Japanese Chin

  • Overview

    Agile Japanese Chins usually weigh between 4 and 9 pounds, which makes them adept at sailing through the air and jumping on your furniture. They have other cat-like behaviors, which make them peculiar little dogs but excellent companions. The Japanese Chin is a tidy, expressive dog whose abundant coat gives him a regal appearance. They make amusing and adoring indoor companions who will adapt quickly to your lifestyle and demand plenty of affection with their charming personalities.

  • Personality

    Japanese Chins are very demanding of attention. They are charming and lively little dogs who love to show off for their owners. They have a noble look about them, but they enjoy amusing themselves and others with their somewhat goofy habits. They jump, climb and bat at objects like cats and they prance around with a noble gait. Their flat face and wide, expressive eyes give them a gentle, inquisitive appearance.

    The Japanese Chin is sensitive to his owner's emotions. They are perceptive and comforting when their owners are upset, but they also respond to the mood of the home and the tone of their owner's voice. Chins are less high strung than other toy breeds, and they generally learn quickly. Their agility and delicate carriage makes them able to perform tricks easily. Japanese Chins should be socialized from a young age to make sure that they do not become scared or timid around strangers and other animals.

  • Coat Care

    Their coat is silky with a thick ruff around the neck and feathering on the legs and ears. A hairy tail curves up over their back. Their heads, faces and fronts of their legs are covered with softer, shorter hair. They are usually white with black patches, but their patches also come in orange, sable and brindle. Japanese Chins groom themselves by licking their paws like a cat.

    To keep their coat healthy, bathe them about once a month with a mild shampoo and towel them dry before brushing them.

Japanese Chin
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The Japanese Chin's ear fringes sometimes mat and need to be brushed gently to avoid becoming dirty or uncomfortable. Their coat should be brushed gently upward and outward with a small pin brush. Comb them with a fine-toothed metal comb to decrease shedding and prevent matting.

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Make sure to towel dry your Japanese Chin's coat before brushing them.

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Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with combination coats generally require routine trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillions and Japanese Chins, and dogs with hanging ears like the Saluki,  have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Papillions and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.