The Japanese Chin (also called the “Japanese Toy Spaniel”) is a toy breed that was once restricted to Japanese royalty. They commonly feature a black and white, tan and white or red and white coat and are most popular in their homeland of Japan. Their original purpose was companionship – contrary to the common perception in Japan at the time that dogs were working animals – and they have since maintained that purpose for more than a thousand years.
Origins Of The Japanese Chin
Despite their name, the Japanese Chin is believed to have originated in China and was first given to Japan as a royal gift during the mid-6th century. They were soon restricted to ownership by Japanese royalty or nobles and differed from other Japanese dog breeds in that they were intended purely for companionship. They are said to share ancestors with the Pekingese and Tibetan Spaniel that date back as far as 8,000BC.
Average Size Of The Japanese Chin
Japanese Chins are classified as a tiny-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Japanese Chin male and female is 8-11 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 4-7 pounds.
Temperament Of The Japanese Chin
The Japanese Chin is legendary for their sensitive, devoted and eager-to-please spirit. They are often reserved with visitors at first but are affectionate with anyone they become familiar with, which along with their small size means they are unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Japanese Chin is also accepted to be quite intelligent – though only ranks 62nd compared to other dogs based on their capacity to learn obedience commands.
They are also known to be good with children so long as they are taught to be gentle with them – which means they are somewhat suitable as a family pet. The Japanese Chin is very compatible with other animals such as dogs and other pets.
Living Requirements Of The Japanese Chin
The Japanese Chin enjoys having a small yard to give them space to roam around in, but they can be very suitable for life in an apartment if they are given adequate exercise. They can be sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures so will need air conditioning to stay comfortable.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Japanese Chin
In the vein of the majority of small-sized dog breeds, the Japanese Chin is in general long-lived possessing a life expectancy of 12-14 years. The major health concerns for Japanese Chins are traditionally identified to be breathing issues, sensitivity to heat or heart problems due to their flattened face. They are also prone to conditions that include eye problems, luxating patella, seasonal allergies, snoring and distemper in some breeding lines.
Exercise Needs Of The Japanese Chin
The Japanese Chin enjoys pursuits such as a run around the yard, playing inside the house or learning tricks. They possess a variable quantity of energy and this calls for exercise each day in the shape of short walks, though care should be taken when walking around other dogs who may try to attack them.