Pug Colors

Pug Colors

Pug Colors - Coat Colors, Coat Markings and More!

When it comes to Pug colors, there may be more options than you think. When most of us think Pug, we picture a fawn Pug in our minds. Maybe a black Pug if you’ve seen one lately.

It might confuse you to see a Pug that is not fawn or black as some clubs only accept these two Pug colors. All Pugs in different colors are “real Pugs.” They just might be excluded from individual clubs or not allowed to be in dog shows.

In this blog post, we will go through all the Pug colors – even if a particular club doesn’t recognize them.

Pug Colors

Breed Standards and the Common Pug Colors

In this section of the blog, we will go through the breed standards set by different kennel clubs.

Let’s get started.

American Kennel Club Breed Standard

The American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognizes black and fawn Pugs for show. If you have a silver or gray Pug, you’re in for automatic disqualification.

However, you can register your silver and apricot Pug as fawn. This makes them eligible to compete as these colors are quite similar to fawn.

All this means that pugs that aren’t black or fawn aren’t allowed to compete in official AKC show rings. This doesn’t necessarily mean that other pug colors do not exist.

Fédération Cynologique Internationale Breed Standard

The World Canine Organization recognizes the following pug colors:

    • Silver
    • Apricot
    • Fawn
    • Black

That’s two more than what the AKC recognizes. So, you can easily register your Pug and enroll him in dog shows.

The Kennel Club, UK Breed Standard

Just as the FCI, the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom also recognizes the following colors:

    • Fawn
    • Black
    • Apricot
    • Silver

These are the Pug colors that this kennel club allows. Pugs of other colors will be automatically disqualified.

Canadian Kennel Club Breed Standard

The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes only three pug colors which include:

    • Black
    • Silver fawn
    • Apricot fawn

To qualify for competing, the fawn dogs must have black ears and masks.

Pug Colors

Here are All the Different Pug Colors!

We now know that the breed standard doesn’t necessarily mean that pugs only come in those colors. It has to do more about registration and entering into dog shows.

Pugs come in various colors.

Now that we’ve cleared the air around the different breed standards, let us look at all the different Pug colors.


When you think about a Pug, the chances are that the mental image that comes to your mind is of a fawn Pug.

Fawn Pugs are the most common color variation that pugs come in. In fact, did you know that about ⅔rds of pugs in the United States are fawn in color?

The Pug dog’s coat ranges from light to medium tan and has different hue variations. These include apricot fawn and silver fawn recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club.

Fawn pugs usually have black ears and mouths.


Black pugs aren’t as common as Fawn ones. These dogs are deep back in color and have a uniform color covering their bodies. Some black pugs have white markings—usually on their paws or chest.

Fawn and Black Pug

The white coloring indicates that a parti-factor gene is present. To be fair, the gene expresses itself in light-colored pugs, too, but the white on their fur is less noticeable.

The richness of the black color is a game of genes:

    • If a pug has two black color genes, he’ll have vibrant coloring, which appears to be blue-black in the sunlight. Since the black gene is a dominant one, these two black pugs will only have black puppies.
    • If a pug has one fawn color gene and one black color gene, he will look black, but lighter. His fur will have a brown or rusty sheen in the sunlight. Since these dogs have a copy of both the genes, they can have fawn and black puppies.


The coat of apricot-colored Pugs has an orange hue. This differentiates them from Fawn pugs. These dogs have patches of lighter fur on their chest or other parts of the body–usually the facial area.

Your Pug could also be Apricot-fawn in color, as recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club. If your dog has a light coat with an orange hue, he’s apricot-fawn.

The AKC will allow your Apricot Pug to be registered as fawn to have him qualify for competing in shows.

Gray or Silver

You’ll have a hard time finding a gray or silver-colored pug because it is a unique variation. In fact, most people get a black puppy, only to realize after a while that he’s actually gray or silver in color!

You can also find the silver-gray variant. These dogs are extremely rare and go for a premium price if you’re buying from a well-reputed breeder.

The color is a result of a variation in the black gene.


White is one of the rarest pug colors you can come across. In most cases, a Pug puppy may have light fawn hues. The Pug’s color will look almost off-white or cream in color.

Pure white pugs, however, do not exist.

White pugs have black ears and mouths. They may have different markings on their coat, especially on the chest or back towards the tail.

Brindle Pug


Almost 1% of pugs are brindle in color, so you can only imagine how rare they are!

Major Pug clubs do not recognize brindle as one of the Pug colors. So you will not be able to enter your Pug dog in dog shows and competitions. A brindle Pug has interlocking dark and light colors to create stripes.

Brindle dogs are typically Boxers, American Bulldog, and Pitbull Terriers.

Albino Pugs

From lions to peacocks, no animal in this world is immune to this rare genetic disorder.

Albino is a Melanin’s complete absence gives pigmentation to the skin, eyes, and hair. So, the dog is 100% white in color and looks as if his entire body has been bleached!

These dogs are photo-phobic and extremely sensitive to sunlight. They also have higher chances of developing cancer.

Rare Pug Colors You Didn’t Know Existed!

Now that we’ve gone through some common Pug colors, let’s look at the rarest of the rare Pug colors these dogs come in.

Here are rare pug colors:

    • Blue
    • Merle
    • Blue-Fawn
    • Blue-Merle
    • Panda
    • Chocolate
    • Black and Tan
    • Platinum
    • Pied
    • Pink
    • Chinchilla

These Pug color variations are a result of inter-breeding. So, if you spot a unique-colored Pug, he may not be a purebred. If your dog has unique coloring, you can go for a genetic analysis test to verify it.

Gray black Pug

Age and Color Change: Do Pugs Change Color As They Grow?

Yes, you’ll be able to notice changes in your Pug’s coat as he develops into a dog.

Most light-colored puppies develop changes in their coat as she grows older. The mask starts to develop and cover more area. The coat darkens and develops markings, etc. It is a normal part of growing up for the little one.

As your Pug enters his senior years, you’ll notice silver hairs on your furry friend’s fur.

A Quick Look Into the Various Pug Markings

Now that we’ve covered all the Pug colors let’s take a quick peek into the various markings you’d find on a pug’s body.

Take a look.


If you inspect a light-colored pug up close, you’ll be able to find dark hairs scarred across his body. Some dogs may have more while others may have less of them. Smuttiness is very normal.

Pugs that have smuttiness will have a marked overly of black hairs on the lighter areas of his body. These think patches of black hair allow you to be able to notice the lighter hairs underneath.

So, the coat appears to be somewhat hazy.

Breed standard dictates that the mask, forehead and line down the back should be darker. However, if your dog has excessive black hairs in areas other than his face, he has smuttiness.

You can find it on almost any area of the dog’s body, such as flanks, legs, saddle, and the head. This is considered a fault. Yet, it doesn’t disqualify your dog from entering into competitions.

The Trace

If your Pug has a line of dark fur running down his back, it is called a trace, which is very common in light-colored pugs.

It usually begins on the nape of the dog’s neck or a bit further down its back, running straight to the base of the dog’s tail. It can vary in thickness and density.

This is a desired trait, especially if you want your Pug to enter into a dog show.

But, not all light-colored pugs have this common marking, only about 75% pugs have it to some degree, which is okay.

Your dog may have an extremely noticeable trace when he’s a puppy, but it may slowly fade away as he gets bigger. In some cases, the marking may not be clear when your Pug is a puppy but slowly starts developing as he grows.

Kennel Clubs recognize the trace as an official marking.



A thumbprint is often seen in light as well as dark-colored Pugs. It is a diamond or thumb mark in the center of the dog’s forehead. Pugs, Pitbulls, Bulldogs, etc. commonly have a thumbprint.

Light-colored pugs have a dark thumbprint, and dark-colored pugs have a lighter one.

Did you know that 3 out of 4 light-colored pugs have a thumbprint?

Since the marking isn’t consistent in size, it can be an oval, diamond, or circle.

The marking is usually present at the time of birth and is generally very small. As the dog grows, so does the marking.


The mask is one of the defining features of the pug breed. Non-black pugs have a black mask and ears. This includes the following colors:

  • Fawn
  • Silver and silver-fawn
  • Apricot and apricot-fawn
  • Brindle

The black area usually starts at the base of the chin and covers the Pug’s entire muzzle. It is also present around its eyes. The size of the mask is variable. Some may have a larger one while others may have a smaller. Some may have an inconsistently-shaped muzzle.

But, that’s due to genetic variation.

The black muzzle may not uninterruptedly extend to the fur around your dog’s eyes so that it can look a little odd. Yet, in most cases, the mask does extend to the eye area, giving a consistent look.

Some pugs strands of light-colored hair such as fawn, along with the black on their muzzle.

White Paws

Although it is rare, some pugs have mitted white paws, which are commonly seen in cats. It can look like your Pug is wearing adorable white mittens on his paws. This is something that the owners of this rare dog-like.

This isn’t a significant fault that may lead to disqualification from a show. However, if your dog has white markings elsewhere on his fur, he may be disqualified.

Eye Color

If your Pug is a purebred, he should have brown eyes.

Of course, the hue and intensity of the Pug eye color depend on from one dog to another. Some may have light brown eyes, while others may have almost black eyes.

According to the CKC and AKC breed standards, pugs should have “eyes dark in color.” while KC and FCI use the word ‘dark’ to describe the dog’s eye color. Some pugs also have caramel-colored eyes.

The color of your Pug’s coat doesn’t affect the color of his eyes—an apricot pug may not have darker eyes than a fawn pug.

Purebred pugs do not have blue eyes as it isn’t a part of their genetic code.

But, albino pugs may have blue eyes since their bodies don’t produce Melanin. This is also one of the reasons why while some dogs may be born with blue eyes. They may have low levels of Melanin at birth, and they gradually darken as they grow up and become darker.

Pug Color and Temperament: Are There Any Differences?

Every dog breed comes in various hues, shades, and colors.

But, contrary to what most people think, this doesn’t affect the dog’s personality and temperament. Underneath the fluffy fur, all pugs are the same.

Of course, you will find a difference in personality between purebred and mixed pugs, and for a good reason. The mixed dogs acquire personality from both the parent breeds, making them a hybrid. The dog can lean towards the pug side, but will always have a mix of both the genomes.

No matter the color or markings, all pugs are loving, strong-willed, and loyal fur buddies. They get along with other pets and children and are protective.

Do keep in mind that the attitude, temperament, and behavior is unique to a dog.

All pugs of the same litter do not have the same personality. One may be extremely outgoing while the other may be reserved.

Pug Drawings

Frequently Asked Questions About Pug Colors

People have a lot of questions when it comes to pug colors. In this blog post, we wanted to go through the ones that we’ve frequently encountered.

Take a look.

What is the most common color in pugs?

As we mentioned earlier in this blog post, most pugs in America–almost 75% of them–are fawn in color.

Most pugs are registered with the AKC. The AKC only recognizes fawn, black, and other light-colored pugs. The light-colored Pugs are registered as fawn. So, there’s room for inaccuracy in the numbers.

Are pug nails only black in color?

Nope. Not all pug nails are black in color. In fact, they come in the following variations;

    • Brownish-black
    • Black
    • Clear or light-colored

So, black is the most common color you find, which makes it hard to trim your dog’s nails. This is one of the reasons I recommend using a nail grinder.

What color should a pug be?

If you’re looking for a lovable, faithful companion, the color doesn’t matter.

Pug colors do matter if you’d like to have your dog registered to enter in dog shows. You’ll have to get a dog that meets the breed standards and criteria. According to the AKC, pugs should be either black or fawn. You can get your apricot pug registered as fawn.


The American Kennel Club recognized pugs in 1885. Currently, they are the 28th most popular dog breeds in the United States. The companion dogs are loyal and friendly, and one of the most recognizable dog breeds.

They come in various Pug colors, of which only two have gotten official recognition from the AKC.

Common markings include mask, black ears, and a dark trail. Regardless of their Pug color, they are great dogs! These small dogs weigh 14-18 pounds and have an average life expectancy of 13-15 years.

If you’re not planning on showing your Pug, there are many different Pug colors for you to choose from. No matter what the color, all are sweet, family dogs. Choose the Pug and the Pug color right for you.

Do you have any questions? Please leave them in the comments.

What color is your Pug? Share with the community in the comments.

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