Good for Novice Owners:
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Registered?: aca, akc
Pug Dog Breed Information
Did You Know?
The Pug, or Pug Dog, is famous for its flat-faced appearance and large, soulful eyes. They are an ancient dog breed that originated in China over 2,000 years ago. They were originally developed as a refined pet of Chinese royalty along with the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu. During this time, the Pug was considered a national treasure that outsiders could only access if one was gifted to them.
Dutch traders from the 1500s can be credited with bringing the Pug onto the world stage when they brought some back to Europe with them. They quickly became the mascot of Holland’s Royal House of Orange and made their way to England as nobility traveled there. The Pug made its way to the United States in the 1800s. The AKC recognized the Pug as part of the Toy Group in 1885. Now, the Pug is a popular dog breed worldwide. They are a popular companion that provides their owners with plenty of love and laughter from their comedic and playful antics.
The Pug is a playful and outgoing dog breed with a charming personality. They tend to be very loving towards children and also get along well with other pets and dogs. They are a companion breed at heart known for their gentle nature and sociable personality. They love to give love and receive it in return. Their sensitive nature makes them intuitive as well and Pugs will often sense the moods of their owners and react accordingly. They crave attention and affection from their owners and are big fans of napping.
This dog breed is often described as an ideal house dog and they are moderately adaptable. They will do well in homes of any size, including apartments. The Pug also adapts well to city or country life and are a good fit for singles or families of any size. Although they are highly adaptable to various living situations, they are less adaptable to climates. Pugs are very sensitive to the heat and overexertion, so they are best-suited to moderate climates. They also love to be with their families and will not be happy if left alone for a long time.
As with any dog breed, the Pug has some health conditions to be aware of. In particular, corneal ulcers and dry eye are some potential eye problems that can occur. Additionally, Pugs can be susceptible to hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and encephalitis. Asking the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and to see health clearances can help allay concerns for some of these health issues. Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club include a Pug Dog Encephalitis DNA Test, Hip Evaluation, Ophthalmologist Evaluation, and Patella Evaluation.
Pugs are also big foodies. They love to eat! Their love for food means this dog breed is prone to obesity. As a brachycephalic dog, their large head and short snout often cause respiratory problems, which can limit their exercise at times and contribute to weight gain. Obesity can exacerbate respiratory issues in your Pug, so it’s important to watch their caloric intake, limit the use of treats as a reward, and to ensure they get enough exercise. Due to their short snout, Pugs are also prone to “reverse sneezing”, especially when they are excited. This will cause them to quickly gasp and snort, which can sound relatively alarming. These episodes are usually not harmful as your Pug is just clearing their palate and throat. Sometimes, you can help shorten these episodes by gently massaging your dog’s throat.
The Pug tends to be easy to train and is a good fit for owners of any experience level. They are eager to please their owners and tend to pick up on commands quickly. They are sensitive souls and their feelings can be hurt easily, so they will not respond well to harsh corrections. This dog breed responds best to consistent training that focuses on positive rewards and will benefit from participation in puppy training classes.
Pugs have a smooth, glossy, and short coat. Their fur is fine and soft. Although their coat is generally low-maintenance, it will shed throughout the year. Brushing your dog’s coat weekly or a few times a week will help remove loose fur and keep it on the brush instead of all over your home. Aside from brushing, Pugs only need occasional baths on an as-needed basis. If your Pug has gotten into something messy or starts to smell, it’s time for a bath. It’s also important to trim their nails regularly, check and clean their ears and face wrinkles, and brush their teeth.
Overly long nails will make moving around uncomfortable and painful, so it’s good to trim your Pug’s nails monthly, or more often if needed, to keep them comfortable. Because Pugs have ears that drop down, they can be susceptible to moisture, dirt, or debris. Checking their ears regularly and cleaning as needed helps to keep them healthy and comfortable. The same goes for their iconic face wrinkles. Brushing your dog’s teeth helps reduce tartar buildup and prevent dental problems. Daily brushing is ideal, but if your Pug is not allowing you to do that, a few times a week should be sufficient. Getting your Pug used to these grooming tasks as a puppy will help make it a positive bonding experience and a much easier process throughout their life.
This dog breed has a low to moderate energy level. Generally, daily walks and some play sessions are enough exercise for this dog breed. They may have short bursts of energy as they have a very playful nature, but they will tire easily. Because of their small stature, bulging eyes, and snub nose, it’s important to avoid rough play and to ensure your Pug doesn’t push themselves too hard, especially in the heat. Some Pugs can handle a little more activity and even compete in some dogs sports like agility, rally, and obedience. Make sure you check with your vet first before jumping into dog sports with your dog.
A full-grown Pug will usually stand 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds.
This dog breed generally lives for 13-15 years.
The Pug was a popular pet of the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet.