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Pug (+ve)

Small and sturdy, highly adaptable dogs just as happy living in an apartment as they are in a house
Highly adaptable, just as happy living in an apartment as they are in a house
Easy maintenance on the grooming front
Incredibly social and affectionate by nature
Very playful and clownish
Pugs do not need a lot of daily exercise
Pugs are very loyal

Points to consider

Puppies play hard and can be little rascals around the home
They are high maintenance on all fronts
Pugs need lots mental stimulation to be truly well-rounded dogs
Can suffer from separation anxiety when left on their own for too long
Pugs snore and they do so loudly
They are also known to suffer from flatulence
Pugs are quite heavy shedders more especially in the spring and autumn
They are prone to suffering from quite a few health issues because of their flat faces

Background of the Pug

The Pug remains one of the most popular breeds to own, not only here in Ireland, but elsewhere in the world and for good reason. Pugs may be small in stature, but they have big personalities and are extremely intelligent little dogs. They are confident by nature with an affectionate and mischievous side to their natures that endears them to just about everyone they meet. They adapt well to family life and other lifestyles which are just some of the reasons they have remained just as popular today as they were centuries ago. Pugs are incredibly people-oriented and hate it when left on their own for any length of time, but once you’ve shared a home with a Pug, there’ll be no going back.

Where do Pugs’ originate from?

Pugs have been around for a very long time with records of them dating back to 700 BC in Ancient China where they were bred and owned by Emperors. The common people were not allowed to own a Pug and if one of these treasured dogs was found in their possession, the punishment was death. Pugs were so revered at the time, they even lived in their own part of a royal palace and were attended on by their own servants too. Female Pugs were given the same status as an Emperor’s wife and guarded by soldiers, only being fed the best of everything.

Although the exact origins of Pugs remain unknown, they are considered one of the most ancient breeds on the planet. Originating in Ancient China where only Emperors could own a Pug, these little dogs found their way over to Europe when China allowed Dutch explorers to trade in their lands. It is said that sailors smuggled these little dogs out of China and once back home, they were an immediate hit with the nobility and upper classes due to their small size and sweet natures.

Pugs became the “official dog” of Dutch royalty in the 17th century, before gaining popularity in other European countries including Spain, France and Italy. At the time, Pugs were different to the dogs we see today because they had longer faces and legs. They remained popular throughout the 18th Century, but they fell out of favour for a short time after that.

In 1860, a new type of Pug was imported from China and these dogs boasted shorter noses and shorter legs. Their “pug noses” were an immediate hit with Queen Victoria and very soon the breed was once again popular with many royals. It was Queen Victoria who banned people from cropping a Pug’s ears because she deemed it cruel. During the 20th Century, it was the Duke and Duchess of Windsor who once again bought the breed into the limelight, taking their pets with them wherever they went.

The breed fell out of favour again for a short while during the 20th Century, but today Pugs are among one of the most popular breeds on the planet which can be put down to the fact one of these adorable looking little dogs played the part of “Frank the Alien” in the Hollywood movie, Men in Black.

What are the most interesting facts about Pugs?

Are Pugs a vulnerable breed? No, they are one of the most popular in Ireland and elsewhere in the world
Pugs are one of the ancient breeds in the world
In times long past, Pugs were treated like royalty in their native China
Pugs are a brachycephalic breed
Prince William of Orange was saved by his Pug in the 16th Century when his dog barked alerting him that Spanish troops were about to ambush his camp and became the official breed of the House of Orange
Napoleon’s wife, Josephine owned a Pug called Fortune
Queen Victoria was a huge fan of the breed and it was through her efforts that the practice of cropping a Pug’s ears was banned
Groups of Pugs are referred to as “grumbles”
Pugs should have two curls in their tails
Pugs are susceptible to catching colds because of their short noses

What should a pug look like?

Height at the withers: Males 25.4 – 35.56 cm, Females 25.4 – 35.56 cm

Average Weight: Males 6.3 – 8.1 kg, Females 6.3 – 8.1 kg

Pugs are compact, robust and well-proportioned if not slightly square looking little dogs. However, their heads are quite big in relation to their bodies and they are round with short, snubbed black noses which are quite large in relation to the size of their heads. Their defining physical features are their expressive, large, dark eyes and the adorable wrinkles around their faces.

A Pug’s ears are small and they feel like velvet to the touch. There are two kinds which are the Button Ear and Rose Ear. Their mouths are very slightly undershot which adds to their overall appeal. They hold their strong and thick necks slightly arched which gives the Pug their proud look.

Their forequarters are robust, well-muscled and strong with nicely sloping shoulders. A Pug’s body is very cobby looking and broad in the chest with ribs being well-sprung and they boast a level topline. Their hindquarters are strong and well-muscled and Pugs boast strong looking and well-developed back legs. Feet are tidy and neat with well-defined toes and black nails. A Pug’s tail is tightly curled and set high and double curls are looked on favourably as a breed standard. Their bodies should have well-defined hard muscles which should not be confused with a Pug being overweight.

When it comes to coat, a Pug has a short, glossy, smooth and fine coat with a well-defined black line that runs all the way down their backs. They also boast a nice dark mask and their markings in their coats are well defined. These markings should always be as dark as possible which includes any moles a dog’s has on their cheeks, diamonds on their foreheads or thumb marks found on their bodies.

What colour should coat my Pug have?


Colours are clearly defined so that contrasting colours on a dog’s face and other parts of the body are evident. Their markings should be nicely defined and muzzles, ears as well as the moles on a dog’s cheeks and the diamond or thumb mark on their foreheads and trace should be as black as possible.

How should a Pug move?

Pugs are compact, strong dogs and when they move it is with purpose, having a true “action” when seen from the front and the side. Their front legs move strongly and their back legs move freely with feet always facing forward. Pugs show a slight roll in their hindquarters which is typical of the breed, but this should never be exaggerated.

What does the Kennel Club look for?

Any exaggeration in a Pug’s build and conformation is frowned upon and considered as being a fault in the breed by the Kennel Club.

It is also important for male Pugs should have two testicles fully descended into their scrotums.

Does a Pug have a good temperament?

Pugs are renowned for their kind, sweet natures which is why they have remained such popular companions throughout the centuries. Some people say that sharing a home with a Pug is more like living with a small child than a dog, which is especially true when it comes to their need for attention. Pugs are ultra-sociable and they thrive on being around people. They do not do well when left on their own for longer periods of time. If they are left to their own devices for hours on end, Pugs can become a little destructive around the home through sheer boredom and because they develop separation anxiety.

Being highly intelligent, Pugs also need to quite a bit of training and it’s important to handle them gently yet firmly because they can be mischievous and naughty at times. It would be fair to say that Pugs need more time spent on their training than a lot of other breeds just for this reason. It’s also worth bearing in mind that these little dogs remain extremely puppy-like throughout their lives which is why they are such great fun to have around.

The breed is known to be extremely friendly even when they are around people they don’t know. Another nice trait is that although they are very affectionate, Pugs are not clingy although they do like to be with the people they love, but when they have been given enough attention, a Pug will quite happily go off and do their own thing. Pugs need to know their place in the “pack” and who is the alpha dog or they might show a more dominant side to their characters which is something to be avoided at all costs in any breed because it can make life for both a dog and their owner a lot less enjoyable.

A well socialised and trained Pug is a joy to have around and they thoroughly enjoy being the centre of attention loving nothing more than to play the clown. There is a downside to sharing a home with a Pug puppy though and this is that they can be notoriously difficult to house train.

Is a Pug a good choice for first time owners?

Pugs are a great choice for first time dog owners providing they have lots of time to spend with their canine companions. Pugs form strong ties with their owners and never like to be left on their own for too long. It can also take time and patience to house train a Pug puppy with some dogs taking months to learn where to do their “business”.

What about prey drive?

Pugs are feisty by nature and although they will give chase to the cat from next door, they do not have high prey drives preferring to get on with everyone because they are so social by nature.

Are Pugs playful?

Pugs are known to be real clowns and love entertaining their owners. Being the centre of attention makes these little dogs very happy. They adore playing interactive games and will spend as much time clowning around with their families as they can. They are known to be quite child-like and remain so well into their mature years.

What about adaptability?

Pugs are highly adaptable and do just as well living in an apartment as they would when living in a house providing they are given plenty of mental stimulation and daily exercise. Pugs need a lot of mental stimulation and they enjoy playing interactive games indoors which means investing in some good quality, robust toys.

What about separation anxiety?

Pugs form strong bonds with their families. They like being involved in things that go on in the home although they are not known to be clingy. With this said, it would be very unkind to leave a Pug on their own for any length of time because they are so people-oriented and if they do find themselves alone, it can lead to a Pug suffering from separation anxiety which often sees a dog developing unwanted destructive behaviours. When this happens, a dog might start barking excessively too which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling.

Will a Pug bark too much?

Pugs have funny voices and are not known to be overly vocal although some of them are barkers and others are much quieter. They are intelligent and can be taught not to bark without a reason, but this needs to be done without being too hard on a young Pug which could end up with them being timid and shy. Most Pugs develop barking issues when they are unhappy at being left on their own or when they have not been correctly socialised at a young age. A Pug that’s not been socialised is more likely to get over excited when they meet anyone for the first time or when they find themselves in unfamiliar situations and environments. This typically ends up with them expressing their feelings through excessive barking.

Do Pugs like Swimming?

Pugs do like swimming and will instinctively take to water when the weather is warm. However, a dog must never be thrown in because it would just scare them. It would also be a mistake to put a puppy or a young pup in water unless it is bath time that is. It’s best to wait until your Pug is that much older and to avoid letting them swim in pools because of the chemicals used in them. Because of their short noses, care should be taken when a Pug goes swimming because water can easily get up their noses which can cause them all sorts of breathing problems.

Is it easy to train a Pug?

Pugs are intelligent little dogs however, they do boast a bit of a stubborn streak in them which means it takes a firm, yet gentle hand when it comes to training them. It is also essential for owners to be consistent and always fair, because Pugs are quite sensitive by nature even if they are stubborn at times. Rules and boundaries must be established early when living with a Pug and they need to be taught their place in the “pack” and who is alpha dog in a household to prevent them from developing any unruly, dominant behaviours that would prove hard to correct.

Pugs respond well to positive reinforcement and will not do well if they are handled roughly. They do not answer well to harsh training methods either and the same can be said of how they are told off. If this is done too harshly it could have an adverse effect on a dog rather than a positive outcome. Pugs are renowned for testing boundaries and limits which means being firm and consistent throughout a dog’s life remembering that it’s in a Pug’s nature to see how much they can get away with before being told off.

Will a Pug be good with Children and Other Pets?

Pugs are renowned for their genuine love of children. They are robust little dogs that enjoy being around kids even when playtime gets a bit on the rough side. However, as with any other breed, it’s always best to supervise children when they are around dogs to make sure things stay calm and that things don’t get too boisterous which could end up with a child or a Pug being frightened or hurt.

Pugs are also known to be good when they are around other pets and animals which includes cats. They rarely show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards other dogs or pets which is another reason why they are so popular the world over as family pets and companions. However, as with any other breed, Pug puppies need to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing and well-rounded mature dogs that take everything in their stride.