pug dog breed information

Pugs: One of the Best Royal Companions to Keep Around!

Pugs are referred to as the class clown in the world of canines. They have loyal, playful, and funny personalities that many pet parents can’t help but fall in love with! They can be very enthusiastic, especially when showing their affections. Most often, you’ll find them constantly begging for your attention. This is just because they love receiving your affections as much as they love showing them. These qualities make the Pug a lovely family dog to have.

What is a Pug?

A pug being bathed using a shower head
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Pugs are one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide that have gained quite a number of fans mainly because of their sweet and affectionate nature. They are one of the few toy breeds that are considered royal dogs. If you’re living with one, you should consider yourself lucky to be in the presence of royalty. This part of their history is actually why they’re very well-known all over the world.

Origin of the Pug

How Long Do Pugs Live
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Pugs originated in China where they lived mostly under Chinese royalty at the hands of capable Chinese Emperors. Pugs, together with Pengkinese and Shih Tzus born of Chinese origin, are ancient breeds that were highly valued and pampered with their own personal guards as if they were an emperor themself.

Between the 1500s and 1600s, the Pug breed was brought to Europe by Dutch traders and became a sensation in various royal households in Europe. The reputation of the Pug strengthened when the breed became the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland after reportedly saving the life of William, the Prince of Orange.

When William and Mary of Orange migrated to England to claim their throne, they brought the Pugs along. It was not long after that the Pug dog breed rose in popularity in England. The Pug became known worldwide and was known in many countries by different names. Some of the names are Lo-sze (China), Mopsi (Finland), Doguillo (Spain), Mops (Germany), Mophonds (Holland), and Carlin (France).

It was not until 1885 that American Kennel Club (AKC) finally recognized the Pug as part of the Toy Group. Then in 1931, the Pug Dog Club of America was founded and was recognized by American Kennel Club.

What Was the Pug Bred for?

what was the pug bred for
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Pugs were originally bred as companions for Chinese emperors. They were official royal dogs of China and were often accompanied by their own guards for protection.

What does a pug look like?

The most distinct feature of the Pug is probably their wrinkly face and round doe eyes that you can’t help but adore. Pugs also have large round heads and flat faces, classifying them under brachycephalic breeds. Their name is associated with a certain Latin word, pugnus which means “fist” because their face closely resembles a clenched fist. A Latin phrase, Multum in parvo, meaning “much in a little” is also something that’s used to describe a Pug.

Coat

A Pug features a short double coat that is very smooth to the touch. The double coat also means that Pugs frequently shed, especially when living in warmer climates. Their coats come in four distinct colors, but only two are considered standard colors by the AKC, and these are the colors, Fawn and Black.

The other coat colors of the Pug that are recognized by other clubs include:

  • Apricot
  • Silver
  • Silver Fawn
  • Apricot Fawn

Meanwhile, the Pug also come in rare colors such as the following:

  • White
  • Brindle
  • Blue
  • Merle
  • Blue-Fawn
  • Blue-Merle
  • Panda
  • Chocolate
  • Black and Tan
  • Platinum
  • Pied
  • Pink
  • Chinchilla

These colors are rare in pugs for a reason. It’s a result of mixing different breeds to the Pug, meaning Pugs that comes in these colors are not purebred dogs.

Meanwhile, the different types of markings in a Pug are:

  • Smuttiness – This happens with light-colored Pugs when their main coat color has a mix of black hairs, which causes a dark shade on the top of the coat. This is usually a fault found in some Pugs, leading to disqualification in shows.
  • Thumbprint – The thumbprint is a common marking in Pugs, either in the shape of a thumb or diamond, usually found in their foreheads. It’s especially common in Fawn Pugs because of their light color.
  • The Trace – This is a dark line or trace that runs across the back of Pugs, from the neck to the base of the tail. The trace can be developed over time and grow more prominent as the puppy grows older. Unlike smuttiness, the trace is a highly desired trait in shows and is more advantageous when darker.
  • Black Mask and Ears – It’s very common for light-colored Pugs to have black masks and ears. This mark starts under their chin, covers their muzzle, and sometimes occupies their eyes.

Eyes

Purebred Pugs have brown eyes and can vary between a light brown and dark brown that’s almost black. In the rare case of Albino Pugs, they may have blue eyes due to the lack of melanin in their bodies. Pugs have big and round eyes that make them prone to several eye problems.

Ears

Pugs feature cute and floppy ears in two distinct shapes: rose and button. Both shapes are accepted and recognized by AKC. However, for show purposes, the button shape is the favored one.

Face and snout

A flat, wrinkly face and short snout are the most known physical attributes of the Pug dog breed. According to AKC, a Pug’s facial wrinkles are actually a badge of honor because of its pattern resembling the Chinese character of the word “prince.” Some even say that the wrinkles are luck symbols, also based on the language of China.

Tail

Pugs have tightly-curled tails that go all the way to their back. Pugs with double curls are another favorite trait in shows.

How Big Does a Full Grown Pug Get?

how big does a full grown pug get
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Pugs are small dogs that weigh an average of 14 to 18 pounds for a completely grown adult dog for both males and females. Meanwhile, a male Pug can grow between 10 to 14 inches, and a female Pug can grow as tall as 10 to 12 inches

How to Take Care of a Pug?

how to take care of a pug
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The Pug can be quite high maintenance at times, especially with grooming and feeding them. Still, the time you spent taking care of your Pug is worth every while because they have so much to bring to the table that you can almost never get tired of being around them.

Exercise

Pugs are not very fond of heavy exercises; however, regular exercises or light exercise routines are highly recommended for this breed. The most preferable activity for them is walking. Take them out for a 20-minute walk every day, so they can maintain a healthy weight and engage their muscles from time to time.

Some more active Pugs may do well in dog sports, such as competition obedience and agility. This breed is prone to obesity, and keeping their weight in check by doing daily exercises is a good way to promote a long and healthy life.

Grooming

This is the part where Pugs require a little more attention and care. Pugs shed all year-round, most likely because of their double coats. Pug grooming requires you to brush their dog hair daily with a rubber curry brush or bristle brush to maintain your Pug’s coat and avoid knots or tangles.

Other than regular brushing, bathing your Pug frequently (every three or four weeks) is a fantastic way to keep their coat in good condition. Also, make sure to clean in-between your Pug’s wrinkles as these deep spots are usually a hotspot for bacteria and infections. And as always, regularly trim their nails and clean their ears to avoid any kind of skin infection.

You might also be interested in: How Much Do Pugs Shed

Diet

Pugs will thrive well with a high-quality diet suitable for your dog’s age. You can also opt to feed them breed-specific dog foods or dog foods for small breeds that are specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of a small canine. Pugs are prone to obesity and they need a nutritionally balanced meal with the right amount of calories, vitamins, and minerals to keep them in optimal health.

Related Review: 10 Best Dog Food for Pugs in 2022

1. How much to feed

Adult Pugs will require 1 cup of dry food or 12oz of wet food every day. Their calorie requirements are 40 calories per pound of body weight. Meanwhile, a Pug puppy will need more calories because they spend more energy than an adult or senior dog. Pug puppies need 50 calories per pound of body weight and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry food per meal every day. That’s equivalent to 3 or 4oz of wet food every day.

2. How often to feed

Adult Pugs need to be fed twice a day, splitting their 1 cup of dry food every day to 1/2 cup per meal, given in the morning and evening. Similar to the wet dog food, the 12oz needs to be split into two, making it 6oz of wet food per meal, distributed twice a day.

It’s a different case for puppies because they need to replenish their energy to last a whole day. Feed your puppy three to four times a day with 1/4 or 1/2 cup of dry food per meal.

3. Common food allergies

Pugs can also be prone to food allergies with certain ingredients or additives. The most common food allergens may include animal proteins (chicken, beef, lamb), dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, corn, artificial flavors, preservatives, and other additives. If that’s the case for your pug, you can switch them to a limited ingredient diet to limit their exposure to many ingredients that can potentially induce allergies.

The signs and symptoms of an allergy include:

  • Irritated skin like itching, rash, or skin sores
  • Skin inflammation
  • Hair loss
  • Dry and dull coat
  • Glassy eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Chronic ear infection
  • Upset stomach or diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Biting or scratching of their own skin

Are Pugs Easy to Train?

A white and black coated pug standing and holding a human's palm
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Pugs are actually smart and fast learners, and training them can actually be fun. However, they can also be stubborn at times, so training them will require great patience and discipline on both your parts. A bonus trait is that they tend to love pleasing their owners, so this may be an advantage for you.

Are they easy to potty train?

Again, the Pug is an intelligent dog, and despite their stubborn character, they are still trainable. They can be potty trained, but will it be easy? It can be. If done with positive reinforcement. As long as you have a good training routine, your Pug can be fully trained within 2 to 3 months.

What’s the best age to train a Pug?

Typically, the best age to train any dog is to start them at an early age. You can enroll them in puppy classes with a good dog trainer as early as 6 to 8 weeks. Also, don’t forget to apply early socialization in their training as this helps a lot when they’re dealing with other dogs or people.

What Environment Is Ideal for a Pug?

Taking Care of Your Pug
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The Pug is more of an indoorsy type of dog. Generally, Pugs prefer living in the city, ideally in an apartment or house. This breed doesn’t do well in extreme weather conditions, so they will not like living in a place that’s too hot or cold, especially with hot temperatures. Pugs, and other brachycephalic breeds with flat faces, are susceptible to breathing issues when faced with extreme heat or humid weather.

Pug Temperament

How Long Do Pugs Live
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Aside from being charming, affectionate, and intelligent, Pugs can also be playful and eager to please. Most times, they’re very calm and relaxed, but when put in a room with children or other people, their social battery is at maximum capacity. They can also be mischievous at times, which can get them in really big trouble. But, let’s be honest, those adorable brown eyes and cute facial expression makes them irresistible and almost hard to get mad at.

Does this breed do well with children?

The Pug is actually one of the best furry playmates for children. Their playfulness and affectionate nature are only a few reasons that make them appealing to both kids and adults alike. They’re the ideal family dog and can get along with anyone, even other animals.

Does it do well with other pets?

When interacting with other dogs or pets, you don’t have to worry much about your Pug because they have this natural charm that makes them approachable to anyone. This breed will not pass on the chance to be around other dogs because they personally love the company. In fact, they’re one of the clingiest breeds you can have. If you’re taking care of one, make sure to give them your attention even when in the presence of other breeds or pets because they tend to be sensitive and can get hurt easily.

Are pugs aggressive?

No, Pugs are not an aggressive breed. They’re the opposite of aggressive. They’re sweet, gentle, and loving most of the time. However, there may be factors contributing to your Pug developing aggressive behavior.

Aggressive behavior in dogs is often a result of a lack of proper training and early socialization. Some signs of aggressive behaviors include barking, nipping, lunging, or growling. This is the exact reason why puppy training and socializing them early is highly recommended, to avoid aggressive tendencies like this.

What Is the Average Life Span of Pugs

How To Determine The Ideal Weight Of Your Dog?
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Pugs have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, which can still vary per Pug depending on their health condition. Female Pugs tend to live longer than male ones, with an average life span of 13.2 years. While the average male Pug can live up to 12.8 years.

Did You Know? The oldest living Pug was a male Pug named SnookieSadly, Snookie passed away at 27 years old–the oldest recorded Pug to have ever lived–in South Africa on October 12, 2018Although he is gone, his legacy of being the oldest Pug to have ever lived will remain forever.

Pug Common Health Issues

pug common health issues
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Let’s talk about health. The Pug has a lot of attributes that make them prone to specific health problems. For example, their large bulging eyes make them incredibly vulnerable to eye problems, which will be discussed later on. Another is their flat face and short snouts that make them susceptible to breathing problems. We’ll talk about all this and more, so make sure to read on.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)

Pug Dog Encephalitis or PDE is a genetic autoimmune disease that Pugs and other small breeds are prone to. Breaking it down word per word, let’s study the terminology ‘Encephalitis.’ Encephal- meaning “brain” and -itis meaning “inflammation.” Therefore, Encephalitis put quite simply means inflammation of the brain.

PDE is an idiopathic condition, meaning there’s no known cause, making it harder to diagnose. This disease leads to symptoms including:

  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Abnormal walking
  • Collapsing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blindness
  • Depression
  • Weakness

This disease can progress quickly and can lead to sudden death. If your Pug is showing any symptoms of PDE, immediately take them to the vet to get tested and provided with medication or drugs.

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

Canine Hip Dysplasia is not common in Pugs. Still, it should be something that all Pug owners are aware of. CHD is a degenerative disease defined by the abnormal formation of the hip joint wherein the ball and socket are not fitted together properly. Unfortunately for the affected dog, this can cause extreme pain and discomfort accompanied by several other symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of Hip Dysplasia are:

  • Reluctance to running, jumping, or climbing the stairs
  • Limping
  • Lameness in the rear leg
  • Bunny hopping
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Decrease in activity levels
  • Difficulty standing or lying down
  • Limited range of motion

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Brachycephalic Syndrome is a breed-specific condition that only affects brachycephalic breeds, such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, etc. Brachy- meaning “short,” and cephalic, which means “relating to the head.” Put two and two together, brachycephalic refers to dogs with short heads or short skulls.

Brachycephalic Syndrome, also known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), causes breathing abnormalities in pugs because of their short bones in the face and nose. These abnormalities include:

  • Stenotic nares or narrow nostrils
  • Elongated soft palate which blocks airflow into the trachea
  • Hypoplastic trachea or narrowed airway
  • Everted laryngeal saccules which also obstructs airflow

The most obvious sign of this condition is if your Pug is having difficulty breathing. Other signs may include:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Lower activity levels
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Snoring
  • Gagging
  • Coughing
  • Retching

Eye problems

A Pug’s eyes are one of their most adorable features that can make any fur parent swoon. It’s either likely because of the big round shape of their eyes or the cute puppy eyes they have going on, which closely resembles the pleading face emoji 🥺.

Unfortunately, this particular feature of them makes them more susceptible to several eye problems, which are:

  • Cherry Eye – As expected from its name, Cherry eye is an eye issue that makes the eyes look red or pink. There’s no known cause for it, but it’s believed to be genetically developed.
  • Corneal Ulcers – Pugs having big bulging eyes makes them prone to Corneal Ulcers. These are ulcers in the eye usually result from blunt trauma or injury like scratches. Corneal Ulcers make the eye look cloudy with redness on the white part of the eye because of irritation.
  • Entropion – This is an eye condition wherein the eyelid rolls inward to the eyes, causing the eyelashes to make contact with the cornea and injure it. This can cause pain and inflammation.
  • Dry Eye – Also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is dryness in the eyes due to the eyes not producing enough tears to lubricate the eye.
  • Proptosis – Another disadvantage of having bulgy eyes like the Pug is their likeliness to develop Proptosis. This is a condition where the eyeball protrudes beyond the eyelid, making the eyelid dangle from the eye socket. Which is not a very pretty sight for anyone.
  • Cataracts – Cataracts cause blurry or cloudy vision in dogs. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

Luxating Patella

Luxating Patella, also called Patellar Luxation, is the displacement of the patella or kneecap from its normal position. It’s genetically developed in Pugs and very common within the Toy Group.

The following are the signs and symptoms of Luxating Patella:

  • Lameness
  • Skipping
  • Stiffness on the rear leg
  • Lump on the inner or outer part of the leg
  • Pain
  • Arthritis

Hypoglycemia

Toy breeds and Pugs, in particular, are very prone to hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, often related to diabetes, is a condition where the dog has too much insulin, leading to decreased sugar or glucose levels in the blood.

Hypoglycemia may be caused by several reasons like insufficient food intake, burning too much energy, severe stress, or in some cases, diabetes. Diabetes in Pugs can be brought because of obesity. They are one of the breeds that’s also prone to obesity which is often a result of overeating or overfeeding them.

Skin Allergies

Environmental or contact allergens are a few reasons why Pugs can develop skin allergies. Environmental allergens like mold, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander are only the most common. Household cleaners or pet shampoos and conditioners can also trigger an allergy in dogs because of a specific ingredient in them.

Another culprit of skin allergies is fleas. Specifically, flea bites as the saliva of the flea come in contact with the dog’s skin. Avoid these by using flea and tick prevention products like flea sprays, flea collars, and more.

How Much Does a Pug Cost?

how much does a pug cost
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A Pug puppy can cost anywhere between $500 to $1500, depending on where you’re buying them from. Buying from reputable breeders will obviously cost you more, ranging from $600 to $1500. The general rule is the younger the dog, the pricier it is.

There’s also adoption, which can cost you about $100 to $500 tops. The only problem with this is it may take time before you find the perfect Pug for you, but all that waiting time will eventually be worth it once you find the right one. You also have an option to get a pug rescue from rescue organizations or animal shelters. They’re a lot more inexpensive and are actually free most of the time.

Other Similar Dog Breeds

other similar dog breeds
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There are numerous reasons why pet parents are drawn to this breed. Pugs are widely popular due to their charming personality and loving and loyal nature. They’re the type of breed that will do anything to make you happy and make sure you feel appreciated by them. Not only that, but their physical characteristics add to the allure of this breed. I mean, who can resist such beautiful big brown eyes and cute facial expressions that make you fall in love.

The Pug is the ideal furry friend for almost anyone, but there are also other dogs that possess some of the characteristics, traits, personalities, and physical attributes of the Pug. If you’re still undecided about getting a Pug, you might want to consider some of these breeds.

Here’s a list of other dog breeds like the Pug and their similarities and differences.

Other BreedsSimilaritiesDifferences
1. Boston Terrierlaid-back, large eyes, friendly, short noseindependent, originally bred as a fighting dog
2. French Bulldogpopular, face and body shape, large jaws, wrinkly face, affectionate, playful, sociablealert, active, bat ears, heavier, muscular
3. English Bulldogcalm, friendly, willful, loving, gentleoriginated from the United Kingdom, bigger in size, low energy
4. French Mastifffriendly, gentle, loyal, wrinkly face, short snout, great with children, low maintenance coat, don’t need much exercisemuscular, heavier, easy to train, moderate social interaction, excellent guard dogs
5. Chinese Shar-Peiloose and wrinkly skin, short muzzle, originated from China, affectionate, lovingreserved to strangers, independent
6. Pekingeseoriginated from China, flat face, large eyes, great family pet, affectionate, stubbornhard to groom, doesn’t do well with strangers or other dogs, low vigor
7. Bullmastiffcalm, loving, short muzzle, loyalreserved, originally bred as guard dogs, muscular, protective, aggressive

Tips on Finding the Right Breeder

tips on finding the right breeder

Breeding dogs is a practice that should be done responsibly and ethically. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), responsible breeders strive to breed dogs with utmost care and concern. This is only the tip of the iceberg to know if a breeder is a responsible one.

Signs to look for in a responsible breeder

These are the main things you need to look for in a responsible breeder. Knowing this information ensures the quality of the pet you’re looking for.

  1. The breeder is part of parent breed clubs (i.e. Pug Dog Club of America or National Breed Club)
  2. Great background in breeding
  3. Shows genuine concern for animals
  4. Creates a high-quality living environment for dogs
  5. Shows transparency about the history of the dogs
  6. Provides necessary documents such as Hip Certification, Genetic Testing, Registration, and Bloodline
  7. Open to answering questions
  8. Implements health clearances to ensure puppy’s health is in good condition
  9. Schedules a visit or video call to see the puppy
  10. They make sure that the puppy will live in a good home with good fur parents

What to avoid when looking for a breeder

Above all this, you should also consider that Dog Breeding is a business. Some people would take advantage of pet parents looking to buy a puppy in exchange for profit. Watch out for these signs in a breeder and avoid them at all costs.

  1. Backyard breeders and puppy mills… enough said
  2. They sell two to three litters of puppies at the same time
  3. Making false undocumented claims about the dog’s character
  4. Defensive when asked about their breeding practices
  5. Doesn’t allow visits
  6. If visits are allowed, the place where the puppies are bred doesn’t satisfy comfortable living conditions
  7. No pedigree information and registration documents available
  8. No medical history provided

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a dog to spoil and constantly pour your affections to, the Pug is the best companion for you! Pugs put the FUN in furry companions. They have the sweetest and most loving personalities you’ll most likely drown from their love. Almost everything about them is amazing and beautiful, and you’d be lucky to be the fur parent of this awesome breed.

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