The Japanese Chin is a small lap dog and companion dog most notably known for its strabismus of the eyes. It is a noble dog prized by Japanese nobility, but despite its name, it is said that the breed originated in China and found its way to Japan, although this theory is still highly contested. The Japanese Chin is an elegant and aristocratic breed, a smart ball of fur that is as clean as a cat. The word “chin” means “catlike”, an apt name for the breed not only because the shape of its head resembles that of the cat but also because it is delicately clean, often seen wiping his face with his paws just like a cat does.
The Japanese Chin is classified under the Toy Group by the UK Kennel Club, typically standing between 20 and 27cm in height at the withers. The average weight is between 1.8 to 3.2kg but there are dogs that weighs up to 6.8kg particularly males. It has a large broad head, large widely-set eyes, short muzzle, feathering on the ears with distinctive facial markings. The distinctive coat does not have any undercoat like other dog breeds and it usually takes 2 years for the coat to completely grow in. Coat colours come in either black and white or red and white, (red being all shades of sable, lemon or orange). The lifespan of the Japanese Chin is between 12 – 14 years.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
There are some debates as to the exact ancestors of the Japanese Chin, although it is widely accepted that the breed originated in China and is one of the old dog breeds with ancient lineage, the exact route it travelled before it ended up in Japan is not known. There are scholars that say that the dog was given as a gift to the Japanese royalty in 732 AD by Korean rulers or that it was brought to Japan as a gift to the Japanese Empress during the sixth or seventh century. There are some that say that the breed arrived in Japan as early as the 10th century AD. Whatever the exact origins are, the Japanese Chin was a true companion dog, in contrast to the mainstream breeds of Japanese origins that were utilized as working dogs. The discrete looks and unique personality of the Chin eventually captured the hearts of the Japanese royalty that it was restricted to being owned only by those that belong to the royal family. The dog was brought to Europe during the 17th century by Portuguese sailors and presented to Catherine of Braganza and also became a favourite of royalty. In recent years, the Chin has gained a huge following and is one of the popular companion dogs in the United Kingdom.
The breed is often described as intelligent, happy, lively little ball of fur, clean-as-a-cat, good-natured little dog. It has a distinct look of astonishment brought about by strabismus of the eyes – a condition wherein the eyes do not properly align with each other when staring at an object. It is considered as one of the dog breeds that resembles the cat in terms of attitude – independent, alert, and intelligent. It is also one of the cleanest dogs around, often seen wiping its face with its paws as an attempt to clean it, just like a cat does. The Japanese Chin also loves to curl-up when sleeping, likes to rest on high places, has a very good sense of balance and loves to hide in unexpected places. It thrives on human companionship, being bred solely as a lap dog. This breeding makes the Chin a very friendly breed. It easily adjusts to different people and surroundings making it an ideal therapy dog. It is a quiet animal but a naturally defensive dog which makes it a good watch dog. Many Japanese Chins are wonderful entertainers and can stand on their hind legs while pawing their front legs.
Training the Japanese Chin involves dedication and trust should be created between the dog and the trainer or handler in order to get the most out of the breed. The Chin is an intelligent breed that loves pleasing its owner so it is fairly easy to teach the dog new tricks. Socialisation at an early age is one of the key factors to prioritise when owning this breed. A properly-socialised Japanese Chin won’t have any behavioural problems that would likely to hurt the breed itself or other animals or persons in the future. It has an independent attitude so obedience training should be on top of the list. This intelligent dog can easily pick up on new commands but training should be from a firm but gentle handler.
The profuse single coat of the Japanese Chin requires regular brushing or combing, preferably every week to keep the coat tangle and matt-free. Special attention must be given to the feathered tail, ears (particularly under the ears), and the legs. These areas are prone to matts which can be painful and/or irritate the dog’s skin and can sometimes lead to wound. It is a regular shedder but will typically shed its single coat once a year. Unlike other breeds, the Japanese Chin does not require frequent bathing because it is a naturally clean dog, although special attention must be done particularly around the nose where the skin folds which can trap moisture and cause fungal problems. Owners are advised to occasionally wipe the face area with a damp cloth or with a cotton swab to make sure this area is always dry.
The Japanese Chin has a typical lifespan between 12 to 14 years and is prone to several health predispositions. Common health problems associated with the breed include patellar luxation, eye problems such as cataracts, and heart murmurs specifically during the early years. As a puppy, the Japanese Chin is prone to low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia particularly aged under six months. It is also known to suffer from seasonal allergies. Like other breeds with a broad and short muzzle, the Chin is prone to breathing and eye problems and can suffer from heat exhaustion so it should not be exposed to extreme heat. It’s large oval eyes are prone to injuries where serious ulcerations may occur so it is best to avoid activities that can lead to eye scratching.
As a brachycephalic dog that is prone to respiratory illnesses, the Japanese Chin should not be exercised during warmer periods. It enjoys daily walks and loves accompanying people especially its owners but care must be taken not to expose the dog to extreme temperatures (especially hot) or it may suffer heat exhaustion or even stroke.
In general, the Japanese Chin gets along quite well with everybody, humans or other animals. It is both friendly to other dogs, cats, and older children. However, adult supervision is advised if the Chin is with smaller children because the dog’s small stature can easily get him injured during rough play.