Japanese Chin Breed Information and Buying advice

Japanese Chin

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Japanese Chin?

Quick Japanese Chin Facts

Average Size of Adult
Very Small (1/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
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Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
10-12 years (4/8)
Exercise Requirements
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
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Medium (2/3)
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Child friendly
No (2/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Toy (5/8)
No (2/2)

Why Japanese Chins are great

The Japanese Chin, formerly known until 1977 as the Japanese Spaniel, is a fascinating little dog with a lot to celebrate. Japanese Chins are cat-like in nature; often found cleaning themselves, and even favour positioning themselves in high places and has an astonishing ability to climb and jump for their size. The Japanese Chin is aristocratic in character and appearance, with an air of royalty about them, befitting their heritage. Japanese Chins have distinctive oriental looks, with wide-set eyes and a flat face. The Japanese Chin is endearing and delicate but brings a charismatic and fun personality that many have grown to love in the UK and beyond. Some highlights:
  1. Japanese Chins require little exercise and are small and dainty
  2. Japanese Chins are surprisingly low maintenance when it comes to grooming, as they enjoy grooming themselves
  3. Japanese Chins are intelligent and lively and enjoy being the centre of fun
  4. Japanese Chins are loyal and affectionate in nature

Things to consider when looking at Japanese Chins for Sale

Some downsides to the Japanese Chin:
  1. Japanese Chins can be difficult to housebreak
  2. Japanese Chins may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long
  3. Japanese Chins can sometimes have a mind of their own, so the right training is essential

History of Japanese Chins

The Japanese Chin originated in China, people have speculated that they were first seen in the Chinese imperial court. The definite origins of the breed are largely unknown; however, Japanese Chins can be traced back to China and Korea more than a thousand years ago. Japanese Chins were highly prized and it is thought that the breed was introduced to Japan when given as a gift from the Empress of China to the Empress of Japan. Only Japanese nobility and people of influence were permitted to own a Japanese Chin and it wasn’t until 1853, when the Portuguese arrived in Japan, that popularity of these little dogs began to spread worldwide. Gradually the popularity of the Japanese Chin grew and many royal people owned them, including Queen Alexandra, who liked them so much that she owned 261.  


How big is the Japanese Chin?

The Japanese Chin is a small dog, maturing at a height of 18 – 28 cm  

How heavy is a Japanese Chin?

Japanese Chins are light and delicate dogs; they generally weigh between 1.8 – 3.2kg when fully matured  

What Colour is the Japanese Chin?

The Japanese Chin boasts a long and silky coat and is usually black and white, red and white or sable and white in colour  


Do Japanese Chins make good guard dogs?

Japanese Chins may be tiny, but they are known to be effective watchdogs. They are very alert and will happily inform their owners when there are strangers present  

Do Japanese Chins bark a lot? 

Japanese Chins are not particularly known to be vocal, but they may bark when alerted or upset by something as they are sensitive dogs by nature.  

Are Japanese Chins easy to train?

Japanese Chins are intelligent and easy to train in the right hands, however, they are known to be difficult to housebreak, so extra attention may be needed. Japanese Chins are known to be willful at times, so it’s important to make training fun and varying to keep them interested and engaged.  

Are Japanese Chins playful?

Japanese Chins are happy dogs who love to play and thrive off human attention. They have a mischievous side to them and a fun personality.  

Are Japanese Chins good with children? 

Japanese Chins are affectionate dogs and are known to be good with children, however, because of their size, they may not be suited to a large family. Care should be taken when children are playing as they may injure easily because of their delicate build.  

Are Japanese Chins good with other pets?

If socialised at a young age, Japanese Chins will get on well with other dogs and pets in the home. However, because of their size, they may be wary around larger dogs and care should be taken to supervise.  

Can I leave a Japanese Chin Alone?

Japanese Chins are loyal and form strong bonds with their families; they are unhappy to be left alone without human company and may display destructive behaviour if left for too long.  

Do Japanese Chins like water?

Most Japanese Chins won’t take naturally to water and many of them may be afraid of the water. Because of their size and build, they are not natural swimmers and will generally prefer to stay on land.  


How long do Japanese Chins live?

A healthy Japanese Chin has a general life expectancy of 10 – 12 years  

How much exercise does a Japanese Chin need?

Japanese Chins are low maintenance when it comes to exercise. Although they are lively and love to play, they don’t require any more than 30 – 40 minutes exercise a day.  

What are Japanese Chins Common health issues?

Japanese Chins, like many short-faced breeds, may wheeze when breathing or snore. Japanese Chins are also sometimes prone to hereditary illnesses, such as eye problems and respiratory problems.  


How much space do I need for a Japanese Chin?

Japanese Chins are very adaptable little dogs and don’t require much space, making them suitable for apartment living. They would benefit from a small enclosed garden, but it’s not completely necessary.  

What should I feed my Japanese Chin?

Japanese Chins should be fed a good quality diet, as a rough guide, a mature Japanese Chin weighing 2.5kg may be fed 45g – 52g, depending on exercise. Any reputable breeder will provide a feeding schedule for a puppy and it is important that this is stuck to, ensuring the long-term health and development of the dog.  

How much grooming do Japanese Chins need?

Japanese Chins boast a long silky coat, with an attractive mane and an exuberant tail which is held high. Because of this, Japanese Chins require regular grooming to maintain their coats and would benefit from several trips to the groomers throughout the course of the year. Additionally, special attention should be paid to their eyes to wipe away any excess moisture.  

Do Japanese Chins shed?

Japanese Chins shed throughout the year and especially in Spring and Autumn, during this time daily grooming is required to aid the removal of dead hairs.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Japanese Chin?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £500 - £700 for a well-bred Japanese Chin puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £50 - £90 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Japanese Chin Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Japanese Chin puppy buying advice:
  1. Japanese Chins are becoming increasingly popular, and as such care should be taken to avoid scammers. A reputable breeder will provide documents on the puppy’s vaccinations and lineage. The dam should always be viewed with the puppy and the welfare of the dam and her puppies should come first.

Other reading, Adopting Japanese Chin Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.puppyfinder.org.uk/toys/japanese-chin/ https://www.europuppy.com/dog_breed_choosing/japanese_chin_puppies/ https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/japanese-chin#/slide/1 https://uk.pedigree.com/getting-a-dog/breed-selector/japanese-chin https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findarescue/Default.aspx?breed=6156 https://www.japanesechinrescue.org/