The Japanese Chin is a very lovable little pet, used by many as a lap dog and companion. They love spending time with their owners and tend to be one-man dogs almost. They make a nice little family pet, but they do need socialization with the outside world. They need socialization with other people as well as other dogs or animals they may be forced to live with in the home.
Although the Japanese Chin is very loving and loyal to their owner, they often mistrust new people and strangers. They are very comfortable in their own home and don't like to leave their home to go to strange places. New people, surroundings, and events make them very unhappy. If you are planning to take your Japanese Chin with you when you travel or visit friends, you need to start this process gradually as soon as you bring your Japanese Chin home. They need to realize that this is going to be a part of their daily lives.
Take your Chin with you for short walks around the neighborhood and make it a point to stop and visit with at least one neighbor. You may meet a neighbor or friend on the way or you can make it a point to stop at someone's home or shop. Another good idea is to take your Chin for a ride in your car and make stops along the way so he can see that there is nothing to be afraid of. Encourage your friends to try to gently pet him, without being forceful as this may frighten him more. It is very important that the dog realize that there is nothing for him to fear with new people and places.
The Japanese Chin is not a dog to be recommended if you have small children in the home. If you have children in the home and still wish to get a Japanese Chin, there needs to be a lot of socialization to get the dog used to the children. Japanese Chin do have a tendency to nip at small children, especially when the children try to handle the dog. The dog needs to learn right away that this behavior is unacceptable. They need a very firm hand and voice to show them you mean business. It is equally important that you teach the children the correct way to treat the dog and pet him.
Often owners of the Japanese Chin that have children will encourage the children to participate in certain parts of the dog's care such as the feeding. If the dog associates the children with getting food and treats, this often helps them tolerate the children more. Many owners make the mistake of removing the dog from the room when children or guests are present. All this does (besides help you to relax) is to reinforce in the dog's mind that he shouldn't be around these people and he has something to fear from them. Make the dog stay in the room with the people and supervise his behavior closely. The patterns the dog develops at a young age (good or bad) are usually the same patterns he has as an adult dog.