The Japanese Chin is a toy breed of dog that is adored as a family pet, lap dog, and companion. There is much more to the Japanese Chin than just his role as a pet as we know him. Japanese Chin, the show dog, is another of his many roles and a role they do very well.
The Chin has been displayed in shows for many years, since the very first show in 1882 in New York. This dog show had nine Japanese Spaniels, the name the Chin was called until it was changed in 1977. This is the same year the Japanese Chin Club of America was formed.
Since then the Japanese Chin has been actively performing in shows through the American Kennel Club as well as the Japanese Chin Club of America. For entry in the American Kennel Club, the Chin has to conform to certain specifications that are characteristic of the breed.
The size must be 8 to 11 inches high at the withers, with the length between the sternum and the buttocks being the same as the height at the withers. They should have a full single coat that is straight and silky. Short hair should cover the head and muzzle. The body has to be in perfect proportion, according to the standards set by the AKC for the dog to compete in conformation.
Many other events are available in shows for the Japanese Chin and they excel in most of them. Obedience is usually the first title the Chin and owner attempt to earn after the conformation. For obedience, the dog must follow commands made by the owner. They will be on leash as well as off and must "come, sit, stay, down, and heel", each at the owner's command. When in the stay, if the owner walks away, the dog must stay.
Other events are jumping or jumping with weaves and agility. The jumping events are fun for owner and the Chin. They are grouped with dogs of the same height and have to jump over bars, run through tunnels and do this on command without stopping until they are given the command. When they jump with weaves, they are often jumping over bars that get quite high. There is a total point value given for perfection and the dog is given so much leeway. An example of this is if 100 is perfect, the Chin can get as low as 85 and still pass the event.
Agility is the true sport that shows the dog's talent as well as endurance and intelligence. They run through tunnels, through hoops, over bars, up and down slides, etc. This determines how agile and surefooted the dog is, as well as obedient. It is different from the obedience where the owner is right by the dog; in agility, the owner is nearby but the dog is working off commands and memory.