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All About Imperial Japanese Chin


The Japanese Chin is a sensitive and intelligent breed whose only purpose is to serve man as a companion. Agile and playful, they can be taught to perform tricks and like to show off to an audience of friends.


Their coat varies in size and length, but most are white with black markings. They can also be white and red. 

The Japanese Chin's origin and development in its native land of China is wrapped in royalty and adoration. They were bred for the sole purpose of accompanying the ladies of the Imperial Palace and warming the laps of Chinese aristocracy. There are illustrations on ancient pottery and embroideries that are centuries old, and evidence suggests that one could not purchase a Chin - they were kept in the hands of the nobility and frequently given as gifts of esteem to diplomats and to foreigners who rendered some outstanding service to Japan.

Temperament and Personality

If you like a tiny dog with a great sense of humor, an impish personailty, and a talent for pursuing his own interests,  the Chin is the dog for you. A Chin will keep you laughing and watching for more.


The Chin exudes self-confidence. He was bred for royalty, and he knows it. He chooses who he will like and who he won’t like. He sulks when he doesn’t get his way, and sorry for the person who angers him. A Chin has a good memory and isn’t above taking revenge.  There’s no need for any other form of entertainment if you live with a Chin. Beneath his polite and pleasant surface beats a mischievous heart. He enjoys doing the forbidden and watching for your reaction.


You might think that your belongings are safe from a tiny dog, especially if you put them in a high place, but don't make a mistake. People joke that Chin can fly, or that they are part cat, because of their incredible ability to reach high places. Some have been known to clear six feet. Not surprisingly, the Chin excels in agility trials.


The perfect day for a Chin involves spending as much time as possible with people, interspersed with bouts of play. He’ll tear around the house or yard, maybe try to scrounge a bite of toast or bacon, then play some more. Chin like to prance on their hind legs, toss around socks and shoes, and use their front paws to bat around lightweight toys. In a contemplative mood they’ll gnaw on a chew stick.


Sometimes Chin will even put on a show that involves singing, talking, and dancing. Their voices have been described as sounding like little killer bees. Be sure you praise them for their performance or you’ll never get another one.


The Chin is highly intelligent and can be trained — but only if he likes you. When you have his respect and love, all that’s needed to correct a Chin is a firm tone of voice. Punishment is counterproductive. Don’t forget that long memory. Think of the Chin as an ancient courtesan and use your diplomatic skills to persuade him to do what you want. Fortunately, the gentle Chin is mild-mannered and rarely does anything worthy of serious correction.


Chin are typically quiet dogs, but they are known for “singing” with their people or with each other, as well as chattering when someone arrives at the house. On the whole, though, they’re not yappy.

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