Japanese Chin Temperament

What's Good About 'Em,

What's Bad About 'Em

Japanese Chin Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Perky, proud, and playful, the elegant Japanese Chin is less hyperactive and less yappy than many other toy breeds.

Though he does love to play in the yard, he doesn't need much more exercise than that. The yard must be fenced, for he has a spaniel heritage with just enough hunting instincts to chase birds or butterflies into the street.

A lover of comfort, the Japanese Chin enjoys cuddling on laps and snuggling into soft pillows, his soulful eyes inviting pampering, which he accepts graciously. However, you're just as apt to find him perched high on the back of the sofa, for he is an agile climber, light and graceful on his feet, much like a cat.

This gentle yet merry breed insists on attention and interaction and is a terrific pet for senior citizens. At the other end of the spectrum, he is easily overwhelmed by small children and cannot take rough handling or mischief.

Most Japanese Chin are polite with strangers, though a good many individuals are standoffish or timid, so socialization is important. This breed is peaceful with other pets.

Though he has an aristocratic demeanor and definite likes and dislikes, the Japanese Chin is also bright, sensitive, and responsive. The little obedience training he needs will go well if you rely on consistency, praise, and food rewards.

If you want a dog who.

  • Is small and pretty, with a short face, large expressive eyes, and a lovely feathered coat
  • Is perky and playful
  • Adores comfort, cuddling, and snuggling
  • Doesn't need much exercise
  • Is polite with strangers
  • Is peaceful with other pets

A Japanese Chin may be right for you.

If I was considering a Japanese Chin, I would be most concerned about.

  1. Fragility. Too many people acquire a toy breed puppy without understanding how incredibly fragile a toy breed is. You can seriously injure or kill a Japanese Chin puppy by stepping on him or by sitting on him when he's curled under a blanket or pillow, where he frequently likes to sleep. And Japanese Chin puppies can seriously injure or kill THEMSELVES by leaping from your arms or off the back of your sofa. Owning a toy breed means constant supervision and surveillance of what's going on around your small dog. Japanese Chins must always be kept indoors, in a safely fenced yard, or on-leash -- they are just too easy to injure when not under your complete control.

If you have small children, I do not recommend Japanese Chin puppies, no matter how well-meaning the child. Small children cannot help being clumsy, and that a child meant well is little solace to a Japanese Chin puppy who has been accidentally stepped on, sat on, rolled on, squeezed, or dropped onto the patio. Even Japanese Chin adults may feel overwhelmed by the loud voices and quick movements that children can't help

making -- and stress and shyness may be the result.

  • Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, Japanese Chins need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They become anxious, which they express through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.

  • Providing enough socialization. Japanese Chins need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds so that their natural caution doesn't become suspiciousness or shyness, which are very difficult to live with.

  • Grooming and shedding. To keep their silky coat short and free of mats, Japanese Chins require regular brushing and combing, and occasional trimming. Shedding is on the high side of average.

  • Health problems. Because of their short face, Japanese Chins suffer more than their share of health problems.

    To keep this breed healthy, I strongly recommend following all of the advice on my Japanese Chin Health Page .

    To learn more about training Japanese Chin to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words .

    It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Japanese Chin the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

    Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

    My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams. will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Japanese Chin. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

    If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Japanese Chin might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service .

    Once you have your Japanese Chin home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

    Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

    Please consider adopting an ADULT Japanese Chin.

    When you're acquiring a Japanese Chin PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

    But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Japanese Chin who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an a typical individual -- and enjoy!

    Save a life. Adopt a dog.


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