Let’s Talk Breed Education!
JAPANESE CHIN by CARLA JO RYAN
T he Japanese Chin is an ancient breed brought forth through generations for one thing. This breed’s only job is to be adorned as a beautiful creature of living art. If you look at antiquities, you may find a representative of this breed which looks very similar to the dogs in the show ring today. Though it is thought that the breed originated in China, it crossed over to Japan through the Silk Trade routes where the coun- try made it its own. As with all things Japanese, this breed was a sight to behold and treasure, as it was owned and cherished mostly by the nobility and given as living gifts to ambassadors
in high society treaties and traveling dignitaries. The Japanese Chin was one of the earliest breeds to be registered with the AKC, being registered in 1888, the same year that August Belmont Jr. became the club’s president. The first Japanese Chin, still known as the Japa- nese Spaniel, to be registered with the AKC, was a male of unknown parentage and breeder named Jap. The Japanese Chin is an “extreme” breed in their breed standard. Many things that are wanted in this breed, to make its characteristics unique, are not found in many other breeds. They are small and solidly built yet refined. They have an inquisitive, bright, alert and
intelligent expression. This breed looks into your eyes and can read your soul. The head and face of the Japanese Chin are perhaps the breed’s most defining features. Additionally, the Japa- nese Chin would never be described as wrinkly or jowly, unlike a Pug. The eyes should be large, round, set far apart, dark as possible with a small amount of white in the inside corners of the orbit, giving it the characteristic “startled” or “astonished” look. The skull is large, broad and slightly rounded between the ears but not domed. Their ears as small and v-shaped also set wide apart slightly set below the crown of the skull and well feathered. Their profile is
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unique in that the forehead and muzzle touch the same vertical plane of a right angle whose horizontal plane is the top of the skull. The nose is set on the same level between the eyes and slightly upturned. Their jaw is wide and teeth are slightly undershot. The front feet are hare-shaped and allowed the slight outward setting with long feathering about the toes. They have square body with a moderate length of neck, they are moderately wide in the chest and have round ribs and their tail is set high and carried arched over their back with a flowing plume of hair. They have a “tight fitting,” long, elegant, single, silky coat, not falling equally to the ground, but giving the little dog a unique silhou- ette. In males, they develop longer coat standing slightly off the body around the neck and chest resembling a min- iature mane. The head, face and legs have considerably shorter hair. They resemble a tiny ancient Far East Dragon with their lively movement and antics. This is a very intelligent, sensitive and loving little dog with its only purpose to serve man as a companion. They are extremely loyal and responsive to those they know, but reserved with strangers or in new surroundings. The Japanese Chin comes in sev- eral colors; black and white, sable and white, red or lemon and white and black and white with tan points. Our breed is specific in that it does not allow colors other than these, but there can be ranges of yellow lemon to “Irish Set- ter” red. Sable has black-tipped hairs which when first born look black, but as the hair and puppy grows, the tips can stay black or completely grow out to the sable red color. A sable and white Chin has black nose leather and pig- ment but a red/lemon and white has a self-colored nose ranging from liver
to flesh colored pigment. The black and white with tan points should only have the tan on the pips above the eyes, cheeks and around the anus if there is black markings there. Black, tan and white is a pattern and the afore mentioned is required to be correct markings. The “tan” points can also range in color from rust to fawn with the former being more desirable. Color patterns vary on the body, but the head should be marked or patterned as symmetrical as possible. Japanese Chin range in size from tiny to rather middle size but the pre- ferred range of size is around eight to 11 inches at the withers and around seven to 10 pounds. The average judge may miss these special characteristics in this “one-of- a-kind breed” because they would not see a plethora of Chin in a lifetime unless they would be going to Special- ties or are around a great number of Chin as these dogs are not seen much in the show ring. Those judges with a keen eye and knowledge would find, appreciate and reward a well bred Japanese Chin. Breeders, too, can miss the attri- butes of what makes a Japanese Chin a Japanese Chin due to over emotional feelings for their individual little Chin. They do have a way to “get under your skin”; emotional decisions can interfere with a breeding program. In order to have a good solid breeding program a breeder must make the hard decisions and realize there are individuals that should not be bred. Breeders call this breed a “heart- break” breed because newborns fail to thrive, bitches are not good moth- ers, vigilance is not met or just breed- ing inferior unhealthy dogs can result in loss and tragedy. Japanese Chin
breeders have a responsibility to breed healthy and tested Chin that continues to represent these breed characteris- tics. If bred with care and commitment, it is possible to have healthy dogs that carry these unique features that make it a Japanese Chin. This breed is able to live a long life without breathing prob- lems, heart disease and other maladies that have been known to plague the breed. Heart problems such as conges- tive heart failure and mitral valve pro- lapse should be monitored with breed- ing dogs. If your vet hears a murmur or even questionable sounds, an echocar- diogram is a must. The result should determine responsible decisions. Den- tal hygiene being most difficult in this breed because of the tiny teeth you can- not usually brush plus the Chin’s finicky appetite if you try to add anything to their diet. Putting them under anesthe- sia for a yearly dental is very detrimental for this breed because of their problems with intubation and the anesthesia. Col- lapsing trachea is also a grave concern for Chin and can lead to breathing dif- ficulties later in life. Being a blunt-faced breed it is imperative that they do not pant excessively, as this could cause irreparable damage to the esophagus or soft palate. As with all small dogs, patel- lar issues and eye disease are also found in Japanese Chin. Even though Chin do not have a “working” job, we still have an obligation to give them a long, healthy life free of crippling diseases and arthritis. The average life span for a Chin is 10 to 12 years. The Japanese Chin is the ultimate companion dog in almost all aspects and the breed’s temperament is no dif- ferent. This breed is supposed to be the treasured and delightful compan- ion of royalty and it certainly acts like it knows it. They can be spoiled easily
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ounce Chin that thinks she is a parrot and her favorite place is my shoulder, either sitting on the couch or driving in the car. Even though they have lively per- sonalities it is definitely not a high- energy breed. They do require regu- lar daily walks or running around a safely enclosed area. However, they do require less exercise than other breeds. Japanese Chin have competed in agility and obedience and other performance events. Japanese Chin are generally easy to train or train you. As with many toy breeds, the Chin can easily develop a Napoleon Complex or Small Dog Syn- drome if not disciplined and coddled. Owners not dealing with bad behavior appropriately usually cause this. The Japanese Chin is not a barky, yappy dog and is relaxed and less dominant than most toy breeds. The Japanese Chin is a treasure to cherish yet, there are few and far between that love the show dog life. They only love to be with their people and it is only through this love that they will do what you wish. The Japanese Chin is a “wash and wear” kind of dog and proper coat means less tangles and mats. This is not a hypoallergenic breed and does shed. They do not necessarily require professional grooming but must have a thorough brushing at least every other day. This breed only needs to be bathed when necessary. Their ears must be cleaned regularly as well as the anal area kept clean of debris from “cling-ons.” Being a brachycephalic breed their head goes through different growth stages and eye tearing may be present in young puppies. Care should be taken to clean this stained area and keep it dry. Care should also be taken with extreme heat with this breed. Japanese Chin can overheat quickly in warm weather making it difficult for them to breathe. As a living piece of art and a toy dog, the Japanese Chin must be cherished and cared for in the most careful man- ner. To be enjoyed, the Chin needs to share a wonderful life with its person, being treated as the rare and sensitive being it is. For all this care and com- panionship, one receives in return so much love, devotion and fun. The Japa- nese Chin is the only dog I know who has direct eye contact with its human from the time it is a puppy, thus read- ing your thoughts. Because of this eye contact and ability to search your face, they share your every emotion and give in return the ultimate in comfort, com- panionship and love.
and manipulate you into doing so. Japa- nese Chins are incredibly affectionate with their owners, often fawningly so. This breed is definitely a licker. The Japanese Chin is not necessarily a one- person dog and is more than capable of meeting new friends whom it will eventually greet just as affectionately as its master. However, this breed does not make friends instantly and many are suspicious of strangers. Socializa- tion is very important for the Japanese Chin, because if they are not exposed to new situations from a very young age they often become very timid and possibly fearful. Japanese Chins are very gentle dogs and are recommended as one of the most ideal breeds for senior citizens. However, Japanese Chins generally do not get along well with young children. This is an incredibly gentle and frag- ile dog, which is likely to be injured by the play of even the best-meaning children. Additionally, this breed does
not enjoy any sort of roughhousing and may respond very negatively to a child’s actions. This breed craves human companionship and is very likely to develop severe separation anxiety. If you have to leave a dog at home for long periods of time each day, the Japanese Chin may not be the ideal breed for you. The Chin’s look on life is rather complex but actually simple. They are silly, tod- dler child-like and yet wise beyond their little doggy years. If you are lucky to live with more than one you will see this daily (they do seem to enjoy the com- pany of other Japanese Chin.) Routine is not in their vocabulary. They become bored with the mundane and will find ways of making life more enjoyable to them, not necessarily for you. They can be finicky and picky eaters and the next moment will gobble anything they see. They are much like cats. They love to be in high places and can be found more often than not on the back of your chair, couch or head. I have a tiny 1.3
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JAPANESE CHIN Breed Survey
large dark eyes with white in the corners; open nostrils; slight upturn of underjaw; domed forehead; flat top-skull and the backward three shape (which is actually one-half of the old-fashioned figure eight—smaller bottom, longer on top) when viewed from the side. In the body, I want a flat topline (no roach), straight front legs, firm rear-end, solid body, good tail set—overall a proud dog that rules! 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? BJ: The eyes are having too much white. DAJ: I think the type and the amount of coat is being exag- gerated. This breed is single coated and yet most exhibits have a double coat. New breeders and uneducated indi- viduals can be easily impressed by hair. I don’t think of this breed as needing tons of coat and don’t like seeing so much volume. They need to have quality hair. The sweep- ing underjaw and deep nose is so important and it is not exaggerated. I would prefer that over the incorrect coat. SBT: The traits that are becoming exaggerated are wooly coats which has led to trimming, lacking in the proper domed forehead, weak rears and roach backs. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? BJ: Yes, better. They are sounder and have better type over all. DAJ: I have had the pleasure of following this breed for decades and know that they are stronger and healthier than before in some ways and yet weaker too. Today, you have more Chins being shown and many are lovely but there are many larger, heavily-coated dogs. Breeders are working to eliminate breed specific health concerns. The very best of this breed today are some of the best examples of the breed we have seen. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? BJ: They are square from the prosternum to the ischium and too much is not always better. DAJ: I think they forget that this breed should have some meat on their bones. I like them to have some substance, but remain diminutive. I believe they are impressed by the incorrect double coat. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? BJ: We like the nose placed high and not be nosey. It should be slightly tilted back. You should not be able to put your thumb across the bridge of the nose. Long and low is the drag of the breed. Wall-eyed is not what we want--just a very small amount of white in the inner corner. This is truly a wonderful breed.
I live in Bono, Arkansas. I am a recently retired life- long nurse. I have been showing since 1975 and judging since 1998. DOUGLAS A. JOHNSON I live in Bloomington, Indiana. Outside of dogs I run and co-own a large skilled care medical agency and a non-medical home care business. We employee 500 people and provide care to about 700 senior clients. I started in dogs in 1984 and started judging in 2000. SARI BREWSTER TIETJEN
I live in Rhinebeck, New York. Out- side of dogs, I write, explore history, enjoy gardening and reading. I have been involved in dogs all my life having bred and shown over 12 different breeds, although Japanese Chin have always been my heart breed. I was first licensed and approved by AKC to judge in 1967.
1. Describe the breed in three words. BJ: Elegant, devoted and sweet. DAJ: Charming, catlike and imperial. SBT: Elegant, lively and determined.
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? BJ: Squareness; head in a reverse three shape; soundness— mentally and physically. DAJ: Leg; proper outline, never long and never low. I want them to have a layer of muscle and weight on the best exhibits. I want a correct look of astonishment and styl- ish gait. Ideally, I would like symmetry and bold mark- ings. They must have a tipped nose set in tight and in-line with the eyes and a high dome. Cushioning of the cheeks will complete the package. SBT: Everything outlined in the breed standard is a must have. I would want a fine-boned dog with elegant car- riage; untrimmed, single, silky coat; large head-piece;
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SARI BREWSTER TIETJEN BIO Sari Brewster Tietjen is a second-generation dog A SURVEY ON THE JAPANESE CHIN
fancier. Her mother, the late Mary S. Brewster, was an AKC judge, and her sister, Joy S. Brewster, is a former all-breed handler and current AKC judge. As a young girl, she bred, raised and showed over fifteen different breeds. She had her first breeder/ owner/handled champion when she was seven years old. The breed she is most closely associated with is the Japanese Chin, which she has had for over fifty years having bred, raised and shown many group and national specially winners. Although she
no longer actively breeds or shows, she still maintains her line of Japanese Chins, sharing her home with several of these Toy dogs. Judging since 1967, she is currently approved by AKC to judge all Sporting, Hound, Toy and Non- Sporting breeds. She has adjudicated at all major shows in the United States and well over a dozen foreign countries. She counts as her favorite assign- ments Best In Show at Westminster in 2009 and several Japanese Chin Club of America National Specialties. Mrs. Tietjen is also an award-winning author and journalist. 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? I live in Rhinebeck, New York. Extracurricular activities include reading, gar- dening, historical traveling and being a voyeur in the world of politics! 2. Number of years in the sport? Dogs have been a part of my life since birth. As a matter of fact, I think I came out of the womb with a lead in my hand and a Japanese Spaniel (later called Japanese Chin) on the other end of the lead. I was first approved by AKC to judge in 1967. 3. Describe the Japanese Chin in three words:
The Japanese Chin has always been “my” breed because it is intelligent, intuitive, affectionate, clean, regal and has an “it’s-my-world” attitude. 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated?
Generally exaggerations tend to level themselves out over time as this breed, unlike so many others, has changed over little in the past 100 years or so. 5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? Must have: A regal bearing, square body, silky single coat with a definite body outline, large head that has, when viewed from the side, the correct
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backwards 3 with the nose set slightly in and tipped slightly back, large dark eyes with a small amount of white in the inner corner, fine bone, proud movement with tail over the back. Forgive: Depends on the other competition in the ring. I will put up a better quality dog that does not show well over a dog that is a true show- man but lacks the same degree of quality. Similarly, I will put up a novice handler who does not have a clue as to how to present his/her dog to its best advantage over a professional handler if the novice has the better dog. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? Good question, but I am not sure of a definitive answer at this time. In general the breed is in an awkward state right now. There are a lot of new people trying to learn—some going about it correctly, others not so much. Some are breeding without having a clear understanding of bloodlines, breed type, genotype, health issues… one could go on and on. Some are breeding just to sell puppies. Some breeders who have been involved in the breed for a long time are looking the other way on the issue of bad markings, bites, toplines, head pieces, coat texture, etc. However, I strong- ly suspect issues in the Chin are very similar to those in other breeds. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? Traits I feel some current Chin breeders are overlooking and/or choosing to ignore include a tendency towards small heads, lack of the front fore- head dome, small eyes, lack of the characteristic white in the corner of the eyes, too much length of nose, long backs, wooly, double coats and “off” markings. 8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? Why or why not? Depends on what part of the country I am in—in some areas the breed is very strong, in others it is weak. Why or why not is very much a reflection on the quality of the breeders in that particular area or on the bloodlines of dogs sold and shown in a concentrated number within a section of the country. There are many beautiful dogs today that are a delight to judge just as there has always been.
“THERE ARE MANY BEAUTIFUL DOGS TODAY THAT ARE
A DELIGHT TO JUDGE JUST AS THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN.”
9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important? Asymmetrical markings (as in white hairs in one ear or white surround- ing one eye) and over-patterned markings (such as black saddles or overly black sables) are not referenced in the standard, but I, as a longtime breeder, take these under consideration when evaluating and judging dogs as breeding stock. What I do as a judge depends very much on what else is in the ring on that day and the overall quality of the dogs. 10. Can Judges Education be improved? Formal Judges Education is only as good as the presenter. I personally feel informal education is oftentimes the better way to learn—one-on-one with knowledgeable breeders and judges, going over dogs and online study is far more valuable in the long run.
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JAPANESE CHIN COMMENTS ON JUDGING & THE STANDARD by MIKE BENSON
T he Japanese Chin was recog- nized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as the Japanese Spaniel. After the opening of Japan, mid 19th century, specimens were imported to England and shortly after to America. Most imports to America entered through the ports of New York or San Fran- cisco. Early concentrations of the breed in America were in those cities. The AKC breed standard has changed over the century plus of recognition. Per- haps the most painful change was the addi- tion of the tri-color in the 1990s. We no lon- ger refer to a head that is large for the body and a short thick neck. A cobby body is out and size is no longer referenced by weight. In today’s standard a more balanced, moder- ate dog is indicated. Surprisingly the look of dogs today and the historic dogs is very sim- ilar. The present AKC standard (2011) seems to describe the dog we look for. My intent is not to debate the standard point by point but to take the reader through the judging process from my personal point of view as a breeder and a judge and to comment on what one is likely to see in an evaluation or in the show ring. The initial impression of a class and the individuals in it is very important. The Japa- nese Chin is a square dog (height at withers is equal to the distance from sternum to but- tock). The correct dogs must appear square. Balance is important. The body (ribs) should reach the elbow so the height will seem to be half body and half leg. Any dog that appears low on leg or proportionately long in back or
body is not what I look for, nor is it correct. The head should be up and the tail up over the back adding to the overall balance. Adults will be well coated with ample feathering as indicated in the standard. When viewing a class one may notice differences in size. Size is noted in the standard as “Ideal size is 8 inches to 11 inches at the highest point of the withers.” Type should not suffer within this 3 inch range. Considering the dog is square, any student of plane geometry will know an 11 inch dog is twice the size of an 8 inch dog. Most entries will be close to the middle of the ideal range but a big difference in size may be noticed and still be correct. During the first look at a class, color and coat condition are also noticed. The Japa- nese Chin is a parti-colored breed being most often black and white. There may also be “shades of red” and white and even black and white with tan points (tri-color). The tri-color dogs may appear to be black and white until examined more closely. The only disqualification in the AKC standard concerns color. The coat in adults should be profuse with a heavy mane or ruff about the neck, chest and shoulders and long furnish- ings on the ears, toes, backs of legs and tail and heavily coated rump and thighs. The Japanese Chin is a flat-faced breed. This should be evident when walking down the line-up. These days most Japanese Chin are “free-baited” in the show ring. Expres- sion should be viewed when the dog is look- ing straight ahead. The expression is often distorted when the dog is looking up as if trying to spot birds or airplanes overhead.
Some Japanese Chinwill not respond towhis- tling, key rattling, or other attention getters and should not be faulted for it. Chin have been called “cat-like” and will often display some arrogance and indifference to their sur- roundings. This is normal for the breed. When viewing the head and face up close; we should be noticing proper propor- tioning, color and markings and the overall impact of the flat face. If you have not irri- tated these little dogs examining the face may do it. It is typical for Chin to go “nose in the air” and refuse to look at a judge. Again, the Japanese Chin is a “flat-faced” breed. It has a square head made up of subtle arcs and curves, attractively framed by the ears and ear fringes. Proper evaluation of the head and the face in particular is very important in determining quality specimens. When viewed head-on, the face seems one dimen- sional in that it should never seem to fall away to the sides of the head. The Japanese Chin has large round eyes which are dark (in all colors). White showing in the inner cor- ner of the eye is a historic breed trait which should not be faulted. The nose is tucked back between the eyes, the top of the nose being on the lateral center line of the eyes. There should not be any length of nose and the stop is very deep. One of the most chal- lenging problems for breeders is retaining a flat face. There is a concept among some breeders that extending the nose and fore- face of the Japanese Chinwill make the breed healthier. Even if this were true it creates an undesirable fault and a significant change in the look of the breed. The Japanese Chin is
Photos courtesy of “Our Dogs”
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flat faced. The lips arewell cushioned and the short muzzle is broad, maintaining what are sometimes referred to as “chipmunk cheeks” or “bubble gum cheeks”. The teeth or tongue should not show when the mouth is closed. The bite is slightly undershot. Examining the bite or forced bite examination is not recom- mended. Chin do not like to be blinded or smothered by hands trying to see the teeth. It is easy to determine the condition of the bite without lifting the lips. There should be ample rise of top skull to allow for large eyes and the forehead curves out and around to the nose. There is a very gentle curve across the top of the skull ending just above the ears. Ears are always down. The ear fold line will elevate slightly when the dog is atten- tive. The skull should be broad. Heads and skulls that appear to be narrow or small in proportion to the size of the dog are incor- rect. Handlers can be asked to pickup their dogs for closer examination of the face. Color should cover the ears and the eyes. There should be a clear white blaze which may extend from the top of the nose to the top of the skull. Symmetrical markings on the face are preferred. The muzzle should be white. When examining the face and head one can determine if there are tan points consistent with the tri-color dog. These red (tan) markings resemble the markings on black and tan breeds and are above the eyes, on the cheeks and inside the ear leather. It is possible that lack of color caused by a very wide white blaze may eliminate the eye pips in a tri-color dog. Also notice the long ear fringe on an adult dog. The shape of the head in profile should resemble the numeral “3” that is inverted, with the large loop being the forehead and the smaller loop being the muzzle and mouth. The nose will be where the two loops meet. Again any perceived length of nose should be faulted. The muzzle and fore- head should be on the same vertical line. The forelegs, ending at the “hare-shaped feet”, are straight and never heavy boned. There should be feathering on the back of
the leg and on the toes. Another historic trait of the Japanese Chin is to “toe out” in front. This is acceptable but should not be extreme. Elbows are close to the body. There is moderate angulation at both ends. The topline is level. If we wish to measure to check for squareness,though the chest should be wide,the first reference likely encountered is the point of shoulder. The sternum is often hidden by the point of shoulder. The standard no longer calls for a short, thick neck; moderate and in balance is the rule, never long and giraffe like, but always in balance with the rest of the dog. Adult dogs will be heavily coated on the neck, shoulders and chest. Some parts of the dog (legs and so on) are described as fine boned. The body should have substance and never be “slab-sided or tubular. Rounded ribs should extend to the elbow. The high set tail, an extension of the level topline, is carried over the back. One will often notice the rounding of the croup ending in a low set tail. This is not correct. Remember level top line—high set tail. In adult dogs the tail has profuse feathering which drapes over the back on either side. The high set tail up over the back plus the feathering adds to the balance we want to see when first view- ing the dog. The standard now indicates the tail is “arched up” over the back instead of the previously stated “curved up” over the back. The tail is normally white. The rump is heavily coated in the adult dog forming “culottes” or “pants”. Looking from the rear the “legs are straight and fine boned”. The feet, as in front, are “hare shaped with feath- ering on the toes”. The Japanese Chin has a single straight coat. This means without undercoat or curl. The coat is described as silky. Coat texture problems do exist and are at times seen in the ring but “puffy, fluffy or cottony coats are incorrect.” The coat should not be so large it obscures the profile (outline) of the dog. There is only one listed disqualification and this has to do with color. The Japanese Chin is a “parti-colored” breed. This means
white and some other color. The white should be clear and free of ticking. Ticking is not desirable. There are listed in the standard black and white and black and white with tan points (tri-color). These should have black nose leather. Also listed is red and white” and the various shades and variations. True reds (dilutes) will have self-colored noses. There is a lot of variation in the sable dogs. Sabling occurs in many variations on most shades of red. Though technically sable, a dog with a red head and what appear to be black body spots is not what we are looking for. It is possible for a sable dog to clear to the red color. Sable dogs will usually have black noses. Color on the head and body should be consistent. The body should not be all white. An example of a disqualifica- tion would be gray and white, blue and white, mouse and white, brindle and white, any solid color, merles and so on. The Chin gait is described as “stylish and lively”. They should move in a straight line coming and going. Moved on a loose lead, the dog should be allowed to go at it’s own pace which is usually brisk and active. Slow, sluggish or encumbered movement is not desirable. Slow movement and high leg lift which may be consistent with a short upper arm is not correct. Chins need to be observed moving with the tail over the back. Overall impression is paramount. Judging decisions are made very quickly, but the whole dog needs to be seenwithout taking the pieces and parts out of context. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michael and Carole Benson bought their first Japanese Chin in 1978. They began showing and breeding Japanese Chin in 1979 and first attended a parent club spe- cialty in 1980. Together the Bensons have bred and/or finished over 50 AKC Cham- pions in the Japanese Chin Breed. Michael started judging Japanese Chin in 1995 and now judges many breeds in many groups.
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Interpretative Comments JAPANESE CHIN STANDARD
By Sari Brewster Tietjen
General Appearance T
large, small, and in-between. Th e key is substance—the bone is not heavy or so light that the dog lacks a solid build. Th e dog should not look as though it would “blow away” with the first breeze. Square- ness of body is one of the most overlooked attributes; yet the dog must be square to present the proper haughty, proud, com- pact appearance. An old-fashioned word often used to describe the balance between proportion and substance is cobby. Th is was deleted with the new standard in 1992. However, cobby in its traditional sense of representing a square-bodied ani- mal with substance is an apt description. For the Chin, however, the bone is not heavy or thick as with a Cob horse but properly proportioned for the size of the dog. It is helpful to recall that the Chin is square-bodied; the Pap slightly longer than tall; the English Toy square, albeit heavier boned; and the Peke long-bodied, pear-shaped, and heavier boned. Th ese are key breed features and helps keep all the relatives separate. Head Expression—bright, inquisitive, alert, and intelligent. Th e 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 down- ward. Th e ears are well feathered and fit into the rounded contour of the head. Skull—large, broad, slightly rounded between the ears but not domed. Fore- head 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 nos- trils. 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— Th e jaw is wide and slightly undershot. A dog with one or two missing or slightly mis- aligned teeth should not be severely penal- ized. Th e 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. Th e Chin is a head breed with about one-third of its standard devoted to
he Japanese Chin is a small, well balanced, lively, aristocratic toy dog with a distinctive Oriental expression. It is light and stylish in
action. Th e plumed tail is carried over the back, curving to either side. Th e coat is profuse, silky, soft and straight. Th e dog’s outline presents a square appearance. When first seeing a Japanese Chin, words which come immediately to mind are those describing a pretty, attractive toy dog with a balanced, square body; a dog that is well-coated and moves jauntily and proudly. Th e “distinctive Oriental expres- sion” is a large, flat head with big, dark, lustrous eyes, which traditionally have a small amount of white showing in the inner corners. Th is dog is mischievous, sometimes stubborn and arrogant, and always a challenge. Size, Proportion, Substance Size—Ideal size is 8 inches to 11 inches at the highest point of the withers. Propor- tion—Length between the sternum and the buttock is equal to the height at the withers. Substance - Solidly built, com- pact, yet refined. Carrying good weight in proportion to height and body build Th ere is a three-inch spread allowed in the ideal size. Traditionally, Chins are
“THE ‘DISTINCTIVE ORIENTAL EXPRESSION’ IS A LARGE, FLAT HEAD WITH BIG, DARK, LUSTROUS EYES, which traditionally have a small amount of white showing in the inner corners.”
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“Note: Chins do have extremely long tongues—this is a breed characteristic— AND WHEN THEY PANT, THEY WILL ROLL THOSE TONGUES UPWARD!”
describing the head. In simplifying some of this description, it is easiest to remem- ber that the ideal head is large for the size of the dog. When viewed from profile, its shape resembles a “3”—the foreskull and muzzle meet on the same diagonal line with the nose set inside the middle; ideal- ly, this nose is slightly tipped back; a rule of thumb to use is that if the nose ever looks like something can be hung from it, it is wrong. When viewed from the front, the Chin head is basically square- shaped with a slight rounding of its top- skull caused by ears which are set just beneath the crown; the nose sets between large, round, dark, lustrous eyes. When looking straight ahead, a small amount of white may be seen in the inner corner of each eye; the eyes should never appear to be bulging or protruding; the muzzle is short and balances in width with the fore- head; the cushions are broad and wide; the cheeks are sometimes referred to a bubble-gum cheeks; the teeth are covered by the cushions; and the bite is slightly undershot. It is vital to remember that the Chin head is not rectangular shaped as in a Peke, nor rounded as an English Toy, nor snippy as a Pap. Since these are all related breeds, each particular head shape is a key breed characteristic. Additional comment—It is not nec- essary to count the teeth in a Chin, and some missing teeth are not considered a penalization factor in the breed standard. When examining bite, it is not necessary to pry open the jaw. Instead, running a
thumb over the teeth should tell a judge what kind of a bite the dog has; if in doubt and not sure how to best open a flat-faced dog’s mouth, ask the exhibitor to do it. Also, beware of wry mouths, which can be detected when looking at a jaw line that appears to be crooked; a hint of a possible wry mouth is a tongue protruding out of the corner of the mouth—in such a case, always checks the bite. Note: Chins do have extremely long tongues—this is a breed characteristic—and when they pant, they will roll those tongues upward! Nose color in a Chin is black for the black & white and black & white with tan points and black or self-colored for red & white. A pure lemon & white (which is what the lighter shade of red is called) with true color gene will have a pale self-colored nose. Th is is acceptable. As a personal preference, I would rather not see the whiskers trimmed. Th e stan- dard does not address the question, but dogs with their whiskers in place are in keeping with the cat-like characteristics of the breed. Furthermore, whiskers enhance the necessary broadness of the cushions. Neck, Topline, Body Neck—moderate in length and thick- ness. 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.
Again, a proud dog must have good carriage. Th e neck needs some length to carry the head proudly. Topline is level; body, compact and square, with a moder- ate chest. Th e tail is set high and proudly carried up arched over the back and flow- ing down on either side. Chins should not have tails carried at “half-mast,” nor should they be tucked between the legs. When stacked, the tail should be arched over the back and downward on either side of the dog and not placed level across the backline as in a Pekingese. Forequarters Legs—straight, and fine boned, with the elbows set close to the body. Remov- al of dewclaws is optional. Feet—hare- shaped with feathering on the ends of the toes in the mature dog. Point straight ahead or very slightly outward. Chins are fine-boned dogs compared with a Peke or English Toy; however, they are not fine-boned when compared with a Papillon. A Chin has more bone and sub- stance than a Pap and less than a Peke or English Toy. Its legs are straight—they should not bow nor be fiddle-fronted. When standing, it is proper for a Chin’s front feet to point ahead or slightly east/ west. Th ey must not, however, move with their feet heading in an east and west direction! Long feathering on the toes is a breed characteristic and adds to the illusion of daintiness; such hair should never be trimmed. In gaiting, care must be taken to be sure that the front feet
“A CHIN HAS MORE BONE AND SUBSTANCE THAN A PAP AND LESS THAN A PEKE OR ENGLISH TOY.”
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“A Chin is a wash-and-wear dog— ONE OF THE BEAUTIES OF OWNING A CHIN IS ITS CARE-FREE COAT.”
feathering does not give an illusion of east/west action. It is important to look at the feet themselves, not the feathering, to ascertain proper movement. Hindquarters Legs—straight as viewed from the rear and fine boned. Moderate bend of stifle. Removal of dewclaws is optional. Feet—hare-shaped with feathering on the ends of the toes in the mature dog. Point straight ahead. Chins are not over-angulated, and their rear legs balance with the front. Again, trimming on the ends of toes is against a breed standard which specifically calls for feathering on the toes of mature dogs. Coat Abundant, straight, single, and silky. Has a resilient texture and a tendency to stand out from the body, especially on neck, shoulders, chest areas where the hair forms a thick mane or ru ff . Th e tail is profusely coated and forms a plume. Th e rump area is heavily coated and forms culottes or pants. Th e head and muzzle are covered with short hair except for the heavily feathered ears. Th e forelegs have short hair blending into profuse feather- ing on the back of the legs. Th e rear legs have the previously described culottes, and in mature dogs, light feathering from hock joint to the foot. A Chin is a wash-and-wear dog—one of the beauties of owning a Chin is its care- free coat. Th erefore, it should be single- coated with a texture providing enough substance to avoid matting. Th e hair should
be straight, not curly, kinky, or wooly. In the sunlight, the hairs will glimmer like silk. Th e standard uses the word profuse, but this should not be confused with a mop-like coat. A shape must be distin- guishable, which is why there is emphasis on fringes, manes, feathering, and culottes. Th e feathering which appears from the hock to foot on back of the rear legs should not be trimmed. It is important to note that bitch- es (unless spayed) do not carry as much coat as males, and judges should not penalize a bitch if she does not have the profuse coat of her male counterpart. Color Either black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points. Th e term tan points shall include tan or red spots over each eye, inside the ears, on both cheeks, and at the anal vent area if displaying any black. Th e term red shall include all shades of red, orange, and lemon, and sable, which includes any aforementioned shade intermingled or overlaid with black. Among the allowed col- ors there shall be no preference when judg- ing. A clearly defined white muzzle and blaze are preferable to a solidly marked head. Sym- metry of facial markings is preferable. Th e size, shape, placement or number of body patches is not of great importance. Th e white is clear of excessive ticking. Disqualifica- tion—any color not listed. Th is section of the standard is basically self-explanatory. Black & white and red & white (in all shades) are the breed’s his- torical colors. Th e Black & white with tan points is the traditional tri-patterned color. It is preferred that facial markings be har-
monious and there be no excessive ticking anywhere on the dog. Th e disqualification is any color not referenced in the standard. Stylish and lively in movement. Moves straight with front and rear legs following in the same plane. Here the standard is simply calling for a dog that is sound in movement with no crossing or weakness detected. Th e words stylish and lively denote a proud, mischie- vous, regal dog. Temperament A sensitive and intelligent dog whose only purpose is to serve man as a com- panion. Responsive and a ff ectionate with those it knows and loves but reserved with strangers or in new situations. Th e Chin is a precious breed which has no function other than to be a lap-dog. It was not born to hunt, guard, or carry things. It was born to be a particular object of beauty and love. Chins are not always showdogs. Th ey can be a bit apprehensive and require a gentle touch. Once they are acclimated to a person or situation, they quickly respond and take charge. Th ey are extremely catlike in deportment and like nothing better than to rule their household and those whom they let share that home. Th ey are more comfort- able on a sofa or a bed than a crate and do not do well in a kennel environment. Th ey can be a handful of stubbornness and need a quick mind to outwit them. Th ey are a delight to live with and a beauty to behold. When judg- ing Chins, it is good to keep in mind their particular quirks and idiosyncrasies as well as those special key breed characteristics which separate them from their cousins.
“THE WORDS STYLISH AND LIVELY DENOTE A PROUD, MISCHIEVOUS, REGAL DOG.”
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By Dale Martenson
he first step to breed- ing and recognizing the desired quality of Chin is to be familiar with the breed standard. With the first two descriptive
words being “A small” and the multiple references to fine boned it is clear the desired traits are with the smaller dog. Our desired size in addition to the 8" to 11" would be 5 to 7 pounds as an adult, roughly translated that puts a 7 pound adult at no more than 2 ½ pounds at 12 weeks. Th e twelve week size can be dou- bled with one additional pound for a fine boned dog and two to three pounds for a heavier boned puppy. Well balanced is the key, check the size of the head to the circumference of the ribcage as they should be close to the same. Many of times I have heard “ Th is one had the biggest head”. Th at could be a statement of quality, if only it were on a small specimen. A 10+ pound Chin with a big head is nothing more than a big dog, there is no stylish, aristocratic movement or presence. When looking at a Chin puppy or adult standing or moving there should be the appearance of a one piece dog that demonstrates the lively movement in a square package. Next is the expression, the hallmark of the breed and those dark lustrous eyes that set the Chin apart from all others. Where the pekingese standard calls for “massive” and “bold” features rather than “prettiness, daintiness or delicacy”, Chin are all about everything pretty, dainty, and delicate. No ropes, wrinkles, or folds obscure the wide eyed open look of the Chin’s astonished oriental expression. Th e amount of cush- ion should be in proportion to the age and gender of the Chin, the Chin is a work in progress that will mature 3 years before full development. Too much too soon can be a fair indication of the old adage “early ripe... early rotten”. Nostrils should be open with
clear air exchange, dogs “mouth breathing” when temperatures are not high, could be a sign of concern. In my opinion any per- son qualified to evaluate a Chin should be able to EASILY check the bite without hav- ing to subject a Chin to the indignity of a oral exam, unless there is evidence of a
wry mouth. Th e standard makes mention of their sensitivity, with eyes/nose/mouth area easily the size of a human thumb. No dog would like it and to a Chin it is just rude. Alignment with a reverse scissors bite can be easily checked by touch and visual inspection, if you touch the tongue and the 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + "/6"3: t
Chin can retract it, there is an acceptable bite. So many times in the ring you will see a judge left to put up a lesser quality Chin after o ff ending the better quality dog with an invasive oral exam. Th ere are many acceptable versions of facial markings with the symmetrical hourglass pattern being most desirable. Eyes should be large and dark, the lustrous or liquid eye gives the bright, inquisitive, and intelligent expres- sion the standard calls for. When the eyes are perfectly round and large there will be a SMALL amount of white showing in the inner corners, adding to the look of astonishment. Th e better heads will have the largest, wide-set eyes from the start to the finish of the maturing process with eyes being larger than the nose as gage to size and quality. Round best describes the shape of the Chin’s eyes, top skull, and forehead. Th ere are no sharp edges on this soft oriental expression and personally I prefer the whiskers left to protect the eyes and add even more detail to the face. How the Chin stands on its front total- ly dictates the shape and movement of a puppy and how it keeps the desired shape. With the elbows tight to the chest, having a full rounded ribcage, the shoulder place- ment should allow for the high head car- riage of this oriental aristocrat. In my expe- rience the fine boned Chin is a bladed bone leading to the lovely hare shaped foot. If the bone is heavy and round, the toe is usually short. Moving straight, front and rear, the Chin with the most desirable rounded rib and hare-shaped foot will stop at “11 and 1” for balance. Often times the inexperienced will fault this. On the rear, angulation is the key, avoid the puppy that is straight in stifle even if it appears straighter in the hock. A puppy with angles will usually muscle and tighten up ending up with the sounder rear and more extension in move- ment. So many times the straight rears will appear to knuckle over and even cause the entire croup to be at a slant. Th e crowning glory of the Chin’s out- line is the tail. Flowing on the mature dog, it is a direct indicator of the Chin’s mood and outlook on the day. I prefer a longer tail bone free of any kinks with good flex- ibility. Th e set is high o ff of the croup and with length to drop below the line of the
spine and in a perfect world, on the judges side. Sometimes standing around, the Chin will drop its tail (on lead) in boredom (shame on you for allowing your Chin to be bored!) but on the go it should be car- ried over the back on either side. Th e texture of the Chin’s coat along with the pattern of longer and shorter hair is equally if not more important than the amount of coat. Straight, single, and silky with no undercoat you should be able to part the hair with two fingers to the skin. More profuse and standing out around the neck, shoulders, and chest to form the mane or ru ff with the lon- ger coat in the rear making culottes or pants. Chin do not have side skirts like a shih tzu and the amount and texture of their coat is part of the charm of this low upkeep companion dog. With puppies and intact females look for the desired pattern of coat and correct texture but only expect full coats on the adult males, primarily in the WINTER months. Th is breed is no less ancient than the dogs of Malta, and it is up to the integrity of the breeders to maintain this centuries old type. Many Chin of the 1800s would still be desirable to show and breed today. Th is is the heritage we must strive to honor.
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