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Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is an elegant, aristocratic, and compact little dog with a profuse coat. As a short-faced breed, they should have large eyes and open nostrils giving an appealing if slightly astonished-looking expression. The soft, silky coat is long and straight.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking half an hour a day
  • Little toy dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • Great with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12-14 years
Weight:  1.8-3.2kg
Height:  20-27cm
Colours:  Black and white or red and white which includes all shades of red from
sable through to lemon. Tricolour is not permitted nor is white flecking
within the coloured markings
Size:  Small
UK Kennel Club Groups: Toy

Ratings

Family-friendly: 3/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 3/5
Japanese Chin standing in the grass

Personality

The Japanese Chin is a happy, intelligent and lively little dog. Bred to be a companion, they thrive with human company and struggle to cope with separation from their family members. Affectionate and gentle, and undemanding as far as exercise goes, they are full of character despite their tiny size.

Japanese Chin with yellow flowers

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Japan

The Japanese Chin is one of several tiny, hugely appealing toy dogs kept as companions and given as diplomatic gifts between royalty, nobility and families of high standing. Various theories exist as to their true origins, with suggestions they came from China, Korea or via traders from the West but all theories link them closely with both royalty and Eastern monastic life.  

Whatever the truth or their origins, once these dogs arrived in Japan, they were further refined, treasured and pampered. They were supposedly developed to be tiny enough to fit into the wide kimono sleeves of royal and noble ladies and as they were only permitted to be owned by nobility, at one time the theft of a Japanese Chin could incur the death penalty!  Despite being an ancient breed, they remained unknown outside of Japan for centuries and were not brought to Europe until the 17th century when they arrived with Portuguese traders.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Japanese Chin was developed to resemble both in looks and behaviour, a cat-dog hybrid. The word ‘Chin’ means cat-like, and they have been noted for their feline-like behaviours, being remarkably silent and washing their faces with the front paws. They are also agile jumpers and deft climbers.

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