Japanese Chin VS. Sighthounds – A World Apart

Japanese chin head photo


After spending many years with Sighthounds, I stumbled upon this small, diminutive, single-coated royal breed through friends I have known for many years. I was told by my dear Italian Greyhound friends who, before me, discovered Chin. They told me that Japanese Chin are the world’s best-kept K-9 secret. I was thinking at the time that another Toy breed would also be a challenging accomplishment. After searching for a second breed, I researched the Japanese Chin that was recommended to me by my close friends.

When I watched them ringside, I could see the little Chin moving about the ring with their single coats flowing, tails up, and performing with extreme enthusiasm. I followed breeders and handlers back to their set-ups and spoke to quite a few on many occasions. Each time, I could watch the little Chin sitting upon their grooming tables with the utmost regal authority.

So, some of the unique characteristics of each breed were swirling around my head: The Italian Greyhound’s ears are rosed (folded), the tail is set low and carried low, heads are long and narrow, the chest is both deep and narrow. The Italian Greyhound topline is to be highest at the withers. Chin, on the other hand, have dropped ears that are feathered. The Chin tail is set high and carried over the back, head is large and broad with a short, broad muzzle. The Chin chest is wide, with rounded ribs. Topline is level.

When Italian Greyhounds see a squirrel, rabbit, lizard, or really anything that moves fast and catches their eye, they are off to encounter the prey. That makes their day. Chin, on the other hand, can gather around a bug on the patio and it almost seems like they have a confab about who is going to touch it with their paw first.

These two breeds couldn’t be more different. What a challenge! I consider myself very lucky in finding very knowledgeable mentors in the Japanese Chin breed who took me under their wing. (I shouldn’t name you, but I hope you know who you are.) Successfully beginning a new breed requires a tutor who can guide you and support you through all stages of breeding, puppy development, training, showing, and grooming on your own.

So, for anyone considering another breed, research everything you can about your future breed. Talk to as many breeders as you can, and no matter what event you are interested in, attend as many of those events as possible. And just relax and watch your future breed at work. You will gather a great deal of information and make new friends along the way.

Explore Japanese Chin. I have never regretted it… not one bit!

  • Cecilia has been involved for many years with several breeds, including Sighthounds, and is currently an AKC judge. She has also held various club positions such as Judges Education Coordinator and Board of Director Officer of a national club. She was introduced to Japanese Chin and became enamored with them, and she is captivated by their lively gait and endearing personalities. Cecilia has been involved in the Chin fancy and is a dedicated conformation showman and Chin breeder. She has been the AKC Breed Columnist for JCCA. Cecilia is an approved Breed Mentor and a Breeder of Merit for the Japanese Chin Club of America. She is also honored to be designated the AKC Delegate for the Japanese Chin Club of America.

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