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Japanese Chin Information


The Japanese Chin is a fine boned, delicate looking dog with beautiful long, straight hair. The body is small and compact with a square shape and a tail and head that are both held high. The head has a blunt nose with very pronounced, almond shaped eyes that slightly protrude. The mouth is somewhat undershot and the ears frame the face and are covered with longer hair that blends with the long hair on the neck and ruff. The dogs are white with black, brown, tan, red, lemon, brindle, orange or sable. The nose is always black. The tail is well-fringed with long hair and is carried curled over the back. The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel is prized for its small size and the "Buddha's thumbprint" or white mark on the forehead.


The Japanese Chin is one of the best behaved of the toy breeds and is much less aloof than others. They are very intelligent and love to be with their family, but are not typically as jealous as other small dogs. They are not barkers, but do like to get their owners attention. Easy to train and very clean, they make idea pets. The Japanese Chin is very playful as a puppy and will get along well with other dogs and non-canine pets. They are often very friendly towards cats when raised from a puppy in multiple pet households. The Chin love to get praise and will quickly learn tricks and routines for just a few minutes of attention and love. The breed does best in a home where people are present most of the time, and does not like to be left alone for long periods.

Grooming & Shedding

The Chin is an average shedder and will require daily brushing to keep the coat looking its best. The longer hair around the neck, legs and tail area will quickly mat if not properly brushed. Ears and eyes should be frequently cleaned to avoid bacterial infections. Avoid bathing the Chin unless absolutely necessary and be sure to completely dry and keep out of cold areas until the coat is dry.


Originally developed in Korea, the Chin soon became popular as a court dog in Japan. The wonderful nature and natural cleanliness of the dog was probably a key factor in is popularity with royalty of the time. It was brought to the Europe in the 1700's and a pair of Japanese Chin were a gift from Commodore Perry to Queen Victoria in 1853 to celebrate the opening of trade with Japan. This gift caused the breed to become increasing popular through out the United Kingdom.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: patellar luxation, KCS (dry eye), entropion, heat stroke
  • Occasionally seen: epilepsy, achondroplasia, distemper
  • Suggested tests: knee, eye, respiratory




7-11 inches (18-28 cm)


4-15 pounds (2-7 kg)


10 years


Medium to low





Young Children

Yes –with supervision

Need exercise space

Yes – small yard

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