Regardless of what “kind” of dog person you are, Big vs. Small, it’s hard to deny that the Japanese Chin is SUPER cute. And we can tell you there are a lot of Japanese Chin owners who, before picking up a Japanese Chin puppy, would have sworn that they never would have owned a “toy dog” in their life! But who can blame these unwitting victims for the Japanese Chin’s charm and cuteness? After all, there is a reason why these dogs have been around for so long, and there is a reason why first the Chinese and then later the Japanese nobility found these dogs so irresistible!
The real question…
Then, it becomes whether or not one of these cute little guys will be right for you. If not, under no circumstances should you put yourself in the same room as a Japanese Chin puppy available for adoption because if you do, there is a perfect chance you will be the proud new owner of one.
This is why…
We decided to write this article all about the Japanese Chin so that you can get a better idea of what it might be like to own one so that you won’t be disappointed should you ever be given a chance to be the proud owner of one of these unique animals.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Japanese Chin Dog Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Japan
Original purpose: Companion animal, lap dog
Height: 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 4 to 9 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Toy Group
Life Span: 12 to 14 years
Origin of the Japanese Chin
The Japanese Chin Dog originated in Asia more than 1,500 years ago. And like most “ancient” breeds, the exact source is typically up for debate. , However, most will agree that the Japanese Chin is most likely related to the Pekingese dog breed that originated in China and was a favorite in the Imperial Court of the Chin Dynasty.
Hence the name…
“Chin.” Once these guys arrived in Japan, they instantly became popular and developed their unique Japanese identity. This was accomplished by cross-breeding them with Continental Toy Spaniels that differed slightly from their Chinese cousins. Despite their popularity, these little guys remained a mystery for much of the Western European world until the mid-1800s, when they were first presented to Commodore Perry as a gift from the Japanese emperor for Queen Victoria.
And as one…
As one could expect, these guys became instantly popular throughout Europe and quickly made their way across the Atlantic to the United States. This is probably why the American Kennel Club (AKC) “officially” recognized this breed as early as 1888. The Jap, anise Chin is one of the first dog breeds to be recognized by the AKC, although, although typically referred to them as the Japanese Spaniel. A Japanese Chin Club was formed shortly after, which still exists today.
The best way to describe these guys is to think small and squish. They are small, dainty-looking dogs with protruding eyes, almost bug-like (and we say that with the utmost respect), and flat faces. He also has small ears shaped like a “V” with feathered feet like a small hare or rabbit.
They also have…
A high-set tail is covered in a smooth and silky coat and comes in many color combinations, such as lemon and white, tan and white, white and black, ebony and white, red and white, or white and black with red markings. And as we’ve alluded to several times, these guys are tiny, 8 to 11 inches in height, and very light, only 4 to 9 pounds. He is a tiny little dog but is unusually athletic. He can jump up to 6 feet high and run at a tearaway pace when he wants to.
Personality and Temperament
The Japanese Chin is a brilliant dog, playful and proud, perky and elegant. He is not as “yappy” or “hyperactive” as other toy breeds. Now, he does not need much exercise but loves playing in the yard. He is a spaniel and has a prey drive. So, you will find him chasing birds or butterflies all the time. But more than anything, the Chin loves snuggling into a blanket and always wants to be pampered. He craves love and attention and is a perfect pet for seniors.
He is still a little shy around strangers but never unfriendly. However, he is compassionate and does not like being teased or disrespected, so he is not the right dog if you have a toddler or a small child at home. You know how little children are like around dogs!
Potential Health Concerns
The Japanese Chin Dog has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years but is not the healthiest of breeds. The reason for that is many breeders deliberately deform this dog to make him appear “cuter.” That’s why he has his fair share of health issues, such as…
- Atrioventricular endocardiosis,
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA),
- Patellar luxation,
- Heart murmurs,
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease,
This is why if you adopt a Japanese Chin puppy, you want to be sure to only work with a reputable breeder who is well aware of all the issues this breed can have and actively works to try and avoid them in their litter. It’s also why sometimes adopting an adult Japanese Chin rescue dog can be a great way to avoid any unexpected issues.
Many of the issues that can plague the life of a Japanese Chin may not be life-threatening; they can indeed become quite expensive to deal with, particularly if they become recurring issues. For this reason, we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.