Country/Date of Origin: Japan/8th Century
There is no doubt that this breed descended from the Chinese Pekingese. The first to reach Japan were probably tribute gifts from one emperor to another. In Japan, each noble family kept a strain that was guarded in its purity for over a thousand years. Commodore Perry brought the first of the tiny dogs out of Japan in the mid 1880s. At first they were called Japanese Spaniels but the name was officially changed in 1977 to reflect the fact that this is not a sporting dog.