Contradictory to its name, the Japanese Chin did not come from Japan. Instead, this ancient breed of dog has its roots in China and was then brought to Japan thousands of years ago.

Japanese Chin outdoor

These dogs are said to be related to the Pekingese (an ancient breed of toy dog, originating in China). Same with the Pekingese, the Japanese Chins were owned by early Chinese aristocrats and served as a present to noblemen.

Many theories explain how the Japanese Chins arrived in Japan. Some experts believe that a Chinese emperor gave it to a Japanese emperor.

One theory says that Zen Buddhist teachers may have brought these dogs after A.D. 520 while another theory claims that a Korean prince probably took several Chins to Japan around 732 A.D.

The Japanese Chin first found its home in the west in the year 1853 when Commodore Perry offered a pair to Queen Victoria after his trip to Japan.

From then on, more and more traders sold these petite dogs both in the US and Europe.

The American Kennel Club gave this breed full recognition in the late 1800s as the Japanese Spaniel.

Traits and Behavior

Cheerful and playful with their owners, no doubt these dogs are perfect as pet dogs. They are fond to be cuddled with and placed on the owner’s laps. They easily get the attention of most people and have a natural knack for warming them up.

These Japanese Chins are also sturdy, intelligent such that they easily obey instructions and can perform specific tasks or tricks. It is also in their nature to be outgoing. Therefore, there’s a need for them to do outdoor activities like walking, running or playing around.

Japanese Chin tongue out

Their small size is not a deterring factor for them to respond to a command. They can be good companions for travel or on vacations. They also are adaptive to environments that allow them the ease and comfort of being considered as pet dogs.

Their small stature is perfect for small places like in an apartment or condominium living since they don’t necessarily need a big space to be playful and do their usual stuff. With proper training, they can be relied on as good companions and pets for children and the elderly.

Pet Care and Diseases

Occasional trimming is necessary for the Japanese Chins.  A regular bath, cleaning of ears to check for infection or mucous plugs to prevent bulging of the tympanic membrane is also important.

Japanese Chin walking

This dog is also a shedder so it is obligatory to comb or brush using a firm bristled brush regularly.

For its exercise regime, frequent long walks at least every two to three days must be conducted so as not to invite unwarranted, behavior problems.

Their food intake must be monitored and managed as they are delicate pets and can easily fall into serious health problems due to poor nutritional intake (such as hypoglycemia).

Breathing and heart problems are common for the Japanese Chin, so dog owners must avoid putting this kind of breed in places with hot temperatures.


Adult Japanese Chins stand about 20-27 cm (8-11 inches) tall at the withers and weigh about 1.4-6.8 kg (3-15 pounds). Their heads appear bigger in proportion to their body structure. They have large, wide-set eyes and short muzzle. Both ears are small and V-shaped.

They possess a lengthy, smooth coat which gives much of hair covering almost to its body chest and feet. The color of the coat is white with some patches. The most common color of the patches is black, but these patches can also be red, lemon, orange, sable, black and white with tan points, or brindle.

Japanese Chin on the floor

General Information

The Japanese Chin has a life expectancy of below 10 years. The average litter size is 1-3 puppies. This breed is also known as the Japanese Spaniel. Nickname: Chin.

Breed Club

Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Japanese Chins. Click this link: http://www.japanesechinclub.co.uk/