Japanese Chin’s grooming requirements are high. A few minutes each day may help the coat stand out. The tangles may need light brushing and combing out. While brushing, the hair may be lifted to leave it standing out a little. The eyes may need regular cleaning and the ears may need to be checked for signs of infection. The Japanese Chin may be bathed occasionally or only when necessary. This breed is an average year round shedder.

Chins require little exercise. This is best given in the form of daily walks.

Like many short-faced breeds, the Japanese Chin tends to wheeze and snore. Some also suffer from reverse sneezing. They are prone to eye and respiratory problems in hot and cold weather. Hot weather may cause heat prostration (dizziness, nausea, and weakness caused by depletion of body fluids and electrolytes) in the breed. Some dogs may be prone to distemper, an infectious viral disease. The Japanese chin is also prone to dislocated knees, low blood sugar, and whelping problems.

Behavior / temperament:
The Japanese Chin is a sensitive and intelligent dog whose only purpose is to serve as a companion. It however has a mind of its own and likes to be the center of attention. It is rather more obedient than other toy breeds, and may learn tricks. It makes a good watchdog. The Japanese Chin is very clean and uses its paws to wash its face like a cat; its name chin means 'cat-like.' It is said to have the charm, gracefulness, and intelligence of a fine nobleman.

The Japanese Chin is an obedient and intelligent dog. However, it may be a little difficult to housetrain during the first four months of its life.
It has a deep bark unlike other small breeds. This breed is not a compulsive barker. It can be a good choice for people who can't tolerate the yippy barks of some of the other toys.


huge personality, quiet dog, catdog, good watch dog, maximum affection, apartment


strange people, horrible ear infection


minimal grooming, catlike behaviors, biggest eyes

From shelters/rescues

Foster Homes Needed


Japanese Chin

Paicines, CA


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