Pug Dog Breed at a Glance
The Pug dog breed, also known as Chinese Pug, Dutch Bulldog, Dutch Mastiff, Mini Mastiff, Mops, and Carlin, is a popular one thanks to its playful personality. These dogs are good with children and other pets, but supervision is recommended. Though this great companion is low-maintenance with regards to grooming and exercise needs, it sheds constantly. Pugs are eager to please their owners and their moods reflect that of their owners. They are ranked by the AKC as the 32nd most popular dog breed.
Breed Group: Toy Group
HISTORY of the Pug Dog Breed
Europe was introduced to the Pug in the 16th century. The Netherlands played a huge role in their popularity in Western Europe and by the 19th century, Queen Victoria became intensely passionate about pugs. In ancient times, they were originally bred as companions for the emperors of China and their families. Buddhist monks also kept these affectionate Pugs in monasteries.
In the 16th century, it is believed that the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange when Pompey, a Pug, alerted the Prince of Orange of approaching assassins, thereby saving his life. It is also believed that Pugs were bred in England with the King Charles Spaniel dog.
Later, Pugs’ popularity spread across Europe. For instance, Pugs were used in Italy, dressed to match the coachman, on private carriages.
The Pug is an affectionate dog with children. It is playful and energetic. It is also a well-suited breed for first-time owners, although training may pose some challenges. Be patient and persistent during training, as Pugs can be sensitive and also stubborn. This small dog is friendly, gentle, and cheerful, but also quite courageous. Smart and out-going, Pugs make perfect family dogs. These dogs tend to be lazy and love napping, but they always like being with their owners and crave attention from them. They are cat-friendly dogs with a low impulse to wander but can display a moderate hunting drive, so keep it on a leash when out and about.
Pugs are ranked in the bottom 30% of attacks on humans. With biting statistics accumulated since 1982, there has been only 1 attack on humans resulting in maiming a child. As such, it is highly unlikely for a Pug to cause death.
Physical Characteristics of the Pug
The Pug has a square, compact body with a a smooth, short, and fine coat, and clearly defined markings. Its short tail curls over its back. It is easily recognizable by its mask, short nose, large eyes, and deep wrinkles on its forehead. Pugs can have two different types of ears–button or rose ears. The latter are smaller and folded on the sides of the head. Their strong legs are straight, with small paws and toes split apart. Pugs’ nails are always black and have a noticeable under-bite.
The common colors of the Pug include black, fawn, or silver.
Pugs weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, meaning that they are among the lightest of dog breeds, and they are between 10 and 11 inches in height.
Shedding is constant with Pugs, so prepare to vacuum. They are NOT a hypoallergenic dog breed but they do not have a tendency to drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the Pug Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Pug is between 12 and 15 years, which is average for small dog breeds.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Pug may be at risk for developing the following conditions:
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Arachnoid Cysts
- Necrotizing Meningo-Encephalitis
- Portosystemic Shunts
- Fold Dermatitis
Pugs are at risk for weight gain, so it is important to provide them with adequate exercise. These small dogs are suited for apartment living but will require a good walk each day to ensure they maintain their shape. Pugs do not tolerate heat well, so do not over-exercise them during extreme temperatures.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. With the average weight of Pugs being 15 pounds, feed him between 1/2 and 1 cup of kibble each day, which can be divided into two portions. However, these dogs love to eat, so monitor their diet to avoid weight gain as they age.
Grooming your Pug is necessary to keep them clean. Regular brushing will reduce shedding and thus will leave less hair on floors, on furniture, and in cars. They will require the occasional bath in addition to brushing. Be sure to trim their fast-growing nails regularly and check their ears frequently for wax buildup or debris to avoid an infection from developing. No stripping or trimming is required for Pugs. Ensure their forehead and face wrinkles are cleaned and dried thoroughly.
The AKC officially recognized the Pug dog breed in 1885.