The Japanese Chin is a tiny oriental dog that was formerly known as the Japanese Spaniel. It has been associated with China, Japan and Korea. The  Chin has a long coat that does not tangle. It can be kept beautiful with careful combing and brushing several times a week.


So far as exercise, the Chin requires a small amount of exercise. Usually the backyard is sufficient enough of an outlet for its energy or a couple short walks a day. The Japanese Chin is well suited for apartment living because of its lapdog heritage and low-maintenance exercise requirements.

The Japanese Chin has a regal appearance and one function that are of a lively and lovely companion. The Chin is happiest in the lap of its owner. Though it prefers to be the center of attention they are not demanding and are quite devoted to their loved ones. A Chin makes a fine companion for older children who have been instructed in this tiny dog’s care and handling.

The Japanese Chin is cheerful and calm. They bond quickly to their owners and will go to great lengths to please them. Usually the Japanese Chin is easily housebroken and trained. Some might say the Japanese Chin has an obstinate side that occasionally appears, but generally, they are very accommodating. The  Chin has a stronger will to please far outweigh any kind of an obstinate streak. This tiny toy breed is rarely seen in canine sports, but does do well in obedience work. The handler must be dedicated and consistent.

The height of this dog breed should be 8 to 10 inches and weighs generally around 5 pounds. The smaller size is the better size with this breed.

The purpose for creating the Japanese Chin was to provide lapdogs for Japanese fanciers with the imperial aristocracy’s ranks. They perform very well as loving and affectionate companions. They were carried to Europe and America in the mid-1800s. They were first known as the Japanese Spaniel. The name was changed to Japanese Chin in 1977 by the AKC.

According to some writers the Chin originated in Korea. Others give Japan as its native land. Still yet another set of writers agree that the Chin came from China, where it was bred and maintained for the aristocracy. Date of origin is sometime before 700 A.D. At this time there were several accounts of the  Chin being presented to the emperor of Japan. From that time the Japanese Chin was adopted and developed by the Japanese into a lapdog.

The Japanese Chin does resemble the English toy spaniel. They may have common origins. The Japanese Chin may have been crossed with the English dog sometime during his development.

The Japanese Chin is a dainty little dog with an Oriental pug face, a lively, high-stepping gait, and a coat that is long and generally tangles free. The colors are mostly black and white patterns, although there are some lemon and white, red and white or brindle and white.

The Japanese Chin is perfect little lapdogs for small homes and apartments. They are also perfect for cute little dog outfits, and a good choice for older children, but not such a good choice for small children.

  • Charming, Noble, Loving
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 104 of 191
  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 7-11 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Toy Group

Japanese Chin Club of America

Club Website