Japanese Chin.jpg
Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-B: Asian Breeds
Origin Country Japan
Weight Males: 4-15 pounds. Females: 4-15 pounds.
Height Males: 8-12 inches. Females: 8-11 inches.
Other Name(s) Chin, Japanese Spaniel
Breed Type Pure
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Japanese Chin

Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-B: Asian Breeds
Origin Country Japan
Weight Males: 4-15 pounds. Females: 4-15 pounds.
Height Males: 8-12 inches. Females: 8-11 inches.
Other Name(s) Chin, Japanese Spaniel
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

Of the native Japanese dog breeds, the Japanese Chin, or simply Chin, is the only breed not used for utility, but for companionship alone. Many experts believe that the ancestors of the modern-day Chin were gifted to Japanese emperors by the ancient Korean or Chinese rulers around the eighth century. In Japan, the ancestors of the Chin adorned the lap of luxury of Japanese nobility. Like many of the other Asian toy breeds, ownership of the Japanese Chin was restricted to royalty families. Well before the time of breed standards and descriptions, royal families would breed these little dogs according to their own liking. Some bred for larger sizes, others for smaller. For this reason, the Japanese Chin’s ancestors varied widely in size, shape, and general appearance. These dogs were considered to be one of the highest forms of gifts from the Japanese empire.

Several Japanese Chin dogs were gifted to US Navy Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry when he established trade with Japan in 1853. Of the seven dogs originally gifted, one pair made it to the United States and was given to President Franklin Pierce, while another pair was given to Queen Victoria of England. Thanks in part to the Queen’s enjoyment of the Chin, he instantly became a hit in England among aristocratic ladies, continuing the long tradition of keeping the little dogs as lap warmers, status symbols, and companions. Their popularity soon spread worldwide.

Once established in the West, the race was on to produce smaller versions of the breed. This led to dogs of inferior health being produced en masse. During World War II, relations between Japan and the United States suffered, and trade between the two countries was stopped. Along with that, ownership of Japanese breeds was somewhat stigmatized. However, dogs could still be obtained from Europe, and it was from those dogs that much of the American lines were developed.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat brachycephalic skull type, moderate in size, somewhat rounded, deep, broad, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From the front, the head appears somewhat square in shape, with slight rounded between the ears. The topskull and forehead are prominent, with good depth, broad, and rounded in profile and when viewed from the front. It should never appear bulging or overly domed. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Large in size, oval to round in shape, and medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging or “wall-eyed.” Whites should not be visible when the dog is looking straight forward. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. There is sufficient fill below the eyes to indicate strong substance and prevent the eyes from appearing overly protrusive or lacking protection.
Ears: The ears are moderate in size, V-shaped, drop or button, and set somewhat wide apart and positioned just below the crown. They are never overly large or long.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short, broad, and full. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is short and straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak. The lower jaw may be slightly upturned, and just prominent to give the chin a distinct “pout.” It is never protrusive, and it, along with the tongue, should remain concealed when the mouth is held closed. The muzzle should be sufficiently long enough to prevent a flat profile and to allow for healthy breathing.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed but not overly prominent.
Body: Square, deep, compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried up and arched over the back, falling to either side. The tail should never be tucked. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.
Movement: The Japanese Chin’s movement is elegant, lively, energetic, proud, light, and dainty. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Japanese Chin is best described as charming yet demanding, true of any dog suited for royalty. They are lively, happy, responsive, and affectionate. They can also be a bit sensitive. Their high degree of intelligence allows them to learn many tricks and tasks easily. Although they thrive on the attention of their people and family, they can be indifferent toward strangers. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 12: Companion and Toy Breeds

Proportions: Square to slightly off-square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being approximately equal to, or just slightly greater than, the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is between 1:1 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. The Japanese Chin comes in two weight categories; over 7 pounds, or 7 pounds or less.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat brachycephalic skull type, moderate in size, somewhat rounded, deep, broad, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From the front, the head appears somewhat square in shape, with slight rounded between the ears. The topskull and forehead are prominent, with good depth, broad, and rounded in profile and when viewed from the front. It should never appear bulging or overly domed. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Lively, engaging, watchful, alert, and intelligent.
Stop: The stop is definite and deep, preferably forming a 90-degree angle between the topskull and muzzle.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 5:1, with the topskull being longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short, broad, and full. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is short and straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak. The lower jaw may be slightly upturned, and just prominent to give the chin a distinct “pout.” It is never protrusive, and it, along with the tongue, should remain concealed when the mouth is held closed. The muzzle should be sufficiently long enough to prevent a flat profile and to allow for healthy breathing.
Lips or Flews: Lips are broad, clean, and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws. They meet in an inverted “U” or “V” in front of the incisors. They should never conceal the lower jaw, nor should they appear loose or pendulous.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled without appearing chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Large in size, oval to round in shape, and medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging or “wall-eyed.” Whites should not be visible when the dog is looking straight forward. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. There is sufficient fill below the eyes to indicate strong substance and prevent the eyes from appearing overly protrusive or lacking protection.
Ears: The ears are moderate in size, V-shaped, drop or button, and set somewhat wide apart and positioned just below the crown. They are never overly large or long.

Body and Tail

General Description: Square, deep, compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed but not overly prominent.
Topline: Level from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, being flat and level or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back or gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried up and arched over the back, falling to either side. The tail should never be tucked. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Single, straight, abundant, silky, and long throughout entire body, except face where short. Profuse feathering on ears, neck, thighs, and tail that tends to stand away from the body forming thick mane, ruff, culottes, and plume.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Japanese Chin breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety.
Standard coat color variety: Predominantly white with black or various shades of red markings, including orange and lemon. Markings that are symmetrical, especially on head, are preferred, as are wide white blazes from muzzle to crown.
Nonstandard coat color variety: Solid colors in black, various shades of red, including orange and lemon, or black with tan points. Nonstandard coat colors including liver or blue, either with or without tan points, sable, all with or without white markings, or predominantly white.

Movement

The Japanese Chin’s movement is elegant, lively, energetic, proud, light, and dainty. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Japanese Chin is best described as charming yet demanding, true of any dog suited for royalty. They are lively, happy, responsive, and affectionate. They can also be a bit sensitive. Their high degree of intelligence allows them to learn many tricks and tasks easily. Although they thrive on the attention of their people and family, they can be indifferent toward strangers. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.