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Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin Dog Breed Information

Size 8-10 inch (20-25 cm)
Weight 4.4-13 lbs (2-6 kg)
Origin China, Korea
Color Black/white, brown/white
Lifespan 10-12 years
Suitable as Family dog, lapdog
Personality Obedient, happy, sensitive, clever, attentive

Japanese Chin Photo: koldunova_anna/

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). Other dogs, pets or strangers - this dog loves everyone. Please note: the dog breed really sheds a lot!

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 is 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. It is no surprise that these dogs make excellent therapy dogs.


Japanese Chin Photo: koldunova_anna/

Exercise Needs

Although the Japanese Chin does not need as much exercise as a Dalmatian or Irish Setter, it enjoys romping 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!

Top Activities

Trick Training, Puzzle Toys, Games of Catch

Japanese Chin Photo: Marie Charouzova/Shutterstock

Pros and Cons


  • Suitable for beginners
  • Doesn’t need lots of exercise
  • Easy to carry
  • Can come with you on trips
  • Gets along well in small apartments


  • Small and "fragile"
  • Sheds a lot
  • Can be stubborn
  • Doesn’t deal well with hot weather
  • Gets overweight easily

Japanese Chin Photo: sue/



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!


The Japanese 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 an undercoat, the Japanese Chin has only one coat.

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.

Japanese Chin Photo: Northsweden/Shutterstock

History and Origin

The Japanese Chin doesn't actually come from Japan. Its exact origin is still unclear, but it probably came to Japan from China or Korea. 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.

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".

Fun Facts

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

Comparable Breeds

Japanese Chin Photo: sue/


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