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Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin Dog Breed Information

Size 8-10 in (20-25 cm)
Weight 4.4-13 lb (2-6 kg)
Origin Japan
Color Black/white, brown/white
Lifespan 10-12 years
Suitable as Family dogs, lapdogs
Personality Obedient, happy, sensitive, clever, attentive
Exercise Dog Exercise
Drooling Dog Drooling
Shedding Dog Shedding
Fur care Dog Fur Care

Rating = very/a lot; Rating = not very/a little

Breed Characteristics

The Japanese Chin is a lively, cheerful, attentive, playful and at the same time a polite and intelligent dog. It loves to cuddle, which is why it prefers to sit on its owner's lap and be petted.

It gets along well in an apartment, because it prefers to be as near to its family as possible - rather than being separated from it (the dog is prone to separation anxiety). Please note: the dog breed really sheds a lot!

Although the Japanese Chin does not need as much exercise as a Dalmatian or Irish Setter, it enjoys to romp through the park.

Its „Chin spin“ is especially funny: When a Japanese Chin is excited, it turns around in rapid circles, sometimes on two legs. What a funny guy!

Japanese Chin Japanese Chin - Photo: Marie Charouzova/Shutterstock

The Japanese Chin is a very sensitive dog. Many owners report that these dogs match their owners’ moods. So if you are active and full of energy, the Japanese Chin ist active, too. If you are excited and upset, then it nervously tiptoes around. And if you relax on the sofa, then it is calm and peaceful, too. Is is no surprise that these dogs make excellent therapy dogs.

The Japanese Chin is different from other dogs. It has a catlike nature! It uses its paws to clean its face, likes to rest in higher places and some even climb like cats!

Other dogs, pets or strangers - this dog loves everyone.

Japanese Chin Japanese Chin - Photo: Andrey Perminov/Shutterstock


The Japan Chin has a beautiful soft and silky coat that makes it look very elegant. It is either black and white, red and white or tri-colored (black, white and red). While most dogs have a top coat and a undercoat, the Japan Chin has only one coat.


The Japanese Chin is not actually from Japan. Really! The dog originally came from China, probably around the 11th century. It was bred to be small. The smaller the better! The dog should fit in the sleeves of a Japanese kimono. Only Japanese noblemen could afford such a valuable dog.

Japanese Chin Japanese Chin - Photo: Eve Photography/Shutterstock

Where Does the Name Come From?

Do we really have to explain the word Japan? ;) But what about Chin? Chin has nothing to do with China. It is the short form of "chiinuu inu". This is Japanese and means "little dog".

Health and Care

The Japanese Chin needs regular grooming. To avoid matting it would be perfect to brush its coat every day. They usually need to be bathed only once a month.

Did You Know?

Japanese Chin often snore. That's because of their short noses.

Japanese Chin Japanese Chin - Photo: Northsweden/Shutterstock

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