AKC Breed Standard

Group - Toy Group

Breed - Japanese Chin

View the AKC Video of the Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin Illustrated Guide to the Standard

General Appearance

The Japanese Chin is a small, well balanced, lively, aristocratic toy dog with a distinctive Oriental expression. It is light and stylish in action. The plumed tail is carried over the back, curving to either side. The coat is profuse, silky, soft and straight. The dog's outline presents a square appearance.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Ideal size is 8 inches to 11 inches at the highest point of the withers.

Length between the sternum and the buttock is equal to the height at the withers.

Solidly built, compact, yet refined. Carrying good weight in proportion to height and body build.


Expression bright, inquisitive, alert, and intelligent. The distinctive Oriental expression is characterized by the large broad head, large wide-set eyes, short broad muzzle, ear feathering, and the evenly patterned facial markings.

Eyes set wide apart, large, round, dark in color, and lustrous. A small amount of white showing in the inner corners of the eyes is a breed characteristic that gives the dog a look of astonishment.

Ears hanging, small, V-shaped, wide apart, set slightly below the crown of the skull. When alert, the ears are carried forward and downward. The ears are well feathered and fit into the rounded contour of the head.

Skull large, broad, slightly rounded between the ears but not domed. Forehead is prominent, rounding toward the nose. Wide across the level of the eyes. In profile, the forehead and muzzle touch on the same vertical plane of a right angle whose horizontal plane is the top of the skull.

Stop deep

Muzzle short and broad with well-cushioned cheeks and rounded upper lips that cover the teeth.

Nose very short with wide, open nostrils. Set on a level with the middle of the eyes and upturned.

Nose leather is black in the black and white and the black and white with tan points, and is self-colored or black in the red and white.

Bite The jaw is wide and slightly undershot. A dog with one or two missing or slightly misaligned teeth should not be severely penalized. The Japanese Chin is very sensitive to oral examination. If the dog displays any hesitancy, judges are asked to defer to the handler for presentation of the bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck moderate in length and thickness. Well set on the shoulders enabling the dog to carry its head up proudly.

Topline level

Body square, moderately wide in the chest with rounded ribs. Depth of rib extends to the elbow.

Tail set on high, carried arched up over the back and flowing to either side of the body.


Any color not listed.

Approved October 11, 2011
Effective November 30, 2011

The Japanese Chin Illustrated Guide to the Standard with illustrations by Peggy Holladay is available in printed form at $10.00 each from the treasurer. More information