Japanese Chin Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin



Traditionally, this breed of dog belonged exclusively to members of the Japanese Imperial family. Highly valued, this breed was often given as a royal gift to very prominent people. In 1964, the Japanese Chin was named as one of Japan’s national symbols. Originally, this breed was known as the Japanese Spaniel, but its name has officially been replaced by the America Kennel Club in 1977. Even though the Japanese Chin is not very common outside Japan (particularly in the United States) this dog is still adored in his homeland. The Japanese Chin was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.

Height: 7-11 inches  Weight: 7-11 pounds  Lifespan: 10-12 years


The Japanese Chin is an elegant breed, which is square in shape and very cat-like in many different ways. It seems that the Japanese Chin is very aware of his high value. Hence, representatives of this breed have an aristocratic bearing and they move with grace. From the very beginning, Japanese Chins were bred to be the darlings of Japanese royalty. Comparable Breed: The Pekingese, Shih Tzu, and Pug.


These are very intelligent, loving and kind little dogs. Japanese Chins are affectionate, collected and quite playful. Even though this breed likes everyone within the family, it gets especially attached to one person, which becomes its owner. Since this is an extremely delicate and sensitive dog, the Japanese Chin is best suited for homes with older children, who thereat know how to handle a dog. He gets along well with other dog breeds and pets within the family. Despite the fact that Chins are not too inclined to bark, they turn out very good watchdogs. Dogs of this breed feel a great need to be in the limelight. They are very brave, with a distinctly independent thinking. Endowed with an excellent memory, the Japanese Chin remembers both good and evil, and he never forgets a friend or an enemy. Really, the Chin is an unmatched pet.

Coat / Care:

Japanese Chins have a pretty thick coat, which is straight, long and silky in its structure. While the dog’s neck and chest are adorned with a richer collar, ears and tail are decorated with somewhat light, beautiful feathering. The rest of the hair is fitting tightly to the body. Japanese Chin usually comes in a variety of colors, including white with patches of black, yellow, sable, orange, brown and red. Shedding is of medium intensity. Therefore, this breed requires thorough brushing and combing on an everyday basis. This will prevent the hair from tangling and matting. From time to time, the Japanese Chin may need professional care. Bathing is allowed only in case of urgent need, using a dry shampoo. The Chin’s eyes and ears require regular inspection and cleaning.

Health Problems:

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is generally healthy dog breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Patellar Luxation, Cataracts, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Heart Murmurs and Atrioventricular Endocardiosis. Like almost all other breeds with short noses, Japanese Chin may have problems with breathing. The Japanese Chin has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

Weight / Height

The male Japanese Chin dog breed’s height is around 9 – 11 inches and weighs around 9 and 11 pounds. Female Japanese Chin dogs can reach a size from 8 – 11 inches and weighs between 7 and 11 pounds.


The Japanese Chin is much more obedient than most species belonging to the same group. This dog really wants to be praised, so training is quite easy. The most prominent is the study and implementation of all sorts of tricks. Since this is a very sensitive and slightly pretentious dog breed, too harsh methods of training should be avoided. Hence, Japanese Chin responds best to kindness, love, fairness, and consistency. Moreover, it is recommended to carry out an early obedience course.


Japanese Chin does not require too demanding physical activity. Short daily walks or indoor games will be enough. Therefore, this breed is perfect for living in an apartment or a condominium. Still, the Japanese Chin enjoys spending time in a spacious yard. It is highly important to remember that dogs of this breed are very sensitive extreme temperature changes.

Japanese Chin

Photo Credit: Alex Archambault/Flickr; Peter Remnemark/Flickr; seiichi.nojima/Flickr

Quick Information

Other Names:Japanese Spaniel, Chin
Origin:Japan, China
Average size: Small Size Dog Breed
Color:Black, White, Tan, Yellow, Red
Energy Level:Somewhat Active
Barking Level:Quiet
Intelligence:Average Intelligent dog
Personality:Charming, Noble, Loving
AKC Dog Ranking:108th Not very popular
Good family dog:Yes, Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs:Yes, Good with socialization
Good with children:Yes – but socialization is essential
Good with strangers:Yes–  Very good with socialization
Good apartment dog:Yes – Excellent apartment dog

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