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The pug is one of the most popular and easily identifiable toy breeds worldwide. Originating in China, it got its name from a marmoset pug monkey because it had the same facial expression. Its short double coat is easy to care for. This breed will surely put a smile on your face because of its comical and affectionate personality. However, it can be strong-willed and difficult to house-train. It is predisposed to eye injuries because of its short snout and protruding skeletal brow ridges. It is also prone to obesity, so make sure it gets at least thirty-minute walks daily.
Are you interested in getting a pug? Here is a brief background of this wrinkly and short-muzzled dog.
Pugs are believed to have originated in China as companions of emperors dating back to 206 BC to 200 AD. They lived a life of luxury and were guarded by soldiers. During the 1500s, the first pugs arrived in Europe through Dutch traders. The breed once again became a favourite of royal households and was always included in portraits, postcards, and paintings of popular people. Notable individuals who owned pugs were William of Orange, Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Victoria, and William Hogarth.
Originally called Lo Chiang-Sze in China, the pug had various names as it travelled to different parts of the world. It was called mopshond in Holland, doguillo in Spain, mops in Germany, and carlin in France. Finally, in the 1700s, the breed got its final name when its facial expression was compared to a marmoset pug monkey. The pug is recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK.
The pug is arguably one of the most easily recognisable dog breeds in the world. Its iconic wrinkly face, flat muzzle, velvety ears, and stocky body would be hard to miss. It also has a characteristic undershot jaw and a tightly curled tail. It weighs 14–18 pounds and stands 25–35 centimetres at the withers. The breed comes in silver, fawn, apricot, and black.
The pug has a short, fine, and smooth double coat. It is generally low-maintenance, so a monthly bath is enough. However, it is a heavy shedder, so daily brushing with a soft-bristle comb or hound glove is needed to keep the shedding to a minimum. Make sure to keep its facial wrinkles clean and dry to avoid infection and foul smell.
It is also important to check it for ticks and fleas, regularly clean its ears, and trim its nails. Oral hygiene is often overlooked by dog owners. Ensure that its teeth are brushed two or three times a week and it's given chew bones or toys to remove tartar and build strong teeth.
The pug is comical, affectionate, loyal, and mischievous. It craves affection, loves being the centre of attention, and would get depressed when ignored. As a laid-back dog who barely barks and enjoys lazing around the house, it is perfect for apartment living. It is also gentle and patient, so it is suitable for families with children and older owners. It often mirrors its owner's moods, so if you decide to be playful and active, the pug is surely game for it.
This silly dog is intelligent, but it can be strong-willed. It was bred as a companion dog, so it won’t be interested in hunting or retrieving. It can also be difficult to house-train. Since the pug is an owner-pleaser and food-driven dog, praises and food rewards should be a part of your trainings.
Breeds do have common predisposition in terms of personality and intelligence. Nonetheless, a lot of factors contribute to its development, including the environments—where it was born and the home it grows up in.
A typical serving for an adult pug is one half to one cup of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. The amount of food and feeding frequency depend on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. Before buying a dog, make sure you do your homework on the nutritional requirements of the breed. However, you will be able to tailor its eating routine based on its individual needs.
Typical calorie needs of an adult pug per day:
The pug is generally a lounging dog that tends to gain weight quickly. Stick to a schedule, minimise treats, and avoid giving table scraps to prevent overfeeding. Its overall diet should be rich in protein (fish, lamb, bison), moderate fat, and regulated complex carbohydrates for energy. Like most flat-nosed breeds, the pug is prone to skin allergies. The most common allergens are chicken, beef, and cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Small dry kibbles are recommended to promote chewing and help strengthen teeth.
The average lifespan of a pug is twelve to fifteen years. It is a generally healthy breed, but can be predisposed to certain health conditions. Due to its short snout and protruding skeletal brow ridges, it is prone to eye injuries like proptosis and entropion. It is also prone to have dog encephalitis, epilepsy, nerve degeneration, corneal ulcers, hemivertebrae, hip dysplasia, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Some pugs also develop skin problems such as cheyletiella dermatitis, staph infection, yeast infection, and demodectic mange.
The pug is playful but is more sedentary, so daily exercise is needed to avoid becoming obese. A thirty-minute walk daily is enough since it has compact breathing passageways and could not regulate its temperature efficiently. Remember that the pug should not spend too much time outside, especially if it is hot as it can overheat easily.
If you are considering keeping a Pug, you would need to pay about £500-£1500 a well-bred pedigree puppy. To ensure that it grows healthy, you would need to feed it high quality dog food, which can cost from £30 - £40 a month. You would also need to buy it treats and accessories such as food bowls, leads, collars, and bed. The initial combined cost for these things can set you back £200 depending on the brands you opt for.
Aside from the initial purchase, pet insurance is another cost that you will have to shoulder monthly, ranging from £22 for a basic cover up to £45 for a lifetime cover. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size, weight, and where you live in the UK.
You may also need to set aside £800 a year for veterinary consultations and other necessary procedures such as vaccinations, boosters, neutering/spaying as these are not always covered by pet insurance. To give you a rough idea on how much you will likely spend month on month, it would be within the range of £60 and £80. This is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
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.
22nd Feb 2019
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“What could be better than sharing a coffee and pupuccino or a cocktail and a pawtini, with your furry best friend and meeting lots of new friends?” says Anushka Fernando, Pug Café owner and Dachshund Café organiser.