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Japanese Chin FAQ

  1. What is the correct appearance of the Japanese Chin?
  2. What are the breed characteristics of the Japanese Chin?
  3. Should I spay or neuter my pet?
  4. What type of grooming does the Chin require?
  5. What type of training do I need to know for the Japanese Chin?
  6. How long do Chin live?
  7. Why does my Chin snort or wheeze?
  8. Why doesn't my Chin have as much hair as the Chin in the pictures?
  9. What kind of collar and leash should I get?

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.

Hair
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.

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