<Back to Dog Breeds
Other Names: Mop, Chinese Pug
Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy (AKC, KC)
The pug is a compact, muscular and sturdy little dog with a distinctively flat wrinkled face.
The coat is fine, smooth, soft, short, and glossy. Colours include silver, apricot, or fawn with a dark mask over their face.
Weight: 13 – 20 lbs
Average Life Span: 12-15 yrs
Not as fragile as other toy breeds, the pug combines a cocky confidence with a friendly, sensitive nature. They are clowns at heart with a great sense of humour, but also hold themselves with dignity. They crave human attention and just love to be loved. They are playful with children and will get along well with other family pets and dogs, making ideal family companions.
Pugs have a sensitive nature so training should be positive and gentle but it must be consistent.
The Pug sheds a lot, weekly brushing is required. The face wrinkles should be cleaned daily with a cotton swab to prevent fungus infections. Ear cleaning, and nail clipping are also required.
Although minimal exercise is needed pugs do need more exercise than most other toy breeds.
Pug Health Issues
Heat:The pug has a unique “flat faced” nose and head structure which is technically called “brachycephalic”. Dogs with this structure feel the effects of warm surroundings and exertion sooner than dogs with more typical nose and head structure. They pant more readily to cool themselves.
Hot weather can therefore be fatal to these little dogs, they don’t even need to be moving about in it to succumb to the heat. Please make sure that any exercise is given early in the morning or late in the evening, don’t be tempted to go for a nice Sunday afternoon stroll when it is very sunny or hot. Also please don’t allow your dog to lay out in the sun for long periods, they do not know when they have had enough and it doesn’t take long for their panting to become out of control. Click here For More Information
Luxating Patella Slipping knee joints (also referred to as luxating patellas, slipped stifles) are a common problem in small breeds. In this condition, the kneecap slips out of its groove and moves against the thighbone (femur) instead of along its natural groove. Although this has been found to be a heritable condition, small, active breeds are likely to aggravate it through the course of their natural activities (jumping up and down) around taller objects such as furniture.
Legg’s Perthes Disease (commonly mistaken for hip dysplasia) is due to the death of the head of the femur bone. This causes wearing and promotes arthritic changes. Therefore, after the condition has progressed for some time it is difficult to diagnose whether the resulting degenerated joint is a manifestation of hip dysplasia or Legg’s Perthes. This condition is congenital and has no known cure. The accompanying pain and arthritic changes can be controlled with steroids.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a family of diseases all involving the gradual deterioration of the retina. It is diagnosed by a retinoscopic exam or by means of an electroretinogram (ERG). Early in the disease, affected dogs become night-blind and lack the ability to see in dim light; later on daytime vision also fails. As their vision deteriorates, affected dogs adapt to their handicap very well, as long as their environment remains constant. Certain breeds are affected early in life, whereas in other breeds, PRA develops much later in onset.
Cataracts: cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
Glaucoma: is a painful and serious condition that causes pressure within the eye to increase. It can lead to blindness if not treated early.
Pug dog encephalitis: an inflammation of the brain unique to pugs. Seizure is the primary symptom of pug dog encephalitis, which tend to affect young to middle-aged pugs and which cannot be cured.
Elongated soft palate: often results in some degree of obstruction of the dog’s airway, thus causing snorting, snoring and breathing through the mouth. In sever cases the palate partially blocks the opening into the voice box and surgery is necessary.
The exact origin of the Pug is uncertain but it is thought to date back to 400 BC. Some theorists suggest that the breed resulted from cross-breedings of small bulldogs and mastiffs. Another interesting theory is that it originated in China, and that it is a larger, smooth-coated cousin to the Oriental Pekingese
In the 1500s, the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland when a silver Pug named Pompey saved the life of his master, William, Prince of Orange. Upon hearing enemy soldiers, Pompey licked William’s face and barked loudly until the prince awoke. William then grabbed Pompey, and ran to safety. The Pug became the court’s official dog and William’s tomb displays both himself and the cherished pet. In France, Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, was imprisoned and used her pug to get secret messages to her husband. The pug arrived in England around 1860.
Some believe that the name of the breed comes from the Latin word “pugnus” which means “fist” because the pugs head looks like a clenched fist. Another theory is that the name originated from the marmoset pug monkeys that were kept as pets and resembled the little dog.