A Quick Look at the Pug dog...

The Pug dog is a charming small breed that is well recognized for his black masked muzzle, wrinkled face and dark bulbous eyes. They are a very playful breed with an even temper and a loving personality. He is highly social, enjoying the company of humans and thriving on the affection and attention of his owners.

They are a very animated, lively and spirited breed that likes to be engaged in activity. He is intelligent, and eager to learn.  He also makes a good watchdog and is a wonderful, devoted companion through and through. Not shy, or aggressive, the Pug is happy-go-lucky and gets a long well with everyone, including children and other house pets.

Here are some fast facts about the Pug:

Dog Group:
Toy (AKC)
Recognized By:
Dogs – 13 - 20 lbs. (6 - 9kg.)
Bitches – 13 - 18 lbs (6 - 8 kg)
Dogs - 12 - 14 in. (30 - 36 cm)
Bitches – 10 - 12 in. (25 - 30 cm)
Average litter size:
Life expectancy:
13 years (average of 12 - 15 years)
Health problems:
Coat care:
Exercise needs:
Suitable for children:
Pet compatibility:
Barking frequency:

Brief History

A popular dog today, the Pug is actually one of the oldest breeds in the world, and is thought to have been in existence since before 400 BC. Due to the fact that the animal has such an extensive history, there has been some debate over the true origins of the breed. That said, many researchers believe that the Pug initially came from Asia and was the descendant of a short-haired Pekingese. Others think that Pugs are the miniature form of the French Mastiff, while some consider them to have come about from crossing a small Bulldog.

The Pug became quite popular during the Victorian era. The breed made its way to Tibetan monasteries, Japan and Europe. He was a pet popular with royals, but actually became the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland when one of Prince William II Pugs alerted him to the approach of Spaniards, saving his life. Other notable people who owned pugs include the artist Hogarth and Napoleon’s wife, Josephine.

Pugs eventually made their way to North America, and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Though they have always been a companion dog and watchdog, they are also skilled at performing tricks.

Pug Breed Appearance and Characteristics

General Appearance - A stocky, small dog, the Pug has a thick, solid, and square appearance. His large head is round and his square shaped muzzle is short and blunt, giving his face a very flat look. He has a slight under-bite, and there are moles that decorate his cheeks, which are very favorable in the breed and are considered beauty spots. In addition to moles, his face also features large deep wrinkles. His eyes are very big, prominent, round and dark, and his thin ears are small and have either a button or rose shape. The Pug’s tail is set high and curls up over the back. Their short coat is fine, smooth and soft to the touch and colors include apricot, fawn, silver and black. Typically, the fur that surrounds their eyes, covers their muzzle and ears is black.

Typical Temperament - Though the Pug has an intense expression, he is very playful, charming and is incredibly vivacious. While their expression says otherwise, they are a very happy and social breed, eager to enjoy the company of those a part of their family as well as outsiders. They are very fond of children and enjoy the company of other household pets.

Pugs are not yappy, but they will bark to alert their owner to strange sights or sounds, which makes them a very good watchdog. They are very comical, rambunctious and have a super sense of humor, and are a lot of fun to watch. In addition, they have a very loving and stable disposition, are not aggressive dogs and are highly intelligent.

Basic Pug Requirements

Grooming - The Pug has a smooth, short haired coat, and it is very easy to manage. Simply brush with a firm bristle brush on a daily basis to remove any debris or excess hair (this will help with shedding, as he is a seasonally heavy shedder). The coat should only be bathed or dry shampooed when necessary. When he is bathed, owners must make sure he is dried thoroughly to prevent him from getting a chill.

The wrinkles on his face must be cleaned every other day at the very least. The folds of the skin need to be wiped with a damp, tepid soft cloth and then dried thoroughly to prevent infection, which is often caused by a buildup of bacteria from moisture. His nails should be clipped on a monthly basis, and teeth brushed every few days to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Exercise - Despite their size, Pugs are strong canines. They should be taken on a walk every day for 20-30 minutes. They are an active breed and love to engage in energetic games, so there are plenty of ways for you to help them release their energy, get the exercise they need and bond with them. Note: Due to the fact that Pugs are a flat muzzle breed, it is very important that you don’t over exercise this dog, as he may have difficulty catching his breath. Furthermore, he should not be taken outdoors in extreme hot or cold climates, as he is very sensitive to temperature and can become overheated or chilled quickly.

Approximate Food Cost - Depending on the age, activity level, weight and overall health of the Pug, it will consume between 1 ¼ and 1 2/3 cups of dry dog food daily. On average, a typical quality dog food will cost approximately $15 on a monthly basis.

General Health Information

In the right environment, with proper care, and good genetics, Pugs can live long lives. However, this breed is susceptible to a variety of illnesses that include allergies, chronic breathing problems (i.e. snoring, wheezing), heatstroke, skin issues, and eye conditions (i.e. keratities - inflammation of the cornea - cornea ulcers, weeping). This breed is also prone to a condition known as Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), which is an inflammation of the brain that occurs in adolescent Pugs who are often between two and three years of age.

In addition, owners need to make sure they do not overfeed a Pug, as this puts them at a higher risk of obesity, which can dramatically shorten their lives.

Common Illnesses include:  PDE, slipped stifles, eye problems, chronic breathing issues.

Are You the Right Pug Owner?

Living conditions - The Pug is a good dog for apartment living. He is not very active inside and does not need a yard to be content. That said, he should still be taken outside for a walk and other enjoyment whenever possible to feed his natural instincts, and for his overall wellbeing. Just remember that this breed is very sensitive to hot and cold weather, and should not be taken out in extreme temperatures. Moreover, the climate within his home should be comfortable.

Training - A very smart breed, Pugs are quick learners who generally want to please. However, they can be quite willful at times during training if the lesson does not peak their interest, or if their owner does not display the characteristics of a pack leader. Therefore, owners need to keep training interesting, as this dog does bore quickly. Also, consistency, patience, praise and reward are necessary to make training a success. Pugs should be well socialized and provided with obedience training at an early age to ensure they develop the stable, pleasant and charming temperament for which they are known.

Common Problems - A Pug that does not have a strong pack leader, and is not provided with proper obedience training, can develop negative behaviors, such as jealousy, guarding (i.e. people, food, toys, objects, furniture, etc), and simply not listening to commands. Other problems include snoring and wheezing. Since this is a flat muzzle breed, his breathing can be quite noisy.

The bottom line...

Pugs are a fun loving and high spirited breed with a clownish and charming personality. When provided with adequate training and socialization, they have a beautiful and stable temperament that makes them a wonderful pooch for families with children and other pets. Smart, talented and sweet with a big personality, the Pug is a dynamic breed that his shown throughout history that he is a favorite four-legged companion.

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