White pugs aren’t that common. In fact, they’re harder to find than a needle in a haystack, with the result that some people have questioned whether they’re even real. The good news for anyone who’s set their hearts on one is that they are, although you might take longer to find a breeder who’ll sell you one than you would a regular pug. In fact, there are various types of white pug around, some of which are white due to a health condition, and others of which have been bred to be as pale as possible. Find out more with these 20 things you didn’t know about the white pug.
1. Albinos are very rare
Not all white pugs are the same. There are actually several different types, the rarest of which is the albino. As pugsclub.org explains, albinism is a disease that causes depigmentation of the skin, hair, and eyes due to a lack of melanin. The condition will cause a pug to be completely white, with light eyes and a pink mask instead of the black one found on most pugs. While it’s impossible to tell whether a pug is a true albino without genetic testing, the most telltale sign, according to petmd.com, is blue eyes and a pink nose. Dogs with white coats and dark eyes and noses may sometimes be confused with albinos, but their dark eyes give them away.
2. They might have leucism
Like albino pugs, leucistic pugs are white due to a lack of melanin caused by a genetic mutation. However, while pugs with albinism have no melanin at all, pugs with leucism still have small amounts of it in their blood vessels, paw pads, noses, and irises. As duepet.com notes, their eyes will typically be a darker shade of blue or brown while their fur will be as white as that of an albino pug.
3. They could be a crossbreed
Not all white pugs are white because of a health condition. Some may simply be the result of crossbreeding. Breeding a pug with a French bulldog or a Boston terrier will often result in a litter of white pups…. although technically, they’ll be hybrids rather than pedigree pups. It won’t affect their cuteness, but it will mean you’ll have to forget about registering them with any of the main national kennel clubs. On the plus side, most crossbreeds tend to command a lower price tag than pedigrees.
4. They’re rarely pure white
Unless you’ve stumbled on an albino pug, it’s unlikely that you’ll find many pugs that are pure white. Most ‘white’ pugs are the result of breeding two very light fawn pugs. By selectively breeding the result of those litters with other pugs of the same color, it’s possible for a pug’s coats to eventually become almost, but not quite, white. No matter how light they become, however, the pugs will still have the same black mask common to regular pugs.
5. They don’t shed any more than other pugs
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about white pugs is that they shed a lot. In fact, they don’t shed any more than regular pugs – it’s just that white hair tends to show up much more easily on clothes and furniture than dark hair. Fortunately, it’s simple enough to control shedding by sticking to a regular grooming schedule. Ideally, give them a good brush two to three times a week to keep their coats sleek and shedding to a minimum.
6. They need more baths than regular pugs
Over-washing any breed of dog is always a bad idea. It may keep them fragrant, but it also strips them of the natural oils that keep their skins healthy and their coats glossy. According to doggysaurus.com, you should only bathe most pugs every 2 to 6 months to maintain a good balance between their skin and hygiene. However, what’s good for most pugs isn’t necessarily going to work for white pugs. While a small amount of dirt is unlikely to show on darker pugs, it’s a different story for white pugs. Even the tiniest speck of dust can make a white pug look grubby, meaning you’ll need to bathe them a little more regularly to keep them looking their best. However, unless they roll in something particularly obnoxious, try to avoid bathing them more than twice a month. If they need a ‘top up’ in between baths, dog wipes can be incredibly handy.
7. They’re losers in the show ring
If you’re planning to get a white pug to compete in shows, you’re onto a losing game. Provided the pug has been bred from two pedigree parents, it can still be registered with the American Kennel Club or any other national kennel club. It won’t, however, be permitted in the showroom, which is currently reserved solely for fawn and black colors. They may be cute, but in the eyes of kennel clubs, white coats are a flaw, rather than just the adorable quirk most of us consider it to be.
8. They need extra care
If your white pug is white due to albinism, prepare to invest a lot more time and attention into their care than you would a regular dog. Because they lack pigment in their skin, they’ve got no natural protection against ultraviolet rays, making them vulnerable to sunburn and even skin cancer. To minimize the risk, keep their coats as long as possible, avoid exposing them to too much sun, and apply sunscreen or even an extra coat for protection whenever they have to venture outside during sunny days. As their eyes can also suffer in bright light, a pair of sunglasses and goggles are a good idea.
9. They’re expensive
White pugs, whether we’re taking ones that have albinism or that are just naturally pale, are a lot rarer than brown, fawn, and black pugs. They’re also becoming increasingly popular, with the result that demand now outstrips supply. As with almost every other rare but in demand thing, they’re expensive… in some cases, jaw-droppingly so. According to spendonpet.com, regular pugs will usually cost between $300 and $1,500, depending on their age, where you’re getting them from, the strength of their lineage, and where you’re located. A white pug, on the other hand, can fetch anything from $1500 to a stonking $6000. It’s also worth remembering that if you buy an albino pug, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a lot more on health care than you would a regular pug.
10. They’ll never leave you alone
As canadianliving.com advises, if you’re someone who gets irritated by lap dog behavior, think twice before getting a white pug… or any other kind of pug for that matter. Pugs are the kind of dogs that will never willingly leave your side. Whether it’s accompanying you to the bathroom, hanging around your feet as you cook, or snuggling up to you in bed, where you go, they go. Think of them as your second shadow – a white shadow, but a shadow all the same.
11. They’re prone to health problems
Pugs, regardless of their color, can be susceptible to a variety of health issues. According to dig-in.com.au, the most common problems to watch out for include respiratory problems arising from their reduced skull length, eye problems, skin disorders, bone and joint problems, and seizures. Regular checkups are advised. It’s also vital to consult a vet as soon as possible if you notice any behavioral or physical changes in your pug. With appropriate vet care and a dedicated treatment plan, most conditions can be managed.
12. They need a lot of attention
All dogs need love and attention, but some dogs need it more than most. When white pugs bond with their owners, they bond hard. Stay away from them for too long, and they’ll get anxious and unhappy. They’re also not the kind of dog that will be happy to simply stay on the sofa while you get on with whatever you need to do around the house. They need interaction, and the more of it the better. If you’ve got lots of love to give a dog but only a small amount of time, a white pug might not be the breed for you.
13. They thrive on activity
Like all dogs, white pugs love a good nap. They’re also very happy to snuggle down on the sofa with you and catch up on TV. But when they’re not doing that, they like to be active. Although they’re small, they’re surprisingly energetic. To make sure they’re good and pooped come bedtime, aim to walk them for around 30 minutes a day, supplemented with a few play sessions in between. Just remember that due to the breathing difficulties many pugs experience, they’re not built for endurance, preferring short bursts of activity throughout the day rather than long, vigorous hikes.
14. They’re smart
Some people think that only breeds that were bred as working dogs have brains. But just because pugs were bred to be pampered playmates to princes doesn’t make them any less smart. White pugs are actually incredibly intelligent and can be easily trained to do just about anything any other dog can, whether that’s agility, tracking, or scent detection. As they’re born people pleasers with an abundance of emotional intelligence, they also make incredible emotional support animals.
15. They’re hard to house train
As we’ve already discovered, white pugs aren’t stupid. It doesn’t take them long to clock the fact that going to the bathroom on your kitchen floor is a lot less uncomfortable than going outside when there’s 3 inches of snow to contend with. If you think about it, it’s hard to blame them – pugs have tiny legs, putting their bodies in closer contact with any ice or snow on the ground than their longer-limbed companions. No wonder they’re so hard to house train. But ultimately, all dogs have to be trained at some point. No matter how much they protest, stick with it – the more you persist, the sooner they’ll come to understand where they should and shouldn’t be going to the bathroom. Use plenty of positive reinforcement and treats to guide their progress.
16. They’re greedy
White pugs love to eat. if they could, they’d spend their days with their head buried in their food bowl. If their food bowl happens to be empty, they’ll go on the hunt for any stray piece of food they can find. Unfortunately, they don’t discriminate between food meant for humans and food meant for dogs – if it’s even vaguely edible and small enough to fit in their mouths, it’s going in. To avoid them eating something they shouldn’t, keep any foods that are hazardous to dogs well out of reach. It’s also a good idea to keep table snacks and treats to a minimum to avoid them packing on the pounds.
17. They originate from China
As Wag Walking explains, white pugs can trace their ancestry to China, where they were developed sometime between 206 B.C. and 200 A.D. Their first owners were Chinese Emperors, who treated them like royalty, even assigning soldiers to stand guard over them. In the 1500s, Dutch traders began importing them into Europe, where they quickly developed a cult following with royal households. By the Victorian era, they’d become superstars, appearing in paintings and postcards and even novels. After the American Civil War ended, they found their way over to the US, where they quickly became just as popular as they’d been in Europe. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
18. They’ve got long life expectancies
Although every dog is different, most white pugs can expect to live well into their teens. While a lot depends on genetics, health, and various other factors, the average life expectancy for a white pug is between 12 and 15 years old.
19. They’re great with kids
White pugs are remarkably gentle and friendly, rarely displaying any aggressive tendencies. They love kids, and unlike many small breeds, are sturdy enough to make good playmates.
20. They’ll keep you awake at night
If you’re a light sleeper, you might want to think twice about welcoming a white pug into your life. Not only will they try and join you in bed, but they’ll also kick up such a racket that you’ll end up leaving it yourself. The problem is caused by their short muzzle, while makes them snore loud enough to raise the dead.