Rare Pug Colors
by Catherine Marien © Puginformation.org

Even though not accepted by the official breed standard other Pug colors such as blue, silver-grey (different from silver-fawn) and white pugs have been mentioned in Pug literature and occasionally found in pug litters.

The first mention of white pugs was made by W.D. Drury in the late 1800's:

"White Pugs did not win any friends when a few of them were benched some years back... We never see any exhibited now, or hear of them being bred."

In 1894 R. Briggs Lee writes that about the same time black pugs arrived on the dog scene, "an attempt had been made
The only other solid-colored pugs ever recorded were silver and blue pugs, known as "Bellamy Blues", after their breeder's name.
According to the author Ellen S. Brown in her book The Complete Pug, Queen Victoria owned a silver-grey Pug that went by the name of Ayah and was the daughter of Rooney, another of Queen Victoria's famous pugs.
white pug
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Top banner photos: Black Pug in pink hoodie and Black Pug in tiger outfit © Martin Carlsson; Fawn Pugs with Bandanas © Catherine Marien.
Other Photos: Four color pugs by Funnyfarmpugs;
'Zip' pug painting courtesey of Doyle New York, Auctioneers and Appraisers; Wood background by www.packrat-pro.com.



Compare: Leucistic pug (left),
with pink skin, pink nose and blue or black eyes and
Albino pug
'Rudy' (right) with pink skin, pink nose and red eyes.
True white pugs
(see above left), however, have a fawn mask, black nose and black eyes.
Fawn and Black Pugs
Black pug in pink hoodie
Fawn pug with cap and bandana
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Funny Farm Jack, Clever, Sterling, Molly
a black, fawn, blue and white pug
Until recently, pure white, blue or silver-grey pugs were quite rare, but some breeders are now working to have these colors recognized in the show ring. Note that the white color is very similar to silver-fawn except for the mask and ears. The white pug is only fawn colored there where the fawn pug is black. White pugs should not be confused with albino pugs which lack pigmentation and typically have a pink nose and red eyes (see photo below).



Some authors say the occurrence of these rare pug colors could be explained by the fact that various coat colors are present in the genetics of the Pug, but that only certain gene combinations produce these rare colors.
Secondly, many of these colored pugs may have been registered by the main national breed registries, but not under their true color; i.e. silver-grey pugs stemming from AKC registered parents may have been registered as silver-fawn to fit a certain category. See also: brindle pugs.
White Pug
Courtesy of Funny Farm Pugs
Silver-grey Pug
Courtesy of Funny Farm Pugs
'Zip', a Pug
by M.E. Brown, late 19th Century
Courtesy of Doyle New York, Auctioneers and Appraisers

The painting below represents a 19th century Pug that seems to be silver-grey in color. Note that Pugs of that time had longer legs and a longer muzzle (see: Trump, Hogarth's pug in Pugs in art)


White pug puppies
White Pug puppies
Courtesy of Funny Farm Pugs
Other factors may have contributed to the rareness of these colors, as well. Firstly, some non-standard colors may have been eliminated from the breeding lines for a variety of reasons. White dogs (of all breeds), for example, were generally considered less sound than their darker colored counterparts and susceptible of producing deaf puppies when bred together. See this extract from the Book "British Dogs" written by Hugh Daziel in 1881:
"White animals have not generally as strong constitutions as dark coloured ones, and are, therefore, much more liable to disease. When bred together they frequently produce 'ricketty' or deaf whelps."
to produce white pugs". One was shown in New York around 1890 and another one shortly after that in Birmingham by Mrs Daziel, but neither was of a perfect snowy white.
A renowned breeder of black pugs from Southhampton, cited by R. Briggs Lee in 1894, says that when black pugs are breeded together "they breed true to type and colour, although in almost every litter a perfectly marked grey specimen appears".
The same author describes puppies from cross alliances between black and fawn pugs: "four of which where dense black, one pure silver and one silver-fawn of the loveliest colour possible." The fact that the colors silver and silver-fawn are cited within the same sentence proves that silver and silver-fawn are two different colors, the first one being the rarer of the two.
See also:
Pug Colors
Brindle pugs
Black pugs
Pug history
Pug gifts
Pugs in art
Pug calendars

For further info on colored pugs, please contact Funnyfarmpugs.
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