Pugs have been bred as companions for humans, rather than as working or competition dogs. They were once very ‘aristocratic’, being a favourite in royal courts, in Italy even being dressed in pantaloons and fancy jackets!
When they were no longer fashionable their numbers dwindled drastically. It is only in recent times they have made a comeback in popularity due to the characteristics which make them a good pet of choice. These include:
- Versatility. A Pug can happily live in a flat. Pugs are quite clean and low-shedding and relatively free of doggy odour. They love a walk but also love to curl up and sleep. Pugs can also be quite happy on a large property or with a big garden in which to run around.
- Personality. Pugs are happy and even-tempered, love being with people and are entertaining and affectionate. They are also generally good with children.
- Size. While small, pugs are also strong, sturdy and tend towards independence.
Pugs have a rather unique appearance with their short snout and wrinkled face, big appealing eyes and rather square body. The breed’s coat is short and may come in fawn, silver, apricot or black. The Breed Standard does not specify height but lists the ideal weight as being between 6.3 and 8.1kgs.
Training a Pug can be a little problematic, as they tend to have a stubborn streak; however a good dog obedience club or puppy school should be able to overcome any difficulties.
As well as general grooming, a little extra maintenance is required to keep Pugs healthy. For instance the skin folds on the dog’s face may become infected if not kept clean. It is also important to clean under the nose roll. Pugs benefit from a good brushing of their coat as well as an ear clean and occasional bath.
Pugs love to be lazy and also to eat, so it’s important to keep them at the weight recommended by the Breed Standard with an appropriate diet. Regular exercise helps keep them in good shape, but should not be done in hot weather as they are slower to cool down than other breeds, due to their short snout.
This breed is prone to eye problems due to the structure of the face. A vet should be called immediately if they are showing distress in this area. Pugs are also prone to breathing difficulties and problems with their teeth and mouth. About 1% of Pugs develop Pug Dog Encephalitis, which involves inflammation of the brain. Your vet or breeder will be able to give you more information about potential health problems. With good care Pugs may live about 12 or 13 years, although occasionally they live longer than this.