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The Pug dog breed is one of the most popular dogs in the Toy Group. Originating in China, Pugs were highly favoured pets of the emperor and other royalty. These small dogs are primarily bred as loving companion dogs.
Pugs will surely put a smile on your face because of their comical and affectionate personality. However, they can be strong-willed and difficult to house-train. The small bodies and relaxed nature of Pugs make them a great fit for apartment living.
The Pug breed is low-maintenance but requires daily brushing. This small dog is not highly active, so he only needs a relatively minimal amount of exercise. The Pug dog breed can live around 12–15 years.
Are you interested in getting a Pug puppy? Here is a brief background of this wrinkly and short-muzzled toy breed.
Pugs are believed to be an ancient breed that originated in China. These small dogs were bred as companions of emperors dating back to 206 BC–200 AD.
The Pug dog breed was an exclusive pet of the nobles. Outsiders can only own these small dogs if they were given as a gift. Tibetan monasteries also kept Pugs as pets.
Progenitors of the Pug dog breed remain debated. Most experts concluded that Pugs are descendants of the Short-haired Pekingese.
However, some believe the crossing of small Bulldogs created the Pug breed. On the other hand, others say that these small dogs are smaller versions of the French Mastiff.
The first Pugs arrived in Europe in the 1500s through the Dutch East India Company. During this time, Pugs slowly became favourites of European royalty.
A Pug named Pompey saved the life of William the Silent, the Prince of Orange, by alerting him to his would-be assassins. Because of this, the breed became the official dog of the House of Orange, the Netherlands’ ruling house.
In 1688, a Pug accompanied William III and his wife, Mary II, in the quest to overthrow James II, Mary II’s father, and take the English throne.
Napoleon and his wife was a big fan of this toy dog breed and owned a Pug named Fortune. Other royalties who fell in love with the Pug breed include Duke and Duchess of Windsor, King Louis XIV, and Queen Victoria.
Originally called Lo Chiang-Sze in China, Pugs had various names as these small dogs travelled to different parts of the world. The Pug dog breed was called Mopshond in Holland, Doguillo in Spain, and Carlin in France.
Pugs got their final name when their facial expression was compared to a Marmoset Pug monkey in the 1700s. Before this happened, many thought that the name of the Pug breed comes from the Latin word "pugnus," which means "fist." The reason for this is the small dog’s appearance is akin to a clenched fist.
More Pugs were brought to England after the British took over the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860. The Pug dog breed is recognised by breed clubs like the Kennel Club as well as the American Kennel Club.
The Pug dog breed is one of the most easily recognisable dogs in the world. His iconic deep wrinkles, flat muzzle, velvety ears, and stocky body would be hard to miss. This small dog breed also has an undershot jaw and a tightly curled tail. Pugs have short, fine, and smooth double coats, which can come in silver, apricot, fawn, and black.
The Pug breed’s ideal weight is around 6.3–8.1 kilos. Male Pugs typically weigh 6–9 kilos, whilst female Pugs weigh 6–8 kilos. Both male and female Pugs stand 30–36 centimetres tall. Pug puppies turn into full-grown adult dogs once they reach one year of age.
If you have heard of Miniature or Teacup Pugs, they are not actually Pugs. They are called Chugs, which are a cross between a Chihuahua and a Pug. You might want to keep that in mind to avoid purchasing the wrong breed of dog.
Grooming Pugs include keeping their facial wrinkles clean and dry to avoid infection and foul smell. Check these small dogs for ticks and fleas, regularly clean their ears, and trim their nails too. The dental health of this toy dog breed should not be overlooked. Pugs’ teeth should be brushed 2–3 times a week.
The Pug dog breed has protruding eyes that are prone to infection and injury. When bathing, be careful not to apply shampoo to his eyes. Gritty crusts often form on the corner of this toy dog breed’s eyes. Wipe these off with a soft damp cloth to prevent eye infections.
Yes, Pugs do shed. Although these small dogs are generally low-maintenance, they are heavy shedders. Brush the Pug breed’s coat daily with a soft bristle brush or a hound glove to keep the shedding to a minimum. Aside from brushing, this toy dog breed also requires a monthly bath.
Although Pugs have short hair, they do shed a lot. For this reason, Pugs are considered non-hypoallergenic dogs. Thus, this toy dog breed is not the best choice for dog enthusiasts with allergies.
Pugs are small dogs, so the average number of Pug puppies in a litter is around 3–4. At most, one Pug can birth up to 9–10 puppies. The vet can determine how many Pug puppies are about to be conceived by conducting an X-ray or ultrasound towards the end of the pregnancy.
The Pug dog breed is generally described as "multum in parvo.” It is a Latin term that means “a lot of dogs in a small space.” He is comical, affectionate, loyal, and mischievous. This small dog craves affection, loves being the centre of attention.
As a laid-back toy dog breed who barely barks and enjoys lazing around the house, the Pug is perfect for apartment living. He is also gentle and patient, so he is suitable for families with children and older owners. Pugs are playful and sociable. They love to participate in fun family games and activities.
This toy dog breed is intelligent but strong-willed. The Pug was bred as a companion dog, so he won't be interested in hunting or retrieving. This small dog can also be challenging to house-train. Since Pugs are owner-pleasers and food-driven dogs, praises and food rewards should be a part of their training.
No, Pugs are not aggressive as these small dogs are naturally friendly family pets. With that said, Pugs that are not properly socialised may develop behavioural problems no matter how amiable they are.
Thus, when raising a Pug puppy, aim to socialise him at an early age so he will be well behaved and confident as he matures.
Before buying a Pug, make sure you do your homework on the nutritional requirements of this toy dog breed. Generally, adult Pugs should have around 1/2–1 cup of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. The amount of food and feeding frequency depends on their age, size, build activity level, and metabolism of these small dogs.
Typical calorie needs of adult Pugs per day:
The Pug breed is generally a lounging dog that tends to gain weight quickly. Stick to a schedule, minimise dog treats, and avoid giving table scraps to prevent overfeeding. Pugs that continue to gain weight after 12 months should be checked by the vet to see if there’s a need to change their diet.
This toy dog breed’s overall diet should be rich in protein (fish, lamb, bison), moderate fat, and regulated complex carbohydrates for energy. Like most brachycephalic breeds, Pugs are prone to skin allergies.
The most common allergens are chicken, beef, and cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Small dry kibbles are recommended for this small dog to promote chewing and help strengthen teeth.
The Pug dog breed is predisposed to certain health problems, including:
Pugs are prone to this health condition. Pug dog encephalitis (PDE) is characterised by the inflammation of the brain. This is often accompanied by meningitis or myelitis. The treatments for Pugs with this condition are focused on reducing the severity of the symptoms.
Some Pugs may have eyelids that roll inwards, which is known as entropion. This eyelid abnormality can cause corneal ulcers and corneal pigmentation. Affected Pugs may suffer from poor eyesight. Fortunately, surgical correction can reverse its effects.
This is an ocular problem that results in the protrusion of the eye. The Pug dog breed is highly at risk of developing proptosis as he has a naturally bulging eye. It can be treated by surgery coupled with medications.
The Pug dog breed is playful but is more sedentary. Thus, daily exercise is needed to keep this small dog from becoming obese. A 30-minute walk daily is enough since Pugs have compact breathing passageways and could not regulate their temperature efficiently.
Mental stimulation is also important, so the Pug breed should be provided with brain-challenging games. Some suitable activities for him are dog puzzle games, obstacle course, hide-and-seek, and learning new tricks.
As one of the brachycephalic breeds, this flat-faced toy dog breed should not spend too much time outside, especially in hot weather. That’s because Pugs can overheat and experience breathing problems and breathing difficulties easily. These small dogs should be walked during the coolest parts of the day—early morning and night. Fresh water should be available for Pugs throughout the day to keep them hydrated.
The average lifespan of the Pug dog breed is 12–15 years. Prolong your dog's life by consistently providing his daily needs. Pugs should receive healthy and balanced meals, sufficient amounts of exercise, and a calm and stress-free home. Regular visits to the vet are also necessary to keep track of this toy dog breed’s health.
The Pug breed is a small dog; thus his annual food expenses are lesser compared to large dog breeds’ food expenses. You will likely pay approximately £30–£40 a month for your Pug puppy's premium-quality dog food.
Buying your Pug puppy’s day-to-day necessities has a minimum cost of around £100. These include his dog bed, food bowls, lead, collar, and toys.
Moving on to your Pug puppy’s vet care, expenses for every check-up session start from £30 depending on the clinic of your choice. First shots of vaccines will cost you approximately £100–150, and annual booster shots cost £50–£60. Spaying or neutering your Pug puppy will cost you around £110–£390.
Acquiring pet insurance can lower your Pug puppy's vet expenses. Moreover, it provides you with more affordable access to his medical care. The monthly bill for pet insurance is around £22 for a basic cover and £45 for a lifetime cover. These prices vary depending on your Pug puppy’s health, age, and breed.
Pug price is around £500–£1500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. Get your Pug puppy from a reputable breeder. Don’t go for Pug puppies that are sold in pet shops as they are poorly bred and prone to health and behavioural issues.
Try visiting animal shelters and rescue organisations too to adopt a young or adult Pug. It is a big help in providing a better home and family for an abandoned or neglected dog that needs love and human companionship.
Are you sure the Pug is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still having doubts in getting a pug? Try our Pet Finder to help you decide which breed is best for you.