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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

Origin: Japan

AKC Group: Toy

Height: 8 inches (Male)

Weight: There are two divisions: over 7 pounds (3 kg) and under 7 pounds (3 kg) (Male)

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Japanese Chins are playful but calm. They're great apartment dogs that are easily trained. They get along well with strangers and other pets, but they're often afraid of young children.

The Japanese Chin is a toy breed. Toy breeds are small companion dogs that were originally bred as pets for wealthy, cultured families. In general, toys are the perfect apartment dogs, since they require little, if any, outdoor exercise.

Despite their small size, many toys are excellent watchdogs. Most get along fine with children, although they'll snap if teased or startled. Some breeds are jealous of other pets. Longhaired toys need to be brushed frequently, and some breeds need to be professionally groomed every few months.

Male height: 
8 inches
Male weight: 
There are two divisions: over 7 pounds (3 kg) and under 7 pounds (3 kg)
Silky with a thick ruff and feathering on the thighs and tail.
Usually white with black patches. Patches can be red, orange, sable or brindle. Eyes are dark; nose color varies depending on coat color. Tail curves over the back; ears hang down.
Special considerations: 
The Japanese Chin sometimes suffers from respiratory difficulties because of its pushed-in face.

Centuries-old illustrations on pottery and embroideries from ancient palaces show that in his native country of Japan, the Chin was revered as a dog for the aristocracy. Bred for the sole purpose of accompanying the ladies of the Imperial Palace, they were considered gifts of extremely high honor. The breed was unknown to the West until Commodore Perry first brought Chin to England in the 1850s. A pair was given as a gift to Queen Victoria, a renowned dog lover. Her affection for them soon caused them to become highly desired throughout the United Kingdom and the Continent, and their popularity increased worldwide. During World War II, when relations between Japan and America were at their lowest, importation to the United States stopped. Europe and England maintained strong breeding lines, however, and when the pendulum finally started to swing the other way, there was plenty of stock from which to work to build the breed in the United States. Today, the breed is beloved around the world.

Japanese Chin were bred to be highly valued companions, and deep inside, they seem to know it. They are demanding of attention yet solicit it in an utterly charming and noble way. Intelligent, lively, happy, mild-mannered yet playful, they are truly delightful companion animals.
At home: 
Japanese Chin are at home just about anywhere, and because they are clean, fairly quiet, and don't need copious amounts of exercise, they make particularly good apartment pets. They are the very definition of "companion animal" and must have an owner who is willing to give them the time and attention they need - they cannot be left alone for long periods during the day. They are surprisingly agile and have the ability to climb fairly high, so a fenced-in yard is recommended. Chin tend to snort due to their flattened faces; this also makes them sensitive to heat because hot weather causes breathing problems.
The Chin will get the exercise he needs following you as you go about your day. He is small and somewhat fragile but should not be picked up excessively - especially if he may be developing a weight problem.
The Japanese Chin requires a high-quality diet. The long hair on the ears may have a tendency to get into his food, so some owners use a snood (a piece of cloth with some elastic on it) to keep the ears from falling into his face when he puts his head down.
The Japanese Chin is eager to please and enjoys learning, making training easier than with some other toy breeds. He is sensitive and responsive, so positive methods work wonders. Early socialization is recommended to ensure that your Chin is comfortable with new people and new situations.
Japanese Chin are small and can be fragile, so although they do love everyone, it is best to supervise their interaction with small or rowdy children. Chin get along fairly well with other pets, especially if they've been socialized to them from an early age.
The average life span of the Japanese Chin is 10 to 12 years. Health problems of the Chin may include the wheezing and snoring associated with short-faced breeds. They are also prone to eye problems, as they have protruding eyes; heart problems; patellar luxation; and respiratory problems.
Fun fact: 

In Holland, the Japanese Chin is known as the "child of royalty."

Grooming blurb: 
The long, human-like hair on the Chin should be brushed and combed twice a week with a good bristle brush and a fine-toothed comb.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion and are not to be considered a substitute for veterinary care. If you suspect a medical problem consult your veterinarian.