Is A Black Pug Rare? Everything You Need To Know

black pug

Pugs are loved for their squished faces, tiny bodies and affectionate personalities. They have a rich and ancient history as the perfect lap dog, loving nothing more than to cuddle with their owners.

But did you know these cute and loving companions come in just two colors: black and fawn?

Thanks to the famous Pug Frank, from Men in Black, black pugs are just as well-known as fawn ones.

Black Pugs have a sleek and smooth black coat that makes them stand out from the crowd. Keep on reading to find out how rare this color is and how they are different from their fawn siblings.

Breed Quick Facts
Height10-13 inches
Weight14-18 lbs
CoatShort, dense
TemperamentAffectionate, fun and friendly
Family FriendlyYes
Lifespan13-15 years

Black Pugs

black pug dog

A black Pug is simply a Pug with a black coat, they are not a separate breed. Fawn and black are the only recognized colors for this dog breed.

Thinking that black pugs are simply all black would be an easy mistake to make. Although some have no markings on them, others have what is known as a mismark; a small white marking on their chest.

Pugs are very distinct in appearance. They are generally square dogs, as tall as they are long, with big, rounded heads. Their eyes can look like they are about to pop out of the socket and they have triangular, floppy ears.

Their most notable feature is their short, flat muzzle which gives them lots of folds of skin around their face and a slight overbite.

It is no wonder they are so beloved with their cute appearance.

With their laid-back, relaxed nature, they are at their happiest when curled up on a lap getting all the attention. They get on well with everyone in the family, including children of all ages and other pets.

But the black Pug isn’t all about cuddles. They also have a mischievous streak which will keep their owner on their toes. If they aren’t curled up on a lap, you will likely find them causing trouble.

They are notorious for throwing their toys around the house, or simply following their owners around begging for attention with their wide, round eyes.

You will never be short of entertainment and fun with a Pug in the house.

Despite their fun-loving nature, there are several health concerns that come with this breed.

Adopting this breed is not a decision that should be taken lightly. They have a high risk of breathing difficulties, spinal and skin diseases and eye issues. Many of these health issues come from their distinctive flat face and big moon-like eyes.

Alongside being a brachycephalic breed, they come with a number of other issues which can have a major impact on their quality of life.

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Black Pugs were first recognized by the Kennel Club in 1885. Although this seems like many years ago, this is actually relatively recent compared to just how ancient this breed is.

Fawn pugs were first bred in China around 400 BC, which is over 2,000 years ago!

Black pugs came later, although exactly when is not known.

These dogs were bred as lap dogs and were first brought to Europe in the 1500s by Dutch traders. They were later brought to the US following the Civil War.

This color rose in popularity thanks to Queen Victoria, who had several black pugs of her own. It is believed that the UK Kennel Club was started as a result of Queen Victoria’s involvement in breeding Pugs. The first ever winner of the Westminster Kennel Club “Best in Show” was a pug.

Prior to Queen Victoria popularizing the black Pug, they were believed to be genetically defective.

Even to this day black is rarer than the fawn because of this myth.

Nowadays, both colors are declining in popularity because of the well-shared knowledge about their health issues.

Is A Black Pug Rare?

There are only two official pug colors, so you might expect them to be equally popular.

Think again!

The black Pug is much rarer than the fawn.

In the past they were less popular because they were believed to have more health issues and to be a genetic defect. Although this myth has been proven wrong, there is still a strong preference for the fawn.

Simply put the fawn color is more popular than black, which is why fawn pugs cost more.

Black pugs should be more common because the gene for black fur is dominant. This means that if either one of the pugs’ parents are black, the puppies will most likely be all black too.

However, it is generally not an accepted practice to breed a fawn and black pug together. Normally, a black puppy has two black parents, while a fawn puppy has two fawn parents.

Black and fawn are the only recognized colors, but there are unofficial colors which are even rarer than black.

For example, the UK Kennel Club recognizes silver and apricot as official colors, as well as black and fawn. The rarest pug color is brindle, but these dogs are usually a mix and not purebred.

Even if brindle, silver and apricot colors cannot be registered in the US, you may still see these rarer colors.

Black Pug Puppies

Black pug puppies cost between $500 to $800.

These puppies are less popular and so they cost less than a fawn puppy, who will cost $1,200 to $1,800.

An important factor to consider when finding a breeder is the effort they are making to reduce how squashed their puppies’ noses are.

Some breeders are now producing ‘retro pugs’, which are pugs crossed with Chihuahuas. Although they aren’t purebred, these pug mixes have fewer breathing problems as their noses are longer and they are generally healthier.

When looking for any black pug puppy, it is worth considering rescuing one.

These dogs often end up in shelters as people underestimate the commitment in owning such a loving and affectionate little dog. They also underestimate the cost of correcting breathing difficulties.

Adopting an older pug is a great way to know if they will need surgery or not to correct breathing difficulties.

A puppy will need to wait a few years to know if they are affected by Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome and if they require treatment. By the age of three the grade of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome is definite.

  • Great for first-time owners thanks to their friendly and affectionate nature.
  • Their easy-going personality makes them ideal for families with children of all ages, as well other pets as they get on with anyone and everyone.
  • They do not need much exercise so are well suited for people with little time to dedicate to walking.
  • Since they are small dogs, they also don’t need a lot of space so are happy living in apartments and cities.
  • These dogs often have many health issues due to their flat faces, wrinkled skin and large eyes.
  • Black Pugs are a brachycephalic breed which can cause a collection of breathing problems, exercise intolerance and noise when breathing.
  • They need a house where they will be in constant company, or can go to work with their owner, as they are not happy with being by themselves for very long. They can be anxious if left alone.

Full Grown Size

Full grown black pugs will be 10 to 13 inches tall, and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds.

Many people think their pug should weigh more than 20 pounds because of their barrel shaped body, but ideally they should have a nicely tucked up abdomen and should have an easily defined waist that pulls in slightly when looked at from above.

A black pug is exactly the same size as a fawn pug, both are 10 to 13 inches tall.

Sometimes females are smaller than males by a few pounds and inches, but usually this is not noticeable.

Black Pugs are fully grown by their first birthday, but when you get them at just 8 weeks old they will only weigh between 2-4 pounds. They often have comically large heads as puppies which only adds to their irresistible cuteness.

When looking for a puppy, you may find some being advertised as ‘teacup’.

A teacup black pug is any puppy that is smaller than 10 inches and weighs less than 14 pounds. They are usually runts of a litter of otherwise normal-sized pups.

Coat Color

fawn and black pug

Thinking that all black pugs are simply pure-black would be an easy mistake to make.

Although some have no markings on them, others have what is known as a mismark; a small white marking in a unique shape on their chest.

Those with larger patches of white might be called a black and white pug, but their dominant color is still black.

Another commonly seen color is the black and tan pug. These dogs have markings very similar to the Rottweiler with a black body and tan eyebrows, chin, feet and tail.

The breed standard only recognizes pugs that are black (including those with white mismarks on their chest) or fawn. Black and tan, brindle, silver and apricot colors cannot be registered in the US.

All pugs are short and stocky, usually as tall as they are long. They have big heads which look oversized on their little bodies, with floppy ears and bulging eyes. They have an adorable curled tail that lays flat against their back. It ideally curls around twice to lie flat against their back.

The most unmissable feature of this breed is their flat face. Their muzzle is shortened to be almost completely flush against their face.


A black Pug is very affectionate as they were originally bred to be royal companions thousands of years ago.

They have maintained their status as a lap dog after all these years for good reason!

Black Pugs are affectionate, extremely friendly and cuddly. They love company of all forms, so long as they are getting more than their fair share of snuggles.

The good news is that they get on with the whole family, being equally happy in the company of children as they are with adults. They are suitable for households with young children, but their small size makes them vulnerable to injury. They should never be left alone with children younger than 5, who might accidentally hurt them.

These dogs are well-known for being extremely laid-back, chill dogs who are easygoing to the point of laziness.

Sometimes dragging this dog out of bed can be as much effort as getting them out on a walk! In fact, one particular Pug called Noodle went viral on YouTube for his floppiness when his owner attempted to stand him up in his bed every morning.

Despite this laziness, Pugs often get small, short bursts of energy throughout the day. Owners often call these short bursts “zoomies”.

In their bursts of energy, they will tear around the house like a little rocket and love to cause trouble. These energetic moments usually don’t last much longer than 15 minutes and they are easily distracted with games of tug-o-war or fetch.

With their history as lap dogs, black Pugs have no prey drive at all. Chasing squirrels is definitely not something to worry about.

They also tend to be fairly quiet dogs, only barking when scared or nervous about something. They make up for this lack of barking with their impressive ability to snore very loudly, a feature they owe to their flat-faced appearance.

Overall, black Pugs are extremely friendly, affectionate, and loving dogs who thrive with cuddles on their owners’ laps. These adorable and charming dogs make the perfect companion for any family with their random bursts of energy and otherwise laid-back nature.

Care Tips

All black pug


Pugs are especially greedy and many black pugs end up obese.

Their daily food intake should be carefully monitored and kept to between ½ to 1 cup of kibble. The amount you feed will depend on their exercise level and size.

Split their kibble between two to three meals a day.

Due to their flat faces they often struggle to pick up normal kibble from dog bowls. It is best to use feeding bowls designed for flat-faced dogs that are tilted to help them eat more easily.


Black pugs have dense, short fur and are moderate shedders.

They need grooming once a week with a bristle brush to keep their coat in tip top condition.

Black pugs shed less than their fawn siblings, but due to the color of their fur you are likely to find their hair just about everywhere.


All pugs are lazy thanks to their laid-back nature. It is often hard to get them out on a walk each day. They need no more than 30 minutes of walking or playing a day. This is best split into one short 15 to 20 minute walk in the morning and one in the evening.

Black pugs are especially at risk of becoming overheated so it is best to avoid walking them in hot conditions.

Use a harness when walking your pug, rather than a collar. A collar can increase pressure around their necks and exacerbate any pre-existing breathing issues.


Consistent positive-reward dog training will make training your black pug a breeze.

Although they have a stubborn streak that can make training a challenge, they are easily persuaded to do anything for a treat.

Health Issues

Black Pugs are a brachycephalic breed, which is the clinical way of saying they have short noses. The shortening of their snout is accompanied by a number of changes to their face which can lead them to develop a disorder called Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome involves a collection of breathing problems which results in things like exercise intolerance and noise when breathing.

Another common health issue is bulging eyes because of how shallow their eye sockets are.

Also due to their curly tails, they can develop paralysis of their back legs and incontinence due to twisting of the vertebrae of the spine.

A pug’s skin can turn black in a process known as hyperpigmentation. This can be a small portion of the skin, or all over their body. Usually, it is related to a skin allergy and is nothing to worry about, but it is worth a trip to the vet for a check.

Do Black Pugs Have More Health Problems?

Black pugs are equally at risk of breathing, skin and spinal issues.

However, they are at an increased risk of overheating when walking in the sun.

Their black coats absorb more heat, which when combined with their flat faces, increases their risk of overheating.

Final Thoughts

  • Black pugs are simply Pugs with a black coat, they are not a separate breed. Many often have a unique white patch on their chest called a mismark. Those with larger patches of white might be called a black and white pug.
  • Fawn and black are the only recognized colors for this dog breed.
  • Pugs are an ancient breed with history going back thousands of year, but their personality remains unchanged – they are the perfect lap dog. They love cuddles and affection of any form and love to be by your side all the time.
  • Black pugs are rarer and less popular than the fawn pug. They cost between $500 and $800.
  • Both fawn and black pugs will be 10-13 inches tall and weigh 14-18 pounds fully grown.

Do you still think of a fawn dog when someone mentions a pug?

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