How to Groom a Japanese Chin

Japanese Chins actually originated in China, where they were bred as the companion animals of Chinese aristocrats and the ladies of the Imperial Palace. Thanks to their careful breeding, Chins make affectionate family pets and are intelligent and playful. The Chin has a smooth, flowing coat that offers the appearance of royalty but is surprisingly easy to care for and doesn't require the in-depth grooming many other long-haired dogs need. Japanese Chins generally don't have problems with tangles and require brushing only a few times a week to look well-groomed.

Hair Care

Step 1

Brush your Japanese Chin regularly. Chins shed continuously and require frequent brushing to prevent this hair from coating your house. Use a pin brush to comb through the coat and remove any would-be tangles before they take hold and become mats. Give your Chin a thorough brushing at least once a week, and a quick run-through with the brush once a day to keep the coat looking smooth and clean.

Step 2

Remove any mats. A Chin's hair resists tangling, but that doesn't mean mats don't occasionally form. Remove mats as soon as you find them to keep them from getting larger and possibly causing skin irritation or sores underneath. Use a spray bottle with thinned-down conditioner or a detangler product to wet the mat, then gently pull it apart with your fingers. Use a mat ripper or comb to work the loosened mat out, being careful not to tug at your Chin's skin.

Step 3

Pay close attention to the ear fringes. Check your Chin's ear fringe hair as you brush him to watch for tangles. This hair can develop mats more often than the rest, and gentle care is required to remove them due to the sensitive location. Give this hair an extra spritz of spray conditioner to help keep it silky smooth and tangle-free.

Bath Time

Step 1

Bathe your dog occasionally. Chins usually require a bath only once a month or so. Give your Chin a full bath only when he feels really dirty. Use dry shampoo between baths to remove dirt and oil.

Step 2

Wet his hair completely and massage a gentle shampoo into his coat when giving a full bath. Thoroughly saturate the entire coat with shampoo. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.

Step 3

Apply a conditioner to help reduce tangles and give your Japanese Chin's hair body. Read the label of your dog conditioner and let it sit on your Chin for as long as recommended to penetrate every hair. Rinse thoroughly, as conditioner residue can leave hair limp. A good rule of thumb is to rinse until you think you have all the conditioner out, then rinse again for good measure.

Step 4

Squeeze as much excess water from your Chin's hair as possible before wrapping a towel around him and removing him from the bath.

Step 5

Dry your dog thoroughly. Use a towel to dry your Chin as much as possible. Do not rub with the towel, as this may encourage tangles. Use a hair dryer on a low setting to help dry him faster, brushing his hair upward and outward with a pin brush as you dry him. Keep the hair dryer moving to avoid burning his skin.

Overall Grooming

Step 1

Keep your Chin's nails short. The toenails will need to be trimmed at least once a month. Because improper trimming can cause bleeding and pain, let a professional groomer or your veterinarian trim his nails as necessary or seek training before tackling this chore yourself. Also check the hair that grows between the paw pads and trim it with scissors to prevent mats from forming.

Step 2

Clean your Chin's ears as needed, checking weekly for signs of mites, infections or wax buildup. Use an ear cleaner to wet the ear, and follow with a cotton ball to properly clean it. Never insert anything into his ear canal. Visit your veterinarian if his ears look red or swollen.

Step 3

Brush your Chin's teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. Brushing at least a few times a week will help prevent tooth decay, tartar buildup and bad breath. Take him to the veterinarian for regular dental cleanings to promote tooth health.


  • Japanese Chins have flat faces, so take care when bathing not to get water into his nose.


  • Depending on the size of your Chin, you can bathe him in a large sink to make things easier for you both.

  • Start grooming your Chin as early as possible to get him used to the routine so he'll accept it with little complaint.

  • As you groom, check your dog's skin for any signs of irritation or sores.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog shampoo
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hair dryer
  • Dog conditioner
  • Scissors
  • Nail clippers
  • Pin brush
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste



About the Author

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.