Japanese Chin: Graceful Decorative Pets

The Japanese Chin, animate treasures of the Japanese and Chinese emperors, have long won the hearts of indoor pet dog fans around the world. They continue to touch the dog breeders with their grace and sweetness. Their gentle, fragile beauty, combined with intelligence, intelligence, delicacy, sincere devotion, and love for a person, demonstrate an amazing symbiosis, causing people to feel a sense of beauty and a noble desire to take care of their smaller brothers.

Brief Information

  • Breed name: Japanese Chin
  • Country of origin: Japan
  • Weight: 2-5 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): 20-27 cm

Key Facts

  • Refinement and gracefulness are the main features of the exterior of the Japanese Chin. The silky long coat gives them a special charm.
  • Pets of this breed are the calmest and balanced among other small decorative dogs.
  • Japanese Chin is suitable for most owners because they have the ability to fully adapt to their lifestyle. They do not require a lot of space, do not have the habit of “walking with their tail” after the owner, they are very delicate.
  • The pet is active, playful, but not excessively, it needs minimal physical activity.
  • He is incredibly clean and does not require special attention to personal care.
  • The Japanese Chin is cheerful, friendly, devoted to all household members, gets along well with children, but it is not recommended to keep it in a family where there is a child under 6 years of age, as he can inadvertently injure the animal.
  • Chin treats other pets well. Both the cat and the giant dog are considered by him as friends and possible partners for fun games.
  • With its habits, the miniature dog resembles a cat: it can make sounds similar to meowing, hiss, and climb high surfaces.
  • With its funny appearance, the Japanese Chin does not allow itself to be treated like a toy and does not tolerate familiarity. He establishes contact with strangers with caution, does not like when they try to stroke him.
  • An incredibly cheerful creature who openly expresses love for all family members, Chin needs reciprocal feelings. Show indifference and rudeness towards him is unacceptable.

History of the Japanese Chin Breed

It is indisputable that the Japanese Chin is one of the oldest dog breeds, but versions of its origin are still being discussed. According to one of them, the breed is truly Japanese, another claims that the Chins were brought to the Land of the Rising Sun from the neighboring states of South Asia, but the routes by which they got there are not exactly known.

There is a legend that a pair of dogs similar to the Japanese Chin was presented as a gift to the Japanese emperor Semu by the ruler of one of the Korean states of Silla in 732. It is also possible that these dogs settled in the Japanese imperial court in the 6th-7th centuries. The earliest estimated date for the appearance of Chins in Japan is called the 3rd century, and India and China are considered the exporting countries in this case.

Recently, historians in the field of cynology are inclined to believe that the Japanese Chin is one of the many breeds belonging to the so-called “toy” dogs of China, leading their ancestry from Tibetan dogs. Among them, in addition to Chin , are also called Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pug, Tibetan Spaniel, which, by the way, has nothing to do with the hunting spaniel. All these animals are distinguished by a large head, large eyes, short neck, wide chest, thick hair – features that speak of their adaptability to the climate of the highlands. Recent genetic studies confirm the version of family ties that connect these dogs. Graceful miniature dogs have been bred for centuries, living in Buddhist monasteries and imperial courts. It is known that the religious and secular elites of Tibet, China, Korea, Japan exchanged their pets and presented them to each other as gifts.

The first written sources with descriptions of Japanese Chin date back to the 12th century. Like their relatives, they were considered sacred and were adored by their owners – crowned persons and representatives of the aristocracy. There were legends about the Chin, their images adorned temples and luxurious porcelain vases, and craftsmen working with wood, ivory, bronze embodied the image of these miniature animals when creating graceful figurines. Purposeful work on the breeding of this breed began in Japan in the XIV century, information was entered into herd books and was kept in the strictest secret. It is known that the most appreciated were very miniature pets, which could easily fit on small sofa cushions, in the sleeves of the kimonos of noble ladies, they were even placed in suspended cages, like birds. In the 17th century, the daimyo families, the samurai elite, chose the Chins as their talisman. Commoners were forbidden to keep Japanese Chin, and their theft was considered a crime against the state and was punishable by death.

According to some information, however, not fully specified, the first Japanese Chin were brought to Europe in 1613 by Portuguese sailors. One of the dogs, or a couple, ended up at the court of the English king Charles II, where they became the favorites of his wife Catherine of Bragan. Perhaps at the same time representatives of this breed appeared in Spain. More reliable information indicates that the Japanese Chins appeared in Europe and the New World thanks to the Commodore of the US Navy Matthew Calbright Perry, who led an expedition to Japan in 1853 to establish trade relations. He brought five of the Chins presented to him by the Japanese emperor to his homeland, and one pair was presented to the English Queen Victoria.

The development of trade between Japan and European states, which began in the middle of the nineteenth century, opened up the possibility of exporting Chins to the continent, and systematic breeding of the breed began in many countries. In Europe, Japanese Chins quickly gained popularity as companion dogs and became the favorites of queens, empresses, and high society ladies. They inherited the tradition of the Japanese elite and presented their pets to each other as a gift. The Chin prospered at the courts of all the royal families of Europe. The most famous lover of these dogs was the wife of the English monarch Edward VII, Queen Alexander, who never parted with her many favorites. The family members of Emperor Nicholas II also adored their little pets.

The breed was first demonstrated at an exhibition in Birmingham in 1873. Here the hin appeared under the name “Japanese Spaniel”. In the United States, this name was retained for dogs until 1977. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed under this name back in 1888, and it belongs to one of the earliest registered by this organization.

The FCI recognized the Japanese Chin as a separate breed in 1957, referring it to the group of decorative and companion dogs.


The Japanese Chin is distinguished by its tiny size and delicate constitution, while the more miniaturized the doggie is within the standard, the more it is valued. These graceful dogs have a square format, determined by the equivalence of the height at the withers, which should not exceed 28 cm and the length of the body. For females, some elongation of the body is acceptable.


The breed is characterized by a spotted black and white color or white with red spots. The second option means any shades and intensity of red for stains, for example, lemon, fawn, chocolate. It is undesirable to knit Japanese Chin with dark chocolate spots, as they often give birth to sick and even dead puppies.

The spots should be symmetrically distributed around the eyes, cover the ears, and preferably the entire body, along which they can be placed randomly or in a balanced manner. The latter option is more preferable, as well as the presence of clear boundaries of the spots. It is highly desirable to have such a detail as a white blaze, which should run from the bridge of the nose to the forehead; there may be a small black speck on it, called the “Buddha’s finger.”


Japanese Chin is distinguished by intelligence, intelligence, poise. They are mobile, but not fussy, unexpectedly courageous, and in case of danger to themselves or their masters, their courage can grow into recklessness. The dog never retreats in front of the enemy, but since it cannot enter the battle due to its size, it spits, yells, or hisses like a cat. By the way, her resemblance to a cat also lies in her ability to mew, climb high surfaces, finding herself in the most unexpected places, and retire, finding a secluded corner. Chins are proud and unobtrusive – if the owners are busy, they will not bother, but just delicately wait until they are paid attention to.

These dogs are characterized by exceptional cleanliness. They are always ready to wash and are able to care for their fur on their own. If a couple of pets live in the house, then they will gladly lick each other’s faces and clean their paws. Chins are not at all naughty – they do not spoil furniture, do not gnaw on cords and shoes, do not make a lot of noise, and they rarely bark.

Japanese Chin is incredibly prideful and loves to be admired. But familiarity is not to their liking, and they are wary of strangers, not allowing themselves to be touched. In the family circle, these dogs demonstrate love and friendliness, while choosing for themselves a favorite whom they idolize. They treat other animals, including cats, kindly, they are not afraid of large dogs. Chins get along with children, but keeping them in a family where the baby is growing up is not recommended: a child, through negligence, can injure an animal.

Moderate activity and balanced temperament allow the Japanese Chin to feel comfortable in any family. With owners who prefer an active lifestyle, he will gladly go for a long walk or jog, go swimming, with couch potatoes or the elderly, he will share a seat on the sofa, buried in a bunch of plush pillows. Unobtrusive and delicate, Chin is a great companion for people prone to loneliness. However, all owners should take into account that these gentle dogs should know that they are sincerely loved, otherwise they will feel completely unhappy.

Chins love to travel and recognize any means of transportation, be it a car, a motorboat, an airplane. A bicycle basket is also fine.


Despite its small size, the Japanese Chin, like any other dog, needs to be trained. Pets learn commands easily, and if desired, they can be taught to perform various funny tricks.

During training, it is unacceptable to raise your voice to the dog and, moreover, to apply physical punishment. It is advisable not to roughly touch the face and tail of the animal during training. You should also not make sudden movements – this can disorient him and even provoke aggression. It is better to conduct classes in the form of a game, while you should not be zealous with repetitions of the same command, let the Chin perform it five or six times during the lesson – this will be enough.


Caring for a clean and unpretentious Chin is absolutely uncomplicated. It is desirable, of course, to take him for a walk three times a day, but it is permissible to limit himself to one walk, having accustomed the dog to a home litter box. In bad weather, you can take the dog for a walk, holding it in your arms, or dress your pet in waterproof overalls. In hot weather, it is advisable to walk with the dog in the shade, since overheating it can begin to choke. For walking with a Chin, choose not a collar, but a chest harness – a kind of harness, since its neck is quite delicate. Please note that these dogs, being without a leash, may well climb the first available height, for example, a children’s slide, so you need to make sure that the little pet does not fall.

Taking care of the hair of the Japanese Chin is also not difficult. He does not need model hairstyles, and the haircut is only hygienic, requiring only the removal of regrown hairs. It would be nice to comb your pet every day, in any case, this procedure should be done at least twice a week, accustoming the dog to it from puppyhood.

Chin is bathed as needed, but no more than once every two weeks. Paws and ears are washed as they become dirty. For bathing, use special shampoos, which, in addition to the washing effect, also have antimicrobial, antiparasitic properties. After shampooing, treat the dog’s coat with conditioner – this will fluff and smell good. After the procedure, the Japanese Chin must be dried so that it does not catch a cold. You can use a towel or a hairdryer.

The claws of Japanese Chin grow very quickly, while they bend, exfoliate, which gives the dog discomfort. They should be cut with a clipper as they grow back, as a rule, at least once a month. The dog will be especially grateful to the owner of this cosmetic procedure.


Chin food should be high in calories. These dogs do not eat much, but they move very actively, even while living in an apartment. The diet should be presented with foods containing a sufficient amount of protein and calcium. For animals of this breed, the following products are preferable, which must be alternated: turkey meat, chicken, lean beef, boiled liver, tripe, kidneys, sea fish (no more than 1 time per week), boiled yolk (two to three times a week). Rice, boiled vegetables, raw pitted fruits should be given periodically.

The finished feed should be premium or holistic.

It is important not to overfeed Chin because he quickly gains excess weight, and this negatively affects his health.

It is advisable that the tender Japanese Chin be periodically examined by a veterinarian for prophylaxis. For older animals, it is recommended that veterinary examinations be carried out regularly.


The average lifespan of the Japanese Chin is 12-14 years. The main health problems that can occur in Japanese Chin include cataracts, heart murmur, patella dislocation, atlanto-axial subluxation, corneal ulceration.

How to Choose a Puppy

Whichever Japanese Chin puppy you decide to purchase – a show-class dog or just a pet, it is important, first of all, to choose a seller. They can become a reliable, responsible breeder, and ideally the owner of a breeding nursery with a good reputation and a documented history of breeding the breed in this particular nursery. Professionals in their field will always select exactly the kind of puppy you are dreaming of, will issue documents confirming that he is healthy, a certificate of pedigree, a description of his potential breeding qualities.

First, make sure the puppies are kept in a clean room and observe them. Check if all puppies from the same litter are healthy, active, well-nourished. Inspect the kid that you like the most from head to tail. Make sure that his ears are clean, without redness, his eyes are clear, mischievous, his gums are pink, his teeth are white, his coat is silky and shiny.

Take a closer look at the Chin you like carefully at the moment when he plays. Such an observation will help to notice whether conspicuous defects are characteristic of him: “cow” carriage of the hind limbs, their instability, excessively drooping sternum. These disadvantages are rarely leveled with age.

It is very important to make sure that the parents of your potential pet have no diseases, and also to clarify whether the female was sick during pregnancy, as in this case, the puppies may develop pathologies, including such a dangerous disease as hydrocephalus. You should also take a closer look at the puppy’s mother, and if you choose a Japanese Chin with a show perspective, it is advisable to see both parents.


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