Japanese Chin or Pekingese, which is right for you?

Japanese Chin or Pekingese, which is right for you?

There are many wonderful toy breeds around that make wonderful companions although some are not the best choice for families with young children. With this said, they are great family pets in households where kids are slightly older and who therefore understand how to behave and play with smaller dogs. If you have made up your mind to share your home with a four-legged friend, two breeds definitely worth considering are the Japanese Chin and the Pekingese, but if you are unsure which would better suit your lifestyle this article might help you make up your mind.

Japanese Chin origin

The Japanese Chin is a Chinese breed that was introduced to Japan where these smart little dogs have always been highly prized companions. It’s worth noting that the Chins we see today do not really resemble the Chins of long ago.

Pekingese origin

The actual origins of the Pekingese remain unknown, but they are an ancient breed that's native to China and it’s one that has not changed that much over time.

Care and maintenance

Japanese chins are lower maintenance on the grooming front thanks to their single coats. However, a Peke needs a little more time spent on their coats to prevent knots and tangles from forming. They also benefit from being professionally groomed several times a year which adds to the cost of their upkeep.

Chins shed steadily all year round, but so do Pekes and both breeds shed a lot more hair during the spring and then again in the autumn when new coats grow through.


Chins are intelligent little dogs and they are quick to learn things, but so is the Pekingese although they can be a little wilful and stubborn at times. Pekes tend to be more independent by nature than their Chin counterparts and as such their training must start out early and gently when they are young. In short, Pekes are a little harder to train than the Chin. With this said, Chins are known to be a little hard to housetrain which can take a little longer and it's important to show them a lot of patience and understanding during this time.


Both breeds are not particularly high energy dogs although they do like to be kept busy and taken out for a good 30-minute walk every day. They are also clever which means both a Chin and a Peke needs to be given enough mental stimulation to keep their brains busy or they might start developing some unwanted behavioural issues.

Children and pets

As previously mentioned both breeds are better suited to families where children are slightly older, but they make wonderful companions which is why both the Chin and the Peke have remained so popular over the years. They are also known to get on well with cats especially if they have grown up together.

Japanese Chin temperament

Bold, alert, cheerful, gentle and intelligent the Japanese Chin is a charming toy breed to have around. They are loyal and fun-loving while at the same time being quiet and independent too. They get on with everyone and everything and they have an amazing ability to pick up on their owner's feelings. Chins are extremely cat like in many of the things they do and this includes in the way they like to keep themselves clean. They also like to hold conversations with the people they love which is more of a chatter than a bark.

Pekingese temperament

Pekes are known to have a real sense of humour while at the same time being quite regal too. Mischievous and sensitive all rolled into a little dog that thinks like a larger one. They have a strong instinct to protect which is deeply embedded in their natures and they form strong ties with their owners not liking to be left on their own for very long. They tend to be a little wary around people they don't know, but as soon as they get to know someone they are fine.

Japanese Chin coat

Japanese Chins have profuse long coats that consist of long, soft and silky hair that's incredibly smooth to the touch.

Pekingese coat

Pekes have long, straight coats and a lovely mane around their necks that adds to their overall appeal. Their outer coat is coarse and thick, but the undercoat is a lot finer and that much softer.

Japanese Chin colour

Chins come in a variety of colours which includes black and white, red and white, sable and white, orange and white as well as lemon and white.

Pekingese colour

The Pekingese boasts a lot more variety when it comes to colour variations than their Chin counterparts. This includes black, brown, fawn, silver, white and light red with lots of other variations in between.

Japanese Chin grooming

A chins coat is not as high maintenance on the grooming front, but they still benefit from a quick once over every day to prevent knots from forming and to remove any dirt and debris.

Pekingese grooming

The Pekingese is much higher maintenance when it comes to keeping their coats in good condition and they benefit from being professionally groomed several times a year.

Japanese Chin life expectancy

The average life span of a Japanese Chin is between 10 and 12 years.

Pekingese life expectancy

The average life span of a Pekingese is between 11 and 13 years.

Japanese Chin health

Chins are known to suffer from a few more health issues than Pekes although not all dogs will develop any sort of problem during their lives. The conditions that affect the breed the most includes progressive retinal atrophy, luxating patellas, Legg Calve Perthes disease and atrioventricular endorcardiosis. Other health issues include:

  • Skin allergies
  • Problems breathing
  • Heart murmur
  • Cataracts

Pekingese health

Pekes don't seem to suffer from as many health issues with the main ones being those that affect their eyes and in particular a condition known as dry eye. They are also known to suffer from breathing issues because of the shape of their faces. Other issues the breed is prone to suffer from includes:

  • Birthing problems which means puppies often need to be delivered by Caesarean Section

Japanese Chin tendency to gain weight

The Japanese Chin can gain a little too much weight if they are not given enough exercise to burn off their calorie intake. As such it's important to keep a watchful eye on a dog's waistline.

Pekingese tendency to gain weight

Pekes too can plough on the pounds all too easily if they are overfed and not given enough daily exercise and again it's essential for owners to keep an eye on their pet's weight.



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