(aka: Japanese Spaniel)
The Japanese Chin is a small, cute, and compact dog, with a very sweet face. His coat is long, soft, straight, and thick, and is usually black and white. The coat can also come in various shades of red and white. He has long, silky ears that frame his face perfectly, and a short muzzle. The tail of the Japanese Chin forms a beautiful, feathered plume. These dogs reach around 8-11 inches in height, and weigh in at around 7 pounds.
Japanese Chin Temperament
Gentle and affectionate, yet playful and spirited, the Japanese Chin is a small dog with a big personality. These dogs can make ideal companions, and enjoy receiving and giving attention. The Japanese Chin loves to be cuddled and enjoys his creature comforts. This is not the right breed for those that do not have the time to commit to a pet, as the Japanese Chin thrives on attention and love from his owner. These dogs are responsive and intelligent, which makes training easier, and they are perfect for inexperienced dog owners and senior citizens as well as for more experienced dog owners. Although some Japanese Chins can be difficult to housebreak, obedience training should not prove too much of a problem using positive methods.
The Japanese Chin is a climber, and you can expect to find him climbing all over your furniture. This is a small dog, and does not appreciate being handled roughly, hence although he gets on well with children he is best around older and gentler children. Some Japanese Chin can be aloof or nervous around strangers, whereas others will be quite polite - early socialization is important in order to minimize on timidity. The Japanese Chin does get along well with other pets, and therefore is a good choice for those with family pets. For those unable to provide much exercise for their pet, the Japanese Chin is well suited, as he simply needs a secure, fenced area to play in. These versatile dogs are well suited to apartment living as well as living in houses.
Despite his profuse and silky coat, the Japanese Chin is a relatively low maintenance dog, and his coat simply needs to be brushed around twice weekly to keep it in good condition, although this may need to be stepped up during the times that he is shedding more heavily. He is a constant shedder, and sheds more heavily on a seasonal basis, so he is not the ideal choice for those with allergies. You should trim the hair around his bottom regularly for hygiene reasons, and also check that his ears are dry and clean to reduce the risk of infections.
The Japanese Chin has a long history that is often clouded in mystery. For example, there is some debate as to the origins of this breed. Some researchers suggest that the ancestors of these dogs first appeared in Japan around the year 732 AD, and were given as gifts from the rulers of Korea to the Japanese royal family. On the other hand, other researchers attribute the ancestors of the Chin to breeds that were of Chinese origin.
It has been suggested that Portuguese sailors introduced the breed to Europe in the 1600's. The story is that they gave the breed to Catherine of Braganza, Queen Consort to King Charles II of England.
It was two hundred years later when an American naval officer, Commodore Perry, helped to make this dog famous in England. In 1853, after he returned from Japan, he presented a breeding pair to Queen Victoria. He had another honor bestowed to him as well as this was considered the first canine gift given to the royal family.
Commodore Perry is also credited with bringing the breed to America when he gave another pair to the President of the United States.
As mentioned above, the Japanese Chin is very intelligent and willing to please its owner. These attributes make training the Chin easier than other toy breeds. Even so, the Chin can be stubborn and willful at times.
The best time to begin training is early on in life. Even at an early age they are capable of learning the basics of obedience and they can begin housebreaking as well. They are a clean breed so house breaking them is usually not a problem.
If at all possible early socialization is best. This is especially important if there are small children in the home with the dog. While the Japanese Chin will get along with other animals that live in the house, it is best to also begin socialization training for that as early as possible as well. The Chin is not an aggressive breed and will usually get along fine with other animals once it has had a chance to be around them in a safe environment.
This breed is quickly becoming known for its excellent learning ability in the agility events. Even those owners who do not plan to place the animal in a show event will find that the Chin is very capable of doing simple exercises such as jumping over lines or going under lines. Agility training is best begun when the dog is at least two years old. Beginning to train it any earlier than that and it may not be as receptive to the training.
The life expectancy of the Japanese Chin is around 12-14 years, and there are a number of health problems associated with this breed. This includes sensitivity to chemicals and drugs, susceptibility to heatstroke and respiratory problems due to his short muzzle, luxating patella, seizures, cataracts, and PRA. The parents of the Japanese Chin puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.