The Japanese Chin has been traditionally bred by the Japanese nobility for many centuries and is a popular gift in aristocratic society. The breed is characterized by crooked eyes and a cat-like character. Because of their shortened skulls, breeding should only be undertaken by absolute professionals who can trace the animals’ pedigree and carry out genetic testing.
Small, Graceful, and Elegant: Characteristics of the Japan Chin
Chins are one of the smallest dog breeds – males are only about 25 cm at the withers, and females are even smaller. The weight can range from a flyweight (about 1.4 kg) to a small chunk of about 6.8 kg. Her coat of hair largely hides her delicate body shape, but her facial features always remain clearly visible. The FCI standard precisely specifies the external characteristics of the breed:
- The skull is broad and round, with a relatively large forehead (apple head). The nose and eyes are in line and the stop is well defined and notched.
- The muzzle is very short and wide, with a dark nose and large nostrils. An overbite is acceptable but should not limit bite power.
- The eyeballs are large and round, they are widely spaced and often squint slightly outwards (strabismus). The iris should be colored as dark as possible.
- The lop ears are long and well feathered, they often stand out in color.
- The short neck is carried elegantly and erect, merging into a square body (high as long). Females are a bit more elongated than males. The abdominal line is well drawn up.
- The fore and hind legs are fine-boned and rather dainty. They allow a light-footed gait reminiscent of small circus horses. A fine feathering should grow between the toes on the little rabbit’s feet. The backs of the hind legs are feathered with fine, long hairs.
- The entire trail is covered with very long and soft feathering. It is worn over the back where it forms a soft pompom.
Soft, softer, chin – coat and colors of the Japanese lap dog
The Chin is known for its incredibly silky and soft coat. It grows long all over the body, only the face and front of the legs remain covered with shorter hair. The thighs, ears, tail, and neck are particularly long feathered.
All Chins are white with black or red markings.
- A broad blaze on the forehead is desirable, and the muzzle should remain white so that the dark nose is clearly visible.
- The markings should be evenly distributed all over the body. Black spots usually extend like a mask from the ears to the area around the eyes (the bridge of the nose remains white).
- Tricolored and white coat colors are not permitted for inbreeding.
Puppy of the Japanese Nobility – The Japan-China is Conquering the World
The early origins of the Chins are probably in China, where Shih Tzu and Pugs also originated. However, their history leads to Japan early on: It is proven that in the year 732 the first Chiichi Inus (small dogs) traveled as a gift from the Korean imperial family to the then Japanese empress. Over the next 100 years, the breed became extremely popular with Japanese nobility, and many more breeding animals were brought into the country. Almost every wealthy family had their own kennel – the smaller and more entertaining the puppies were, the more desirable they were.
Training and keeping Chiichi Inus
You only need one thing to train a Japanese Chin: empathy. The puppies forgive small educational mistakes, and they are also intelligent enough to feel for themselves what is expected of them. Communication problems between dog and owner therefore rarely arise. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should neglect puppy training. Good socialization and building trust are the most important cornerstones for a stress-free life with your furry friend.
Caution: danger of snack addiction!
The little mouths tend to gluttony. Once your Chin has figured out that he can get tasty fodder for tricks, he will try to manipulate you by any means necessary. Don’t always reward things you’ve learned with snacks, even if it’s sometimes difficult. Chins are also very good at pretending to lose their appetite in order to possibly get hold of higher-quality snacks. Be consistent and limit the daily amount of snacks to a level appropriate to the dog’s size and activity level.
It couldn’t be easier to care for
The good mood puppies were created for life in the apartment and feel very comfortable as office dogs or couch potatoes. Because of their shortened nose, their sports sessions should not be too long (about 20 minutes of activity at a time is recommended), but a life without sports is not healthy for any dog. You should therefore also take a toy dog like the Chin for a 15 to 30-minute walk at least three to four times a day and let it do its dog stuff: pee, sniff, run, greet neighbor dogs and sometimes fight with them.