The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel) is the dog of Japanese royalty. A lap dog and companion dog, this toy breed has a distinctive heritage. Appearance Japanese Chin stand about 20 to 27 cm (8 to 11 in) in height at the withers and weight can vary from a low of 4 lbs to a high of 20 lbs, with an average of 7 to 9 pounds being the most common. The American Kennel Club and the Fï¿½dï¿½ration Cynologique Internationale give no weight requirement for the Chin. Temperament This breed is considered one of the most cat-like of the dog breeds in attitude: it is alert, intelligent, and independent, and it uses its paws to wash and wipe its face. Other cat-like traits include their preference for resting on high surfaces such as the backs of sofas and chairs, their ability to walk across a coffee table without disturbing an item, and some of the surprising places their owners often find them in. They rank 62nd in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being of fair working/obedience intelligence. A companion dog, it is loving and loyal to its owner and typically happy to see other people, though a few are distrustful of strangers. Chin prefer familiar surroundings, but do quite well in new situations and are often used as therapy dogs because of this trait and their love of people. Very early socialization of Chin puppies leads to a more emotionally well-balanced Chin that is more accepting of different situations and people. The Chin will bark for the purpose of alerting the household to the arrival of a visitor or something out of the ordinary, but are otherwise very quiet. Chin were bred for the purpose of loving and entertaining their people. While typically a calm little dog, they are well known for performing many enjoyable antics such as the "Chin Spin", in which they turn in rapid circles; dancing on their hind legs while pawing their front feet, clasped together, in the air; and, some even "sing", a noise that can range from a low trill to a higher, almost operatic quality noise, and which sounds much like ï¿½booooï¿½.
The true origin of the Chin remains a matter of controversy. It is widely agreed that the source breed for the Japanese Chin originated in China.
These dogs were brought over to Japan around 732. Some maintain the ancestors of these dogs first appeared in Japan around the year 732, as gifts from the rulers of Korea, while others maintain that they were given as gifts to the Empress of Japan as early as the mid-6th century to 7th century, and even some saying they came to Japan as recently as around the year 1000.
The Japanese Chin is truly a "Japanese" creation in that it reflects Japanese sensibilities.
The Japanese created a breed so distinct from other dogs, that in Japan it was considered something different, distinct from a "dog" which was considered a working/helper animal whereas the Japanese Chin was considered strictly for pleasurable companionship.
Its distinct appearance and personality eventually captured the hearts of Japanese Royalty and resulted in ownership being restricted to those of royal and noble blood.
Each noble house bred to their own standards. Because of this, there are many variations of the Chin in any area from size to coat density, eye set, personality, whether they are compact and well-muscled or slender-boned and fragile in appearance, etc.
Once introduced to the West, a strong desire for the smaller 10 lbs or less version of the Japanese Chin came to dominate and become the standard of various kennel clubs around the world.
Professor Ludvic von Schulmuth studied canine origins by studying the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as the 8th millennium BC. The Professor created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog". From this dog evolved the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin`. Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.
Though there is some documentation that indicates Portuguese sailors introduced the breed to Europe in the 17th century by presenting some to Catherine of Braganza, Queen Consort to King Charles II of England, there is more credible evidence that the first Chin were gifted by the Emperor of Japan to an American naval officer, Matthew Calbraith Perry, when Perry visited the Orient in 1853 to open trade with the East. Perry was gifted with a total of seven (7) Chin; however, only two survived the passage back. Again, there is controversy over whether Perry gave the two to Franklin Pierce, President of the United States, gave them to James Stirling, Rear admiral of the Royal Navy to take to Queen Victoria, or gave them to his daughter, Caroline Slidell, after returning from Japan. Caroline was the wife of August Belmont.