The Rules of Japanese Chin Beauty

According to one Asian authority opining on the breed when it was called the Japanese Spaniel,  the breed should have at least five distinctive points:

  1. The “butterfly head,” the white portion or centre of head representing the body of the butterfly, and the black
    edges and ears the wings;
  2. The sacred “V” formed by the white portion described as the body of the butterfly;
  3. “The bump of knowledge:” The round black spot well on the top of the head between the ears;
  4. “Vulture feet,” well feathered to a point;
  5. “The chrysanthemum tail: ” The tail should be well and tightly curled, when the hair represents the national flower of Japan.”

There is more, however, to this lovely breed. A small amount of white showing in the inner corners of the eyes is a breed characteristic that gives the dog a look of astonishment. The Japanese consider a direct gaze offensive and bothersome to both humans and animals, and for centuries, part of Japanese Chin breeding was devoted to making sure that the dogs’ eyes looked slightly outward (as opposed to straight ahead). This effect was achieved by showing more of the white of the eye close to the nose.  These soulful eyes is why the Japanese Chin is the only breed of dogs that has this kind of gaze, almost like that of a psychiatrist. “My God! Their eyes are just like human!” is the first thing many people say about the Chin, and Chin owners will say that it’s quite easy to stare into those eyes for hours. 

“Japanese Chin Deep Thoughts” by Joshua Hullender.  This print is available here

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