Multum in parvo in Latin, translating to “a lot in a little” in English, absolutely sums up the Pug in a nutshell. Small and stocky, the Pug is a perfect epitome of cuteness with its muscular built, wrinkled facial folds, and black mask. It stands to be an ideal family pet mingling perfectly with kids, adjusted to all types of homes, like large countryside or a compact apartment.
Against its small and square body sits a large round head equipped with large, globular-shaped eyes bearing a soft and curious expression. Other features include a short and blunt muzzle, large, deep wrinkles, small, folded ears, and a tightly curled tail folded to its hip.
|Other Names||Chinese Pug|
|Coat||Smooth, fine, short, soft, glossy; fawn and black pugs have a double coat|
|Color||Apricot, fawn or silver with a black mask or completely black|
|Group||Toy dog, Companion dog|
|Average life span (How long do they live)||13 – 15 years|
|Height||10 – 13 inches|
|Weight||14 – 18 pounds|
|Litter size||4 – 6 puppies|
|Personality||Charming, playful, friendly, attentive|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Barking tendency||Low (but could increase if they get bored or distracted, especially on being left alone for prolonged periods)|
|Climate compatibility||Moderate, cannot withstand extreme humidity, heat, or cold since they have short noses quite prone to respiratory problems|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Excessive (mostly during the shedding season that occurs twice a year)|
|Are they Hypoallergenic||No|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, FCI, Chinese Kennel Union|
|Country||China (Ming Dynasty)|
The Pug has an ancient ancestry dating back to more than 2000 years since the Chinese Emperors preferred flat-faced breeds. They became trusted companions of China’s elite families, given a royal dog’s stature and mostly guarded by soldiers. Its popularity eventually spread to other Asian countries, with the Buddhist monks in Tibet keeping them in monasteries as pets.
The 16th century was instrumental for them as they began getting global recognition since then. Dutch traders on their way home brought a few of the Pug specimens. These adorable dogs did not fail to impress the European courts as they did in the Chinese royalty.
It became Netherland’s House of Orange’s official dog in 1572, after Pompey, a Pug saved the Prince of Orange from getting assassinated by the Spanish enemies. In Italy, they lead the private carriages dressed in similar attire as the coachmen. They even became military and guard dogs used for tracking people and animals.
They made their entry in the United States in the 19th century, getting the AKC’s recognition in 1885. The year 1931 marked the foundation of the Pug Dog Club of America. It was like a no looking back for the breed after it touched the American soil. It went on to win one dog show after the other, like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the World Dog Show held in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
The types of pugs are mostly classified based on their coloration, and there are three varieties:
Fawn: They have a yellowish-tan coat.
Apricot: They are deep tan, varying from gold to orange, and will gain the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) recognition upon the owner’s request. The Continental Kennel Club (CKC) acknowledges them as the variation of the fawn variety.
Silver fawn: It is light gray to white and very rare.
When it comes to a gentle and friendly companion, the Pug ranks higher than most other breeds. No wonder the AKC calls it charming and even-tempered.
These wonderful family dogs are perfect playmates for kids of the family. They are safe, too, since they would not deliver an aggressive bite even in pursuit of play. The Pug’s score pretty high when it comes to loyalty, known to follow their owners like shadows, always on the lookout for an opportunity to please them. They would love sitting in their master’s lap for prolonged periods enjoying a cuddle or nap with them. It has its comical side, too, entertaining its family to the tee, keeping them amused always.
However, on the flip side, especially if you want a dog bubbling with energy, the Pug is indeed a laid-back breed. It loves to sleep a lot, spending about 14 hours in slumber daily, also known as loud snorers.
The Pug has no trouble living with other dogs and even cats because of their laid back nature. However, they could get jealous when their owners neglect or ignore them and prioritize others (maybe their kids or other pets).
They have moderately low exercise needs and wouldn’t mind lazing on the couch all day. Yet, giving them an hour’s exercise would help to keep the Pugs physically and mentally fit. An hour’s exercise comprising short walks and outdoor as well as indoor play sessions would be adequate. They even take part in several dog sports like rally, obedience, and agility.
They undoubtedly look adorable because of their short face, but that also triggers breathing problems, so over-exercise is a complete no-no. Also, they cannot withstand hot weather, and taking them out then is strictly prohibited.
Though they have a short, smooth, and glossy coat, Pugs, especially the double-coated ones, shed a lot, particularly during summer. Hence, brush them twice or four times a week in general and regularly when it sheds heavily. A brush with medium bristles would suit the purpose well, while a hound glove or rubber grooming mitt helps to remove the loose or dead hair.
They do not need regular bathing and cleaning them once a month would be fine.
Give special attention to their wrinkles by cleaning their skin folds thoroughly using a damp cloth or even cotton balls or just wipes.
Their small, folded ears remain easily susceptible to infections, needing a routine cleaning with cotton balls or a damp cloth. Other hygiene requirements include keeping their eyes clean, trimming their nails, and brushing their teeth regularly.
One of the Pug’s leading health concerns is difficulty in breathing since they have a flat face and a small snout restricting the amount of air reaching the nostrils. Other problems include eye problems such as dry eye, corneal ulcer, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, nerve degeneration, patellar luxation, and Legg-Perthes disease. Pug dog encephalitis is another alarming condition, and about 1.2% of Pugs die of it.
Though their flat faces and short snouts make people assume that Pugs have Down Syndrome, it is not so in actuality.
Pugs, being smart and observant, tend to learn whatever their owners teach them quickly. So, this would make the training process easier. However, their stubborn and strong-willed nature could pose a barrier at times, requiring patient and tactful handling. They are sensitive dogs, and harsh training methods will not go down well with them. So, an interactive and fun session with positive reinforcements is a prerequisite.
Socialization: Though they have a calm and docile temperament, the Pug could get aggressive due to fear or anxiety, particularly encountering a loud noise or meeting new people.
An aggressive Pug could do many undesirable things like bark, lunge, growl, or nip. So, providing them socialization training at the earliest is essential. The more they visit new places, encounter different experiences, and meet people of different mindsets, the less anxious would they be about changes.
Obedience: Teaching them basic commands like “stop,” “come,” “go,” etc., would help instill obedience in them, eliminating their stubborn and strong-willed nature.
Housetraining: Though their stubbornness may come in the way, you could potty train them once they learn to follow commands. You would need a lot of patience and also reinforcements to keep your dog encouraged. Fixing a regular feeding schedule would, in turn, help them eliminate it on a routine basis. Make sure you take them out after they wake up in the morning and after that every 30 minutes.
Following this consistently would help them make it a part of their daily routine. Also, after they have learned to follow commands well associate going to potty with a particular command like “Let’s go out,” ‘Time for potty,” or anything of that sort.
A Pug needs to be fed three times a day, and make sure you give them good quality dog food, either store-bought or homemade. Pugs are absolute foodies but don’t give way to their adorable look, especially if they ask for an extra serving of what you just gave them. They tend to get obese, which in turn could trigger breathing problems. So, giving them a measured diet with little treats is essential.
Snorting behavior is typical in Pugs because of their brachycephalic facial features. It is their way of expressing emotions. So if your Pug is healthy and hearty and snorting just like that, there is not much to worry about.
Pugs are not good swimmers because of their flat faces and broad and short skull, leading them to sink while taking a dip into the water. Hence, most of them don’t like swimming, though exceptions remain as one Pug varies in personality from the other.
A group of Pugs is called a grumble, with their involuntary sounds and nasal vocalizations being responsible for this name.