Pug – A Complete Guide To These Amazing Dogs

pug puppy

Pugs are such popular little dogs all around the world. These wrinkly, squidgy, funny pups are full of personality and love for their owner. They make perfect pets for singles, families, and those living in apartments. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about Pugs, from their history and characteristics to their care and health.

So, let’s find out why Pugs have captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world ❤️

History and Origins of the Pug Dog

Pugs have a fascinating history that can be traced back to ancient times. These dogs originated in China, where they were treasured pets in the imperial palaces, earning them the nickname ‘Chinese Imperial Palace Dogs’.

These little pooches were later introduced to other parts of the world by Dutch traders, and their popularity spread rapidly. Pugs gained royal recognition when they became the official dog of the House of Orange in the 16th century, and they soon captured the hearts of people from all walks of life.

Appearance of the Pug Dog Breed

Pugs are small little dogs that grow to be 13 inches tall and weigh around 18 pounds. They’re muscular and have a stocky appearance with large, expressive eyes and a flat face (they’re a brachycephalic breed). As is the case with other dogs that look like Pugs, they have large, bulging eyes, an underbite, and a flat, short nose.

According to the American Kennel Club, Pugs can be three different colors: all black, all fawn, or fawn with a black mask. Each is beautiful and just as cute as the next one! There are, however other Pug colors that aren’t yet recognized including fawn and apricot.

Pugs have short legs and a short tail that curls over their back. They’re beautiful dogs that have a unique appearance that adds to their charm!

fawn pug

Temperament of the Pug Dog

Pugs are personality canines and adore being with their humans. They’re made to love and be loved in equal measures. They’re a great choice for those with kids, the elderly, and singles. They’re really adaptable and as long as they have a lap to sit on they’ll be happy!

They’re known for their playful and mischievous nature and are always ready to engage in fun activities with their owner. They thrive on human companionship and are happiest when playing with you or curling up to watch a film.

Do Pugs Get Along With Children?

These companion dogs get along really well with children. Just like similar breeds such as French Bulldogs, they’re friendly and sweet-natured and make great playmates for kids. Pugs can’t exactly be described as active (not compared to a Border Collie at least) but they still need plenty of mental and physical stimulation – and kids can be a perfect solution!

Even though these purebred dogs are small, make sure you teach your child how to play with them properly to avoid accidents.

Do Pugs Get On With Other Dogs?

Pugs tend to get along well with other pups – but each dog is different, so it really depends. Pugs aren’t naturally aggressive and many aren’t particularly territorial either. It’s still really important to train and socialize them well so they become well-rounded pooches.

Do Pugs Bark?

Pugs generally don’t bark much – which is one of the reasons why they’re a good choice for apartment dwellers or those with flatmates. They may use their voice when they’re excited or nervous.

Training a Pug Puppy

Pugs are very intelligent dogs and respond well to training sessions – especially if there’s food involved! As with all dogs, it’s best to use positive reinforcement to see the ideal results.

Scolding pups can make them less likely to engage in any more training sessions, which can make it difficult. Rewards for positive behavior, however, can help to grow their confidence and abilities.

How Much Exercise Does a Pug Need?

Pugs can be prone to weight gain and obesity, so it’s really important that you encourage them to get moving. They need roughly an hour of exercise a day, but it’s best if this is split up into multiple short walks throughout the day and plenty of play sessions.

Because Pugs are a flat-face dog breed, exercise can make it difficult for them to breathe. You shouldn’t allow your pug to overheat as this can make breathing particularly difficult. Try to walk them in the coolest part of the day, and you may want to think about paw protectors for dogs to keep them comfortable on hot ground.

pug running

Can Pugs Live in Apartments?

Yes! Absolutely. Pugs are great dogs for people living in apartments. Just because they’re adaptable doesn’t mean they don’t need time outside. They still need external stimuli and will enjoy meeting new friends and seeing new sites.

Do Pugs Shed?

Many people think that Pugs are hypoallergenic pups, but this isn’t true. These doggos actually shed moderately. It’s best to brush these pups once or twice a week to keep the majority of the dog hair under control. We think rubber grooming mitts or gloves work best. Most Pugs love grooming as it’s extra time with their humans and it’s just like cuddles!

Grooming a Pug Dog

These pups have smooth and glossy coats that don’t need much grooming. Apart from weekly brushes, you won’t spend much of your time grooming a Pug.

They only need baths when they’ve rolled in something particularly stinky or they’re starting to get that all-too-familiar doggy smell. Pugs can have skin troubles, so we recommend using a sensitive dog shampoo to keep them itch-free. Because Pugs have adorable rolls, it’s essential you dry them correctly after washing. If left damp, they can become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which can cause infections.

Teeth cleaning is also an essential part of a Pug’s grooming routine. As with many toy breeds, the Pug breed can suffer from dental problems and disease so regular cleaning is a must. You should also clip their nails if they grow too long to keep your pooch comfortable.

Health of a Pug

These dogs are amazing, funny, and adorable pups but unfortunately, many Pugs suffer from a wide range of health conditions. In fact, there are even some groups advocating for different breeding standards for these purebred doggos.

Research is still being conducted to understand more about specific conditions linked to breeding, but those looking for a slightly healthier pooch could always go for a Pug mixed breed such as the Retro Pug or the Puggle. They often have different skin types and are not considered to be flat-faced breeds.

Main Health Concerns for a Pug

Unfortunately, it’s some of the features we love the most about these dogs that actually cause them the most issues.

  • Eye Concerns. Pugs have protruding eyes which means they can be damaged more easily. This is especially true if you have a playful pup! They can also suffer from eye ulcers and eye infections. If you notice a red cornea, teary eyes, or puss, get in contact with your vet for an appointment. Pugs can also inherit eye problems from their parents. This includes entropion, a condition in which your dog’s eyelids roll in.
  • Respiratory Difficulties. Because Pugs are flat-face pooches, they can have real difficulty breathing in hot and humid weather or after running around. Make sure your pup has lots of breaks in between play sessions and plenty of cool shade to relax in on sunny days.
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE). Any Pug owner knows how serious and heartbreaking this condition can be. According to the Pug Dog Club of America, PDE is an inflammatory brain disease with no known cause. Dogs suffering from this disease will have seizures, circling, and blindness and will often end up in a coma with a high chance of death.
  • Skin Problems. Pugs notoriously have sensitive skin that can become flaky, irritated, red, and itchy. This can be down to hereditary problems or allergies. Pugs can also get infections in their skin folds, so always make sure you dry them well (including after a wet walk). If you think your pup has a skin infection, get in contact with your vet.
  • Patella Luxation. A painful condition where the kneecap doesn’t fit into the socket correctly.
  • Hemivertebrae. Pugs have spiral tails that curl over their backs. Abnormal vertebrae can put extra pressure on your pup’s spinal cord and cause problems.
  • Obesity. Pugs may be playful but they can also be pretty lazy. They are happy to curl up on the sofa and stay there for large parts of the day. They also have quite the appetite and, combined, can lead to weight gain and health problems associated with it.
black pug

Lifespan of A Pug

Pugs need a little more love and attention than other breeds but lots of exercise (but not too much and with pauses), good food, vet checks, and affection, they can live to be 13-15 years old.

What Should You Feed a Pug?

It’s very important to feed your Pug good-quality dog food that contains enough (but not too many) calories. Fresh dog food can be an excellent option for these friendly dogs because it’s often pre-portioned to help keep them at a healthy weight.

Furthermore, many fresh food companies claim to help with coat and skin health and allergies – perfect for Pugs!

Pugs, whether a Pug puppy or an adult dog, are very food-orientated. This means cheese and other common training foods often work really well. You might, however, want to think of some healthier alternatives such as cucumber, zucchini, or peas.

The Ideal Owner of a Pug Puppy

Pugs are versatile, so their owners can be too. Pugs don’t mind if you live on a farm in the country or an apartment in the city. As long as they have a bed to sleep in, time outdoors, and lots of cuddles from you they’ll be happy.

They will want to be part of a family that has time for them, however. This can be time playing, cuddling, or allowing them to follow you around the house.

Can Pugs Be Left Alone?

Pugs are one of the better breeds when it comes to leaving them alone. They won’t mind spending a couple of hours snoozing or entertaining themselves (it’s still a good idea to get them a puzzle toy to keep them stimulated).

But, just like all dogs, they shouldn’t be left alone for huge lengths of time. Pugs are sociable animals and really like to be with their humans and take part in all the fun.

pug puppies

Adopting a Pug Dog

Pugs are popular dogs, so it’s likely you’ll find a breeder close to you. It’s really important to research an ethical breeder that truly cares about the future of these dogs and is doing everything they can to breed healthy dogs.

Make sure they give you all the correct health checks for both parents and pug puppy and avoid puppy farms at all costs.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to look in a shelter too. You might find Pugs or Pug mixes there and you could be giving one of these beautiful dogs another home.

How Much Does a Pug Cost?

The price of a Pug depends on a couple of different factors. These include coat color, age, the breeder, and local demand. You can pay anywhere between $800-$2000 for a Pug. Fawn and black dogs are the most common colors, so you can expect them to be cheaper than other, rarer colors.

Final Thoughts

Pugs are amazing, popular, and seriously cute dogs that are loved all around the world. They come in many different colors (although only 3 variations are accepted by the AKC) and are adaptable when it comes to their living situation. They’re playful and affectionate and get along really well with kids. They can be a little lazy, so exercise is really important to keep their weight under control.

There is some controversy over breeding brachycephalic dogs due to their respiratory and eye problems. Whatever your opinion, it’s essential you adopt from a responsible breeder who can provide health checks. Of course, you can always choose a Pug mix that is likely to be healthier!