The origin of the Japanese Chin remains somewhat of a mystery – some say that it was brought down from China to Japan; the Japanese Empress reigning in the sixth century was gifted one of these dogs. Scrolls dating back thousands of years just show how ancient these cute dogs are. Whatever their origin and history may be, this unique dog is indeed very special to the Japanese people. In this brief guide, we will study everything you need to know about its temperament, seasonal shedding, food and whether or not they are suitable for allergic owners.
Facts and characteristics of Japanese Chins
- Japanese Chin are royal dogs; they were bred for companionship for nobility and today are considered favorite lap dogs amongst dog lovers. Even in the early days of the breed, dainty Japanese ladies were known to step out with these dogs bedecked in ribbons and frills around their necks. They certainly must have been the envy of friends! It is said that Japanese Chins frequently fetched a price far in excess of their weight in gold.
- Chins come in many beautiful colors such as white and black, white and red, mahogany, lemon & white, and pure white.
- Height and weight- The ideal weight for this breed in male dogs is 10-15 lbs with the average being between 7 and 9 pounds. Physically, this is a small, well balanced dog having a large round head, dark eyes and short broad muzzle. They are one of the brachycephalic dog breeds.
- Japanese Chins are also called Japanese Pugs or Japanese Spaniels.
- The engaging and cute lapdog has been prized by the fairer sex for centuries. Today, the breed delights fanciers of every persuasion all over the world.
- Female Chins have really attractive faces which are almost ‘human’ according to some.
- Pekingese are distant cousins of the Chin-the two breeds are known to have even shared common clubs.
- Japanese Chin have a large white spot or blaze in the middle of the forehead-known as Buddha’s thumbprint.
Chins are expensive dogs and depending upon the breeder and your puppy’s lineage, you can expect to pay nearly $1500-$2000 for them. These dogs also need special food as they are allergic to corn and other ingredients found in most commercial kibble. So the cost of keeping a Japanese Chin can run very high. It is a good idea to purchase pet insurance given the fact that veterinary bills can run as high as human medical bills.
Is the Japanese Chin hypoallergenic?
No. The Japanese Chin is not a hypoallergenic dog breed. So if you are allergic to pets, you may want to consider other hypoallergenic dog breeds like the Poodle or Portuguese Water dog etc. Note that when we talk about pet allergies in humans, it means that the sufferer is allergic to dog dander or dead skin cells and not just dog hair. So, no breed is completely ‘hypoallergenic’ even if they do not shed too much. In case you are severely allergic to mold, dander and pollen, you could still suffer from allergy symptoms despite bringing home a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Where to find a Japanese Chin
Once you have decided that a Japanese Chin is right for you, head over to the official website for this breed here. This will give you a list of registered breeders near you. You can also consider buying or adopting Japanese chin mixes such as the Japanese Chin Chihuahua mix or the Japanese Chin Shih Tzu mix. The official website of the breed also consists of other useful Japanese chin dog breed info such as the food your pet needs, training secrets, its temperament and shedding etc.
This is a small, friendly and affectionate dog. According to the Japanese chin dog breed info on AKC official website, Chins are ‘gentle, sensitive and intelligent’. They also have a cat-like personality-which means you will find your pet is always exploring and fastidiously grooming or cleaning itself. Owing to their clever, mild and loving personalities, Chins have a huge fan following across the globe.
Start training your Chin as soon as he comes home. It is best to house train your pet from day one. Paper training works best-teach your pet where to void and eliminate on old newspapers so you will have an easier time cleaning up. You can also use litter boxes. Once your pet has received all its vaccinations, start taking him out for walks. Let your pet associate walks with voiding time. Apart from house training, you also need to ensure that your pet gets along well with other pets and humans. Socialize your puppy by taking him to puppy training classes near you. Crate training is also important –it will teach your Chin to sleep by itself through the night. Crates are especially useful if you intend to travel with your Chin. Make sure the crate is just the right size. Your toilet training efforts will go to waste if your crate is too big. Use a divider to block off the extra space in the crate.
Shedding and grooming
Despite the long coat, Japanese Chins do not need a whole lot of grooming. Their hair is silky and fine so twice-a-week combing is enough to keep it in good condition. Get your young puppy used to grooming from a few weeks of age. Japanese Chins shed seasonally but not as much as many other breeds. Unspayed bitches shed more than ones that have been spayed. Invest in guillotine-type shears to clip your pet’s hair as well as a boar bristle brush for weekly combing. Pre-moistened wipes are useful for cleaning your pet’s eyes. Check your puppy’s ears from time to time to rule out fungal or bacterial infections. If you find your pet scooting on its bottom, it may be time to express its anal glands.
Japanese Chin dogs are allergic to corn in kibble. So feed a hypoallergenic dog food without corn or speak to the breeder or a vet about the right dry, wet or semi moist food. Generally, millets, chicken liver, sheep head, fish and rice are well tolerated by these dogs. For puppies, avoid milk and red meat. Feed finely minced rabbit, chicken or meat instead. Oatmeal porridge with raw meat is also well tolerated. Japanese Chin dogs are considered seniors once they turn 7 years old. As your pet’s exercise level decreases, so will its food requirement. Speak to your vet about decreasing calorie intake and right food portions.
Due to their flattened faces, this breed suffers from certain medical issues like Brachycephalic syndrome and breathing problems. Luxating patella is also common. Chin dogs are also genetically predisposed to heart murmur. Scratching the oversized, bulging eyes can lead to corneal ulcerations and complications. Average life span of the Japanese Chin is 12-14 years.