Fact Check

Puppy with Heart-Shaped Marking

Photographs show a puppy with a heart-shaped pattern in its coat?

Published Sept. 3, 2007


Claim:   Photographs show a puppy with a heart-shaped pattern in its coat.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2007]

A puppy has been born in Japan with a large, clear, love-heart-shaped pattern in his coat.

Click photo to enlarge
Click photo to enlarge
Click photo to enlarge


Origins:   What could be cuter than a puppy? How about a puppy with a heart-shaped marking on his coat? (Or, more specifically, a puppy with a marking that resembles the way a heart is typically rendered in popular culture.)

Such a critter was born in the northern Japanese city of Odate in May 2007, part of a litter raised by breeder Emiko Sakurada. The little fellow, a long-coated chihuahua dubbed "Heart-kun," came into the world with a perfect heart-shaped pattern in his fur. Ms. Sakurada said that she had never seen a similar marking on the approximately 1,000 other puppies that she had bred, and that she had no plans to sell Heart-kun, who has "brought good fortune" to her and everyone who crosses his path.

This short video clip provides some glimpses of Heart-kun and Emiko:

In August 2009, Heart-kun's mother gave birth to a litter of four puppies, one of which, like his older brother, also bears a distinctive heart-shaped marking on its coat. Emiko named this little fellow Love-kun:

Last updated:   15 August 2009


    Barnett, Lindsay.   "Celebrity Chihuahua Heart-kun Gets a Younger Brother."

    Los Angeles Times.   10 August 2009.

    Johnson, Chris.   "Puppy Love."

    Daily Mail.   7 August 2009.

    news.com.au.   "Chihuahua Puppy Born with Love-Heart Pattern in Fur."

    10 July 2007.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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