Are Japanese Chins Dogs Aggressive? The Japanese Chin Temperament Overview.

Are Japanese Chins Dogs Aggressive? The Japanese Chin Temperament Overview.

Japanese chins are a docile and playful dog breed that exemplifies everything that a good family pet dog should be for a household with children or multiple pets. 

Their nobility and elegance they exude can sometimes appear comical or somewhat silly; however, if you want a dog best suited for low energy lifestyle, the Japanese Chin is a perfect fit. 

Generally, Japanese Chin dogs are not aggressive. They are naturally docile, cuddly, Perky, proud, playful, and tolerant. Japanese Chins only become aggressive when conflict aggression, fear-based, defensive aggression, status-related aggression, possessive aggression, food guarding aggression, and redirected aggression traits are triggered in them.

Dogs do not become aggressive for no reason, and it’s fair to say that it’s never an everyday occurrence when you witness a happy, loving dog suddenly exhibiting aggressive behavior for no apparent reason. 

Fear of loss, health problems, or resource guarding can elicit sudden behavioral and temperament changes such as growling or bite aggression in naturally docile or tolerant dogs. 

So, eliciting the professional help of a trusted local veterinary practitioner near you can shed more light on the cause of sudden growling and aggressive behavior in dogs.

Sudden Dog growling Is A Sign Of Pain And Resource Guarding Aggression.

A sudden dog growl at you or any family member is a clear sign that pain or resource guarding behavior that elicits such behavioral warnings manifests.

 Fear of loss, social pecking order, and resource guarding can cause aggressive dog behavior like growling and dog bites. Uncomfortable actions or proximity of any member can trigger sudden changes in dogs that used to be lovely and docile. 

As sudden growling can also be caused by pain, taking your dog to your nearest veterinary practice ensures he is not sick or in pain, eliciting such sudden behavior change.

Sudden Dog growling Is A Sign Of Fear-based/ Resource Guarding Aggression.

Fear-based aggression in dogs can also be driven by neglect, survival instincts, and social status for your dog in the family. A recent dog rescue rehoming and adoption behavioral survey found that dogs who were adopted from a local dog rescue center were more pre-disposed to food-related aggression behavior also known as resource guarding. 

If you have noticed a proliferation of your dog’s sudden growling at any of your family members, is a clear sign that food aggression or resource guarding behavior is at the center of eliciting such behavioral warnings.

Fear of loss, the social hierarchy pecking order is a real cause of aggressive food and resource guarding which can cause aggressive dog behavior like growling and dog bites. Any proximity of family members to the guarded resource can trigger sudden changes in dogs that used to be lovely and docile. 

As a whole, Japanese Chin puppy dogs are not aggressive as they enjoy cuddling and snuggling than conflict with family members or other animals. Japanese Chin dogs are not aggressive; in fact, they are warm and affectionate lap dogs that can also be used for therapeutic purposes.

 Though the Japanese Chin dogs are not predisposed to be aggressive, lack of social interaction when they are puppies or cruelty sometimes cultivates resentment and trigger points which often result in these warm and affectionate dogs becoming too aggressive even to the family. 

Cases where Japanese Chin have develop the behavior of being quick to aggression, they cannot be trusted with children. 

In fact, many of the bites in children or this dog becoming snappier has been due to lack of petting and handling training from parents who take the grace and elegant characteristics of the Japanese Chin for granted. 

Overall, this dog breed is very warm and affectionate. No wonder that Japanese Chins perfectly fit in as therapy dogs.

Quick Facts About The Japanese Chin Dog 

  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Mass: 1.4 – 6.8 kg
  • Height: 20 – 27 cm (At the withers)
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Independent, Loyal, Alert, Loving, Cat-like
  • Colors: Lemon & White, Sable & White, Black & White, Tri-color, Red & White.

Origins: The Japanese Chin is a dog breed that has its origins in Japan, which is where the name came from. 

This dog is easily recognized by its big round eyes that are uniquely crossed – called “strabismus”

The dog is both active and calm, making it an excellent companion dog as well as a lap dog. 

In this article, we will cover all you need to know about the Japanese Chin. 

Dog Breed Temperament Overview

Below are the main dog’s temperamental traits in full details to help you decide if the Japanese Chin is ideal for your family.


The Japanese Chin is considered to be highly intelligent. This makes it a dog that is easy to train and remember commands. 

Because it is intelligent, it requires mental exercises that can refresh their mind. Give your dog some challenges to solve- they will love it. 


This dog is very loyal to its owners. It likes to sleep on their owner’s lap when they are indoor. When they are outdoors, they like to play games.

As such, they adapt to any kind of lifestyle. 


These dogs are both confident and independent. They can sometimes wander out on their own and be adventurous. 

On the other hand, they also like to clean themselves, just like the way a cat does. And just like a cat, they have a great sense of balance and they like to sleep on high surfaces like fridges or top shelves. 


The Japanese chin is so gentle around people. The dog is considered to be a therapy dog because being around them seems to make people happy. 

Because of this gentle character, they are very good around kids as well, even very small children. 


When indoors, these dogs like to cuddle with their owners. Their small size allows them to be perfect lap dogs. 

Also, they like to share the bed with their owners. 


Around family members as well as other familiar faces, these therapy dogs have a very friendly demeanor.

They are, however, protective when they are around a stranger- in which case they will bark a lot. 

To make them friendlier with everyone, they must be socialized while they are still a puppy. It makes them more acceptable around everyone. 

 Take them to the dog park every now and then- it is the best way to for them to meet other people and other dogs too. 


These have a bouncy character, especially when you take them outdoors. They like to be the center of attention. 

You will mostly see them playing with themselves or even cleaning themselves just like cats. 

These dogs were bred to entertain people. 


Because these dogs are quite used to being around their owners, they are not very social in nature, as compared to other dogs. 

Hence, it can be very difficult for this dog to get along with new people, other dogs or even other pets. 

The best way to minimize the antisocial behavior is to socialize them while they are still at a very young age. 

In case you are a cat lover and you want to buy a pet cat in your home, let them grow up together, they will get along very well. 


Despite that the Japanese Chin is a calm dog, it is energetic and likes sports. 

Because they are active dogs, you must make sure that you exercise them every day- physical exercises can last for about 30 minutes to about 45 minutes to keep your dog in shape. 


As we mentioned earlier, these dogs like to play with their owners on a daily basis. If you have kids around, the chin will be the only canine companion they will ever need. 

Their gentleness lets them to play around very small children as well. 

They are known for their signature trick called “Chin Spin” in which the dog dances while turning around on their hind legs with their paws raised.


The Japanese Chin is one of the most active dogs that have a Japanese origin. Because it is calm, the dog is very sensitive and will pick up any changes in their immediate surroundings. 

Your visitor won’t need to ring the doorbell if this dog is around- its loud bark will be enough. 

Also, if they see anything unusual, they bark to alert their owners. This trait makes the Japanese chin an excellent watchdog.


While they might be quiet dogs, these dogs are said to produce a singing sound ranging from low to high. 

They mostly produce this sound when they are happy and want to entertain their owners. 

Also, they are known to howl and cry, especially when they feel lonely or ignored.


Unlike other Japanese dogs that have hunting or tracking instincts, the Japanese Chin does not have such strong instincts. 

The only instinct that you should expect from this dog is their alertness, which brings about a protective character.   

The Japanese Chin – Quick History

Although these dogs are called the Japanese Chins, most people argue that the dog does not actually have a Japanese origin. 

A lot of people believe that the Chins were given to Japan from Korean rulers somewhere in AD 732. Other people believe that they came from China. 

It has been debated for a long time but no evidence has been found that is strong enough. They were given a Japanese name. 

The breed was so popular in Japan and by the year 1613, the dog had already made its way to England. 

It wasn’t until 1853 when this breed was brought to the US by an American naval officer known as Matthew Calbraith Perry

Later from 1868, people learned that these dogs are perfect lap dogs, and they have been ever since. 

Today, a lot of these dogs can be found in many homes- because of their adorable appearance and temperaments. They also make great family companions. 

It is also known under the name “Japanese Spaniel.”

Behavior Problems

Do they bark when left alone?

While they have an independent character, they tend to develop separation anxiety when they have been left alone for an extended period. 

In times when they have these anxiety issues, they will howl and bark very loudly – missing their owner’s attention. 

Do they pull a walking leash?

As we said earlier, these dogs were bred to be companion dogs. 

The Japanese Chin will be seen in a few occurrences pulling the leash out of excitement to be outdoors with their owners. 

Consider buying a harness. These strap about the chest and back of the dog and they are known to reduce the pulling behavior in dogs. Also, they provide comfort to your dog.

Training Needs in line with Temperament

Since it is an active dog, it will require exercises that have to be 30 to 45 minutes in duration. Short and simple.

Use positive reinforcement when training

Avoid use of harsh methods of training. If the dog does not seem to be interested in the training, do not force the training. 

Instead, you could make them interested in the training by using treats as rewards. 

This will definitely keep them enthusiastic throughout and leave them wanting more. 

Socialize your dog while it still a puppy. 

In the long run, your dog will be able to get along with people, other dogs as well as other pets. An adult Japanese Chin will be much challenging to train on socializing. 

Finding the Perfect Dog Breed Puppy

Who to Buy From (Regulated Dog Breeders)

Look for reputable breeders in your state. Make sure that they should provide you with details about the breed’s health, its parents’ health. 

You do not want your dog to be going to the vet every week because your dog is prone to a lot of diseases that it didn’t receive treatment or vaccination for- at birth. 

 How to Choose Your Puppy?

When choosing the ideal puppy, look for the one that has a plump and healthy appearance. They must have passed health tests- check this with the breeder. 

 Should You Get A Rescue/Use Adoption Or Buy A Puppy?

It does not make quite a difference when you are considering to either buy or adopt a Japanese Chin. 

You should be given enough information about how to take care of the dog in terms of grooming, feeding or more. 

Upon purchase or adoption of the dog, take it to the vet for checkups and call an expert to tell you more about how to train such dogs. You can also buy a book on training a Japanese Chin. 

 How much does the dog breed Puppy cost?

Prices vary depending on where you choose to buy them but the cost ranges from $400 all the way to as high as $600. 

Our Final Words

If you are looking for a dog that will be a great outdoor companion as well as an indoor couch potato, this is the dog recommended to you. 

The Japanese Chin requires between 16 to about 18 hours of sleep in a day. 


Hey, I’m Eddie, one of the publishers at Japanese Dog Breed Guides. And from an early age, dogs have been a massive part of my life. I remember the day my family brought home a Shiba Inu puppy dog, and we called him Ginger. It was love at first sight, no wonder I’m always partially gravitating towards Japanese dog breed. Growing up around a dog breed like the Shiba Inu opened up a new window into this rare dog breed of Japanese Origin. And you would think that having been through with more than one of them, I would lose interest. Strangely enough, my passion for these blue-eyed dogs has exponentially grown from strength to strength! The magic of owning a pet dog is the unconditional love they exhibit towards their owners. And the Japanese dog breeds are no different at sharing that love, which is something special. They’ll always be a part of my life and I hope yours too.

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