How do you find appropriate activities for a royal dog whose main purpose in life is to sit on your lap and provide companionship? These toy dogs are not necessarily as hardy as other toys but they do have a big heart and with encouragement will try new things. Before beginning any activity, assess your dog’s overall health and attitude. A Japanese Chin that has an extremely flat face will have difficulty breathing if they are in the heat too long or after strenuous activities. You will want to modify activities to fit your Chin’s ability. Do not become frustrated if they cannot do what other dogs do, they are unique and the main goal of any activity is to have fun and form a close bond.
Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Therapy dogs accompany their owners into hospitals, nursing homes, schools or even libraries to assist with giving comfort to those in need. A therapy dog must be well behaved and obedient to be able to visit with anyone from a young toddler to the elderly. Since Japanese Chins are lap dogs, they make excellent therapy dogs. They are able to comfort the elderly in nursing home setting, bring joy to a sick child in a hospital or even help a child learn to read by simply sitting with them as they read aloud. With a little dedication, your Japanese Chin can earn an American Kennel Club Therapy Dog title and spread some love and cheer to those who need it most.
While agility is not usually something that Japanese Chins excel at, they can enjoy an obstacle course that you have set up at home or visit a public agility course. It is pretty easy to set up a small obstacle course for your dog but it can be somewhat pricey when you purchase agility equipment. You can use some children’s toys such as hula hoops or a kid’s tunnel rather than purchase the tunnel or hoop that is specifically for agility. You can even use small pillows as jumps instead of purchasing agility jumps. Since you are not going to be doing competitive agility it is okay to improvise! The main thing is that you and your dog have fun and get moving. This keeps them physically fit and gives them a chance to spend more time with you. Plan to spend about 45 minutes to an hour on this obstacle course activity but be sure to monitor your dog closely and do not let them get overtired or too hot since they are a snub nosed breed.
Japanese Chins love to be on their owner’s lap. Therefore an excellent activity for both of you is a doggy massage. They simply lay on your lap and you gently massage their body to relax them and deepen the bonds between you, and best of all it is free! Gently massage their neck, back, legs and even their ears to ease any muscle aches or to simply give them a chance to enjoy your company. When massaging a Japanese Chin do not push or pull too hard, they have small bones and you can hurt them if you are rough.
The flirt pole allows your dog to play and chase an object without you having to do much work. This is basically a stick with a toy attached to the end of it that you either hold or plant in the ground. It provides plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation for your Japanese Chin and gives them the chance to chase something without having to leave the backyard. Flirt poles can be handmade or can be purchased pre-made; price of pre-made flirt poles will vary depending on construction and size.