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Those distinctive wrinkles all over your Pug's face aren't a design flaw — they're a feature! The face wrinkles were intentionally bred into Pugs; the forehead wrinkle pattern resembles the Chinese character for “prince.”
This ancient breed has been keeping its people company since before the birth of Jesus. They remain cherished canine companions to this day as one of the most popular US dogs.
An ancient breed originally from China, these small-sized and medium-energy dogs can grow to between 14-18 pounds and live an average of 13-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Companion
Breed Group: Toy
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A sprinter
Exercise needs A walk in the park
Playfullness and Games All day, every day
Attachment to People Never leave my side
Behavior with Other Dogs Ok with early socialization and consistent training.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I may be ok, when socialized early and often
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability It's fun, but I may lose focus
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I'm not very protective
Grooming needs Easy maintenance, brushes and baths
Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold
Heat tolerance Above 70 degrees? Give me winter, please
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A PUG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Americans love Pugs, and it's easy to see why. Outgoing, loving, and playful, this dog fits well into almost any kind of household. Pugs are even-tempered and so charming you'll find yourself forgiving their tendency toward mischief. These canine comedians are real crowd pleasers.
These dogs are often great with children, but be sure to supervise play and make sure that your little one isn't too “ruff” with this Toy breed.
WHAT IS PUG BEHAVIOR LIKE?
The Pug might not look like much of an athlete, but she's curious and surprisingly strong. You'll both benefit from making sure she gets outside every day to sniff and explore.
These dogs are not big barkers. Pugs usually make alert, yet calm, housedogs as long as she gets enough daily exercise.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A PUG?
Pugs respond well to training. They're eager to please and do best with positive reinforcement. Don't ever try to boss a Pug — you'd be surprised at how hard fifteen pounds of dog can dig in her heels.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO PUGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Pugs are somewhat heavy shedders. Their short coats make them relatively easy keepers as far as grooming goes, however. Plan for weekly brushing and regular baths. Be sure to keep those cute wrinkles clean and dry to prevent infections.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO PUGS HAVE?
As a breed, Pugs are generally healthy. They do tend toward pudginess, so be conscientious about meals and snacks. Attention to heat exhaustion, even in mild weather is important for Pug parents.
Some Pugs are prone to encephalitis, orthopedic issues, breathing challenges, and eye disease. Their bulging eyes can also be prone to “popping” out if their necks are grabbed too tightly or when using a choke collar, so be sure to discuss this potential and how to avoid this danger with your veterinarian. (It is an immediate trip to the emergency vet if it happens.) And, of course, those wrinkles need to be cared for to avoid skin problems and infection.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE PUGS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Pugs among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your Pug after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Pug!
WHAT IS A PUG'S BEST DAY?
Your Pug just wants to spend time with you and see you smile. She'd prefer not to do a long-distance run, but a fun game in your shady backyard on a cool day sounds like a perfect afternoon. She'll then try to convince you that second and third supper are in order — don't believe her.
SHOULD I ADOPT A PUG?
If your dream is to teach your dog to surf with you, this breed will not hang ten. They're too dense to float and aren't very good swimmers. And while these dogs don't much mind the cold, their smooshy faces make it hard for them to breathe in heat. This means they're prone to overheating (even when it's not that hot outside). So if it's a beach dog you're looking for, may we recommend a Portuguese Water Dog?
For just about any other living situation, Pugs are a great fit. They get along with just about everybody, young or old. They don't need much grooming or exhaustive daily exercise, and are comfortable everywhere from city apartments to rural farms. Plus, seriously, look at that face. That wrinkly, bug-eyed, snorting dog just might be your best pup-portunity for canine bliss.
Have you decided that a Pug is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.