Animal-World > Dogs > Toy Dogs > Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

Chin, Japanese Spaniel

Family: Canidae Japanese Chin Picture, also called Chin and Japanese SpanielCanis lupus familiarisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough
Latest Reader Comment - See More
I recently bought a japanese chin and he does well until he gets really tired then if you touch him he goes crazy and bites and growls at you. But that is the only... (more)  Keri

A toy spaniel breed, the adorable Japanese Chin is a small indoor dog!

The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is one of those lovely little toy dogs that don't need much activity. That makes the Chin dog a great companion animal for people who live in apartments, as well as those with a more sedentary lifestyles. It is beloved for its mild-mannered and affectionate temperament.

The Chin is very loyal to its owner, but it also tends to get along with everyone in the household. This includes not only other people, but dogs and other pets as well. There are some Japanese Chin health concerns to be aware of. These small dog breeds are prone to genetic knee and heart problems. When choosing a Chin, it is wise to check its bloodlines and medical records to help identify possible problems.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s)

Japanese Chin, Chin, Japanese Spaniel

Breed Type

The Japanese Chin is a toy spaniel breed. This breed makes a great companion, and is best suited to areas with moderate climates. The Chin is sensitive to extremes in temperature.


The Chin is thought to have originated in China or Korea. It was, however, developed in Japan and became a favorite of the country's royalty. The breed became very popular in 1853, when Queen Victoria received a pair of them as a gift from Commodore Perry. The Chin is divided into two classes by weight: Under 7 pounds and over 7 pounds.


The Japanese Chin is 7-11 inches tall and weighs 4-15 pounds. Its long hair is white with patches of black, red, lemon, orange, sable, or brindle. The nose is short and wide, and its color matches the dog's markings. The Chin's eyes are large, protruding and dark, and its ears upside-down and V-shaped.

Care and Feeding

A Chin's diet needs to consist of a high-quality dog food, ideally with a good protien base but also high in fiber. They need an adequate amount of fiber in their diet. They can be prone to developing impacted anal glands if their diet lacks a good dietary fiber. Ideally feed them two meals a day, with the total amount of food being between 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Teeth cleaning chews are also good for their dental health.

The regular vaccination schedule is as follows; however, since some lines of Chins are prone to distemper, your veterinarian may choose to adjust the schedule:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

The Japanese Chin sheds year round and blows its coat twice a year. Therefore, regular vacuuming is necessary. This breed also needs daily brushing to keep its coat in good condition. Dry shampoo is usually sufficient, and the dog should be bathed only when necessary. Its eyes and ears should be checked regularly for infection.

Housing Your Dog

Chins are indoor dogs, and they do not require a lot of space. They are content in a house or an apartment, and with or without a yard. They require moderate temperatures.

Social Behaviors

Japanese Chins do well with other dogs and all sorts of other pets. They are also gentle with children, but are not recommended for smaller children who may not be as gentle with them.

Handling and Training

Housetraining may go slowly with the Chin at first, up to about 4 months of age. After that they usually do well. They are also good at learning obedience and tricks.


Chins do not need much exercise. Just a daily walk and normal play should suffice.


When considering a mate for your Chin, it is important to check the potential mate's bloodlines for heart and knee problems. As with any small dog, females may need Cesarean sections when giving birth if the puppies are large.

Common Health Problems

Because of its large and protruding eyes, the Japanese Chin often suffers from eye problems. Corneal scratches and ulcerations are not uncommon, and depending on their severity may require emergency care. This breed often suffers from breathing problems due to the shape of its nose.


Japanese Chins are fairly easy to find from breeders. Prices average around $500.


Lastest Animal Stories on Japanese Chin

Keri - 2012-07-11
I recently bought a japanese chin and he does well until he gets really tired then if you touch him he goes crazy and bites and growls at you. But that is the only time he is usually really calm and quiet. Does anyone know why?

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-07-11
    Many companion pets have similar traits.  They are 1000% fine but if they are tired or sleeping and you disrupt them, they can get a little ticked off.  Many humans have this trait as well.  I don't think it is that your puppy is overly agressive - just that it wants to sleep or rest. 
  • Nancy Talsky - 2020-10-19
    They can be overtired so, just like a tired baby or toddler, put your pup in time out. I do that when my pup, now 4 months, starts jumping, pulling on my clothes and mouthing.I put him in his crate with a treat and he goes right to sleep. They need nap time.
Bridgett Baker - 2011-01-10
We've had our Japanese Chin for about 1.5 years. She is a sweetie. The previous owner had her for about 3 years. My concern is that she had these scratching fits every couple of days. She starts barking and yelping until we go to her. She stops when we call her name or pet her. The previous owners gave us drops for her ears, but they do not help. Is this common?

  • Cindy - 2014-01-10
    She is most likely demonstrating a food allergy. Ear infections, Scratching, hotspots, buttdragging or obsessive Paw licking are all symptoms. Just had yo put My girl on venison and potato diet!
  • Nancy Talsky - 2020-10-19
    A visit to a Vet seems to be appropriate. See if your Vet will prescribe Apoquel. It will stop the cycle of itching quickly. She could have an ear fungus along with a food allergy which causes itchy paws and scooting. She might do better with a potato fish food from the vet. Might also be allergic to poultry and/or beef. Follow advice from your Vet.
Nancy Talsky - 2020-10-19
Try cloth pads. Very nice ones for canines on Amazon. Washable. Never leak. Good size. 4 to a pkg. $30.

Tammy Long - 2019-02-13
4 Japanese chins, mom 2, dad 1 2 pups 4 months are eating pee spot parts of pad. The puppies the adults are now following suit. Why? They have lots of toys, automatic waterer, feeder, pet doors. This is new. The puppy's were just tearing them up. Dad started acting out also. Now eating the fresh urine. No matter who did it. I don't know why

Gucci Oma - 2011-10-27
Hello. We have a 6 month old Japanese chon girl and we are looking for boyfriend for breeding. Pls help us

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-27
    Ought to tell folks where you live. Just a thought.
  • rita - 2011-11-21
    I am in Flordia. I have two great males for breeding. Miso is akc reg. He is black and white then we have Edward and he is not reg but he is a pure breed chin. He is black and white also. They both are super chins in all ways. If your interested e mail us and we will send pictures and answer any thing you want to know thank you
  • Pam - 2011-11-24
    I have a boy looking for a girl friend, where do you live?
  • Ashley Washington and Jason Washington - 2015-03-12
    We have a 3year old male Japanese Chin and we would love to mate our dog with yours if you would please call us at (702)454-4625 ext 209