Pug: The Ultimate Breed Guide 2020
Are you looking to adopt a little companion dog? Then you are in the right place. Pugs are affectionate pets bursting with personality. They love to spend time with family and continuously seek attention even from children.
Pitch your tent and make camp because it’s going to be an incredible tour of this amicable breed!
Table of Contents
Pugs are packed with many appealing attributes in their tiny, sturdy bodies. Labeled as "clown dogs" by the American Kennel Club, this toy breed has a massive sense of humor and often likes to give oneself airs. They were initially raised to be a lapdog, the Pug blossoms as human compatriots.
Let’s take a look at each of their qualities:
How Adaptable is the Pug Breed? 3 out of 5 stars
Though Pugs are small, they are chunky and adapt well to any home environment as long as it is packed with love and affection.
Pugs don't care much about your apartment's space just as long as you are there to keep them company.
If you are a patient and understanding character, you will get along well with this breed, as it can be quite stubborn at times.
Pugs are relatively easy-going dogs.
Remember, Pugs are attention seekers! They hardly tolerate solo confinement or long hours on their own.
If you take your Pug out to pee on a chilly morning, you will notice it shivering. They cannot stand cold temperatures because, unlike other breeds, Pugs have a thin coat. Their fur does not shield them from the cold.
You may want to consider getting a dog sweater or coat for your Pug pup and probably some booties for their paws.
A comfy bed with a warm blanket will also warm it up quickly, especially during winter nights.
High humid temperatures are hazardous for this breed as they can get into heat distress rapidly. Their short muzzles limit their sweat, which means they experience difficulties cooling themselves on a hot summer day.
Be extremely cautious with your Pug during summer seasons and watch for signs of heatstroke such as drooling, heavy wheezing, fatigue, breathing challenges, seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you observe any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.
For the Pug breeds, summer is not the best time to walk unless you carry a collapsible tent or umbrella with you and bottled water to replenish them. Otherwise, keep your dog indoors and turn on the air conditioning or a fan to keep them fresh. You could include some ice cubes in their water to lower the temperature.
Pugs are people dogs! They get along with babies, children, adults, even strangers.
If you love to cuddle, then the Pug is your mate! The closer you keep it, the more it will bond with you.
Pugs are very lively and affectionate with children.
Pugs are lovers, not fighters! They will strive to please not only you and your friends but other dog breeds you might have.
Pugs are recognised as one of the most passive dog breeds. Because they are so friendly to strangers, they are not the best watchdogs.
Some of their distinct features, such as large bulgy eyes and face wrinkles, require extra care to prevent infections. Apart from that, Pug breeds are relatively low maintenance.
You might think that because of their thin-layered fur, they shed very little, but it's quite the opposite.
Pugs have meager drooling potential.
Many Pugs adore that feeling of a brush against their coat.
The Pug is predisposed to health conditions such as Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), patellar luxation, elongated palate, Legg-Perthes disease, obesity, stenotic nares, entropion, hemivertebra, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and skin conditions.
They have a vast appetite, which makes them highly prone to obesity. Therefore, regulate your dog treats, especially on older Pugs.
Pugs are small but heavy-knit.
Trainability- 2 out of 5 stars
This canine tends to be intelligent, eager, and a fast learner, thus relatively easy to train.
You can train them quickly when you store up those treats. However, this can spoil them as they get used to it.
Pugs are very smart; however, they can be willful, which makes them a handful during training.
Pugs have a below-average habit of biting, chewing, nip, or herd. Though the pattern is typical in the puppy stage, the bites are non-aggressive, and they need to be taught for good behavior.
Pugs can stalk prey, but their prey drive is average. Therefore their impulse to chase smaller animals such as cats and squirrels is relatively low. Training can assist in attaining proper behavior.
Pugs are not noise-makers. They are more like 'practical barkers'; therefore, they will only bark if need be to relay a message or stress a point.
This canine has a low to average wanderlust ability. They are certainly not exploring junkies!
Physical Requirements- 4 out of 5 stars
A little exercise undoubtedly goes a long way!
The Pug has a standard energy level- very suitable for owners who have a semi-active lifestyle.
Their need for exercise is shallow. Otherwise, Pugs tend to sleep a lot.
Like any other dog breed, Pugs love playing. However, they don’t top the list among the most playful dogs.
The Pug's funny face characterized by deep wrinkles on the forehead, big protruding eyes, and flat circular face is amusing. It is said that the breed’s name is derived from a Latin word to mean ‘fist’ because its face looks like a person’s fist.
Pugs are clownish characters, but they portray royal dignity. They love to be worshipped and get quite offended if ignored.
A healthy Pug should weigh no more than 20 pounds or 9 kilograms; otherwise, it will become overweight, increasing its risk of health complications.
According to Chinese Legends, their face wrinkles are highly esteemed because they symbolize good luck, especially those that resemble the word ‘prince’ in Chinese syllables.
The Pug's overall appearance is quite peculiar with beauty spots on the cheeks, a black muzzle, a thumb symbol on the forehead, and a black trace line that runs on its back. Its ears are soft and black with a firmly entwined tail and an undershot jaw.
Points to Note:
The Pug's original home was China, dating back to 206 B.C.- 200 A.D. during the Han Dynasty. Some researchers claim they are relatives of the Tibetan Mastiff. They were loved by Chinese Emperors and hosted in luxurious homes- some even protected by guards.
In the late 1500s and early 1600s, the Chinese began conducting trading interactions with European folks, which led to the first Pugs being migrated to Europe. The Dutch traders named the Pug breed Mopshond, a name that stuck to date.
Pugs rapidly became a favourite of Europe royalties and even played significant roles in several households' history. For example, in Holland, the Pug was titled the official dog of the Orange House after a Pug allegedly rescued the life of William, the Prince of Orange, by warning him of the Spaniards invasion in 1572.
William Hogarth, a renowned artist and Pug enthusiast, depicted a Pug in his celebrated paintings, thus increasing the breed's fame in the 1700s. Goya followed suit in 1785 by making Pug paintings as well.
As the Pug's reputation quickly spread in European countries, it was given different names. In Germany, it was called 'Mops,' in France 'Carlin,' in Italy 'Caganlino’ and in Spain ‘Dogullo.’
In the early years of the 19th century, Pugs were homogenized as a breed with two family trees dominating Europe. The first line of Pugs called the Morrison line was founded among Queen Charlotte's (wife of George III) royal Pugs. Lord and Lady Willoughby d’Erasby founded the other line among Pugs imported from Hungary and Russia.
The first Pug exhibition in England took place in 1861. The studbook started in 1871 and featured 66 Pugs.
More Pug breeds were taken from China by the British during the Chinese Revolution in 1860
Two purebred called Lamb and Moses were brought to England and bred to produce Click. Click was accredited for enhancing the Pug breed and moulding the modern Pug we all love.
Pugs became famous during the Victorian period and were portrayed in figurines, paintings, and postcards wearing large decorative collars around their short wide necks.
Pugs were a personal favourite of Queen Victoria- she loved apricot-fawn breeds and bred several others.
This canine started being shared in the United States after the Civil War and was first acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1885. At the beginning of the 20th century, its popularity began to wan; however, few devoted breeders kept breeding, and after several years the breed returned to fame.
Both male and female Pugs have the same height and weight. Generally:
Height- 10-14 inches or 25.4-35.56 cm
Weight- 14-18 pounds or 6.3-8.1 Kgs
Pugs were born to make humans happy! They are not ferocious watchdogs. They are mostly inactive and very satisfied with merely resting on your laps as you watch the TV. or read a book.
Though small, they are quite strong and are hardly victims of injury through rough child play.
Also note that though a Pug will want to please you, it is not the type to fetch or chase you around. It is quite intelligent, strong-minded, and loves to play the charismatic leader. You need to be strong-willed by not letting the Pug exploit your soft side.
Early socialization will help your Pug get used to different experiences, people, sounds, and sight from a young age, thus ensuring it grows up to become an all-rounded pup.
Enrolling your Pug into puppy kindergarten class is a great way to start. Other socialization tactics include taking the pup to busy parks, or leisure walks, having guests over frequently, and going to restaurants and stores that allow dogs to enhance their social skills.
Pugs' overall health is quite good; however, they are susceptible to specific health conditions you need to watch out for. With proper care, your Pug pup may not even suffer from any of these, but you must be aware.
Epilepsy: idiopathic epilepsy occurs for no reason. If your pup has seizures, rush it to the vet immediately to determine its treatment.
Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE): it is an acute inflammatory disease of the brain that is distinct from the Pug breed. Medical scientists still don't know why this happens to Pugs, and the only form of testing is carried out on the brain tissue after the canine dies.
Young Pugs are often the victims of PDE, which makes the have seizures, circle, lose sight, fall into a trance, and die. This usually takes place in days or weeks.
Because the cause of this disease is unknown, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, along with the Pug Dog Club of America is funding research projects to understand the condition further.
Nerve Degeneration: it affects older Pugs, and the symptoms include: dragging the rear, staggering, inconsistent or uncontrollable jumping.
Pugs don't experience pain, but the condition progressively worsens. Medical researchers are not sure of the diseases' cause.
Because the front legs still regain their strength, some dog parents purchase carts to aid with their Pugs' mobility, and the veterinarian can prescribe drugs to reduce the symptoms.
Cheyletiella Dermatitis (Walking Dandruff): a tiny mite causes this skin condition. If you observe a lot of dandruff, particularly in the mid-section of the back, consult your vet. Since these mites are highly contagious, it is best to treat your entire household if you have other pets.
Dry eye: pigmentary keratitis and Keratoconjunctivitis are two main conditions experienced with Pugs. They can occur simultaneously or individually, causing your Pug's eyes to become dehydrated.
Pigmentary keratitis causes black spots in the corner next to the nose, and if the pigment seals the whole eyes, it can lead to blindness.
Your veterinarian can prescribe a dose that will moisten the eyes and clear the pigment. Both eye conditions need long-term care and therapy.
Eye Defects: because of their prominent eyes, Pugs have high-risk of developing eye problems such as:
Allergies: some Pugs may have allergies ranging from food to contact allergies. If your pup seems to rub its face a lot or lick its paws frequently, it may be an indication of allergy, and you should get it checked.
Demodectic Mange/ demodicosis: all dogs are carriers of Demodex mite. The mother transfers this mite to her puppies in the first days after birth; however, this mite cannot be passed to other dogs or humans.
Demodex mites establish their habitat within follicles and are often harmless, except when the dog has a low immune system; it may cause demodectic mange.
Localized demodectic psoriasis is characterized by scaly skin, red patches, and hair loss on the head, neck, and front legs.
The generalized demodectic disease is more severe and covers the whole body-commonly affects adult Pugs and older puppies. The dog gets skin disease, bald spots and patches all over its body. If your dog develops this condition, you might want to spay or neuter it because it is a genetic condition.
Legg-Perthes Disease: This condition involving the hip joint affects toy breeds. When your Pug suffers from this condition, the blood supply to the upper part of the femur is limited, and the head of the femur begins to fragment. The initial signs of Legg-Perthes are limping and deteriorating of the leg muscle and occur to 4-6-month-old pups.
The condition is rectified with surgery to remove the broken femur. The scar tissue heals by creating a false joint, so the puppy doesn’t experience pain.
Hemi-vertebrae: because of their short-noses, Pugs can have distorted vertebrae. When only a few of the vertebrae are misshaped, the pup can still lead a healthy life; however, others will have a staggering movement between 4-6 months. The condition could progress to paralyze the poor dog. Before it is too late, take your dog for corrective surgery as there is no other form of treatment.
Hip Dysplasia: this condition that causes deformity of the hip joint can be aggravated by several factors such as diet, genetics, and the environment. With proper veterinary care, your pup can lead a happy and healthy life.
Vaccination sensitivity: it is not universal; however, some Pugs may become sensitive to regular vaccination by indicating signs of lethargy, facial swelling, soreness, or hives. After each immunization, observe your dog throughout the day and get in touch with your vet if you see any of these signs.
Patellar Luxation: this means dislocation of the kneecap often of the hind leg. Though it is crippling, many Pups still usually live.
This playful and boisterous character is a low-maintenance dog, which makes it ideal for senior citizens.
Their sturdy body packs a tremendous amount of energy, so expect to be dazzled by comical tricks if you don't take it out for a play or a walk in a while.
If you live in a hot and humid environment, restrict your Pug's free movement to prevent heatstroke.
Feed your Pug ½ to 1 cup of high-grade dry food every day; thus, your daily food budget should be $1.00-$1.20 while your monthly budget should be $25.00-$36.00.
Apart from you, your Pug’s best friend is food. This breed is obsessed with eating. As a responsible dog parent, always regulate your pup’s diet as well as its treats and take it out for exercise.
Trust! You don’t want to deal with a lazy, unhealthy slab on your coach.
Though they have short hair, Pugs are double-layered. Their coats are either fawn-colored or black. The fawn color comes in different shades like apricot or silver.
Don't be deceived by their short lustrous coat; Pugs shed heavily, particularly in Summer. Equip yourself with a brush and hair remover for your furniture and clothes. You may choose to wear bright-colored clothing that effectively conceals the fur.
To minimize the amount of shedding, give your regular doggie baths and brushing. Its size is so small you can wash it in your kitchen or utility sink.
Trim your Pug's nails regularly as they don't wear them down as other active dogs do. It is also best to clean its ears after a couple of weeks.
Pay particular attention to the pup's facial wrinkles as they may foster bacteria that cause infection when neglected to become moist or dirty. Wipe the lines thoroughly after bathing your Pug and using baby wipes or dry cotton wool every other day.
Moreover, take special care of those projected eyes as they are also at high risk of infection. Protect the eyes from soap and other chemicals when giving your Pug a bath to avoid irritation.
Similar to other toy breeds, the Pug can be prone to gum infections. Frequent brushing using a small soft toothbrush and animal-friendly toothpaste takes care of it. Remember to inspect the teeth and gums as you brush, not forgetting those paws.
Take note of the following signs of infection as you perform the grooming exercise: tenderness, skin, nose, ears, eyes, mouth inflammation and redness, and swelling of the feet. The ears should be clear, with no discharge or redness.
Make the grooming experience both fun and positive for you and your Pug pup.
Though Pugs adore kids, they may not play fetch or soccer as other active breeds, which is disappointing.
Because of their tiny physique and constant napping habit, Pugs get along pretty well with cats. If you have a kitty, you may find them frequently, catching up on some snuggly sleep.
Below is a list of popular Pug Breed Organizations in Australia you can look at. These are only but a few among the many breeders. Just log onto https://perfectpets.com.au/ss/st/Dog+Breeder+Australia/pt/Dogs/b/Pug to find an organization near your location that you can visit.
Pugs are often bought without proper knowledge of what goes into raising one. There are numerous sweet Pugs in dire need of adoption.
Find below a well put list of some rescue groups in Australia you can check out: