Fabel-Mi Japanese Chin ~ Beauty Without Compromise

About Japanese Chin

About Japanese Chins

  young girl holding japanese chin puppyThe following information is from the Japanese Chin Club of America

General Appearance What is the correct appearance of the Japanese Chin?

The Japanese Chin is a dainty and stylish dog that is usually between 8 to 11 inches tall and can be as small as four pounds or as much as fifteen pounds. The height and weight should be proportional.

Their coat is semi-long, straight, and silky. They carry a heavy ruff at the chest and pants in the rear. The tail should be carried up over their back with long profuse feathering. Once your pet is spayed or neutered their coat will become even more luxurious!

Remember, your Chin will not have an adult coat until it is more than a year old. In its “teen” stage (7-9 months) it’s likely to be almost naked!

Chin come in a variety of colors: black and white, red and white (the shading runs from lemon to sable to mahogany), and black and white with tan points (also referred to as tri colored). The color should be evenly distributed in patches over the body and in a symmetrical mask over the eyes and ears.

The body is square looking and compact. The head is large with a short muzzle and wide set round eyes.

Breed Characteristics What are the breed characteristics of the Japanese Chin?

The Japanese Chin is a breed with roots deep in the royalty of both the Chinese and Japanese Courts. You will find that your Chin’s regal ancestry still is apparent as these little dogs often display a noble or haughty air.

Chin are basically good natured, sensitive creatures that reflect the atmosphere around them. If your home is full of light and noise, your Chin will most likely be outgoing. If your life tends to be solitary and quiet, your Chin will be likely to be quiet and reserved.

Chin are often cat-like in attitude with an ability to climb that is surely unmatched in few other breeds of dogs! Most Chin find their favorite “spot” in the house on the back of the sofa or chair. Also, like cats, Chin tend to groom themselves by licking their paws and rubbing their faces. This has been known to cause the occasional hairball!

Chin often “snizzle” or snort. This is not a sign of a “cold” or other impending illness. The snizzling (blowing hard out of their nose, accompanied by a fine mist) is a result of the animal’s flat face. Chin also reverse sneeze (a honking sound). Although they seem almost unable to breathe, they are not in any distress. If this happens to your pet, many breeders apply gentle pressure on their rib cages or simply stroke their neck.   A Chin owner should always remember to supply plenty of ventilation and fresh water during warm weather because Chin are very sensitive to heat and humidity.

Spay/Neuter Should I spay or neuter my pet?

To optimize your Chin’s health and well being, spaying or neutering of your pet is highly recommended by the JCCA and AKC. Spaying or neutering shows not only a deep concern for your own pet but also a respect for the breed as a whole.

Grooming What type of grooming does the Chin require?

The Japanese Chin is easy to groom. The coat is a single layer, silky and straight and is not prone to matting. Brushing once or twice a week and bathing as needed will keep your Chin sparkling! In addition to shampoo, a creme rinse will provide extra luster and softness. The extra conditioning will also prevent tangles, making your Chin easy to comb. Chin may also be blow dried on a cool setting.

While your Chin is shedding (yes, they do shed!), it is a good idea to brush them more frequently. Females seem to shed more than males, but once your female Chin is spayed she will also grow the glamorous coat of a male! Remember to keep your Chin’s toenails clipped and the hair under the feet should be trimmed. No other trimming is necessary.

Lifespan How long do Chin live? The Japanese Chin has a typical life expectancy of 10-12 years with some living 15 years or more.

Wheezing Why does my Chin snort or wheeze?

Chin do what is referred to as a “reverse sneeze” because of their short faces – the soft palate may be comparatively long enough to temporarily block the airway. The wheeze is usually not cause for concern, and will stop when the Chin swallows, equalizing pressure on either side of the palate. (This is somewhat akin to swallowing during an airplane’s ascent to equalize pressure on either side of the eardrum.) If a wheezing episode lasts for more than a few minutes, a veterinarian should be consulted.

Why doesn’t my Chin have as much hair as the Chin in the pictures?

Genetics, hormones, age, diet and climate all may influence the amount of coat on a Chin. We generally expect puppies to lose much of their coat some time between five and twelve months of age – sometimes they almost look naked! Full coat may not be present until two or three years of age. Females also lose coat after their seasons, so an intact female will not have as much coat as a male or a spayed female.

Training What type of training do I need to know for the Japanese Chin?

To make your Chin a well-behaved member of your community, the JCCA highly recommends early socialization of your puppy. Many all-breed kennel clubs, community centers, and veterinarians offer puppy kindergarten classes as well as many levels of obedience training. We encourage all Chin owners to train their pets to be the best canine citizens they can!

Collar/Leash What kind of collar and leash should I get?

Because small dogs have more fragile necks and tracheas than large dogs, it is recommended that a leash be attached to a harness instead of a collar when walking your Chin. There are collars called “Kindness” collars that are popular with many for toy dogs. They have a slightly padded section at the neck/trachea area.

AKC Standard

The Japanese AKC Standard

Click here to see the AKC Breed Video.

General Appearance

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.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size:    Ideal size is 8 inches to 11 inches at the highest point of the withers.

Proportion:    Length between the sternum and the buttock is equal to the height at the withers.

Substance:    Solidly built, compact, yet refined. Carrying good weight in proportion to height and body build.


Expression:   bright, inquisitive, alert, and intelligent. The distinctive Oriental expression is characterized by the large broad head, large wide-set eyes, short broad muzzle, ear feathering, and the evenly patterned facial markings.

Eyes:   set wide apart, large, round, dark in color, and lustrous. A small amount of white showing in the inner corners of the eyes is a breed characteristic that gives the dog a look of astonishment.

Ears:   hanging, small, V-shaped, wide apart, set slightly below the crown of the skull. When alert, the ears are carried forward and downward. The ears are well feathered and fit into the rounded contour of the head.

Skull:  large, broad, slightly rounded between the ears but not domed. Forehead is prominent, rounding toward the nose. Wide across the level of the eyes. In profile, the forehead and muzzle touch on the same vertical plane of a right angle whose horizontal plane is the top of the skull.

Stop:   deep

Muzzle:  short and broad with well-cushioned cheeks and rounded upper lips that cover the teeth.

Nose:    very short with wide, open nostrils. Set on a level with the middle of the eyes and upturned. Nose leather is black in the black and white and the black and white with tan points, and is self-colored or black in the red and white.

Bite:    The jaw is wide and slightly undershot. A dog with one or two missing or slightly misaligned teeth should not be severely penalized. The Japanese Chin is very sensitive to oral examination. If the dog displays any hesitancy, judges are asked to defer to the handler for presentation of the bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck:    moderate in length and thickness. Well set on the shoulders enabling the dog to carry its head up proudly.

Topline:  level

Body:   square, moderately wide in the chest with rounded ribs. Depth of rib extends to the elbow.

Tai:l    set on high, carried arched up over the back and flowing to either side of the body.


Legs:    straight, and fine boned, with the elbows set close to the body. Removal of dewclaws is optional.

Feet:   hare-shaped with feathering on the ends of the toes in the mature dog. Point straight ahead or very slightly outward.


Legs:    straight as viewed from the rear and fine boned. Moderate bend of stifle. Removal of dewclaws is optional.

Feet:    hare-shaped with feathering on the ends of the toes in the mature dog. Point straight ahead.


Abundant, straight, single, and silky. Has a resilient texture and a tendency to stand out from the body, especially on neck, shoulders, and chest areas where the hair forms a thick mane or ruff. The tail is profusely coated and forms a plume. The rump area is heavily coated and forms culottes or pants. The head and muzzle are covered with short hair except for the heavily feathered ears. The forelegs have short hair blending into profuse feathering on the backs of the legs. The rear legs have the previously described culottes, and in mature dogs, light feathering from hock joint to the foot.


Either black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points. The term tan points shall include tan or red spots over each eye, inside the ears, on both cheeks, and at the anal vent area if displaying any black. The term red shall include all shades of red, orange, and lemon, and sable, which includes any aforementioned shade intermingled or overlaid with black. Among the allowed colors there shall be no preference when judging. A clearly defined white muzzle and blaze are preferable to a solidly marked head. Symmetry of facial markings is preferable. The size, shape, placement or number of body patches is not of great importance. The white is clear of excessive ticking.


Stylish and lively in movement. Moves straight with front and rear legs following in the same plane.


A sensitive and intelligent dog whose only purpose is to serve man as a companion. Responsive and affectionate with those it knows and loves but reserved with strangers or in new situations.

Approved December 8, 1992 

Effective January 27, 1993

CKC Standard

Japanese Spaniel Canadian Kennel Club Standard

General Appearance

That of a lively, high-bred little dog with smart, dainty appearance, compact carriage and profuse coat.


In size they vary considerably, but the smaller they are the better, provided type and quality are not sacrificed. When divided by weight, classes should be under and over 7 lb. (3 kg).

Coat and Colour

Coat profuse, long, straight, rather silky. It should be absolutely free from wave or curl, and not lie too flat, but have a tendency to stand out, especially at the neck, so as to give a thick mane or ruff, which with profuse feathering on thighs and tail gives a very showy appearance. The dogs should be either black and white or red and white, i.e., particoloured. The term red includes all shades of sable, brindle, lemon and orange, but the brighter and clearer the red the better. The white should be clear white, and the colour, whether black or red, should be evenly distributed patches over the body, cheek, and ears.


Should be large for the size of the dog, with broad skull, rounded in front. Nose very short in the muzzle part. The end or nose proper should be wide, with open nostrils, and must be the colour of the dog?s markings, i.e., black in black-marked dogs, and red or deep flesh colour in red or lemon-marked dogs. It shall be a disqualification for a black and white Japanese Spaniel to have a nose any other colour than black. Eyes large, dark, lustrous, rather prominent and set wide apart. Ears small and V-shaped, nicely feathered, set wide apart and high on the head and carried slightly forward.


Should be short and moderately thick.


The bones of the legs should be small, giving them a slender appearance, and they should be well feathered.


Should be squarely and compactly built, wide in chest, cobby in shape. The length of the dog?s body should be about its height.


Feet small and shaped somewhat long; the dog stands up on its toes somewhat. If feathered, the tufts should never increase in width of the foot, but only its length a trifle.


Must be well twisted to either right or left from root and carried up over back and flow on opposite side; it should be profusely covered with long hair (ring tails not desirable).


These dogs should be essentially stylish in movement, lifting the feet high when in action, carrying the tail (which is heavily feathered, proudly curved or plumed) over the back.


In black and whites, a nose any other colour than black.

Scale of Points

Head and neck 10

Eyes 10

Ears 5

Muzzle 10

Nose 5

Body 15

Tail 10

Feet and legs 5

Coat and markings 15

Action 5

Size 10


FCI Standard

FCI-Standard No 206 / 20.04.1998 / GB

ORIGIN : Japan.


UTILIZATION : Companion dog.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs. Section 8 Japan Chin and Pekingese. Without working trial.


According to ancient documents it is assumed that the ancestors of the Chin were presented as a gift from the rulers of Korea (during the Silla Dynasty age 377-935) to the Japanese court in 732. For a successive 100 years, there appears to have been a large number of Chins coming into Japan. Historical records also indicate that envoys sent to China (during the Tung Dynasty age 618-910) and North Korea (during the Po H’ai Dynasty age 698-926) brought back dogs of this breed directly. During the reign of the Shogunate Tsunayoshi Tokugawa (1680-1709) the breed was raised as an indoor toy dog in the Castle of Edo. In 1613 a Britisher, Captain Searles, brought a Chin to England and in 1853 Commodore Perry from the U.S. brought several to the U.S. of which two were presented to Queen Victoria of England. Since 1868, the Chin has been favored as a lapdog by ladies of the upper classes, and currently is being widely spread as a companion dog.


Small sized dog with broad face, covered with profuse coat, with elegant and graceful figure.


The ratio of height at withers to length of the body is equal. The body of bitches slightly longer.


Clever, mild and lovely.



Skull : Broad and rounded.

Stop : Deep and indented.


Nose : Nasal bridge very short and wide, the nose on a straight line with the eyes; the nose colour black or deep flesh colour, according to dog’s markings.

Jaws/Teeth : Teeth white and strong; level bite desirable, but scissor bite or undershot mouth permitted.

Eyes : Large, round, set wide apart and lustrous black in colour.

Ears : Long, triangular, hanging, covered with long hair; set wide apart.


Rather short, and held high.


Back : Short and straight.

Loin : Broad and slightly round.

Chest : Moderately broad and deep, with ribs moderately sprung.

Belly : Well drawn up.


Covered with beautiful, profuse and long hair, being carried up over back.


FOREQUARTERS : Forearms straight, fine boned; backside of forearms below the elbows feathered.

HINDQUARTERS : Hindlegs moderately angulated, rear of the rump covered with feather.

FEET : Small and hare-shaped, covered with tufts desirable.


Elegant, light and proud.


HAIR : Silky, straight and long. Whole body except face covered with profuse hair. The ears, neck, thighs and tail have profuse feather.

COLOUR : White with markings of black or red. Markings symmetrically distributed from around eyes over ears as on whole body desirable. Especially white and wide blaze from muzzle to crown desirable.


Height at withers : Dogs approximately 25 cm. Bitches slightly smaller than dogs.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

    • Nose : Any colour other than black for white dogs with black markings.
    • Overshot mouth, wry underjaw.
    • Solid white coat with no markings; single marking on face.
  • Shyness.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.