flat faced. The lips are well 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 seen without 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.
232 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2015
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