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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is an elegant, aristocratic and compact little dog with a profuse coat. A short-faced breed they should have large eyes and open nostrils giving a 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
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Needs under an hour of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Japanese Chin breed is brachycephalic, and you can read more about this condition and the associated health problems here. 

The breed is also prone to:
- Patellar luxation

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

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 brough to Europe until the 17th century when they arrived with Portuguese traders and they were not shown in England until 1873. 

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.