Publ. med tillstånd av Joy Wescott

The following is based on information gathered from the genetic color study of the Japanese Chin.  For breeders or owners wanting to know what colors are possible from a particular breeding or how they got the colors they produced in a litter, this chart should be able to help you.

If I have made any errors, feel free to contact me and let me know.

For simplicity sake, white is not represented in the genetic sequencing.  We know that the breed is homozygous for white spotting.  So white, in some degree, will appear with all color combinations.

K-conceals the base color making the dog appear black

kk-reveals the base color showing sable or black and tan ee-restriction for red.  Red includes any shade of dark clear red to pale lemon.  Reds are born white (or with very faint markings) and get DARKER as they age.


a^ta^t-black and tan

Color dominance list

K is dominant to k.  K hides all base color (sable or black/tan)  kk reveals base color.

a^y (sable) is dominant over a^t (black and tan).  In order for a chin to show black and tan it must carry a^ta^t in a homozygous pair thus leaving no place for a^y.

ee-is a restriction gene and restricts ALL pigment in the coat. It also appears to affect the nose and skin pigment (in this breed) to some degree. ee dog can be any shade of red.  This includes a deep Irish setter red to a very pale washed out yellow sometimes called lemon.  This is the same gene.  ALL red chin are born with no color or very little color (sometimes faint marks) and get DARKER as they age.  Any other "red" that does not do this is not ee but a^ya^y.

It is very important for people reading this chart to understand that my prediction of color combinations are based on the color combination possibilities.  Just because you breed a litter once and get one kind of color it does not mean that that is what your parent dogs carry.  You must have a significant number of offspring to truly understand the possible color genes that the parent dogs carry.  Male dogs bred to different females usually reveal more than females because they can produce more offspring in a shorter period of time.

The chart below is based on the theory that the parent dogs have been together enough times to have established the genetic potential they offer.

Unknown genes are left blank.  This usually means that they are homozygous for their dominant or if the recessive was present it would not matter due to the dominant genes already present.

Offspring                            Parent Color                   Probable Parent Color or carrier

Black                                  Black, Black                             KK                      KK


Red                                   Red, Red                                    ee                         ee


Black, Red                        Black, Black                           KKEe                   KKEe


Black, Red                         Black, Red                             KKEe                    KKee


Sable                                 Sable, Sable                            a^ya^y                   a^ya^y


Sable, Black                     Black, Sable                            Kka^ya^y               kka^ya^y

Sable, red                          Sable, Red                              kka^ya^yEe            kka^ya^yee


Sable, black and tan          Sable, Sable                           kka^ya^t                 kka^ya^t


Black and tan                  Blk/tan,  Blk/tan                        kka^ta^t                   kka^ta^t


Blk/tan, Sable, Red         Sable, Sable                            kka^ya^tEe               kka^ya^tEe


Blk/tan, Red                    Blk/tan, Red                            kka^ta^tEe               kka^ta^tee


Sable, Blk/tan, Red, Black     Black, Black                     Kka^ya^tEe             Kka^ya^tEe

Black, Black                          Sable, Red                         kka^ya^yEE             KKee


Black, Red, Sable                   Sable, Red                        kka^ya^yEe               Kka^yEe


Red, Blk/tan                         Blk/tan, Blk,Tan                  kka^ta^tEe                kka^ta^tEe


Color produce that cannot happen due to genetics of the parents and other anomalies.

Black, sable or blk/tan from two red parents.   If you produce full pigmentation from two red parents this means one of two things.  You've either got a mis-mate or one of your "reds" is actually a sable.  Sables can look like a red or lemon upon adult hood.  The only sure fire way to know for sure is to either swab the dog or to have seen it born. Sable dogs will always be born darker and get lighter. Red dogs are always born lighter and get darker.  Sables will sometimes retain a few black hairs in the coat, but not always.  You may have to look very close to find them.

Sable offspring from two black/tan parents.  The black and tan gene a^t must be present in homozygous form.  Meaning that there must be two copies.  This means there is NO where for the sable gene to sit.  Therefore it cannot be carried by either parent.  Sable is dominant. If it is there, it is being expressed.  Two possible explanations.  You either have a mis-mate or one of the parents is actually a sable.  Shaded sables (sables that carry the black and tan gene) can sometimes be so dark that they are mistaken for a black and tan dog.  A tale-tale sign that a "black/tan" is actually a sable will be brown hairs in the under coat of the black, or over large tan points.  I have heard these referred to as "flame marked" black/tans.  If you breed two black/tans and they produce sables one of them is in fact a sable.

Blue merle: Does not exist in this breed you have a mixed breed some where in the back.

Blue/Gray:  This color does not appear in this breed.  Dogs of this color are the produce of a mix somewhere.  More than likely from a Peke, Tibetan terrier, or a Shih.

Solid Black:  This breed is homozygous for white spotting. Solid black offspring are improbable.  A mis-mate should be considered. Do not mistake a solid black dog for a dog with very little white or bad markings.

Size Chart:

There is one thing that I have learned about this breed and it's that size is really unpredictable.  Remember, this is a square dog.  It should be as long as it is tall.  Long legged animals may be taller than shorter stocker dogs that may be heavier.  Therefore exact size/weight is never an exact science.  The best way to get an idea of size is to talk to the breeder about the lines and what they are known for producing. Five pound dogs can produce twenty pound offspring just as fifteen pound parents can produce three pound get.  Also note, weight is not a criteria in this breed rather it is height.  An in size dog can be heavier and correct and a lighter weight taller dog incorrect.

To estimate height and weight of a Japanese Chin puppy at the age of twelve weeks old weigh the puppy.  Multiply the weight times two then add a pound for males and ½ a pound for females.  Multiply the height times 2.5 for males and 2 for bitches.

This formula only works for square puppies.  Puppies that are long legged will probably be much taller and puppies that are too squat will be shorter.

How to use this chart:

There are a myriad of possible color combinations and I am sure that I have missed some possibilities. If you have a combination that I have missed feel free to drop me a line. Fourpaws@windstream.net

The best way to use this chart would be to start with the offspring from a breeding, find the color combinations then match them to the parent colors.  The genetic probability of those parents will be found on the far right.