Japanese Chin | About the Breed
Breed Standards

American Kennel Club (AKC)
The Kennel Club (KC)
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)
Australian National Kennel Club


According to the AKC breed standard: The Japanese Chin is a small, well balanced, lively, aristocratic toy dog with a distinctive Oriental expression. It is light and stylish in action. The plumed tail is carried over the back, curving to either side. The coat is profuse, silky, soft and straight. The dog's outline presents a square appearance.

Chin have a luxurious coat that requires relatively little care. They are wash-and-wear in that they require no special grooming and their coat seldom mats.

The breed has a number of cat-like characteristics. Many Chin owners will relate fascinating stories of their Chin climbing or jumping to what would seem unimaginable heights as well as tell of the Chin's use of front paws to bat or to explore. Also, like cats, Chin have fastidious cleaning habits. Some clean only themselves, while many groom each other.

They are in many regards a contradiction:

  • dignified yet silly
  • outgoing yet demure
  • eager yet stubborn
  • independent yet devoted

It is not uncommon to see two Chin madly tearing through the house, taunting the other as they pass, and maybe evening stopping for a mini-wrestling match. Then, right in the midst of this fascinating game, one will pause, acting as though too dignified for such games, yet the mischievousness in their eyes belies.

Often described as alert and bright, this intelligent breed has a very inquisitive mind. Some claim you cannot train a Chin, rather they train you. The training you is very true in that they have an irresistible charm, but they can be taught. In fact, if obedience training is kept fun and positive, it is a stimulating, mental outlet for the Chin. There are even Chin who compete in agility and other non-traditional Chin activities.

Chin have definite likes and dislikes, and they rarely forget a friend or foe. They demand affection and flourish with human love and interaction. Most Chin like to keep their owners in sight, tending to follow them from room to room, and they typically prefer human comforts like your chair or pillow. Generally, Chin enjoy being around other Chin, often in preference to other breeds. Many Chin owners will tell you that their Chin can immediately identify a fellow Chin. That said, most get along well with other toy dog breeds and cats too.

Be forewarned, those who fall in love with this unique, addicting breed will not want to be without one. Not to mention, for most, one is never enough!

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