The Complete Japanese Chin (Book of the Breed)


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The Japanese Chin is also called the Japanese Spaniel, and has many similarities with the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, such as a history of being bred for companionship, and a popular breed with royalty - in the case of the Chin, with the Japanese royal family.

They both have soft, silky, strokeable fur, and feathery tails, though the Chin has a curly tail like a spitz dog. Both breeds have enough of a hunting instinct to make chasing small prey a temptation! Like the Cavalier, the Japanese Chin is sometimes slow to housetrain, and many individuals suffer health problems. They share a propensity for eye trouble with Cavaliers, since both breeds have large, protruding eyes.

The Japanese Chin has a shorter face than the Cavalier, and sometimes also suffers breathing problems, and snores. It is also a smaller and more delicate breed, and children can seem daunting unless they are very gentle with these dogs, so Japanese Chins are not really suitable for households with very young children. They can be good watchdogs, but are generally friendly once they have given a bark to alert their owners, and they are not usually problem barkers, unless they are bored. They do love attention, and can be demanding if always allowed their own way, though they are capable of learning obedience if their owners can bring themselves to be firm and consistent with such cute little dogs!

This is a good breed for a retired owner with some experience of dogs. They do not need long walks, and can be happy with retrieve games in the garden, and they can adapt to living in flats, with a daily walk on the lead and games indoors.. They do like company, and someone to be with in the day time. They benefit from a short daily grooming session to rid their coats of tangles, and it's easy to groom them while they are sitting on the owner's lap.

Common health problems include sensitivity to veterinary pharmaceutical products, so do check that your vet is aware of this. They can also suffer from both very high and very low temperatures, so it's best to keep them indoors in the heat of the day in summer, and keep walks short when it's very cold. Some individuals have also been affected by heart disease, and knee trouble, so it's worth checking that a pup's ancestors are free from these problems.

This book is a good guide for novice owners, with an interesting discussion of the breed's history, and some help for owners who want to show their dogs. There perhaps could be more discussion of the common health problems that the breed is prone to, and how to avoid them when choosing a pup. However, new Chin owners are likely to be delighted by this book, since the authors clearly love the breed.