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Japanese Chins

Breed Information

Japanese Chins 101: All dogs are individuals. The page below will describe the characteristics of a typical Japanese Chin.

japanese chins

How They Score 0 - 5 Bones
General Breed Health
Easily Housebroken
Low Maintenance n/a
Good w/Other Pets
Non-Shedding n/a

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."

- Ann Landers

What we LOVE about the Japanese Chin

Watch Dogs-Their bark is not considered 'yappy' as many of their toy breed cousins often are. They vocalize a much deeper bark that is surprising for their size and they don't bark often, but you can trust him to alert you to new sounds outside or a knock at the door.

Size- Common breed size is anywhere from 4 to 8 pounds, but we have seen chins who've grown a little bigger. Temperament, as opposed to size, should be your first consideration for a pet quality dog.

Friendly-This is a very "people friendly" breed. They love the company of their owner, but there is a tendency to be wary of strangers and unfamiliar situations in some lines.

Trainability-Patience will get you much further than scolding with any breed. Shouting, impatient or harsh training is completely unnecessary and will hinder progress. Patience will go a long way when training a Japanese Chin. We highly recommend these positive training techniques.

Loyal-They are very affectionate and loyal little dogs. He will want to be with you on every trip to the bathroom, dining room or kitchen. Though he will occasionally show a great deal of independence, your lap won't stay cold for long.

Excitability- When socialized properly, Chins are a very sweet natured dog, seldom becoming overly excited around new people or animals, etc. If you choose a breeder wisely and NEVER buy a puppy (of any kind) from a pet store, your chances of getting a dog with a good temperament are much, much greater. See our FAQ PAGE for more information.

jap chin

Chins love attention and the company of their owners. This is a positive thing until the time comes when you have to leave him alone. Seperation anxiety can be alleviated in several ways. See our page on Seperation Anxiety for more inforamation.

Side Note: With the popularity of small dogs increasing, so too has the number of breeders, both good and bad. With the hype surrounding many small breeds, so in turn has the population of unwanted dogs become ever increasing. There is probably a Japanese Chin rescue group near you. Why not consider adoption first?

More Stuff about Japanese Chins...

Housebreaking difficulties- Some toy breeds are difficult to housebreak... A Japanese Chin is no exception. You'll need to be very patient and probably clean up several messes in the meantime. Small dogs come with small bladders. 

Seperation anxiety is common- He will show you his frustration by destructive chewing and barking or by having "accidents" on your furniture. This is probably not the breed for you if you work long hours and would have to leave him home alone.

Maintenance- Thier maintenance needs are quite a bit higher than average toy breed. Care must be taken to keep the face of your Japanese Chin clean. Discharge from their eyes accumulates in the fur and can cause serious problems when it builds in front of the eye. Brushing at least every other day is necessary. Regular grooming will help to keep your dog's fur from becoming matted.

Shedding- Japanese Chins have long, thick, silky hair. There's little that can be done to alleviate the shedding. Regular hair removal from your clothes and furniture will become a way of life if you plan to own a Japanese Chin; but it's a small price to pay for such a loving little dog. Many breeds shed their undercoats.

Dainty- Japanese Chins are not well suited for families with small children. They are fine-boned and can easily be injured by mishandling. I can not tell you the number of heartbreaking stories we've heard about toy breeds like these being seriously injured or killed in a simple fall or from jumping from something as low as a bed. There are many other breeds that, when socialized properly, are much better suited for families with small children.

Disregard the Hype - Health Problems Because many breeders irresponsibly use terms like 'tea-cup' to market tiny dogs for higher prices, it's a wise thing to remember that smaller does not mean better. Choosing a breeder wisely will almost guarantee a dog who grows to conform to breed standard. Tiny dogs, often dubbed tea-cup, run a much higher risk for some of the serious health issues listed below.

Health Issues-

We cannot stress enough the importance of carefully selecting a reputable breeder. The health of the Japanese Chin you acquire can greatly depend on your choice of a breeder.

Many of the problems listed below can be easily avoided by:


* Choosing a breeder who offers a health guarantee

Luxating patellas-A joint condition, varying in severity, in which kneecaps become dislocated. This is very painful for your dog and very expensive to correct. This is a common complication among many small breed dogs.

Hypoglycemia is a matter of concern for the owners of these small breed dogs. Often their tiny bodies are unable to properly regulate blood sugar. Symptoms range from lack of energy, shivering, loss of coordination to coma or even death.

Breathing Difficulties- Due to shortened muzzles, many Chins suffer from breathing difficulties. A temperature controlled environment will help to keep your dog healthy. Hot weather is a significant cause for breathing difficulties in many breeds with flattened faces.

Heart Problems also occur more often in short muzzled dogs.

Eye Problems- Those large beautiful eyes make Japanese Chins more prone to Corneal Ulcers caused by trauma or superficial scratches.

Raising small breed dogs and working with dogs of all shapes and sizes, through various volunteer organizations, rescue groups, etc. for more than 20 years years now, we've came to know and love them all. It's been our business and even more than that, it's been our passion. We're glad you stopped by.

Japanese Chins can use PET STAIRS to avoid injuries caused by jumping.

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