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Scammers & Puppy Mills

😈 Warning 😈

Click on Picture to go to the Better Business Beau -  Puppy Scams: How to Protect Yourself from Fake Online Pet Sellers.

Follow this link for more tips on how to recognize puppy mills: 
How to Recognize a Puppy Scam:

The information below is based on my own personal 

experience and information given to me by some of my 


It is a shame that I need to add this to my website but 

unfortunately scams are everywhere! I've created this 

page just for this subject.  I want to try and help prevent 

anyone from being taken advantage of.  I have adopted to 

several people who lost hundreds of dollars and suffered 


breaking disappointment to puppy adoption scams!  Pugs are 

in high demand and short supply.  For this reason pugs are 

used in a lot of puppy scams.

1.) Beware!! of any breeder willing to take a non-refundable

hold deposit on puppies that have not been born yet.  This

practice is unethical and plays upon the high demand for 

pug puppies and the lack of responsible breeders.  This is a 

very popular practice with scammers and puppy mills.

They continuously come up with endless excuses as to 

why your puppy has not become available yet until 

the adopter becomes so frustrated that they back out and 

look elsewhere.  Hold deposits are designed 

to discourage adopters from backing out by loosing 

several hundred dollars.  Their goal is for the adopter to back 

out giving the breeder or scammer a legitimate reason to 

keep the deposit.  Think of it this way; your giving them 

$300 to $500 for a "promise" that "eventually" "someday" 

you'll get a puppy.  Which is very different then putting 

legitimate hold deposit on an actual live puppy.  When 

an adopter puts down a deposit on a "promise of a 

future puppy" then they enter a contract that forfeits the 

deposit if the adopter backs out for any reason, including 


*(This is different then a notification fee.  A notification fee is

normally $50 to $100 and is a non-refundable fee that pays 

for a service to be notified only.)  

2.) Beware!! If the price seems too good to be true, 

it probably is.  Advertise "50% off puppies" or "free 

shipping". This is a general statement to draw you to the 


3.)  A reputable breeder will never offer free shipping 

through an unknown ground shipping company.

4.)  They will not except cash and want you to use Western 

Union or MoneyGram for all payments.

5.)  They will not give you the option to travel and pick up 

in person.  If it is a scam they will not answer you if you ask 

about this option.  Ask for this option before sending any 

money.  Even if you can't make the trip and need them to 

be shipped, it is a great test.

6.)  They will not speak with you in person.  They will only 

communicate through email, text and when you call you 

must always leave a message.  The messages you receive 

will repeat the same information with no real additional 

details and lack a personal sound.  You will feel like your 

talking to a scripted message. Because you are!!

7.)  Research the site on the internet.  Usually you can find 

post from people who have been scammed by them before.

8.)  Both scammers and puppy mills will not let you see 

where your puppies were born and raised.  Either because it 

is unsanitary, filled with too many over bred, diseased and 

neglected animals or it doesn't even exist!!

9.)  They will not have multiple pictures of the same puppy.  

They find these pics on the internet and copy them to their 

site.  They will not offer updated pics at different ages or in 

different situations because they can't.  The puppy doesn't 


Known Scam Websites

1.) - check it out.  This website is a well 

known SCAM!

2.)  Craigslist - as we all know craigslist is extremely popular 

and attracts a multitude of scammers!   

3.)  - AKC papers does not protect you from a

puppy mill.  Most puppy mills offer AKC registration.

How they work:  They have you wire the initial price of the 

puppy, which is surprisingly cheap.  These scammers are so 

greedy they don't stop there!  Then the shipping company 

contacts you and request an additional hundreds of dollars.  

They claim they will refund the shipping cost (since they 

initially claimed shipping was free in the add) when they 

arrive at your door with the imaginary puppy.  Most figure 

it out when the shipping company contacts them but your 

still out the initial hundreds of dollars you already sent for a 

fictional puppy!  Western Union and MoneyGram will not 

refund your money.  It's gone!  I got this information first 

hand from two of my adopters that were left heart broken!

4.) FYI!  A breeder registered with AKC does not mean they 

are a responsible breeder.  Their are many puppy mills 

registered as an official "AKC breeder".  If you call AKC they 

will tell you they don't inspect, question or follow up on any 

of their registered breeders.  All the breeder has to do to 

become a registered AKC breeder is register the pug through 

AKC and pay the fee.  They will tell you to call the ASPCA 

or your local humane society because that is not their job.  

Going to a registered AKC breeders doesn't protect anyone or 

guarantee anything.

I really hope this helps.  It is bad enough to loose money but 

it just makes it worse when you and your family's ❤ hearts 

are involved.  Please let me know if you have any other tips 

to spot a puppy scam or a known puppy scam website and I 

will add it.  These scammers are disgusting people with no 

conscience!!  I want to do my part to prevent this from 

happening to anyone ever again!!  Thank you! 


Silver Fawn


Apricot Fawn


Black with Markings

Solid Black


Gabby, a brindle colored Pug
Photo courtesy of Mike & Bernadette Dillow 


Hurly (light fawn) and Gabby (brindle)
Photo courtesy of Mike & Bernadette Dillow 


White Pug

Unethical breeders would euthanize any puppies that did not adhere to the AKC Fawn or Black color standard.

We are discovering Pugs in different colors because good breeders are no longer killing puppies that don't meet the AKC color standard.  

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Pug Colors

Do Pugs Change Color?

Have you noticed a change of color in your pug’s coat? Many have noticed that their pugs were born black, but later on became silver. Some have pugs born with fawn color, but later on gradually change into apricot. Others born solid black later manifest the appearance of a brindle. The fact is, pugs do change color as they mature. It is normal to see a pug’s coat change, to a degree, when it reaches adolescence. The most common change that could happen is the lightening of color. As mentioned, some born solid black may later on turn into silver or even bridle. Quite rare though, darkening also happens as in the case of a fawn pug that could turn into a more apricot, or orange shade.

Does Color affect Personality?

You might have heard about a pug owner saying that his black pug is more active than the fawn pug, and that the fawn pug is more docile. Others would support this statement, saying that the pug personality is directly affected by its color. There are also a number of conflicting opinions about this. While we do respect other people’s viewpoint, we want to make sure if this is true. After all, we don’t want our decisions to be influenced by mere assumptions. So, does the color of the coat really have something to do with a pugs personality? Actually, there is no scientific basis for this. It is good to remember that pugs in general are playful, friendly, and sociable. However, each pug is unique. So every pug has his own personality regardless of its color.

This breed of dog is awesome, adorable and such a good companion. Therefore, all wonderful colors of pug need the same kind of love and care that they deserve.


The AKC recognizes just 2 colors: fawn and black.This may rightly seem very limiting, considering that other colors do exist. 

As of now, fawn covers a wide range of hues that vary from very light fawn that appears to be cream to a darker fawn that is similar to tan. And a fawn coat also includes shades of apricot that range from light to dark. 

It must be noted that the AKC, which follows the guidelines set forth by the Pug Dog Club of America, used to accept both silver and apricot-fawn. 

Now, with just fawn and black as accepted colors in the US, a silver or apricot Pug will be registered as a fawn. 

Essentially, with the AKC, any color Pug other than black will be a 'fawn'. 
Though a Pug of any color can be registered, this does not mean the color is accepted in the show ring (more ahead). 
The FCI and KC allows for 4 colors for the Pug: Silver, apricot, fawn or black.

The CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) allows for 3 colors: fawn, silver-fawn or black, though this technically means even more colors, since ‘fawn’ for a CKC Pug can mean ‘any shade including light apricot, deep apricot to reddish gold’.

Types of Fawn

While the majority of Pugs are fawn (there are much fewer true blacks even though black is a dominant gene), there are actually many variations of this fawn coat. Other registries such as the FCI and KC make this much easier, since they accept apricot and silver as accepted coat colors. And the CKC allows distinction between fawn and sliver, by having 'silver-fawn' be an option. 

So, apricot (red undertones), silver and fawn ranging from light to dark all exist with this breed and in the US any coat that is not black will be registered as fawn, even if the coat is clearly silver or has reddish tones.

If the coat is quite clearly a silver or a deep apricot, this may be considered a fault or even a disqualification in the AKC show ring (though not in other countries). 

Fawns are not always solid, there are variances in the coat. It is not uncommon for a light cream to blend into a light apricot. The wrinkles on a Pug are also responsible for shading of color, since fur will appear darker in the creases of the fur. 

AKC Color Disqualification: Though fawn has a range of tones, the AKC does make it clear that anything other than fawn or black is a disqualification. Since there is sometimes a blurred line between silver and fawn or apricot and fawn, this can make things tricky. These colors are found all throughout the world, but in the US, show breeders focus on keeping the fawn a fawn without light or dark hues and tones.

Black Pugs

This is a wonderful uncommon color for this breed.  The coat may have an additional color (known as a marking) or it may be the very rare solid black Pug dog.

Black with Markings

This Pug puppy has a shiny black coat with a mismark color of white running down his chest.


This is one of the rarest coat colors that exists for this breed: the solid black Pug without any other markings.
Brindle Pugs

Brindle is actually not any certain color; it is a pattern and that pattern is striping. Most commonly, the stripes will be in the brown and gray shades. It is found in quite a few other dog breeds. Many wonder if a brindle Pug can exist. The answer is yes. 

This said, there is some explanations to be given. Some say that brindle does not exist within the Pug's bloodline.
However, just like nearly every dog breed that exists today, the Pug is the result of other purebreds being paired. 

As to which breeds were used to create the Pug, thus what is in his bloodline, is unknown. 

We know that he was developed in China. However, the very early development of Pugs - all records of breeding and so forth - was essentially erased from history. 

Somewhere around 200-225 B.C. records concerning the Pugs were destroyed by the Emperor Chin Shih Huang to hide the 'secrets' of this breed. And he was indeed successful.

Therefore, the first element to note is that no one can say if, looking back,
 brindle is or is not found in the Pug's bloodline. 
In fact, paintings from the 1700's show Pug dogs with brindle coats.

It has also been debated that brindle Pugs are a myth since it is dominant and would 'take over' the entire Pug breed, with eventually only brindles existing, making fawns and black obsolete. 

Not true. Brindle exists in other breeds and does not take over. One example is the Boxer dog. Brindle exists and appears often. However, there are lots of fawn Boxers as well.

It is true, however, that brindle is not normally seen with Pugs. But, this certainly does not mean that the color cannot be found. The reason why you do not see many brindle Pugs is because 1) very few exist and 2) most breeders strive to meet the AKC (or FCI or CKC) accepted colors and therefore, that is what they have in their breeding programs. 

So, if we know that dogs that look just like Pugs and are brindle do exist,
there is the matter of, 
are brindle Pugs purebred or must another breed be mixed in somewhere? 

The answer is that there are brindle Pugs whose DNA tests come back as purebred, just as there are some that do not. 

And it does not take that many generations for a mixed breed to transition into a dog that is very close to a purebred. Just to use as an example, let's say that someone bred a Pug and a Shih Tzu (Shih Tzu dogs can be found in brindle), and the result was a brindle Pug/Shih Tzu mixed dog that was 50/50. 

Then, that dog matured and was bred to a purebred Pug; that resulting pup would be 75/25. If that pup matured and was bred to a purebred Pug and the next puppy would be 93.75/6.25. Repeat that once more, and the dog would be 96.875/3.125. In just five generations, you would have a dog that looked just like a Pug but carried the brindle gene. 

Also, it must be noted that it does not necessarily have to take a long time for a purebred dog to be established (removing all other DNA from bloodlines).
Max von Stephanitz developed and standardized the German Shepherd within his own lifetime. 

To summarize, the debate will seemingly continue as to whether the brindle color pattern is hidden in the bloodline and pops out every now and again... Or if the brindle comes from another breed from 5, 10, 15 or even 20 generations back and the brindle Pug is <99% Pug.

The color and the controversy

The white Pug is in fact yes a Pug.  Contrary to what some negative breeders are saying, YES, they can be registered with the AKC, but because of the Pug parent Club, they are not permitted in the show ring.  This is only reserved for the standard Fawn and Black colors at this time.  So what is the big deal some might ask, or how did this color come into existence....Well good questions.  Lets start with what is the big deal.  To those of us serious about the Pug breed it is important to us, to enter in fresh and new bloodlines.  For so many generations only the Fawn Pug was considered right and proper, and any other color or variation was put down right away.  And we are finding out, that many of these colors and variations have genes attached which are now again being realized, because frankly, responsible breeders are not killing puppies, if they are too dark or too light anymore.  The big deal is we are now seeing colors that represent the Pug breed in every way as far as structure and personality, but they have a different color, and in our opinion it is amazing and awesome.  The white color is brilliant and unique.  It also gives people with a great love of Pugs to have a colorful collection, while still enjoying the calm loving nature of the Pug breed.

  Now for the question of how this color came in to existence....  Well....Nobody truly knows.  There isphotographic evidence of white Pugs that belonged to royalty.  BUT, we do not have proof in lineage that these dogs were bred, or used in any kind of kennel registry.  Most white Pugs today can credit their heritage to a small breeder in Pennsylvania, that somehow had a White Pug born and then he duplicated it.  His name was John Lapp, and some of his dogs made their way to the west coast where breeders there worked hard to duplicate the color, by using only Pugs in their programs and then breeding these whites into existing Pug lineages.  The result is today's white Pug.  Brilliant in every way, and has the same personality as any other colored Pug. 

Color Registration

Many wonder if a Pug of any color, even non-standard colors, can be registered. The answer is yes. A purebred Pug, no matter what color he is (even if he is a brindle, silver or any other non-standard color) can be registered with the AKC. Given, of course, that he is registerable (his parents are registered).

You will, however, need to register your uniquely colored Pug under the accepted color that most closely matches him. The only two choices with the AKC are Black S 007 and Fawn S 082. In most cases, apricot, silver, white, and brindle will be registered as fawns and only very dark Pugs would more closely match with black. 

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