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How To Breed Japanese Chins

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Published on
Wednesday 16 September 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
how to breed japanese chins
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Are you interested in breeding Japanese Chins? Well, you have just arrived in the right place! Japanese Chins are little dogs with flatter faces that people find really appealing. Besides that, they are known to be exotic smart agile dogs.

This is an ancient breed, so it is still unknown for many, and breeding Japanese Chins is a mystery for many, especially if you have not experienced anything related to them. So, if you just want to know how to breed Japanese Chins, and you are willing to know the correct way to take care of them, then keep reading this article.

Background of Japanese Chin Breeding

To understand the behavior and looks of Japanese Chins, you first need to know their background.

Origin and History

Just by hearing its name, we could think that this breed was originated in Japan. However, there is a plot twist in this history. The Japanese Chin has its roots in China. Chins were regarded as the descendants of the lapdogs of Chinese aristocracy; therefore, they were considered royalty.

The exact way this breed arrived in Japan is still kind of a mystery. Even so, many people rely on the theory that the Chinese Emperor gifted a pair of chins to the Japanese Emperor of that time. In 1873, Matthew Calbraith Perry, an American Naval Officer, acquire a pair of Japanese Chins to give them as gifts to Queen Victoria after he visited Japan as part of a mission, and in that way, they were introduced to many other countries. Around 1868, they started to be recognized as companion dogs to ladies of the upper class of the European Society.

During the 1st World War, the number of Japanese Chins was reduced, and it was not easy to import them. But, time later, Japanese chins were brought from Europe to the United States to start the American Breeding Program. Something interesting to know is that Japanese Spaniel was its name until 1977 when the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized them and started being named Japanese Chins. They are called Japanese because Japanese nobles were the ones who nurtured the breed as we know it today.

breeding japanese chins
Breeding Japanese Chins is a mystery for many.


The Japanese Chin is ranked #104 out of 193 dogs by the American Kennel Club (AKC) Breed Popularity Ranking. If we look carefully at that number, we can notice that they are not exactly in a high position, and this is due to this ancient breed is still unknown for a great many people. However, the Japanese Chin has a long history to tell, a history that has been displayed in many fields. For instance:

  • They are plenty of works of art dating from the 17th to 20th Century that portrait the image of Japanese Chins
  • Representations of the Japanese Chin can be also found in ancient Chinese temples, pottery, and embroideries


This dog has a unique oriental expression that is given by its peculiar features. Right below we are going to give you a full detailed description of the characteristics a Japanese Chin standard breed must have.


Japanese Chins are small-sized dogs. Here are the ideal measures for this breed in terms of:

  • Height: 8 to 11 inches
  • Weight: 4 to 15 pounds

They have a large, broad head and a prominent, rounding towards the nose forehead. Now, to look a little more in detail its features we are going to list some specific parts of their head that give them that bright, inquisitive, alert, and intelligent expression, very characteristic of them.

  • Eyes: its eyes are set wide apart, large in size, round in shape, and dark in color. Also, the inner corners of the eyes have a small amount of white
  • Ears: its ears are small, V-shaped, wide apart and they are well covered with hair
  • Muzzle: its muzzle is short and broad. Its rounded upper lips cover the teeth
  • Nose: they have a very short nose, with wide, open nostrils
heads of japanese chins
Japanese Chins have large, broad heads!


Japanese Chins have a sturdy, compact, yet refined structure. They have good proportions in terms of height and length.

  • Neck: it is moderate in length and thickness
  • Tail: they have a plumed tail carried over the back, curving to either side


One of their most outstanding traits is their abundant, straight, single, silky coat. Surprisingly, their coat can take up to two years to completely grow.

There are some areas such as the neck, shoulders, ears, and the chest, in which stands out. And there some others such as the head and the muzzle that are covered with short hair. These are the Japanese Chin colors:

  • Black and white
  • Red and white
  • Black and white with tan points


Japanese Chins are considered cat-like dogs since they are very agile, alert, and tend to groom themselves. They enjoy being in high spots, observing everything going on around them, and hiding in unexpected places. Certainly, they really like to explore their surroundings.

They are described as a friendly, graceful, and amusing breed. They are companion dogs by nature, because they adore comfort, cuddling, and snuggling. Also, Japanese Chins are known to be extremely smart and sensitive. They can also do crazy things out of nowhere just to entertain you, and they can be very good at performing tricks if you teach them some. Besides, they can serve as excellent watchdogs, and a good thing about them is that they do not tend to bark a lot, they are generally quiet.

They are very affectionate to people they know but this can be reserved and not shown to strangers, so they need early socialization to make them feel comfortable around different people, sights, and sounds in the future. They love being the center of attention, that is why if you leave them alone for many hours, they develop “separation anxiety”. According to owners, once you have a Japanese Chin, it is really difficult to imagine living without one in your life. They are indeed, described as ideal dogs.

Japanese Chin vs Pekingese

The Japanese Chin and the Pekingese are both toy breeds, that is why they share some similarities. If we compare them, Japanese Chins tend to be a little bit taller than Pekingese, but less heavy if we talk about weight. Also, the Japanese Chin was originated way before the Pekingese.

In terms of temperament, they both are excellent choices for people who are looking to breed a dog for the first time, however, the Japanese Chin tends to be friendlier toward children and are easier to groom.

Even so, phrases like Japanese Chin vs Pekingese should not stir controversy or fights to find out which is the best breed. Each dog has its charms; this time let’s focus on the good side of the Japanese Chin, but the Pekingese has strong points as well.

Health Concerns When Breeding Japanese Chins

Dogs are usually more prone to some diseases than to others and the Japanese Chin is not far from this reality. Therefore, we will present to you a recompilation of some of the health issues your pet can suffer from:

Luxating Patella

This condition is also known as “slipped stifles”. The patella consists of three parts (the femur, patella, and tibia). When this is not properly lined up, or in other words, when it is out of place, it can cause limping, an intermittent skip in the gait, and abnormal sitting posture for your dog. This can cause a bunch of other conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Torn cruciate ligaments

There are many grades of patellar luxation, so the treatment will depend on the grade of the disease your dog has. But, most of the time, surgery needs to be performed. Fortunately, the recovery period is fast if you keep monitoring its progress.


This disease refers to any opacity in the lens of the eye that causes difficulty in seeing. Some of the causes are the following:

You can know if your Japanese Chin is suffering from cataracts if their eyes look cloudy or kind of gray. If it is not treated it can lead to glaucoma and therefore, to permanent blindness. Surgery is the only method in which the dog’s vision can be restored. What the veterinarian does is remove the lens and replace them with plastic or acrylic lens.

Even so, you will have to take special care of your dog after surgery, like making it wear a protective collar to prevent it from harming itself and administrating eye drops.

Early-Onset Heart Murmurs

A heart murmur refers to an abnormal heart sound that is triggered by turbulent blood flow. These are some of the causes:

  • A structural problem within the heart
  • Extracardiac problems such as anemia, hypoproteinemia that refers to low protein levels in the blood, or obesity

There are three types of murmurs:

  • Systolic murmurs: they take place when the heart muscle contracts
  • Diastolic murmurs: they take place when the heart is relaxed between beats
  • Continuous murmurs: they happen during all the dog’s heartbeat cycle

How can you acknowledge that your dog is suffering from this disease? Heart murmurs are diagnosed with a stethoscope. Listening to how loud the dog’s heartbeat is can determine if they have the illness. Some of the treatments to this condition are:

  • Regular monitoring when it is a physiologic heart murmur, since it has no impact on the dog’s health
  • Specialized diets
  • Medication


It is an illness caused by having low blood sugar. But, how can you acknowledge your dog is suffering from this condition? Well, these are some of the symptoms that go from the less severe to the severest ones:

  • Your dog presents low energy levels
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Unconsciousness

Why can this happen to your dog? There are several reasons such as:

  • Inadequate alimentation
  • Excessive exercise. Remember that Japanese Chins require just a minimal amount of exercise
  • Certain cancers

The treatment for this condition attempts, as it is obvious, to restore glucose levels in the blood by feeding them with corn syrup, sugar, or fruit juices. However, if the cause is cancer, then surgery must be performed to save the dog’s life. Japanese Chins’ life expectancy is from 10 to 12 years, sometimes up to 15 years. So, if you take care of your beloved Japanese Chin, it will have a long life.

japanese chins life expectancy
If you take care of your Japanese Chin, it will live a long life.

How to Breed Japanese Chins

Do you want to become an expert on Japanese Chins breeding or you want to start a Japanese Chins breeding business? Whatever the reason is, we will let you know how you can do it in a proper way, considering various aspects so you can take care of your dogs and maybe, if that is what you wish, make a profit from it.

Choosing the Bitch and Stud

It is important for the process of breeding to select the right bitch and stud so you can get later quality dogs. So, here you will find some recommendations to choose correctly. Aspects to pay attention when choosing the stud Include its appearance and temperament: you must know what the traits of the Stud are, in this way, you will have an idea of what the Japanese Chin puppies will be like. Remember that their appearance has to match the standard of the breed. Also, choose a stud with a good temperament, because it will be more likely that the puppies inherit the same temperament.

  • Quality of pedigree: evaluate its ancestors and be sure they have not produced any serious disease or poor temperaments
  • Health history: you have to check that the stud does not suffer any disease. Pay more attention to the ones that they are prone to have, so you will not have problems in the future

As you will see, many things to look for in the Bitch are the same as for the Stud, such as:

  • Its temperament: check that the bitch was an easy whelper, as well as a good mother. Since it will be easier to get puppies with the same traits. Ensure she can physically carry a litter during pregnancy and has as much ease as possible during birth with her hip size.
  • Evaluate the progeny it has produced: you will always want to get high-quality puppies and knowing that will give you more confidence that it is likely to produce them again

As a Japanese Chin breeder, you must be responsible and bear in mind the previous key points to assure quality healthy dogs.

Litter Size

The average litter size of Japanese Chins goes from 1 to 5 puppies. This breed tends to go into heat usually twice a year, and each one lasts around four weeks.

Also, it is recommended that Japanese Chins only have a litter once a year, because remember that most frequent breeding is not healthy. Japanese Chins puppies need to wait between 60 and 64 days to recover after birth.

Birthing Issues

The flat face of the Japanese Chin can be one of the features that is more appealing to people, however, this characteristic can cause it to have some birthing problems due to its shape.

One of these problems is dystocia, which means presenting difficulties when giving birth. In some cases, Japanese Chins puppies can be kind of difficult to deliver due to feto-pelvic disproportion.

So, what can be done? Well, if medicines such as oxytocin, calcium, and intravenous fluids do not help the mother to give birth, then a C-section- better known as Caesarean section– would have to take place, in that way, the puppies can be removed from the uterus quickly. If you see that your Japanese Chin is having problems to deliver its puppies, you have to intervene early by calling a veterinarian.


Without clients, there is no way that your business can keep being profitable for you, therefore, we will teach you some tips to make it more appealing to potential customers:

  • A good option is entering your dogs into shows, there they will be seen by plenty of people, and if they win, they will bring prestige and a good reputation for your business
  • Choose the healthier dogs to breed, even if they are not so many. It is better to have a few high-quality dogs than many with faults. That will increase the credibility of your business and surely, will attract more customers
  • Let social media to be part of your growth and the things you are accomplishing, posting photos, information and interesting data about your Japanese Chins. Also, do not forget to clear the doubts of people and be interactive

Finally, remember you must have patience, maybe the results will not show up at the very beginning, but keep trying. We wish you good luck on your journey!


If you are planning to get a Japanese Chin, then you can face two different scenarios:

  • A Japanese Chin coming from a reputable breeder with a good pedigree, good training, early socialization and evidence that proves its good health can cost you between $1,500 and $2,100
  • However, you can get one by $700 if you give up on finding the best breeder and accept to buy it without important documents that show their quality

So, sometimes it is better to pay a higher price, because it will be worth it in the future.

japanese chins are smart
Japanese Chins are very smart dogs!

Breeding Japanese Chins – FAQ

Finally, we have made a recompilation of the most frequent doubts users have about this breed, so find out the answers to these below.

Are Japanese Chins rare?

Japanese Chins are a rare breed; they are considered as a breed small in number.

A long time ago, in 1636, Japan decided not to allow the entry of foreigners to their country to prevent their culture and people from being influenced by them. They stayed that way for more than two centuries. And when Japanese Chins were finally released to the rest of the World, they were not bred, since they are considered as beloved treasures for the people who had them. After the first World War, it was very difficult to import them, and the number of Japanese Chins decreased.

Therefore, it is important to adopt good practices when breeding a Japanese Chin, in that way we will be able to prolong the breed.

Are Japanese Chins smart?

Japanese Chins are not only smart, but very smart. They can learn very fast new things you teach them and can even perform tricks.

Nevertheless, be careful! Do not let them control you. You must always be firm with them. If you do not train them, they will train you. So, be sure you give them interesting, fun-filled training sessions.

What is more, Japanese Chins know how to read their owner’s emotions and shape their personality to match. How can be a pet that charming?

How Many Puppies do Japanese Chins have?

The litter size of Japanese Chins goes from 1 to 5 puppies. Japanese Chins tend to go into heat twice a year, but it is recommended that they only have one little per year to remain healthy. Remember that having them bred frequently is not good for them and can make them suffer later.

Japanese Chins puppies have a more active metabolism compared to other breeds, that is why they need to be fed with good quality food, that contains big amounts of protein. This is due to the fact that these dogs reach adulthood by 10 months and they need to be strong enough then.

Are Japanese Chins hard to potty train?

Japanese Chins are very intelligent dogs. Due to their high intelligence, potty training them should not involve a very difficult task. Work on the bond you make with your Japanese Chin, because in that way, they will follow your instructions, and what is more, they can also learn to perform tricks since they are known to be pretty agile and acrobatic.

However, being that intelligent can also have a downside, and this is that if you do not control them, they will control you. Be sure to make clear what are the rules it must follow and the limits to what he is allowed to do.

Japanese Chins can be kind of challenging, but if you do not give up on training them constantly, then they will obey for sure.

A wonderful little breed, the Japanese Chin is a truly brilliant dog to breed.

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