I found this on Wikipedea where it it says "this article is written in essay style rather than an encyclopaedic description of the subject. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopaedic style (April 2010)." I am only going to copy most of it as it is written as I do not have the knowledge etc to do otherwise.
The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is the dog of Japanese royalty; a lap dog and companion dog, this toy breed has a distinctive heritage.
The distinctive Oriental expression is characterised by the large broad head, large wide-set eyes, short broad muzzle, ear feathering, and the evenly patterned facial markings. The coat is low maintenance, long, and smooth/silky to the touch. These dogs are distinctively black & white or red & white in colour and have variations in colour intensity (lemon & white, mahogany & white, etc). As of 11th November, 2011, any colour not listed in the breed standard is grounds for disqualification in competitions.
The Chin will bark for the purpose of alerting the household to the arrival of a visitor or something out of the ordinary, but are otherwise very quiet. They were bred for the purpose of loving and entertaining their people. While typically a calm little dog, they are well known for performing many enjoyable antics such as the "Chin Spin", in which they turn around in rapid circles, dancing on their hind legs while pawing their front feet, clasped together, in the air, and some even "sing', a noise that can range from a low trill to a higher, almost operatic quality noise, and which sounds much like "wooooo". Here is a Chin puppy with an adult dog:
The origin of the Japanese Chin is clouded in the mysticism of Far Eastern ancient rites. Small dogs were known to have criss-crossed the Silk Road accompanying travellers as both preseentations of trade and companions on the long journeys. Some of these dogs became the pets of Buddhist Monks, who nurtured and mated various types in their sheltered monasteries and gave dogs as gifts to travelling dignitaries. They quickly assumed their rightful position in the Imperial palaces, where they were closely kept and guarded for the Imperial family and the guards were charged with looking after the little dogs' every need, every desire. Mere peasants were not allowed to own them as the small dogs became treasures more valuable than gold.
It would appear the the name Japanese Chin is actually a misnomer as the breed owes its rigins to China and not to Japan. It has long been surmised that the Chin and Pekingese were once the same breed but with the Pekingese having been bred out to create the short, bow-legged, long-backed, pear-shaped bodied breed of dog known today. The Chin is believed to have been kept basically pure but there is ongoing discussion about this. There is a lot more on Wikipedia about just how this breed came about but I won't include all of that here. If I could afford it and was young enough to own a dog again I think I would enjoy having one of these dogs as a companion. I particularly enjoy the sound of its 'cat-like' traits and the fact that it rarely barks as so many small dogs do 'yap' a lot.