A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Chin for Dog Lovers

The Japanese Chin (or Chin for short) is a lovely small companion known for their silky coat and noble demeanor. Often described as a cat-like breed, this lapdog is neat, graceful, and generally quiet. They have an unmistakable Eastern appearance—a large head, short muzzle, and round, dark eyes that give them an “astonished” look. The lush mane around the neck, plumed tail, and “culottes” on the hind legs also contribute to their elegant and exotic appearance. 

If you’re interested in learning about the Chin, you’ve come to the right place! This post will give you the lowdown on this adorable pup. So sit tight and get ready to discover everything you need to know!


Asian origin:Japan
Height:8-11 inches
Weight:7-11 pounds
Lifespan:10-12 years
Coat type:Silky, medium-length
Colors:Black & white, black tan & white, lemon & white, red & white, sable & white, white & black
Temperament:Charming, loving, noble
Suitable for:Families or people living alone, apartment living



Energy level:


Tendency to bark:

Shedding amount:


The Japanese Chin’s origin is shrouded in the mysticism of ancient Far Eastern rituals. They may initially come from China, dating back to at least the Fourth Century, but Japanese nobles later refined the breed into their current form. The Western world became aware of these canines in 1854 when Japan opened for trade after 200 years of isolation. They used to be called the Japanese Spaniel until officially changing their name to the Japanese Chin in 1977.


japanese chin

The Chin is a small, well-proportioned, lively toy dog with a distinct Oriental expression. They have light and stylish manners, plus plumed tail turns over their backs. The coat is abundant, silky, soft, and straight, giving the dog a square appearance.


This dog is sensitive and intelligent, solely dedicated to serving as a companion. They’re affectionate with familiar members but reserved with outsiders or in new situations.


The Chin has a soft, flowing coat that may make you think they require high maintenance, but they’re actually easy to take care of. You only need to brush them once a week and bathe them every month or so (depending on their surroundings). Also, remember to trim regularly to keep nails short and neat. Check their ears to avoid wax build-up and debris that can lead to ear infections. And brush their teeth to keep their dental health in check.


These small and active canines enjoy leisurely walks and exploring their fenced backyard. When going outside, you have to keep them on a leash as they can be stubborn and won’t always follow your commands. They can be a bit shy in new situations, but with proper socialization, they’ll enjoy playing with other small pups at a supervised dog park.


japanese chin

Chins were originally bred to be companions for royalty, and their job has always been to charm, entertain, and comfort their owners. So, if you’re training a Chin, it’s important to make them believe that training is just about doing what they want to do.  

These dogs respond well to positive methods but will shut down if they sense harshness. They love learning new tricks that they can perform for their adoring audience, but you should keep training sessions exciting and fun to keep their attention. 


The Chin is generally healthy, but good breeders will screen for health concerns like slipping kneecaps, epilepsy, cataracts, and early-onset heart murmurs. Breeders can also test for a fatal neurological condition called Tay-Sachs disease, which affects Chin. By identifying carriers of the disease, these people can prevent it from manifesting in their puppies.


Chins do well on high-quality dog food, whether store-bought or home-prepared (with your vet’s approval). Ensure the food suits your dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). And note that some Chins are prone to obesity, so you must strictly monitor their calorie intake and weight. Treats can help with training, but too many goodies can cause your beloved pet to become overweight. In addition, remember always to keep clean, fresh water available for them.

Living Condition

japanese chin

This breed is an excellent choice for apartment living, but Chins are not well-suited for hot weather areas because of their short muzzles, which make it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature by panting. For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure they always have access to fresh water and good ventilation. Additionally, on very hot days, it’s best to keep them indoors to avoid any risk of overheating.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Japanese Chin

1. Chin vs Inu in Japan

In Japan, there are Inu and Chin. Inu are generally more common and have traditionally been used as working dogs. On the other hand, Chin are considered royalty and are believed to be descendants of the lapdogs that were once owned by the Chinese aristocracy.

2. Matthew Perry Introduced Japanese Chins to America

In the 1850s, American Commodore Matthew Perry went to Japan. He aimed to persuade the Japanese people to open trade after 200 years of isolationism. Perry was successful in his mission and returned with two Japanese Chins. These two dogs were the first Chins to be brought to the United States.

3. Queen Alexandra Made the Breed More Well-Known

Queen Alexandra, the wife of King Edward VII, received a Chin as a gift from the British royal family after her marriage in 1863. She often photographed and painted her pets, and that interest helped increase the breed’s popularity in England and throughout Europe.

Japanese Chin for Sale

japanese chin

If you’re interested in getting a Chin, you should know that it’s not a very common breed. The price of a purebred Chin can vary from $1,500 to $2,500 depending on their pedigree, and it’s important to only buy from a reputable breeder.


This breed is a good fit for families, singles, as well as small apartment living. They’re quick learners and generally quiet, which makes it pretty easy to train. So, if you’re looking for a small, loyal, and entertaining furry companion, the Chin is definitely worth considering.


What Does the Japanese Chin Mean?

Japanese people make a clear distinction between Inu (dogs) and Chin. Chin are considered royalty and are descendants of dogs that once belonged to the Chinese aristocracy.

Are Japanese Chins Healthy?

The Chin is a breed known for having good overall health. However, like any dog, they are also susceptible to some health problems.

Do Japanese Chins Bark a Lot?

These cute little pups are not known for being excessive barkers, but they definitely won’t hesitate to let you know if they sense a stranger nearby or hear an unfamiliar noise.

Are Japanese Chins Cuddly?

These adorable furry friends are the ultimate cuddle buddies. They thrive on affection and love nothing more than curling up in your lap for a good snuggle session. 

Can Japanese Chins Eat Apples?

Apples are packed with vitamins and fiber, making them a nutritious snack for your furry friend. However, like all good things, they should be given in moderation to avoid any tummy troubles.

What Food Is Good for Japanese Chin?

Your pet’s diet plays a vital role in maintaining their overall health, so to keep them happy and active, you need to feed them high-quality dog food that suits their age and activity level. And to make sure you’re making the right choice, don’t forget to consult with your veterinarian for the best recommendations!

Can Japanese Chins Swim?

If you own a Chin, you should know they have difficulty breathing while swimming due to their short snouts. Additionally, their long hair can weigh them down. If you plan to take your Chin swimming, it’s best to start slowly and gradually introducing them to the water. Remember to prioritize their safety and well-being above all else.

Can Japanese Chin Be Left Alone?

Chins thrive on being around their owners and don’t appreciate being left alone for long periods of time. In that case, they tend to get anxious and may resort to destructive chewing and excessive barking. 

Are Japanese Chins Picky Eaters?

When feeding these furry friends, it’s important to note that they can be pretty picky about what they eat. It’s recommended to choose a food with quality meat listed as the first ingredient on the label, as this tends to be more appealing to them.

Is a Japanese Chin Hypoallergenic?

Unlike most breeds, Chins don’t have an undercoat, which is the primary source of excessive shedding in other dogs. But they’re not entirely hypoallergenic.

Do Japanese Chins Like to Play?

These lovable pups may have royal roots, but they still love playing and exploring outside. Don’t be afraid to let your Chin run around with a leash; it’s the perfect way to keep them happy and healthy.

Are Japanese Chin Dogs Smart?

Chins are clever and can quickly pick up new skills.

How Much Does a Japanese Chin Cost?

A Japanese Chin puppy from a reputable breeder often costs between $1,500 and $2,500.

Why Do Japanese Chins Spin?

Chins have a tendency to spin in circles, which is a way for them to express their excitement or happiness.


  • https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/japanese-chin/
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/things-you-didnt-know-about-the-japanese-chin/
  • https://japanesechinclubofamerica.org/
  • https://www.webmd.com/pets/dogs/what-to-know-about-japanese-chins

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