The black Pug is not a separate breed. But it is one of the two official colors that the standard Pug breed comes in.
Black Pugs are completely black all over. Other than this, they are the same as any other type of Pug.
They have flat faces, friendly temperaments, and, sadly, a lot of health concerns.
Read on to find out more about this version of the Pug breed before bringing one home.
Black Pug Contents
- What is a black Pug?
- Black Pug history and origin
- Black Pug temperament
- Coat type and color
- Black Pug general appearance
- Black Pug health
- Where to get a black Pug
- Similar Breeds
Pugs have always been a very popular breed. But recently the black Pug specifically has seen quite a rise in popularity.
What is a Black Pug?
As we’ve briefly mentioned already, the black version of this popular breed is not actually a distinct breed.
It is one of the two standard, official colors that the Pug breed comes in.
With their small bodies, relatively low care needs, and elegant black coat, it’s really no surprise that many potential dog owners look at black Pug puppies as potential pets.
But, there are, sadly, many health concerns with this particular dog which you should be aware of before making any decisions.
Black Pug History and Origins
The Pug is an ancient dog breed, and the black variation is no different.
Originating in China at least two-thousand years ago, Pugs were well-loved by Emperors along with other flat-faced dogs such as the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu.
In the 1500s, they were introduced into Europe via Dutch traders. From here, the Pug became a hugely popular and sought-after breed.
It is unclear when the black variation of the Pug first made an appearance.
Many people believe it was around the 1700s since the esteemed painter William Hogarth depicted a number of black Pugs in his paintings.
Black Pug Temperament
The temperament of this breed is partly why it is so loved.
Pugs are incredibly friendly dogs and take well to training.
However, one must be careful to not be too harsh with the dog. Positive and patient training works best for the Pug.
The full grown black Pug is very social and tends to get rather anxious if left alone for long periods of time.
Coat Type and Color
This breed has a short, dense coat. If you choose a black Pug, they will be black all over with no other colors or markings.
Their coat does shed a moderate amount. But other than that it just needs a weekly brush to keep on top of it.
Black Pug General Appearance
Aside from their glossy black coat, there are a few other distinguishing features of this little dog.
All Pugs, regardless of their color, have flat faces. They are known as brachycephalic. This feature is very popular, but causes a number of serious health concerns. We will look more at these in a moment.
Pugs often have a short corkscrew tail that curls up over their back.
Adult black Pug dogs will grow be from 10 to 13 inches tall. Full grown black Pugs should weigh from 14 to 18 pounds.
Black Pug Health
Since the black Pug dog is just a regular Pug with a dark coat, they still sadly face all the health issues known within the breed.
The black Pug is a brachycephalic breed, meaning that they have a shortened skull in comparison to other dogs. This is due to hereditary developments within these particular breeds.
This is why Pugs have the very flat face many people adore them for, but with it comes a multitude of severe health issues.
The shortening of the skull causes compression of the nasal cavity, making it much more difficult for a brachycephalic dog to breathe.
This is why the full grown black Pug has a reputation as a noisy breather; it is, in fact, struggling to do so.
This is further exacerbated by heat and physical activity, making it a real danger to exercise a black Pug on a warm sunny day.
Brachycephalic dogs also tend to have eye problems.
Due to the structural problems of the skull, their eye sockets tend to be shallow, giving adult black Pugs the bulging eyes they are known for.
This can lead to painful issues such as corneal ulcers. In extreme cases, Pug eyes have been known to pop out of their sockets.
The black Pug dog also tends to suffer from skin problems due to the significant amounts of wrinkling and skin folds present in the breed.
This can lead to infections and irritation that may be hidden from view within a fold.
As the Pug is an extreme example of a brachycephalic breed due to how incredibly flat their faces are, they can also run into birthing problems.
The large head of a Pug puppy may be unable to pass through the pelvis of the mother.
Without surgical intervention, this can lead to the death of both the litter and the mother.
This is a breed with a very curly tail, known as a screw tail.
However, this twisting of the vertebrae in the tail can present itself further up the spine, which can cause severe issues—known as Hemivertebrae.
If the black Pug has severe twisting of the spine due to this condition, it can cause paralysis and ataxia of the pelvic limbs, incontinence, kyphosis, lordosis, and scoliosis.
These conditions can be very painful and debilitating for the dog and may require surgical correction if possible. Read more about Hemivertebrae in here.
There are a lot of structural health issues present within the Pug.
While these may vary in severity from dog to dog, they can still impact the Pug and potentially cause them a lot of discomfort and pain.
You should give them the best general care possible to ensure their quality of life is as good as it can possibly be.
Feeding a Black Pug
When feeding your Pug, a specialist dog food may be necessary due to their brachycephalic structure.
They can sometimes struggle to eat regular dog foods due to them being hard to pick up.
Black Pugs are also prone to obesity which can potentially make their health issues even worse, so it is very important to give them a healthy diet.
You’ll find some food suggestions for Pug puppies here.
It’s important to keep the Pug fit by taking it out on a daily walk if the weather is not too hot.
Exercise in hot weather can prove to be dangerous. So in those cases exercise the dog somewhere cool indoors if possible.
It is recommended you use a harness rather than a traditional lead when walking your dog.
Having a lead around a Pug’s neck can exacerbate breathing issues already present in the dog. Find out more about which harnesses work best for Pugs here.
Where to Get a Black Pug Puppy
Black Pug dogs are popular, so it won’t be too hard to find one at a breeder. But, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing a reputable breeder.
The best breeders will be able to provide all possible health certificates. They may also make efforts to breed for longer snouts in Pugs, like Retro Pug breeders.
Because of the enormous number of health problems in this breed, you should consider rescue dogs.
If your heart is set on a Pug, rescue can be a great way to offer one a second chance at a loving home.
And lots of Pugs are given up when owners realise how much care they really need.
The black Pug dog is sadly quite unhealthy. But, there are a lot of other breeds out there that are healthier options.
Whether you’re looking at a black Pug mix, or a different, similar breed altogether. Small black Pug mix breeds are also common.
Is a Black Pug Right for Me?
This is something only you can decide. But before making any decisions it’s important to consider the severe health issues present in the breed due to its structure.
The features that make this dog cute and desirable can potentially cause them severe pain and discomfort, which in some cases can lead to life-threatening conditions.
If you have your heart set on a black Pug, ensure you can put in a large amount of time to care for them. Educate yourself on the best care for this breed.
As with purchasing any new dog, be sure to find a reputable breeder who can inform you about any health issues present in the parents and allow you to meet them.
That way you can be sure to avoid any potential genetic issues.
Black Pug Summary
Are you thinking about taking home this breed?
Or perhaps your black Pug has experienced some of these issues? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
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References and Resources
- Meola, S. D. ‘Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome’, Topics in Animal Companion Medicine (2013)
- Hendricks, J. C. ‘Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome’, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice (1992)
- Besalti, O. (et al) ‘Nasca Classification of Hemivertebra in Five Dogs’, Irish Veterinary Journal (2005)
- Roedler, F. (et al), ‘How Does Severe Brachycephaly Affect Dogs’ Lives? Results of a Structured Preoperative Owner Questionnaire’, The Veterinary Journal (2013)