There were 3 acceptable colors listed in the AKC Pug standard: fawn, black, and silver. I have never seen a silver Pug at a dog show – has there ever been a silver colored Pug AKC champion? If silver is not an acceptable color, why is it listed as part of the standard and apparently has been for over 100 years?
I have been fortunate to be owned by several silver gray pugs (as well as fawn and black Pugs) for many years, and for multiple generations. Those of you who have owned both the fawn and the black Pug will agree that there definitely is a personality difference in each color; so, also, does the silver gray Pug add another dimension to their personality and abilities. In my experience, the fawn Pug is typically laid back, and accepting of all comers; the black Pug is typically more ambitious, and mentally loves a challenge; the silver gray Pugs that I have known are unbelievably intelligent, ambitious, athletic, and highly devoted to their family. They still embody the desired cobbiness of the pug – their bone seems to be more dense, as they are typically heavier than their counterparts of other color, while still conforming to size. The silver grays make wonderful obedience and agility students, as they love to be kept busy, have a purpose, and an outlet for their boundless energy!
From my experience in breeding, it seems that from the time I became involved with them, results are as follows:
A silver gray bred to a fawn on the average produces 50/50, silver and fawn.
A silver gray bred to a black carrying a fawn gene has produced equal percentages, fawn, black and silver gray.
I have not yet bred a silver gray to a homozygous (pure-for-black) black, so at this point, I do not know what the results of that combination would be.
I have only recently had enough genetic separation to feel comfortable breeding a silver gray to a silver gray, in 2005. I have done this with 2 different pairs of silver grays – the first pair were both offspring of fawn/silver gray breedings; they produced 6 offspring, 3 fawn, and 3 silver gray in their litter. The second pair’s male was an offspring of silver gray/fawn breeding, and the dam was an offspring of a black/silver gray breeding. They produced a litter of 7 puppies, all of which were silver gray! As I’ve said, this is the first time I have been able to breed 2 silver grays together, and there is much more experience needed to determine just how this gene operates. In 2006, I again bred a pair (different than previous) of silver grays (both offspring of fawn/silver gray parents); this litter consisted of 3 silver grays and one fawn.