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The Japanese Chin may have originated in China but it had fully evolved in Japan. This breed is favoured for its adorable appearance and sound temperament. Weighing 4 to 9 pounds and standing 18 to 28 centimetres at the withers, this toy breed is perfect for apartment living. Like all breeds, it needs to have a suitable amount of exercise to be truly happy.
Are you thinking of getting a Japanese Chin? Here is a brief background of this oriental toy dog that is gentle and loyal.
The Japanese Chin is an ancient breed and despite the name, it is believed to have originated in China, possibly in its imperial court. How the breed reached Japan is debated but one version is that the Empress of China gave the Empress of Japan a Chin puppy. The breed evolved in Japan as the people treated it differently, not as a dog (inu) but as a separate being (chin). The dogs we see today have a different appearance as the original Japanese Chins were crossed with smaller spaniels.
Japan basically kept this breed from the outside world up until 1853 when a man called Commodore Matthew Perry introduced Japan to international trade. The Japanese Chin became a coveted trading commodity and became a favoured breed of the nobility and rich. Up until this day, people want to own Chins because of their appealing look was paired with gentle and loyal natures. It is recognised by all major international breed registries and it is registered with The Kennel Club under the Toy group.
The Japanese Chin is a tiny pooch with a broad and short face. It is often described as a breed with a traditional Oriental appearance, boasting of an aristocratic body. It weighs 4 to 9 pounds and stands 18 to 28 centimetres at the withers. It has a large head, round forehead with a well-defined stop, short muzzles, rounded lips, and V-shaped pendant ears. It usually has a black nose with open nostrils, but the nose of light coloured Chins match their coats. Its eyes are moderately big, dark and set wide apart. Most Chins have a level bite but there are some that have slightly undershot jaws.
Making the Japanese Chin more adorable is its long and profuse coat that is silky to the touch. It is straight with no wave or curl, which is also not too flat and typically forms a certain frill around the neck. According to KC standards, the accepted colours are black and white as well as red and white (shades of red include lemon, sable and orange).
Chins have moderate-maintenance grooming needs. Its thick single coat needs to be brushed every day to prevent tangles and matts, and keep it generally tidy. It is a very clean dog so bathing can be done as needed. In fact, it has cat-like characteristics of cleaning itself. It does not have special grooming requirements that so owners don’t usually have to take it to the groomer’s. It sheds moderately all year round and abundantly during spring and autumn so brushing becomes more frequent. It is important to wipe their tearstains daily to avoid infections. Also clean its ears regularly and make sure they don’t have too much wax build-up and foul smell. Trim its nails as overgrowth can be uncomfortable and can inflict pain to itself, other pets and people. Lastly, brush its teeth twice a week especially that tiny dogs are prone to tooth problems.
The Japanese Chin is a sweet, loyal and happy dog, getting along not just with its owners but also with everyone, although it can be shy around new people in the beginning. It builds a strong bond with its family and would want to be always part of household activities. It is gentle and patient toward kids of all ages but it is better off to a family with older children. Since it is a tiny dog, it could easily be hurt or dropped by an over excited child, which can be dangerous. Getting along with other pets is not a problem at all.
Chins are sensitive dogs that can pick up its owner’s emotions, meaning if the household is quiet, it will settle down and laze around, and if everyone is lively, it will gladly join in. It is not a frequent barker; instead, it is known to be a talkative breed, creating unique sounds as if chatting with people. This sound temperament is another reason more people want to own this breed and why it is recommended for new owners.
The Japanese Chin is an intelligent breed that is willing to please, making it highly trainable. However, owners need to understand that even though it is an easy-going breed, early training and socialisation are important for it to be happy and well rounded. It needs to learn who the alpha in the household is so it knows whom it can take direction and guidance from. Believe it or not, it can act dominant if the roles in the pack are not defined. It is easy to spoil this dog too much, which could cause it to acquire unwanted behaviour and become difficult to live with. While showering your dog with love is great, remember not to overdo it and set boundaries and be firm about them. More often than not, Chins get away from things larger dogs would not be permitted to do.
A typical serving for an adult Japanese Chin is 1/4 to 1/2 cup of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Factors that contribute to proper feeding are age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. Always measure your Chin’s food and avoid free-feeding since it has a small stomach and can easily put on weight.
Typical calorie needs of adult Japanese Chins per day:
Toy dogs have special nutritional requirements different from large breeds. As owners, you need to know which ingredients and types of food will keep it healthy and strong. Dry kibbles formulated for tiny dogs will encourage chewing and keep teeth stronger. Protein is not as important to toy dogs compared to large dogs since they won’t be doing any heavy work. Dog food with 25% protein is fine. Carbs are necessary for energy source but since Chins are prone to skin allergies, avoid gluten altogether.
The Japanese Chin is generally healthy but like most breeds, it is predisposed to certain health conditions such as cataracts, heart murmurs, breathing problems, skin allergies, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Luxating patellas, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, and Atrioventricular Endocardiosis.
Chins are not high-energy dogs but would require the right amount of physically and mentally stimulating activities daily. A minimum of 30 minutes in the form of short walks and free time at a fenced yard is all it needs to let off steam. Unreleased energy can result to destructive and noisy behaviour. Don’t let its calm personality and cute face fool you; it has a tendency to escape when given the chance so make sure your fence is truly secured.
If you are interested to own the adorable Japanese Chin, be prepared for the expenses that come with it. For starters, a well-bred puppy costs £500 and up. Insuring this tiny pooch will set you back £25 to £50 for basic and lifetime pet insurance coverage, respectively.
For a small breed that consumes less food, monthly costs will be £20 to £30. Veterinary expenses will cost you around £900 a year, which will include routine check-ups, vaccinations and boosters, worming and flea medication, and neutering/spaying. This aspect is indeed expensive but preventive care is absolutely necessary to keep your pet healthy.
Are you sure the Japanese Chin is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Is the Japanese Chin too challenging for you? Take our Pet Finder so we can help you find more manageable dog breeds.
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