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It's fun to imagine what your future dog will look like. Maybe you can picture the cute outfits you'd buy or are already thinking of names. What dog breed choice finally comes down to, though, is what physical and personality traits of a dog will sync the best with your lifestyle. The Japanese Chin has some great characteristics; see if they're what you're looking for in a canine companion.
If you have decided on a small breed, the Chin may be the right choice for you. They are perfect for older adults and apartment dwellers because they are small and you won't feel like you're being crowded.
They do not do well in extreme temperatures so it may be best if you have a good air conditioning and heating system. If you are worried that your dog may be pickier about the temperature than you are, installing a solar power system or at least choosing solar-sourced power can help mitigate any extra electricity costs to keep them comfortable.
The Chin has an adorable little face and a long silky coat. Their fur is mostly white and either mixed with brown or black. Brushing them would be almost like taking care of a stuffed animal when you were young. However, be prepared for the amount of fur they can shed.
If you're imagining jogging long distances or playing frisbee or catch with your pet, you may want to choose a bigger or sturdier dog than a Chin. The Chin was once the chosen companion of Buddhist monks and they were perfectly happy lying nearby while the monks meditated.
They will be the happiest cuddling with you while you read or watch TV and can get their entire exercise requirement for the day just by following you around the house, which they love to do.
The Chin is fond of playing, just not in an outdoorsy or athletic way. Since this breed is small and not that energetic, you will have to be careful they don't become too overweight, which could shorten their lifespan of 10-12 years. Small breeds like this also tend to have more dental problems than their larger counterparts. Both dental and weight issues can be addressed with high-quality raw food.
The Japanese Chin is an emotional dog that is very empathetic and affectionate towards its owners. This is the kind of dog that is finely tuned to emotions and moods and will try to make you happier by giving you extra attention.
The Chin tends to take on the characteristics of the household they live in. If their owner is elderly and quiet, the Chin will adapt and become even quieter than normal to fit their owner's lifestyle. However, put a Chin in a more energetic household with children and lots of movement and they will become more lively, cheerful and playful.
Once the Chin could only be owned by the Japanese aristocracy. One reason they were bred to be so small is that Japanese women were fond of carrying them around in their kimonos. They may also have been carried in cages like birds.
Later, a pair of Chin dogs was given as a gift to Queen Alexandra in Britain who popularized them not only in the British Isles but all over Europe. When they eventually became popular in the United States as well, they were referred to as the Japanese Spaniel.
They will forever be the most popular in Japan, however. In fact, in the 1960s they became one of Japan's national symbols, just like the chrysanthemum and the cherry blossom.
If the Chin's traits sound just right to you, it might be time to find a reputable breeder with lots of good reviews. Expect a puppy to cost around $1,000, although you may be lucky enough to find one in a local shelter. While saving, you can pass the time by consulting lists of possible Japanese names