The Japanese Chin is a dainty little spaniel with a short, broad face, and a soft, feathered coat. A thick ruff covers the neck and chest. The forehead is quite round, with a well-defined stop. The nose is wide and the nostrils open. Nose color is black, except it may be self-colored in red-and-white dogs. The expressive, protruding eyes are dark and almond-shaped. The jaw is wide and slightly undershot. The V-shaped feathered ears are pendant. The body has about the same height as length. The front legs are straight and fine-boned. The coat comes in white with colored patches, most often black, but sometimes red, yellow, orange, sable, or brindle. The feathered tail curls up over the back. The Japanese Chin has an elegant high-stepping gait.
Despite its name, the Japanese Chin probably originated in Korea or China and was later developed in Japan. The breed became a favorite of the Japanese Court, and was often offered as a royal gift. A pair of these dear little companion dogs was given by Commodore Perry to Queen Victoria in 1853 when he returned from his historic mission to open Japan to world trade. The breed was renamed by the AKC in 1977; earlier it was registered as the Japanese Spaniel. Regardless of name, this breed has always been, first and foremost, a companion dog.
Amiable and lively companion. Loving and devoted. Mild mannered. Elegant and charming, yet playful. Sensitive. Agile and dainty. Clean. Intelligent; a very good dog for learning tricks.