Get to know the Pug
All you need to know about the breed
Cute, quirky and characterful, the Pug looks almost like a real-life ‘Baby Yoda’. Very in-demand, especially with families, they are renowned for their even-tempered, docile disposition. They’re great with children and other pets, once trained – especially as they have a playful side to their personality – and Pugs are quite smart little dogs too.
They also have the advantage of being a fairly low-maintenance breed. Their short, smooth coat makes them easy to care for and they require only a moderate amount of exercise. A fairly quiet breed too, the Pug doesn’t tend to bark that much.
A favourite of dog-lovers for a mere 2,000 years, the Pug was originally bred in China, where snub-nosed dogs have always been in vogue. Brought over to Europe in the 16th century, they have been a popular pet dog, on both sides of the world, ever since.
A member of the toy group of dogs, the Pug is unique in being the only member to share their ancestry with the Mastiff. Notably, both breeds have the same wrinkly features in common.
Small but solid, Pugs have a soft, smooth coat that comes in a range of colours – from silver and apricot to fawn and black. They also have a particularly expressive face. Known for their barrel-shaped body too, the silhouette is completed by their distinctive curled tail.
One thing to bear in mind is that their squat stature and couch-potato tendencies can make Pugs prone to putting on weight. But no need to worry; as long as they have the right diet and enough exercise, it’s not hard to keep your Pug at their peak. On that note, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, the Pug has a pretty good lifespan too.
A popular fixture in film and television, the Pug dog breed often pops up on our screens. Perhaps most notably, the Men in Black franchise features Frank – a fictional talking Pug. Also, in the TV series Spin City, Carter’s pet Pug, Rags, frequently steals the show – and a Pug called Bess also appears in The West Wing. Stars one and all!
2 facts about Pugs
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Pug
They can be prone to respiratory issues
The Pug is what is known as a ‘brachycephalic’ breed, which means they can be susceptible to breathing difficulties because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat. Other examples of this include the French and English Bulldogs, the Pekingese and the Boston Terrier. In the case of the Pug, their breathing passage ways are particularly compact. This also means that Pugs don’t do well in hot weather, and can be prone to heatstroke, so their walks should be timed accordingly. As always with these things, prevention is better than cure, so it’s important to buy from a responsible breeder who will be aiming for the healthiest dogs possible.
Eye problems can be another area of concern
The large, globe-shaped eyes of the Pug are one of their best-loved features. But they can also be prone to a few potential problems. Among these are cataracts, corneal ulcers and eyelid/eyelash disorders as well as a condition called pigmentary keratopathy that is common in brachycephalic dogs. As early detection can often help to head off more serious issues, it’s a good idea to check their eyes regularly for any warning signs. Your Pug’s weekly grooming sessions can be a good moment for this. Also, regular optical examinations can be booked in with your vet for long-term peace of mind.
It’s best to leave breeding to the professionals
One of the lesser-known issues that could affect your Pug – and only if they are a female – is a condition called ‘dystocia’. Essentially, this is a difficulty in giving birth, and it means that Pugs can often require a Caesarean to ensure the safe delivery of their puppies. As this can be dangerous for your dog, having your Pug spayed is highly recommended. In any event, it’s best to leave breeding to the professionals who know how to ensure the safety of both the mother and her puppies. Responsible breeders will also screen for various hereditary conditions and breed selectively to make sure their features don’t become too exaggerated.
Caring for your Pug
Grooming, training and exercise tips