Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

Group: Toy Group

Origin: Japan

Height: 8 to 11 inches at the highest point of the withers.

Weight: Weight should be in proportion to height and body build, and can be as small as 4 lbs. or as much as 15 lbs.

Also Known as: Japanese Spaniel, Chin

Japanese Spaniel - Chin, Photo courtesy of Chyoko Chin
“Gunner”, Photo Credit: Chiyoko Chin

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Breed Profile

The Japanese Chin, or Japanese Spaniel as he is also known, is a lively, aristocratic toy dog with a very distinctive Oriental expression. Bred with the sole purpose of being a companion, the Japanese Chin is intelligent, alert, and inquisitive. He is also very responsive and affectionate with those he knows but may be reserved with strangers. In Japan, the Chin breeds are considered royalty and descendants of Chinese aristocracy. It is believed that the Chin breed originated in China centuries ago and was eventually brought into Japan through gift giving to Japanese royalty. The general belief is that the breed shares its ancestry with that of the Pug and the Pekingese.

The Chin has a single, profuse, silky, soft and straight coat with a plumed tail. His colouring is either black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points.


Health Issues

The Chin is generally a healthy breed and the majority of health problems found in the Chin are common to toy breeds in general. The most common problems seen are Luxating Patellas, Cataracts, and early-onset heart murmurs.

If you are considering the adoption of a Japanese Chin puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Japanese Chin’s single coat is not prone to matting and, therefore, is easily groomed. Weekly brushing and a regular bath help keep the coat shining. During periods of shedding, more frequent brushing may be required.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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