Until comparatively recent years these beautiful little dogs were too difficult and expensive to procure and in too few hands for them to be anything like common or often seen. Indeed, for a long time they used oftenest to make their appearance in classes for the small varieties of foreign dogs. Added to this, those imported were very delicate and difficult to rear, and the mortality amongst them was considerable. This mortality was also increased by the amount of inbreeding that was resorted to, and by the craze that for a while seemed likely to end disastrously for the breed - namely, the fashion for the infinitely small. Dr. Grindrod at the time wrote deprecatingly of the practice, and though it still continues, the constitution has been improved somewhat. It would have been a fatal mistake to sacrifice everything to diminutiveness, which at one time was threatened. That the dogs as met with in their native countries were very small admits of no doubt, as it was the custom in both China and Japan to carry one of them in the capacious sleeves; hence the name of "Sleeve Dogs." The tendency once was to go for the very small dog qua small, and the result not infrequently was the production of "weeds."

The colour of the Japanese Spaniel is usually white with more or less black markings; but there are sometimes seen specimens with yellow or pale tan markings. The black-marked ones are, however, generally preferred. They are broad in head and muzzle, with good-sized black nose, and very short face. The large, dark, lustrous eyes, set wide apart, are full and round in shape. There is a profuseness of silky coat on neck, chest, body, and hindquarters. The straight fore legs are set rather wide, and, like the thighs and hind legs, well feathered. The ears are not so long in leather as they appear to be, on account of the long feathering on them; they are set rather high on the head and hang gracefully down. The tail should be covered with long hair of the body colours, and be carried jauntily over the back - resting, in fact, upon it.

Japanese Spaniels (Figs. 124 and 125) have a most fascinating general appearance of quaintness, perkiness, and dignity, and are very showy and attractive. When the writer kept them, many years since, they were nothing like so small as they are now. They may be obtained well under 51b. in weight, and are being somewhat extensively bred in this country, as they are in great demand, and high prices may be readily obtained for anything like decent specimens. They are well worth the attention of those willing and able to devote time and attention to their production, and the use of reliable stud dogs can now be obtained at moderate fees.

As showing how this variety has grown in favour and popularity, it may be instanced that at a large show held near London a few years ago, it was to a Japanese Spaniel belonging to Mrs. Addis, one of the warmest supporters of the variety in England, that the judges awarded the Rother-ham Cup, which vessel was capacious enough to contain the little winner, as the "Champion of Champions" of the show in question.

At one time the Japanese Spaniel was known as the Japanese Pug, and it was under the latter name that the breed was introduced to show frequenters. Pug-type is what the majority of fanciers aim at producing, though the Japanese Spaniel should be smaller and rather finer boned than many Pugs, and of course covered with the long silky hair. The compact body, smart carriage, small ears, and cheeky ways of a Pug are equally essential to a good Jap. Reference was made above to one of Mrs. E. C. Addis's famous dogs that was awarded the Champion of Champions prize on 1895. The name of the dog was Dai Butzu II., and though many years have elapsed since that event, the dog, so far as type is concerned, is quite one of the best for the young breeder to take as his model (Fig- 125).

Mrs. Addis says that Japanese Spaniels "require an indoor kennel room, heated in cold weather, or else to live as pets about the house. They cannot stand stables or outdoor houses, as English Toy Spaniels can." A great many puppies fall victims to distemper, due no doubt to the inherent delicacy of the breed, largely brought about by the "very small" craze referred to above. The fact is, only the small Japanese Spaniels have any chance of winning on the show-bench. By this is meant dogs from 41b. upwards; those over 71b. never get a look in. A Japanese Spaniel as a puppy has a fluffier coat than that possessed by an adult, and, curiously enough, as a rule a puppy is better in points than an adult. Many quite cobby puppies with short faces develop long backs, long noses, and become weedy-looking in later life. In choosing a Japanese Spaniel as a puppy take the cobbiest in shape, with the largest head and a round skull - that is, prominent, not domed - a very short face, large eyes, and stylish carriage, and very light small bone. It should be a Pug in miniature, with abundant coat and tight tail-carriage. Markings should be regular and even, but otherwise they are a matter of individual taste.

The Hon. Mrs. Maclaren Morrison's Japanese Spaniel Moujii Sama.

Fig. 124. - The Hon. Mrs. Maclaren Morrison's Japanese Spaniel Moujii Sama.

Some of the best known amongst the exhibitors of Japanese Spaniels have been the Hon. Mrs. McLaren Morrison, Mrs. Addis, Mrs. G. Lloyd, Miss M. Serena, Miss Ethel Clinton, Mrs. Clara Griffin, Mrs. Harcourt Clare, the Countess of Warwick, Mrs. Samuelson, Mrs. W. Hull, Mrs. Grindrod, Mrs. Wimbush, Mrs. Rintoul, Mrs. Mclntyre, Mrs. Walter, Mrs. C. Harvey, Mrs. H. Jones, and Mrs. C. R. Lewis, most of whom are breeders of the variety also, and the entries at the larger shows are often very strong and representative, and are sometimes divided into over 7lb. in weight and under 71b.

The washing and preparation incidental to the show-ring have already been fully dealt with under the English Toy Spaniels. There is therefore no need for further information here.

The following are the points of the Japanese Spaniel, as drawn up by the Japanese and Pekinese Spaniel Club: -

General Appearance

That of a lively, highly bred dog with dainty appearance, smart, compact carriage, and profuse coat. These dogs should be essentially stylish in movement, lifting the feet high when in motion, carrying the tail (which is heavily feathered) proudly curved or plumed over the back. In size they vary considerably, but the smaller they are the better, provided type and quality are not sacrificed. When divided by weight, classes should be for under and over 7lb.

Mrs. Addis's Japanese Spaniel Champion of Champions Dai Butzu II.

Fig. 125. - Mrs. Addis's Japanese Spaniel Champion of Champions Dai Butzu II.


The coat should be long, profuse, and straight, free from curl or wave, and not be too flat; it should have a tendency to stand out, more particularly at the frill, with profuse feathering on the tail and thighs.


The dogs should be either black-and-white or red-and-white - i.e. parti-coloured. The term red includes all shades of sable, brindle, lemon, and orange, but the brighter and clearer the red the better. The white should be clear white, and the colour, whether black or red, should be in evenly distributed patches over the body, cheek, and ears.


Should be large for size of dog, with a broad skull - rounded in front; eyes large, dark, set far apart; muzzle very short and wide, and well cushioned - i.e. the upper lips rounded on each side of the nostrils, which should be large and black, except in the case of red-and-white dogs, when a brown-coloured nose is as common as a black one.


Should be small, set wide apart, and high on the dog's head, and carried slightly forward, V-shaped.


Should be squarely and compactly built, wide in chest, "cobby" in shape. The length of the dog's body should be about its height.

Legs And Feet

The legs should be straight and the bone fine; the feet should be long and hare-shaped. The legs should be well feathered to the feet on the front legs and to the thighs behind. The feet should also be feathered.


Head- ........

Size .........



Shape of Skull ....


Shortness of Nose .........


Width of Muzzle .........


Eyes ..


Ears ..


Coat and Feathering ..........


Colour and Marking ..........


Legs and Feet......


Action, Shape, Style, and Carriage of Tail..


Size ••• •• •• ••• ••• • • •


Total ..