Pug Breed Overview
Dignified and versatile, the Pug is a breed who happily lives up to his purpose of being a full-time loyal companion. This adorable small-breed dog craves human companionship and will follow his owner every chance he gets. If there is an opportunity to have his owner’s attention or to curl up in a lap, the Pug will be there in a flash. More relaxed and sedentary than energetic, the breed makes an ideal canine companion for any age group.
Pugs can be comic or serious, or a little bit of both, and they have a reputation for stubbornness. Their temperament is significantly influenced by their training and socialisation, so any potential Pug owner must have the time and effort to train their dog to be a happy family member and friend to the community. Life with a playful, loving Pugs are highly rewarding and enjoyable.
Their size can go up to 36 cm and weigh up to 9 kg.
- Suitability for Children – High
- Tendency to Bark – Low
- Energy – Medium
- Suitability as a Guard Dog – Low
- Grooming Requirements – Once a Week
- Amount of hair shed – Heavy
- Food Cost – $5 to $10
- Average Monthly Pet insurance Premium – $58
The Pug, a small breed, typically has a lifespan between 10 and 12 years, although with regular veterinary care, a good diet, and lucky genes, this dog breed can live up to 15 years. This type of dog has a few health problems related to his physical makeup, but otherwise, the Pug is a generally healthy breed of dog who is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.
A Pug’s ideal weight is between 6.3 – 8.1 kg; males tend to fall between 6 – 9 kg while females weigh in between 6 – 8 kg. As a small dog breed, the Pug doesn’t stand tall. Generally, both male and female members of the breed stand 30 – 36 cm tall.
General Exercise and Care
The Pug can be excitable and energetic, but for the most part, this breed loves to cuddle up in his owner’s lap on the couch. Fairly low-maintenance and usually inactive while indoors, the Pug is an ideal dog for individual owners, families, and older people. The small size of this breed also works for people living in apartments, condominiums, or homes with small backyards.
A Pug should have some short outside exercise every day or his antics indoors might be more energy-filled than an owner would desire. This breed is highly sensitive to heat and humidity, especially due to its short-nose, so Pugs who live in hot environments should have their outdoor exercise during the early morning or late evening hours when it is cooler.
The Pug was bred to be a companion, and as such, this breed needs to spend time with his owner. Pugs love to cuddle and crave their owner’s attention, but they should also be properly trained and socialised for life outside the home. Socialisation, the earlier the better, will provide exposure to other people, animals, sights, and sounds and result in a well-trained and friendly Pug.
This breed is prone to some quirks. For example, the Pug is liable to overeat and gain weight if given the opportunity. Their food intake must be monitored to avoid the chances of obesity. Also, Pugs have a tendency to snore, wheeze, and snort loudly due to their short muzzles, so owners may want to invest in a pair of ear plugs to block out their dog’s odd noises.
Origins of Pug
As an ancient breed, the Pug boasts of origins from China during the Han Dynasty (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200). Believed to be related to the Tibetan Mastiff, the Pug was celebrated by Chinese emperors and lived a life of luxury, complete with his own bodyguards. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the Chinese began trading with Europe, and the first Pugs arrived in the company of Dutch traders who called the dog the Mopshond.
Pugs quickly became popular in Europe, especially amongst royal families. In 1572, a Pug reportedly saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by warning him that his Spanish enemies were nearby. As a reward, the breed was made the official dog of the House of Orange. When William of Orange travelled to England to claim the throne in 1688, he took his Pugs with him.
By the 1800s, the breed was standardised with two dominant lines, but in 1860, when the British invaded the Chinese Imperial Palace they found several Pugs and brought them back to England. These Pugs were considered to be of the purest lines and their offspring are credited with creating the modern Pug. Queen Victoria became a fan of Pugs and owned and bred several of them.
After the American Civil War, Pugs arrived in the United States. The breed was formally recognised in 1885 by the American Kennel Club. Pugs became less popular at the turn of the century, but over the last decade, their popularity has once again soared as they are featured on everything from television commercials to magazine advertisements to greeting cards. With the Pug literally everywhere, expect this breed to continue to steal hearts anywhere he goes.
Descriptions of the Pug run the range of adjectives associated with happiness and energy: intelligent, spirited, peppy, animated, loyal, playful, and loving. The breed has a comic streak in it, and often, Pugs will act playfully and comically to get their owner’s attention. Easy to train and totally dedicated to their owner, this type of dog will be by his owner’s side at all times, always a willing and devoted friend. That said, the Pug can develop a stubborn streak if not properly trained and socialised.
This dog breed has at times been compared to cats. Pugs enjoy the comforts of their home and their owner’s company, but they can occasionally exhibit an independent streak and indulge in doing things on their own. Additionally, this dog can be lazy at times, going from bursting with energy to falling asleep in their dog bed or in your lap.
Children and Other Pets with Pugs
Pugs are the ideal family pet as they adore children. The Pug’s temperament and size works well with children of all ages, although any interactions between kids and dogs should always be supervised by an adult. However, the Pug is not the best dog for an overly active family or for kids who want a dog to run around the block with or play fetch.
The Pug is good-natured and typically gets along with other dogs, cats, and small pets. Introductions should be supervised and conducted slowly over the course of a few days.
Common Diseases and Conditions
Every dog breed has some health concerns and conditions, and the Pugs are not an exception. Not every dog will develop these inherited conditions, but potential owners should know what to look for in their dog’s health. Pugs are popular dogs and are top choices amongst dog breeders. If you intend to purchase pug puppies from a breeder, be sure that the breeder is reputable and humane. Any legitimate breeder should be willing to provide health certificates for the puppy that prove he has not inherited and genetic conditions associated with his breed. Here are some of the more common health problems that this type of dog can develop:
- Legg-Perthes Disease is a health condition of the hip joint, one that commonly affects small and toy breeds. Legg-Perthes disease occurs when the blood supply to the femur decreases, and the are where the pelvis meets the head of the femur starts to disintegrate. Usually, the first symptoms of this disease — leg muscle atrophy and limping — appear in a puppy between two and four months of age. Surgery to remove the diseased femur head is one way to correct this condition. Scar tissue from the surgery typically forms a false joint, allowing the Pug puppy to live a normal, pain-free life.
- Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) is a terminal inflammatory brain disease that is particular only to Pugs. Thus far, veterinary scientists are unclear as to the cause of PCE. There is no cure for the condition and no testing either. PDE can only be determined with brain tests after the dog’s death. Symptoms of PDE include circling, seizure, and blindness before the dog falls into a coma and then dies. PDE generally affects younger Pugs. Currently, research into the disease is being funded and sponsored by the American Kennel Club and the Pug Dog Club of America.
- Eye Problems are a frequent issue for this dog breed. Pugs may suffer from a variety of eye issues ranging from mild to serious situations. These eye problems include:
- Corneal ulcers may happen due to the Pug’s bulging, round eyes. Eyes of this shape are prone to injuries that cause ulcers to form on the cornea. Ulcers typically respond well to medicated treatment, but if left untreated, they can cause blindness or eye ruptures.
- Dry eye, including pigmentary keratitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, happens when the eyes fail to produce enough tears to keep the eye wet. Your Pug can be tested by a veterinarian to determine his type of dry eye, and medication can be applied to resolve the situation. Without treatment, a Pug will suffer irritation and eventually blindness. This life-long condition will require constant care.
- Proptosis occurs when the eyeball experiences forward displacement from the socket so that it is beyond the eyelid. This situation requires immediate veterinary attention, and the doctor will determine if the eye must be repaired or removed.
- Hemi-vertebrae is a condition that often affects brachycephalic, or short-nosed dogs like the Pug. Sometimes, this type of dog can have a misshapen vertebrae, and in most cases, the dog can live a normal life. If multiple vertebrae are impacted, the dog may stagger, limp, display a weak gate, and have difficulty walking. The condition for some dogs will worsen with time until the dog is paralysed. Scientists do not know the cause of the condition, however, surgery can address and alleviate this issue for most dogs.
A group of Pugs is called a “grumble.”
Pugs have been referred to in Latin as multum in parvo, or “a lot of dog in a small space.”
The Pug may be named after a monkey. Marmosets were popular pets in the 18th century and were nicknamed “pugs.” Because the facial features of the Pug and marmoset are similar, the Pug may have received his name from this coincidence.
The Pug tail curls up toward the body, and a double curl tail is considered perfection by the American Kennel Club.
GetEducated.com pulled a stunt in 2009 to prove that some colleges were taking advantage of students. They used Chester Ludlow, a Pug, to make their point. Chester “submitted his resume” to the college website, and paid the fee for the diploma. One week later, Chester had earned grades, a degree, and a 3.19 GPA even though he was a dog and never attended a class.