White Pugs: The Difference Between Leucistic & Albino Pups

. The Pug is one the smallest dogs anywhere in the world. The Pug is loved by many people and has a huge following. The Albino Pug (or what some call the Pink Pug) is a rising trend in the Pug community.

He is not new to himself. Albino animals are as old as ‘normal animals’. However, the growing popularity of Albino puppies is one of the most recent, disconcerting, trends in designer puppy breeds.

His look is quite different and he has additional health problems than a regular Pug. You’re either curious about this new trend or looking for information on how to add a Pug to your family.

White Pugs

History

The Pug is one of the oldest canine breeds, dating back to 400 B.C. His journey began in China, where the Chinese Royalty adored him as well as all the other flat-faced canine breeds like the Shih-Tzu and the Pekingese. The Pug was kept under strict guard by soldiers, and only the Royalty and appointed noblemen could have one. This changed in the 16th Century, when Dutch traders returned to Europe with the Pug. He was loved by the Royal Family once more, but he was also popular with ordinary people, which was when his popularity began. Other names for the Pug include the Mopshond (from the Dutch to grumble ), which is a fitting name for this adorable little guy. He is also known less as the Dutch Mastiff.

The Pug was introduced to America after the Civil war, and he was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. His popularity declined somewhat and few breeders kept breeding the small number of puppies they had. However, since the Pug Dog Club of America was established in 1931, he has gained popularity once again. The AKC has ranked his current popularity at number 28 out of 193 breeds in America.

Although it isn’t known when the Albino Pug was first born, celebrity trends suggest that the Albino Pug is the latest craze. However, it’s not necessarily a healthy or new one.

What’s Albinism?

Albinism refers to a rare gene mutation which causes an animal’s skin and other features to be completely devoid of pigmentation, including their eyes, hair, skin, and blood vessels. It is a rare congenital condition that can be seen in animals and humans, but it can also be found in plants around the world. This condition occurs when an animal inherits one or more mutated genes from both of his parents, and if this occurs, it will interfere with the ability to produce melanin. Melanin is the primary pigment that determines the color for everything on and within an animal’s body. It is congenital, so the Pug can only be Albino if both his parents carry the mutation.

There are two types of Pugs: an albino Pug or a white Pug. It is important that you remember that white is a color. Albino, on the other hand, is transparent and not a color. A white Pug will have black features, such as black lips and noses, and black-rimmed eyes. The albino Pug will have light pink features and light blue eyes.

Albinism in humans is rare, and it is believed that 1 in 20,000 people have Albinism in America, and it is even rarer in animals. Albino animals find it extremely difficult to survive in the wild for various reasons, and natural selection has dictated that the Albino gene is slowly being bred out in the wild. The Pug is not wild. Unfortunately, the chances of a Pug inheriting the carrier gene are increasing with each litter.

What is Leucism, you ask?

Leucism can be mistakenly confused with albinism. Leucism can be compared to albinism in that pigmentation is affected based on the D.N.A levels. However, Leucism has hair with no pigmentation and low levels in all other features. It is a rare but not well-known condition. However, it is often mistaken for albinism. Leucism is more common than albinism, and there are many health problems associated with it.

The easiest way to tell if a Pug is suffering from Leucism/Albinism is to look at his eyes. However, even experts can mistakenly misdiagnose Leucism as Albinism just by looking at their appearance. A true albino Pug will have no pigmentation, which means his blood vessels will be visible due to the absence of melatonin. The ‘color’ of the eyes will either be translucent or light blue. A Pug with Leucism will have his features slightly darker pink. The eyes might be slightly more blue, but it’s very difficult to tell the difference without medical testing.

Appearance

The Albino Pug has light Pink features, including his lips, nose and ears. His eyes are likely to be very translucent or very blue, unlike other albino species. Technically, his hair will appear translucent but it will look white-colored to cream. The Albino Pug’s appearance is identical to any other color Pug.

The Albino Pug is a small canine, who weighs 14 – 18 pounds, and only measures 10 to 13 inches in height, from paw to shoulder, in both males and females. Because they can be adapted to living in apartments, he is part of the toy category . The Pug’s most distinctive feature is his wrinkles and skin folds . They are especially noticeable around his nose and up to his forehead. His short, flat muzzle , has small ears and floppy. His coat is short, shiny, and surprisingly double-coated to keep him warm. His curlytail , is just like a pig’s. They have a square appearance and are symmetrical.

The AKC approved Pug breed standard outlines the Pug’s physical characteristics and temperament in order to preserve their true nature. AKC approved colors for Pugs are black and fawn with black mask. Any other color is unacceptable. Canadian Kennel Club accepts other Pug colors such as Silver Fawn or Apricot Fawn. These are lighter and darker versions of the traditional fawn colour. The white Pug and brindle are very rare.

Temperament

It’s not believed that the Albino Pug’s color is related to his temperament. The Albino Pug will have the same temperament as any other Pug. According to the AKC, the Pug is described by its breeder as “Charming, mischievous, and loving”. This cheeky chap is a companionship dog. You shouldn’t expect him to be a hunter or a worker.

He is a mostly sedentary dog who will shower you with affection , cuddles and will happily lie on your lap for the entire day. He is playful when you make him play.

As Pets

As any Pug, their temperament is great for children ;. They will happily lay down on their laps and be stroked but also enjoy a little bit of play! Because they are small, there is less chance of them knocking over children than a medium-sized dog. They can be socialized properly as puppies and are great with other dogs or animals.

The Albino Pug very rare is often very expensive so they are more likely to be targeted stolen by criminals to make a quick buck because there is such a demand. You should not leave your puppy unattended in an open area. This is a concern for any puppy, but rare Albino Pugs are more likely to get unwanted attention so be extra vigilant.

Health

The health of any Pug colored is lower than that of the average puppy. Hip Dysplasia and Luxating Patella are common problems in Pugs. Parents will need to be tested and evaluated for these health conditions. The Pug Dog Club of America offers an extensive guide of all Pug health issues, so if you are thinking about getting a Pug, be that a normal Pug or an Albino Pug, then do your research and make yourself aware of the symptoms.

The Pug is also known as a Brachycephalic Syndrome sufferer, and as such he will face breathing problems. In Europe some countries are to introduce fitness tests for flat-faced dogs, including the Pug, to deem whether he is suitable enough to breed.

In Addition to general health concerns, the Albino Pug may also suffer from the following:

Skin cancer Melanin can also cause skin problems in dogs. It removes natural sunblock from the skin, making them more susceptible to skin cancer. They are more susceptible to sunburnt than normal humans and require greater protection. Albino Pugs require total protection. It is a good idea to get bodysuits to protect his skin from the sun’s harmful rays. A strong, dog-appropriate sunscreen cream will be required for areas where you can’t offer protection.

Photophobia – Melanin also affects the development of his optic nerves, and as such the majority of Pugs with albinism will suffer with additional vision problems to that which they already suffer with. Photophobia is a condition that causes severe irritation and pain to the eyes. Sun protection goggles or Albino Pugs should be purchased.

Exercises and Training

The Albino pug requires the same level of exercise compared to a normal Pug; he will require just under 40 minutes a day and is considered to be a medium energy dog. They need to exercise because they are so obsessed with food.

Despite being a silly and fun-loving creature, the Pug is very intelligent, and they will pick up commands easily. However, they are also known to be stubborn and run on ‘Pug Time’, so if you want a well-mannered pup you have to be patient and consistent with your training. If you plan to train on a harness, make sure you buy a harness that’s specifically made for pugs.

Nutrition & Grooming

The Albino Pug eats the same food as a normal Pug. This is 1cup food per day. Ask your Vet what food is best for your Pug. They may need special kibble because they have skin allergies.

The Albino Pug requires the same general grooming requirements as other Pugs. They will need a bath every two-three months . You should only use gentle products on your pups. Do not wash them more often than recommended as this could cause damage to their natural oils. It will be tempting to bathe them more frequently because they shed, but refrain from doing so in order to preserve your pup’s skin health.

The Albino Pug’s skin even more sensitive , makes it a good idea to consult your vet. Their wrinkles require extra care. Special cleaning products are needed to clean between and under their skin folds. This will help prevent skin infections.

Breeding Prices

The average cost of a normal Pug ranges, on average, from $1,500 to $6,000. Because the Albino Pug is extremely difficult to come by, they are priced extortionately, and have recently been known to sell for almost $19,000. This price is extremely high, and this is not even the cost of the puppy’s initial purchase.

*Purposely breeding Albino Pugs together will increase the number of Albino gene carrier Pugs. A reputable breeder will not allow any other color to be bred. Rogue breeding will claim that their light-colored Pugs will be rare Albino and Pink Pugs and will make buyers pay exorbitant prices. Do your research on the breeder and pup you’re about to purchase.

Many kennel clubs and trusts across the world also comment that the rising trend of the Albino Pug is linked to puppy smuggling, to keep up with the rising demand of the latest ‘puppy fad’. You should make sure you see the parents and their living conditions before you buy one of these puppies ,. There are high chances that the pup will have health problems.

Famous Pugs

Albino Pugs are very rare and because this is a controversial breeding practice, there aren’t many Albino Pugs. However, an Albino pup who has recently been snapped by the Paparazzi is the new puppy of the United Kingdom’s celebrity, Kerry Katona, and it is rumored that she spent nearly PS15,00 on her!

A Facebook famous white Pug, called Marshmallow, has over 50K likes on her page, and her bright white fur is similar to that of the Albino Pug appearance.

Mister Cornelius has also been a popular Instagram Pug. Officially, he is not an Albino Pug, however, he does have Leucism which looks very similar to Albinism, as mentioned above. With over 41K followers on Instagram this Pug has found social media fame with his brindle Pug sister Bowie. This Pug has been a great help in spreading the word about Leucism and has also helped others around the globe to correctly diagnose their Pug with Leucism instead of Albinism. His human parents claim that Mister Cornelius received a clean bill of health from the Veterinarian, with the exception of his partial loss in pigmentation. If you want to follow his journey, then follow him on his Instagram page.

Frequently Asked Question

Question: If two Albino Pugs are bred together, is a full Albino litter guaranteed?

Answer to: An Albino pup cannot be guaranteed. A litter of Albino puppies will not be Albino. There is only 1 in 4 chance that the Albino pup will be his own Albino parents if both of them are Albino. The average litter size for a Pug is six puppies. This means that only one, possibly two, of the pups will be Albino. Albino Pugs have a high demand and are highly-priced because of this.

Question: Are Albino dogs born deaf?

Answer: No. There is a common myth that Albino dogs are born deaf or very likely to become deaf. Scientists now agree that Albinism is not related to deafness. This means that there is no health concern for the Albino Pug.

Question: What is the most popular Pug color?

Answer: The most popular is the fawn at 62%, the black is 22%, the apricot is 8% and the silver is 8%. It is rare to find a Pink Pug.

Final Thoughts

The Albino Pug can be very rare and difficult to find. This means that you will need to spend a lot of time researching the health and genetic issues of this breed. If you’re still convinced that you want to adopt him, the next step is to look for a breeder.

Albino Pugs have a similar cuteness to pugs. There is much controversy about them. It is considered cruel and unfair to breed them for their Albino appearances, as well as their health problems. Professionals and fanciers agree that breeding these dogs for their albino looks is unacceptable.

If you happen to find an Albino or Leucism puppy in a litter, like Mister Cornelius’s parents, you will have as much fun as any other Pug and he will be just as adorable.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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