We developed a policy on coat colors in Pugs that aligns with the Pug Dog Club of America’s position.
by Dr. Judi Stella, PhD - Head of Standards & Research at Good Dog
The Pug Dog Club of America (also known as the PDCA) is the breed’s parent club. The PDCA recognizes only fawn and black as standard coat colors in Pugs (Colors of Pugs). All other colors including brindle, merle, white, and blue are not recognized by the PDCA.
Good Dog’s position and policy align with the PDCA as they define the breed standard and, accordingly, Good Dog only recognizes fawn and black colors as purebred Pugs because we are committed to supporting preservationist breeders and the breed standard for purebred Pugs.
Purebred Pugs have two genes that are responsible for coat color. The K gene produces black and N produces fawn, with color varying from silver to apricot but always having a black mask. No other color genes naturally occur in Pugs. Therefore, any other coat color, including brindle, is likely due to crossing with another breed at some point in the past. For this reason the PDCA only recognizes black and fawn as purebred Pugs. Canine coat color genetic research is ongoing so more information will be available in the future.
Pugs with non-standard coat colors can be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). This is because the AKC registry is based on parentage, they do not assess ‘purity’. The PDCA, as well as other countries' breed clubs consider any coat color other than fawn or black, such as brindle, merle, blue and white, to be crossbreds. The breed clubs define the breed standard and have concluded these colors do not align with the ideal Pug and likely indicate cross-breeding in the past.
Good Dog recognizes breeding programs producing black and fawn coat colors as Good Breeders of Pugs. Programs that produce all other coat colors, including brindle, white and blue, will be recognized as breeders of crossbreds.
Good Dog is a place for all dogs – whether that is a purebred, crossbred, mixed breed, a puppy or an adult, from a rescue or from a breeder. Our goal is to be a place for the public to learn about all types of dogs and all breeds and find the right dog for them. We hope that by providing education on things such as the difference between a purebred, crossbred, and mixed breed and standard coat colors in Pugs, we can help you make an informed decision about which dog is right for you and help connect you directly with a responsible source and avoid disreputable sources.