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Japanese Chin - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Japanese Chin


The Japanese Chin is a tiny spaniel with a broad, short face and a silky feathered coat. They have round foreheads with a well-defined stop. The nose is wide and should be black for black and white dogs, and colored to match the coat for others. The eyes protrude and are dark and almond-shaped. Teeth should meet in either a level bite, or an underbite. Ears are V-shaped and pendant. Chins are square in proportion and should be as long as they are high. The tail is feathered and curls up and over the back. The coat comes in colors of black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points.

Size and Weight

The ideal size for a Japanese Chin is from 8 to 11 inches at the withers. The average weight is 9 pounds. In the show ring, the dog is judged on proportion and substance. The length from sternum to buttocks should be equal to the height of the dog at the withers. A Chin should be built solidly, but be refined in appearance and carriage. There is, of course, no judgment for the substance and proportion of a companion dog.

Coat and Color

The long, abundant coat of the Japanese Chin is silken to the touch. They sport a thick mane, plumed tail, feathered ears and feathering on the back of the legs. The forelegs, face and head sport shorter hair. They come in colors of black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points.

Grooming Needs

The long, silky coat of the Japanese Chin may appear intimidating from a grooming standpoint, but they are quite easy to maintain. A quick, daily pass with a pin brush will keep tangles from forming and remove dirt and debris. A full brushing once per week keeps the coat healthy and shiny. Chins are clean dogs and only require bathing as needed. Many owner prefer to use a dry shampoo to lengthen the time needed between baths.

Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.

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