Pug Colors & Patterns

Pugs come in a ton of different colors & patterns, but only a few are officially recognized by the AKC. Learn all about Pug Colors.

Pug Dog Breed Colors

Pug is a dog breed that originated from China, with unique physical features of a short wrinkly muzzled face and curled tail.

This breed has a solid, square body with well-built muscles and a fine, silky coat that comes in many different colors

Official AKC Pug Colors

The official Pug colors that are recognized by the AKC are: black and fawn.

  • Black
  • Fawn

Want to know more about Pugs? Check out the AKC’s Pug guide.

Pug Price Chart by Color


All Other Colors

Pugs come in a variety of different colors depending on whether it is a purebred pug or not.

These colors are not recognized by the AKC as they are not what they consider to be a “purebred Pug”.

  • Black & Tan
  • Blue & Blue Fawn
  • Brindle
  • Chinchilla
  • Chocolate
  • Merle
  • Panda
  • Pied
  • Pink
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • White

The common colors are fawn and black though other colors are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, AKC.

It becomes confusing to determine the color of a pug.

The genetics responsible for producing the various colors, patterns, shades and combinations and the pug’s coat play a critical role.

Read on for more details about the pug breed, its colors; the official AKC recognized colors, specific health problems associated with certain colors and much more.

Pug Patterns & Markings

These are the coat patterns of the pug breed.

  • Black masked: a black snout on top of whatever their primary coat color is
  • Panda: black and white— looks like a panda
  • Tracing: a black line that goes down their back

Pug Colors & Health Problems

Like Frenchies, Pugs are also prone to their own set of health issues, with the most common being breathing issues, eye & skin problems, joint issues, and seizures.

A 2018 study from the University of Sydney determined that some dog colors might be associated with health issues.

Some Pugs may be bred for a desired color, however, this might introduce undesirable genes into the gene pool.

Colors that are known for issues: Merle, Blue, Chocolate, and Pink (Albino).

Here are some specific health problems associated with certain colors of the pug breed.

Merle Colored Pugs

Though this color is attractive and loved by many, there are various health problems associated with it.

The merle gene in them is responsible for the coat pattern and associated with impairments in the ophthalmologic and auditory systems and reduced immune system effectiveness.

Merle Pug Health Issues
  • Vision impairments
  • Hearing impairments
  • Sun sensitivity
  • At-risk for skin cancer

Pink-Colored or Albino Pugs

Pink pugs are another name for albino pugs.

They are prone to many different health problems because of their color and coat.

Due to the lack of pigment in their body, these dogs easily get sunburnt when outside for even short periods of time. They are highly sensitive to light.

Another health problem associated with the pink colored pug dog is atopic dermatitis.

They are also prone to blindness later in their lives.

Pink Pug Health Issues
  • All issues associated with albinism
  • Light sensitivity
  • At-risk for skin cancer as well
  • Deafness
  • Neurological issues

Pug Colors Recognized by AKC.

AKC is the American Kennel Club and recognizes specific pug colors.

These colors are also the most common pug colors. The only colors are:

  • Black
  • Fawn

However, the fawn color comprises light to medium cream, silver and apricot.

All these fawn colors are not recognized by the AKC for the show ring but are permitted to be registered.

The only recognized is the pure fawn color.

Exotic & Rare Pug Colors

These colors are many but not widely known as the above two.

In most cases, if you ask what color is their pug, they will confirm the two colors.

However, some of these rare pug colors are more attractive to many who own or know them. They include:

  • White
  • Brindle
  • Blue pugs
  • Merle
  • Chocolate
  • Panda pug
  • Black and Tan
  • Pink (albino)
  • Chinchilla
  • Pied pugs
  • Platinum

Genetics of pug colors

Every living creature’s color is determined by the dominant gene of the two parents.

Both puppy’s parents pass their genes to the puppy, which determines the puppy’s color.

For example, if the mother is black and the father is fawn, and the mother’s genes dominate, the puppy will inherit the black color.

But if the father’s genes are dominant, the puppy will automatically inherit the dad’s fawn color.

The combination of two genes is known as genotype.

The back gene is marked by the letter K while the fawn gene is marked by the letter N.

In most cases, if the black and fawn dogs are interbred, the black gene dominates, and the color expression is called the phenotype.


Pug breeds are calm, sometimes playful, attractive and wild too.

Though this breed is not regarded as intelligent, they are not to be offended.

They are easily angered and can cause severe damage.

They come with a host of health problems but are worth keeping as a pet due to their loving and like to be loved nature.

They offer companionship, and you find yourself falling ridiculously in love with them with time.

Their lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

If thinking of owning a pug as a pet, I personally cannot talk you out of it.

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