The Japanese Chin is a loving, loyal, happy, calm, and sensitive dog. He loves to give and receive affection, and wants most of all to cuddle and snuggle with you. He becomes very attached to his owner, but is friendly toward everyone, although he may be a little reserved with strangers at first. He needs to be with people and shouldn't be left alone for very long. He isn't easy to train because he is sensitive, and he can also be a bit stubborn. He needs gentle, loving, and patient lessons. He can be hard to housebreak. He can learn to be obedient and even to do tricks. He is a good watchdog who will bark to alert you to a stranger and then be quiet. He loves playing, wrestling with his squeaky toys on the carpet, or having a short romp in the yard. He is an indoor dog, however, and shouldn't be left outside. He is very sensitive to heat and humidity, and can have trouble breathing in hot weather. He doesn't need much exercise--he is basically a couch potato! He gets along well with other dogs, cats, and pets. He is sweet and gentle with children as long as they are well-behaved toward him. He likes to climb things, and to sit licking himself like a cat on the back of the sofa. He may sometimes snort, sneeze, or wheeze. He is a very heavy shedder, so he is not a good pet for you if you are worried about dog-hair in the house.
The Japanese Chin is 8 to 11 inches tall (to shoulders) and weighs 4 to 7 pounds. He has a long, thick coat that is silky and straight. His coat color can be black and white, or red and white.
You only need to brush his coat occasionally, but some owners find themselves brushing him daily to minimize shedding in the home (what you brush out doesn't end up on your couch or carpet).
The Japanese Chin probably originated in China or Korea, and perhaps arrived in Japan as a gift. He was bred to be a companion to the ladies of the Japanese Imperial Court and to nestle in the laps of the aristocracy. In 1853 the first Japanese Chins were brought to England as a present for Queen Victoria. Eventually the breed arrived in America, but declined during World War II and had to be replenished with new dogs from Japan after the war was over. Originally called the Japanese Spaniel, the AKC changed his named to Japanese Chin in 1977. His AKC popularity was 71st out of 157 breeds in 2007.