Japanese Chin

Home > Dog Breeds > Japanese Chin
4-7 lbs
Japanese Spaniel

The Japanese Chin is a small dog of the toy family. He is flat-faced with long, beautiful hair. It is thought that the Chin originated in the Chinese royal court over 1,500 years ago; some argue that the dog was bred in Korea and it migrated from there. He is an energetic, funny dog. In Japan, the Chin is revered as being a higher being when compared with other dogs. They like to climb to high places; the Japanese Chin is often described as a “cat in a dog suit” because they tend to be rather acrobatic, climb often, and clean themselves.

lap dog
Date of Origin
ancient times
pug, pekingese

Japanese Chin Health

Average Size
Height: 8-11 inches Weight: 4-7 lbs
Height: 8-11 inches Weight: 4-7 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Cataracts
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Heart Murmur
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • Heart
  • Skeletal
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Japanese Chin Breed History

The Japanese Chin was originally called the Japanese Spaniel. While the exact origin of the breed is unknown, some believe the breed is related to the Pekingese and was brought to Japan by Buddhist teachers sometime around 520 A.D. Others think that around 1000 A.D., the Chinese emperor presented the dogs to the Emperor of Japan as a gift. From the time it was brought to Japan, it became a highly popular dog. Japanese nobility were quite fond of the dog. Most believe that the Chin was brought to Europe by Portuguese sailors who had traded in Japan. We know for certain that Princess Catherine of Braganza was given a Japanese Chin by Portuguese sailors. Commodore Matthew Perry officially brought the Chin to Europe in 1854. Perry gave a pair to Queen Victoria and would later give another pair to the president of the United States. In the late 1800s, the Chin was recognized by American Kennel Club under the name Japanese Spaniel. In 1977, the AKC officially changed the name to Japanese Chin. The dog is still held in high regard in Japan.

Japanese Chin Breed Appearance

The Japanese Chin actually comes in a variety of shapes and sizes due to different breeds being introduced to the gene pool over the years. Some members of the breed are distinctly bigger than their counterparts. The Chin has a broad head with large, wide-set eyes and a flat, brachycephalic face. Its muzzle is short. Its ears are small and V-shaped with long hair covering them. These dogs have an underbite. The tail is curled over the Chin’s back with hair feathered down the tail. The coat is white with colored patches; the most common colors are black, red, lemon, orange, sable, black and white with tan points, or brindle. Some Japanese Chins are over seven pounds. 

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Japanese Chin Breed Maintenance

The Japanese Chins are active dogs, but they need relatively little exercise. It is recommended that Chins go for a daily walk, and a harness rather than a collar should be used (brachycephalic dogs may be prone to a collapsed windpipe; a collar exacerbates this condition). The Japanese Chin has beautiful, long hair that is silky to the touch. The head, face, and forelegs have short hair, while the rest is long with feathering on the ears and legs. Japanese Chin will often clean themselves; they do not require regular bathing. They actually benefit from dry shampoos in between monthly baths. Chins do shed, but weekly brushing will help alleviate this. When drying your Chin after a bath, brush the coat upward and outward with a pin brush in order to avoid tangling. Brushing your Chin’s teeth two or three times a week will help prevent periodontal disease and bad breath. 

Brushes for Japanese Chin
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Japanese Chin Temperament

It is important to realize that the Chin is a toy-sized dog; he should never be left alone with small children. Older children who are familiar with how to safely handle a small dog are better suited to the Chin. This cute canine is described as having a sense of humor, an “impish” temperament, and a talent for pursuing his own interests. A Chin is usually very entertaining for his family, with a great memory and well remembers anyone who upsets him in any way. He loves people and loves being surrounded by his family; Chins can experience separation anxiety. They are not the easiest dog to train, but with persistence, they are often fully housebroken by four months. Be firm with a Chin; harsh punishment often turns off the mild-mannered temperament.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
4 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Japanese Chin Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$0.8 - $1
Monthly Cost
$20 - $30

Japanese Chin Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 3 lbs
Height: 7 inches Weight: 3 lbs
12 Months
Height: 8 inches Weight: 4 lbs
Height: 8 inches Weight: 4 lbs
18 Months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 5 lbs
Height: 9 inches Weight: 5 lbs

Top Japanese Chin Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Japanese Chin breeders of 2017.
Chin of Touche Japanese Chin
Dallas, Texas
Poolside Japanese Chin
Scottsdale, Arizona
Royal Silk Japanese Chin
Porterville, California
Two Oaks Japanese Chin
Plant City, Florida
Megumi Japanese Chins
Hickory Withe, Tennessee
Tsunami Japanese Chin
Elkland, Missouri
Dizzy Dog Japanese Chins
Eatontown, New Jersey
Sinshar Chins
Waynesfield, Ohio
Yon Dell Japanese Chins
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Randalets Japanese Chin
Cranberry, Pennsylvania

Japanese Chin Owner Experiences