Japanese Chin

Japanese Chins are small, loyal and exceptionally affectionate, They are smart and love to entertain and be entertained.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The long, silky coat of the Japanese Chin gives him the appearance of a high-maintenance breed, but he is surprisingly easy to maintain in top condition. He will require weekly brushing and a bath once a month or so, depending on his surroundings. The breed’s nails grow very fast and should be trimmed regularly to keep them short and neat. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris that can cause ear infections, and teeth should be brushed regularly to avoid dental problems.

Exercise Tips

The Japanese Chin is a fairly active little dog. He will enjoy going for slow walks with his humans or exploring his fenced backyard. The breed is an excellent choicefor apartmentliving. Because of their stubborn nature, it is never a good idea to allow them to outdoors off the lead. If they see something they want to explore, they are likely to refuse to listen to any commands or pleas. They are a bit reserved around new people, pets, and situations, but with propersocializationwill enjoy going for romps in a supervised dog park with other small dogs.

Feeding Tips

The Japanese Chin should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

The Japanese Chin is a generally healthy breed, andresponsible breedersscreen for health concerns such as luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps), cataracts, epilepsy, and early-onset heart murmurs. Japanese Chin can be affected by a fatal neurological condition called GM2 gangliosidosis, or Tay-Sachs disease; using a DNA test, breeders can identify carriers and plan breedings to prevent the disease from manifesting in their puppies.


Training a Chin can be simple for the trainer who can make them believe they are doing only the things they want to do. Bred strictly as companions for royalty, the Chin’s only job throughout the breed’s history has been to charm, amuse, and comfort their humans. They are often referred to as “catlike,” and this trait can certainly be visible during training. They react well to positive training methods but will shut down at the first hint of harshness. Training sessions must be interesting and fun to keep their attention. They love to learn tricks to perform for their adoring public.


Although the actual origins of the breed have been lost in time, it’s thought the Japanese Chin first originated in China, but the breed found its way to Japan when the Empress of China offered one of these charming little dogs as a gift to the Empress of Japan. One thing that’s for sure is these charming dogs boast being among one of the more ancient breeds to be found and that over the centuries they have remained highly prized. In days long past, the breed was a little different from the dogs we see today because it’s thought the original Japanese Chins were crossed with smaller spaniels with an end goal being to create the much-loved dogs of today.
At the time only Japanese nobility was permitted to own a Japanese Chin and each palace developed their own breed standards which as a result saw that bloodlines suffer because no outcrossing was allowed. This led to the breed suffering from hereditary health issues. With this said, there were many different types of Chins at the time depending on which region of the country they were found in. There were certain traits and characteristics that were highly prized which include dogs having chrysanthemum tails, feathered feet and a thumbprint on the top of their heads. The most important trait at the time, was for Chins to be as small as possible so they could be carried up kimono sleeves and in gilded cages.
The breed remained very much a “secret” outside of their native Japan right up until 1853 when the first foreign Portuguese traders arrived in the country. Chins were offered as gifts to Catherine of Braganza who was the Queen Consort of King Charles II. It is thought that these dogs may have been crossed with toy spaniels at the time. The Chin soon became a sought-after trading commodity and as such many of them found their way to other countries. These little dogs soon found favor with the wealthy and the nobility thanks to their charming looks and kind, gentle and devoted natures.
A naval commodore by the name of Matthew Calbraith Perry was offered 7 Japanese Chins by the Emperor when he arrived in the country with many gifts. The commodore took them back with him, but sadly only 2 dogs survived the journey and were given to Queen Victoria. Another two were offered as gifts to the President of the United States at the time namely Franklin Pierce. Over time, their popularity grew with many famous people owning Japanese Chins.
Today, Chins remain a popular choice both as companions and family pets, but they are also often seen in the show ring and are always a success with judges and breed enthusiasts alike. They are recognized by all the major international breed organizations which include The Kennel Club.