If small, snorting dogs tickle your fancy, a pug may be the right dog for you. These jovial little jokers can bring a smile to even the most frustrated dog owner. Although most pugs are fawn and black at birth, "fawn" covers a range of hues. Black is also accepted.
Fawn is one of the two accepted coat colors under American Kennel Club registration guidelines. Fawn is characterized by a light tan or cream-colored coat and darker brown or black hairs around the face. When fawn puppies are born, their coats may range anywhere from tan to brown and will lighten as the pups grow up. The black mask must be present for the puppy to be considered a true fawn.
Black is the other pug color recognized by the AKC. Black pugs are black from head to tail and are free of any light hairs. Any white patches are considered a mismark, and may render your pug ineligible for AKC conformation shows. Black pups look like little lumps of coal at birth, and they maintain that solid black coloration throughout their lives.
Apricot pugs are a variation of the fawn coloration. Apricots have the same base coat as the fawn pug, with a few reddish-brown hairs scattered around the coat to give a slightly red tone, reminiscent of an apricot. Apricot pups are typically redder than fawn pups at birth, with the strong red color fading to a peach shade with age. The strong black mask should also be present in apricot pugs.
While not as common as other colors, white, brindle and chocolate pups occasionally crop up. White pugs are an even shade of white or cream, and lack the mask of fawn dogs. Brindle puppies are born with a mixture of hair colors, and the traditional brindle stripes develop as the pups get older. Chocolate puppies are born looking like a milk chocolate bar, and the cocoa color stays consistent through adulthood.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.