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Japug (Japanese Chin & Pug Mix): Info, Pictures, Traits, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Japug mixed breed dog

Height: 8 – 13 inches
Weight: 7 – 20 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
Colors: Black, brown, fawn, white, silver
Suitable for: Individuals and families without children, seniors, apartment dwellers
Temperament: Utterly loyal, Affectionate, Lapdog, Quiet, Gentle, Calm

Not everyone needs an active dog that wants to play and run around all day. For some, a calm little lap dog is the perfect companion. If that sounds like you, then the Japug is a dog you should consider. This adorable little breed is a cross between a Japanese Chin and a Pug.

These are gentle, sweet pups who don’t like loud noises and excitement. Because of this, they don’t do well with kids or big families, preferring a quiet household and an adoring owner’s lap to curl up in. They’re relatively low-maintenance, easy-going dogs for someone who wants a low-key companion.

With stubby, short bodies and squished faces, Japugs tend to take a lot of their shape from the Pug side of the family but you can see the Japanese Chin in a Japug’s face. This breed is sturdy and strong for their size, which tops out around 20 pounds.

This breed doesn’t require much exercise and prefers to spend most of the day relaxing. They don’t need large yards since they’ll mostly follow you around and curl up beside you. This makes them great options for seniors or anyone who lives in an apartment.
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Japug Puppies


Japugs aren’t a pure breed so you might expect them to be a rather affordable puppy. But both parents are registered and pedigreed by the AKC, so there’s a high demand for both parent breeds. While the Japug is less expensive generally than either parent breed, they’re still not as cheap as you might expect a designer dog to be. Unfortunately, since they are a designer dog breed and relatively new to the scene, you’re unlikely to find any Japugs available for adoption. It’s still a good idea to ask your local shelter or rescue for any Pug mixes.

When you bring a Japug home, you can expect to have a loyal dog by your side. They tend to be very affectionate and are known to be calm and quiet dogs, making them a great option for seniors and apartment dwellers.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Japug

1. Japugs Sleep A Lot

In the animal kingdom, it’s not uncommon to see animals lounging about all day long, sleeping away most of their time. But for most people, if their dog exhibited the same behaviors it would be cause for worry. That’s not the case with a Japug though!

Japugs love to sleep. They can spend as much as 15 hours each day just sleeping and are happy to spend several more hours lounging by your side. These dogs aren’t very active and don’t need much activity, so don’t be surprised to see your dog spending most of its time asleep. On the bright side, they’ll always be your partner for mid-day naps!

2. Both Parent Breeds Have Rich and Noble History

The Japug is a relatively new breed with very little in the way of history. But the Japug’s parent breeds, the Pug and the Japanese Chin, have a long and rich history. In fact, they’re two of the earliest recognized breeds by the AKC. Pugs were recognized in 1885 and the Japanese Chin was recognized shortly after in 1888.

But that’s not all the history they have. These are two nearly-ancient dog breeds, both of them hailing from Asia. The Japanese Chin comes from Japan, originating about 2,000 years ago where it was popular in the imperial court. The Pug’s history begins in China, and eventually makes its way to Holland via Portuguese traders where it became a beloved pet of many Dutch royals.

3. They Were Bred For Companionship

Most dogs are purpose-bred. Some dogs are bred to be ideal hunters, others are made for working. But the Japug was bred specifically for companionship. They weren’t intended to work any job or provide any service; just friendship. And they excel at this task!

They’re as loving and affectionate as any breed, but they have low energy and exercise needs that make them perfect for people who don’t want to spend an hour each day exercising their dog.

This breed will be happy curling up beside you all day while you read a book or watch TV. And because they don’t often bark and tend to be quiet, they’re perfect for anyone living in an apartment.

The parent breeds of the Japug - Pug and Japanese Chin
Image Credit: Left – Mink Mingle, Unsplash | Right – GoranH, Pixabay

Divider 5Temperament & Intelligence of the Japanese Pug 🧠

Subdued, loving, and loyal, the Japug is a very easy-going dog that’s devoted to its family. They are calm and gentle, preferring to avoid loud noises or high-energy situations that can easily overwhelm them. You’ll rarely hear a Japug bark.

If you’re looking for the type of puppy partner who will crawl up on the couch to curl up beside you for hours, then the Japug is your pet. They are even-tempered and not prone to energetic outbursts of any sort. You’ll find your Japug sleeping for long periods, happy to lounge the day away.

Japugs are trainable, though they’re not the brightest dogs. They’re not stupid though. Japugs are smart enough to learn commands and understand what you want from them, but they might need a little patience to train because it might take quite a few repetitions to drill the point home.

Are Japanese Pugs Good for Families? 🏡

You might expect such a calm dog to be a great choice for families, but they’re better suited to couples and individuals, particularly seniors. Japugs don’t like loud noises or high-energy situations. Several family members in the household could get to be too much for a Japug when everyone is running around trying to get ready for the day.

Likewise, Japugs don’t get along so well with kids. Children often tend to be loud, spontaneous, and high-energy; all traits that don’t mesh well with the calm demeanor of a Japug. Little hands grabbing at them can easily overwhelm your Japug, so if you have kids, you might want to look for another breed.

Do Japanese Pugs Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Japugs can get along with other pets, as long as they’re not too high-strung. This breed prefers other calm dogs, especially older dogs that aren’t high-energy and don’t want to play all the time. Japugs aren’t the most playful dogs, they’d rather lounge around all day. But as long as the other pets leave your Japug to do its own thing, they should get along just fine.

Divider 3Things to Know When Owning a Japug:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Japug is a very small dog. They’re usually only 10-12 pounds and top out at 20 pounds max. Luckily, this means that their dietary requirements are minimal.

For most Japugs, 3/4 to one cup of dry dog food each day should suffice. They don’t have any special dietary needs to consider, but you can’t go wrong feeding your Japug a high-quality dry dog food that’s high in protein.

Exercise 🐕

It can be a hassle to have a dog that has greater exercise needs than you. If you don’t like to run, jog, or go walking much, then the Japug is probably a great fit. They don’t need much exercise and are fine lounging around the house all day. Still, a short walk each day is good for them and can help to keep them healthy and combat obesity.

Since they don’t need much exercise, Japugs don’t need a yard to roam. They’re fine in smaller living spaces like apartments and even tiny homes. As long as you take them out for walks occasionally, you should be able to meet their minimal exercise needs.

Training 🦮

Japugs aren’t hard to train, but it might require a good bit of patience. They want to follow your commands, they’re just not too smart so it can be a bit difficult.

This breed isn’t known for their intelligence, but they do still want to please their people. Once your Japug understands what’s being asked it will follow your commands and training should go smoothly.

Grooming ✂️

When it comes to the Japug’s coat, not much maintenance is required. You’ll only need minimal brushing since the coat is so short and the Japug doesn’t shed very much.

That said, you’ll need to bathe your Japug more often than other breeds. They can develop bad odors pretty quickly when they get dirty.

Be extra careful with the skin on your Japug’s face. Those folds can hold moisture and dirt, causing bad odors and even worse like skin dermatitis.

Similarly, the Japug’s folded-over ears are at risk. They’ll trap extra moisture in the ears, which can cause irritation and even infection, so they need to be cleaned regularly.

Health and Conditions ❤️

One reason for crossbreeding dogs is to create a hybrid that is hopefully healthier than either parent. Since pure breeds are susceptible to many health concerns, it’s thought that you can minimize the health issues by crossing with another pure breed that doesn’t have those issues.

In the Japug’s case, both parents are susceptible to a variety of health concerns, particularly the pug. The Japug didn’t inherit all of these concerns, but this breed didn’t walk away unscathed. There are several conditions that you’ll want to keep an eye out for with a Japug.

  • Spina bifida: This is a birth defect that leaves the spinal cord exposed when the vertebrae grow improperly. Spina bifida can vary greatly in severity. Severe cases are untreatable and affected puppies are usually euthanized. In some minor cases, no treatment is necessary.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): PRA is a disease that causes the photoreceptor cells of the eye to waste away and atrophy. This will lead to blindness since there is currently no treatment available.
  • Meningitis: This is a swelling or inflammation of the outer membranes of the brain and spinal cord. This can make a dog very ill and will require immediate medical attention.
  • Skin fold dermatitis: Skin folds are warm, dark, and moist; the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. When that bacteria causes an infection, it’s known as skin fold dermatitis.
  • Entropion: When your dog’s eyelids seem to roll inward, it’s called entropion. It can be harmless, but it can also cause the pain, perforations, ulcers, and more if the hair on the eyelid rubs on the cornea.
  • Cataracts: A cloudy or opaque spot in your dog’s eye. This can lead to blindness, pain, or even glaucoma if not treated.
  • Brachycephalic syndrome: This is the term for dogs with a shortened head, including dogs like the Pug and the Japanese Chin. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Japug is also brachycephalic. The good news is that it’s generally harmless, though sometimes it can cause physical problems for the dog.
Minor Conditions
  • Skin fold dermatitis
  • Entropion, Cataracts
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
Serious Conditions
  • Spina bifida
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Meningitis

Divider 5Male vs. Female

In most dog breeds, you can see some notable differences between males and females, whether it’s size, temperament, or both. But with Japugs, there’s no real difference between them. Males and females all fall in the same size categories and have very similar temperaments, making it difficult to tell them apart without turning them over!

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Final Thoughts: Japanese Pug

So, who is the Japug for? It’s the perfect breed for seniors and anyone without any loud or energetic kids in the household. They’re perfect for people who don’t want a high-maintenance dog or a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Japugs are calm, easy-going, and don’t need much exercise or space. They also don’t bark much, so they’re great for apartments as well.

Who should look past the Japug for another breed? Anyone with kids, particularly loud kids who are always on the move. Couples who fight a lot should skip this dog because it won’t react well to shouting or aggression. And if you want a dog to accompany you on long walks, hikes, jogs, or any other activity, you’ll need to find a dog that’s up for all that exercise because the Japug isn’t.

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Featured Image Credit: Pikrepo

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