You may have come to this Pug breed guide because you want to know about the Pug breed. Maybe you’re thinking about sharing your home with one or you already have a Pug and just want to swap notes. Well whatever your interest in Pugs, you’ve come to the right place.
Introduction to this Pug breed guide.
So lets get kick off. Let’s start with an overview of this iconic little dog, then we can do the fun bit (there’s plenty of it) and later we can get into the serious stuff. Unfortunately there’s a lot of serious stuff too.
Well, what are Pugs like?
Pugs are classified in the Toy Dog Group and are the largest breed in that category. Although they are small, they are stocky and sturdy since they come from a mastiff heritage. They are quite square and cobby in shape making them appear solid and compact. True Pugs can be found in fawn, apricot, silver and black. Fawn and Apricot Pugs should have black faces, ears and a line from the neck to the tail. Pug’s coat is fine, short, smooth and glossy. The head is relatively large in proportion to the body and they have a short blunt snout with a wrinkly face. The Pug’s tail is curly and high set. The breed standard specifies the Pug’s weight as being between 6.3 and 8.1Kgs or 14 to 18lbs.
The Fun bit!
This Pug breed guide can tell you that Pugs are highly playful and energetic little dogs. They are irresistible attention seekers who just love to be centre stage. They have been selectively bred through the centuries to be the cutest companions who are so reluctant to leave your side. Even when you move around your home they will follow you closely often in your footsteps. They hang on your every word staring at you with their wrinkly little faces tilting their heads when you speak. They can leave you exhausted but without fail they will brighten your every day beyond measure with their mischief and endless affection. Although they are lively, Pugs are also docile at times and love nothing more then relaxing calmly on your laps or at your side. They are very friendly, trusting of strangers and love everyone including children. They are intelligent little dogs who long to please and can pick up many party tricks with the right training. However they can also be very wilful when the mood takes them.
Were Pugs bred to be working dogs?
Pugs have a long history and have come along way. They are thought to have originated in China many thousands of years ago. They were not working dogs in the true sense but they were bred to have a role of sorts. Their function was simply to be companions to Chinese nobility. It is said that they were treated as nobility themselves having their own quarters. In fact it is believed that ordinary citizens were forbidden to keep these dogs.
How did Pugs become popular in the West?
Pugs were thought to have been introduced to Europe in the the sixteenth century when the were brought to Holland by traders and kept by the Dutch Royal dynasty, The House of Orange. Their popularity spread from there and they were kept and bred by Queen Victoria in nineteenth century Britain. Now they are favoured all over the world and have been in the top three most popular breeds in recent years.
What are Pugs’ needs?
These little dogs are quite needy! They crave companionship to the extent that they are prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. They do not tolerate hot weather too well and shouldn’t be exercised when temperatures are very high. Conversely they have a short thin coat and cannot endure cold weather either so when autumn and winter arrive they will need warm coats when they are exercised. While we are on the subject of exercise, they do not need long walks and 20 to 40 minutes per day is enough. You will also find that they do not like wet weather and may refuse to venture out in the rain and they will avoid walking through puddles.
What about food?
It is so important and more so than most breeds to carefully manage how much your Pug eats. They have an insatiable appetite and a propensity to become obese. Whilst obesity is to be avoided in all dogs, the problem is compounded in Pugs because as a breed they are prone to breathing difficulties. Extra weight makes this issue worse and can lead to suffering and shortened life. Pugs should therefore be fed a nutritious diet within recommended parameters. Chubby Pugs may look funny and cute but it’s the kindest thing to do to never let your Pug become overweight.
So what is the serious stuff?
You may already know that Pugs come with many health warnings. You may be lucky in finding a Pug that can remain in good health but the odds are against it. This Pug breed guide can advise you of the following.
- Pugs are what is known as a brachycephalic breed which is to say they have a shortened snout. This feature is the result of selective breeding and is responsible for their intolerance of hot weather. They shortness of the snout makes it difficult for our Pug friends to cool down meaning they are susceptible to heat stroke. This is extremely serious and can leave your Pug with permanent damage to their organs.
- Brachycephalic issues don’t end there either. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airways Syndrome (BOAS) is also common in Pugs. This is an extremely serious condition which affects the Pug’s ability to breathe. The condition is caused by the ‘crumpled’ nature of the Pug’s head and body. The Pug not only has a shortened snout, but the entire frame is shorter front to back. However they still have enough flesh for a longer body so there is additional tissue on the inside and this can affect the passage of air from the mouth to the lungs. BOAS surgery entails reducing the amount of flesh in the airways and sometimes widening the nostrils. Surgery is mostly successful but it doesn’t come without risk to their life and sadly for some Pugs surgery can be fatal.
- Pugs are prone to skin infections too, especially in the folds around their nose and at the base of their tail.
- There are a whole range of eye problems which Pugs are vulnerable to. These include ulcers on the cornea due to the eyes being slightly bulgy and susceptible to damage. They also suffer with dry eye and eye infections.
- Pugs are more likely to have eyelid problems too where the eyelid can fold inwards or outwards and irritate the eye.
- Pugs , like many breeds are also vulnerable to elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia.
- Due to the Pug’s insatiable appetite, they are also prone to obesity. This coupled with potential breathing issues is a potential for disaster.
So the list is an awful lot of potential suffering and in practical terms a lot of expense. Insurance companies charge by risk data so you will find premiums for Pugs will be high to begin with.
Pug Breed Guide Conclusion.
Pugs are lots of fun and make adorable and loving companions. There really are loads of pros in favour of these little dogs. However you should seriously consider the downside sand possible health consequences before you finally decide to bring one into your life.