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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Japanese Chin


Japanese Chin Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 8" - 11"
  • Weight
  • 4-11 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Low - This breed requires little daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • White / Red
    • Black / White
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors
    • Tendency to bite

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Japanese spaniel


The Japanese chin originated in Japan.

Date Of Origin

Depending on which account of history you prefer, the Japanese chin may have existed as long ago as 732 A.D. It was called a Japanese Spaniel until 1977.


The true origin of the Chin remains a matter of controversy. It is widely agreed that these dogs originated in China. Some maintain the ancestors of these dogs first appeared in Japan around the year 732, as gifts from the rulers of Korea, while others maintain that they were given as gifts to the Empress of Japan as early as the mid-6th century to 7th century, and even some saying they came to Japan as recently as around the year 1000.
Commodore Perry gave a Chin pair to Queen Victoria in 1853 after opening Japan?s trade to the world.


The Japenese Chin is a small, well balanced, square dog. It has a large, round head with large, dark eyes. It has a short broad muzzle; a short nose with open nostrils; and small, triangular, drop ears. The tail is carried over the back. It has a profuse, silky, straight, single coat, that forms a ruff at the neck. The tail and thighs are heavily feathered. It comes in black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points.


The Japanese chin is a sensitive, mild mannered, and intelligent dog. It has strong likes and dislikes and an excellent memory. Some say that it is catlike in its habits. The Japanese chin gets along with almost everyone, including strangers, other animals, and children.


This breed is exclusively a companion dog.

Health Concerns

Back problems, cataracts, heart problems, luxating patellas.

Additional Information

This dog is well fit for city life.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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