Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is small dog in the toy group that is almost cat-like in its behaviour.

Japanese Chin breed group


Size of the Japanese Chin


Country of Origin

It is believed the Japanese Chin originated in China, not Japan as the name suggests. The Japanese Chin is thought to have been given as a gift to the empress of China from the empress of Japan.

Time of original development

The Japanese Chin can be traced back as far as 732 AD making it a very old dog breed.

Japanese Chin uses through History

The Chin was kept as a companion dog and was owned by royalty. Today the Japanese Chin remains a popular companion dog.

Japanese Chin Breed Introduction and Overview

The Japanese Chin is a small, fine-boned dog with a long silky coat and distinctive featherings on the body. It has a broad head, with a flattish face and wide-set eyes. It ends to be a quiet dog around the home, with fascinating cat-like behaviour, such as cleaning its face with its paw, and a tendency to sit high up on furniture like a cat.

Japanese Chin temperament

The breed is generally placid, with a gentle, and slightly independent nature. It tends to form a strong bond with family members, and rarely aggressive. Care should be taken when socialising with other big or boisterous dogs as its tiny stature makes it vulnerable to injuries and accidents. Chins can live alongside cats if socialisation skills are introduced from an early age.

Colour varieties of the Japanese Chin

The breed comes in a variety of colours which include:

  • Black & White
  • Red & White
  • Sable & White
  • White & Black

Size and weight of the Japanese Chin

  • Height bitch 18-28cms
  • Height dog 18-28cms
  • Weight (kilos) bitch 2-7kgs
  • Weight (kilos) dog 2-7kgs

Exercise requirements of the Japanese Chin

Low. The Japanese Chin requires around 30 minutes of exercise each day, making it an ideal dog for the older or not-so-active owner. Its small size makes it a suitable dog for owners living in apartments or homes with limited space.

Is the Japanese Chin a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, but potential owners with young children need to be aware how easy it is to injure this delicate little dog, and supervise small children around this breed. The Japanese Chin is an intelligent dog, making it easy to train. It is also one of the less demanding breeds requiring only 30 minutes of exercise daily. It is also a practical size, and suitable for most family homes.

Japanese Chin coat length

Medium. The Japanese Chin does not have an under coat. The top coat is long and straight with wispy featherings on the ears, legs, abdomen and tail.

Grooming requirements of the Japanese Chin

Medium. The Japanese Chin requires daily brushing with a soft slicker brush, with special attention required to the featherings on the ears. Ears should be regularly checked and cleaned.


No. The Japanese Chin sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Japanese Chin

The Chin is a fairly healthy little dog, but owners should check with their breeder about the following known health issues in the breed:

  • Luxating patellas
  • Skin allergies
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Heart murmurs
  • Cataracts

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Japanese Chin

A healthy Japanese Chin should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 10-12 years.

Approximate Japanese Chin pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £500-£600 for a puppy, and be aware that available litters of puppies are not always available. Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is expected. You may have to travel to find your suitable puppy. There are generally 1-3 puppies in the average litter.

Estimating how much a Japanese Chin would need to be fed each day

A dog or bitch weighing 4kgs requires 108gms of complete dry food daily. The cost of feeding a 4kgs dog or bitch is around £2.60

Our figures are based on feeding an above average quality and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment