The Japanese Chin is a very old race, members of the aristocracy wherever they went, and they act the part.
My favorite Chin story is the fable of the lion that fell in love with a marmoset:
Naturally, the marmoset did not think this was a good idea, the lion being so big.
The lion pined and went to see a Buddhist monk.
“Make me as small as the marmoset, I want to marry her. She is the love of my life.”
The monk could not believe this.
“Do you want to give up your strength, your position as the king of the jungle, all for the sake of love?”
When the lion agreed that this was the case, the monk promised the following:
“Very well, as you were willing to give up so much for love, your descendants will only live in royal palaces. They will never have to fend for themselves, and they will always be fed by royal hands.”
Japanese women carried Chins in little baskets lined with silk, and Queen Alexandra and Queen Victoria owned Chins.
The only reason for the existence of these dogs is to make its human happy – that is a great responsibility! You will be happy to have such a devoted doggie person in your life.
This is my Chin tale.
One does not choose to be a Chin owner, one is chosen. I bought a little dog, not really knowing what it was, and found out it was a Chin, and Chins are rare.
She was my first Chin, and my life changed. This little cat like dog became the focal point of my life. It seems we do not own them, but they certainly own us.
We now have YukiSan Japanese Chins.
Yuki San means Mr. Snow in Japanese. The YukiSan Chins are KUSA registered, but these are not show dogs, they only exist to be your close companions.
I imported Simon with the help of Wynand Schutte of Bellocane kennels. Simon is our gentle stud. He comes from excellent stock and is an absolute darling. He was bred in the UK, by Linda Benton-Taylor who owns Sansarc kennels.
Simon arrived from Heathrow in a Ryslip crate marked: “My name is Simon, please talk to me.” Naturally, most people did.
Simon’s pedigree is very good, he is related to the Pucara, Sansarc, Rui and Homerbrent Chins; they have been winning international competitions for a long time.
All the YukiSan Chins, except for Simon, come from Wynand Schutte’s Bellocane kennels.
YukiSan puppies do not join their new families before they are 10 weeks old, and they only join very select homes. By then they will have had all their inoculations and will be well adjusted.
The YukiSan Chins grow up in my home and are socialized and trained from an early age. The philosophy at YukiSan is that we breed only on order.
Be strict, they are cuddly but clever, and will turn you around a little paw if you are not careful.
They are like people, some are bigger, some are smaller but the fundamental good and kind nature prevails. You get them in sable and white, or black and white.
These little dogs are cheerful, bumptious and out to please!
It is difficult to resist a Chin baby.
They need a safe haven in which to sleep. A large cat box with a door is ideal, with the blankets and cushion inside, which can be changed daily. Travelling with the Chins will be easy with the cat box. Use a plastic cloth on the floor under the pen. You can use either the colorless plastic sheeting, or the one with a brushed cotton backing – both are washed every day. The plastic is inexpensive, a few meters, cut up in suitable doggie carpets, is both economical and clean.
Playpens are great safe spaces. Kingpens make a good collapsible pen with a lid, for protection from other larger breeds or owl and eagles. The size that I have found best is about 2m x 2m.
They can also live inside the playpen, on a plastic sheet, with the cat box as sleeping compartment.
Place newspaper in the corner of the pen; they paper train themselves in two ticks. Just remove the soiled newspaper and replace with fresh paper.
Chin Girls and Boys
As with everything else, the girls and the boys differ.
However, as my YukiSan Chins only leave home when the personality is nearly formed, it is easy to choose your puppy.
Personality traits are developing, and you will be able to see whether you bond with any one of the puppies.
The Chin in your Home
I found that, when I had only one Chin, I turned into a nervous wreck with my dog alone at home. They love Chin company, and it helps a lot to keep yourself sane by having two Chins, at least.
However, they are very good on their own, and I think maybe I am just neurotic.
Another potential problem is that they are such easy dogs to keep one can overdo it!
The Chins get on very well with other cats and dogs.
I feed Eukanuba Puppy, Small, 1 to 12 months, and after that Eukanuba for small adults. Actually, currently my dogs are on Working and Endurance from Eukanuba.
During weaning, the pellets are pulverized in a food processor. As they grow bigger, one serves larger and larger puppy food crumbs.
It is not good for them to have other tidbits or even milk. On rare occasions, as a treat for good behavior, you could give small chewy doggie treats for the teeth. They can also have very LARGE bones, like knuckle bones, to chew, as long as they cannot chew off pieces, the bones keep their teeth clean and provide endless entertainment.
You do not need to have specific meal times, have plenty of fresh water and a dish of food available, and they will eat when necessary. They are sure to tell you when the bowl is empty.
Some Chins love playing in water, get dishes that cannot be overturned.
Chewy toys, mine love their toy chicken that squeaks. They also have a squeaky Chin size dragon.
They love cuddly toys; I have pictures of the babies sleeping in the arms of a fluffy stuffed red dog, a huge Pooh Bear or a fluffy Giraffe!
Like children, they get bored with their toys – rotate the toys. You are sure to have too many.
The Bathroom and the Chin
THe books say that, until 4 months old, Chins find potty training difficult, but paper training works. They can even be sandbox trained. Once they are 4 months old, it will take about 2 weeks of taking your puppy outside often to teach it the rudiments of personal hygiene.
However, if you feed the right food and do not alter their diet the fouling is not a huge problem.
But here I eg to differ. If you take the puppy out from an early age, after mealtimes and on waking up, it soon learns the rudiments of potty training.
Do not bath them too often, they naturally shed dirt, but I found a once a month bath with a GOOD doggie shampoo or at a GOOD doggie parlor is fine. Keeps the nails clipped, etc.
Brush them often, they do shed hair. A bath also helps to cut down on the hair shedding.
Chins like a massage and having their ears rubbed.
Chin training tips
Do not allow them to chew your hands, feet, whatever; it becomes a habit and unbearable.
Even though they are so small, they LOVE doggie training –puppy play school keeps them from becoming too shy, it is good to take them out to socialize.
Put on a collar ASAP. As soon as the collar is accepted, add a lead, and let the puppy trail the lead around. When you finally pick up your end of the lead, the lead is accepted, and you will go for a little walk.
Chins love obedience classes. I can only take one dog at a time to class, and I normally leave the house with the others throwing a hissy fit because they cannot also go.
My Chins love the garden, and especially Tjerrie is an avid digger; currently she is working on a tunnel to Oz to visit my niece and her family. A few plants being destroyed in the process, is all for a good cause.
Keep a watch out, Chins chew plants and flowers and some are poisonous.
Chins at Play
Chins play; they play with each other, the cats, other dogs. They are curious and joyful.
Take good care of your Chin, and be alert, these trusting little souls are not afraid of anything, and big dogs sometimes mistake them for cats, with horrendous consequences!
The Chins are inclined to cough; a soft patting on the lungs helps.
Their eyes are sensitive.
Chins are attuned to one’s every mood, and they are so attentive if a doggie cries.
They love the car, and we go on holiday together.
Is never ending, be prepared to be totally owned by a Chin.
A Chin vet
Dr Anthony Erasmus, Kilner Park Animal Clinic, Pretoria
Chin Reference Books
There is a lot of Chin information on the internet, for instance on all the kennel club web sites.
There are not many reference books available, actually only two that I know of, the best in my mind being:
The Japanese Chin, Dog from the Land of the Rising Sun: Elizabeth Legl
The 2nd Edition is available from Foyles Bookshop in London.
ISBN 30: 978-1-57779-098-3
The beautiful Chin featured above is Pucara Wizzkid, closely related to Simon.
Japanese Chin: Juliette Cunliffe
Available from Exclusive books
EAN : 9781842860267
Author: Stephanie Olivier
YukiSan Japanese Chins