Black pugs have fascinated pug fanciers all over the world since they were first seen at a show held at Maidstone, in Kent, England in 1886. These black pugs were entered by Lady Brassey and were bred mostly form her own stock. They went by the names: Jacopo, Nap, Jack Spratt and Bessie Spratt.
Queen Victoria also had a black Pug (and some authors say that was many years before the black Pug was presented as a novelty by Lady Brassey ). This Pug had white feet and a white blaze on the chest.
However, black Pugs were probably known in England well before that date. William Hogarth, a famous Pug owner and painter, represented a black Pug in his painting "The House of Cards" in 1730.
The first two good black Pugs to be shown after WWII were the champions brother and sister, Ch. Dark Dan and Ch. Blackberry of Longlands. Ch. Blackberry was the founder of the Longlands black pug line.
'Goldengleam' was another prefix that appeared in many post-war black pedigrees.
Even though the gene for the black color is a dominant one, there are fewer black Pugs than fawn. Black Pugs lack the familiar mask and markings down the back (trace) and around the ears that characterize Pugs as a breed.
William Hogarth, The House of Cards, 1730
Note the Black Pug in the foreground
Photo by Callalloo Candcy
Some black pugs have a white spot somewhere on their body (usually on the chest), but this is considered a fault according to the breed standard.
Early Pug authors also noted a difference in temperament between the black pug and the fawn pug. Black pugs were described as more lively and dominant and as not having "that dislike of bad weather which occasionally confirms the fawns in evil courses, leading them to regard going out-of-doors in winter as more or less a penance". In other words, black pugs tend to be less lazy when it is time to go for a walk on cold winter days.
Black Pugs should be built in every respect as fawn pugs, except for the markings. They should be as cobby as fawn Pugs, but due to the black colored coat they may appear even cobbier than they actually are.
The shedding problem present in some lines of fawn pugs does not seem to be as acute in black pugs.
However, since the early 1900s, when this text was written, fawn and black pug lines have been largely interbred and the difference, if it ever existed, has long faded.
Black pug with white marking on the chest
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(Origins, temperament and characteritics of Black Pugs)
Black Pug 'Kenan'
Owner: Sarah Meehan