Other names: Mops
The pug is a small and chunky hound that is appreciated for his great friendliness, joviality, and good character. Playful, affectionate and sociable, he is a very pleasant life companion, especially suited to life in an apartment. This little dog requires certain comforts and constant attention to grow happily.
Key facts about the Pug
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Origins and history
The pug’s heritage is ancient: he was created and bred in China (and was particularly valued among mandarins), but he is also very popular in Holland and England. These two nations have each claimed to be the creators of the race on the basis of the very good selection work they have done over many years. Finally, Britain prevailed and the paternity of the pug breed was attributed to those troubled isles. The pug may have experienced difficult times over the years, but today he is celebrated for his true value; however, potential owners should give serious thought as to whether they wish to encourage the breeding of these troubled brachycephalic beings.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 9 - Companion and Toy Dogs
Section 11 : Small Molossian type Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Pug
Female : Between 10 and 13 in
Male : Between 12 and 16 in
Female : Between 13 and 18 lb
Male : Between 13 and 18 lb
The coat can be silver, apricot, fawn or black.
Type of coat
The coat’s hair is short.
The coat is shiny, thin, smooth, and soft. The hair must not be hard, nor woolly, if the pug is to match the official standards of the breed.
The eyes must be dark in colour.
This small hound is "multum in Parvo" which translates as a big deal in a small space. His body is compact and chunky, and his musculature is visible. The Pug’s legs are neither too long nor too short, and he should not be skinny.
Good to know
Due to the reproduction of increasingly ‘exaggerated’ dogs (their muzzles increasingly flat), dogs of this breed are born with obvious impediments, given their heavy respiratory problems.
In this small hound, the condition causes quite significant snoring and a very loud sound as he breathes. This is mainly due to the narrowing and tightness of the nose. This may look amusing, but it is the result of a real malformation, caused by the unscrupulous efforts of some breeders to produce more and more pug-like pugs.
The pug is a particularly friendly dog, very attached to his masters and fond of everyone. As long as he is the centre of attention, he feels good.
This little hound is a real clown who loves to amuse the audience. He can get along very well with children since he likes to play and ‘make jokes’. He is very playful so he will delight both the young and old.
The pug puppy’s behaviour can be somewhat turbulent but he is calm once grown.
This small dog’s intellectual capacity is well-known but often too little exploited. He is very docile and he understands what is expected of him if we take the time to teach him properly.
However, his stubbornness has been known to stand in the way of him completing tasks as instructed.
The Mops, as he is adorably known in Germany and Poland, has no predatory instinct. If he encounters what he might consider a prey, he will show himself to be indifferent, somewhat intrigued and curious but never predatory.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This dog is neither fearful nor aggressive when around strangers; he welcomes them enthusiastically, especially if they spoil him with treats and a fuss. However, if people do not show him any interest, he is quite prepared to ignore them.
It is only with his masters that this small format hound will be happy. He is very attached, sometimes overly so, to his social group. In fact, the risk of developing hyper-attachment is very much present.
Behaviour of the Pug
The Pug is not a great loner, he lives very poorly in the absence of his masters and vindictively when they return. The ideal scenario for him is to be always surrounded by his masters at home or for them to take him everywhere.
Easy to train / obedience
This dog is, against all odds, and contrary to common belief, easy to educate! You just need the right attitude and patience to get results.
Education should be firm and constant to compensate for his occasional stubborn side but you must never be brutal. Since he is very sensitive, the Pug needs an education based on respect of the principles of positive education: the reinforcement of good deeds and not the systematic sanction of the bad ones.
Finally, it is important to note that despite the small size of this dog, he must complete his schooling if he is to fit in to society.
In fact, small dogs are often not educated as much as large ones simply because the consequences of poor education are considered to be less dangerous. Regardless of what you have heard, this is incorrect and early education must be put in place, no matter the size of the dog.
Very discreet; the pug barks very little. He may be noisy at the arrival of guests but not to excess.
Tendency to run away
He is very attached to his master but also to his comfort, and thus this little hound prefers not to move away from his family cocoon. To find himself alone outside would be the worst thing that could happen to him.
The pug puppy can be wild and therefore sometimes destructive. His misbehaviour is often linked to his emotional discomfort when he finds himself alone.
Greedy / Gluttony
He has a fairly greedy nature, so the Pug is not shy about making requests. This is why you must be careful of his weight.
However, this gluttony makes the dog easy to educate with the help of treats that can promote his concentration and develop his motivation to cooperate.
This dog is not very protective, and his looks are by no means a deterrent despite his pugilistic appearance; plus he will be friendly with anyone who offers him a minimum of attention. So please, do not rely on him to protect the house.
This dog is a perfect candidate for a first adoption: he has a good personality, his needs are not expensive, he is docile, affectionate and particularly sociable. These qualities make him a perfect companion dog, compatible with many different profiles.
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Pug in a flat
The city life, in an apartment, perfectly fits this little hound. The Pug is an indoor dog who will not be able to live outside. The exterior and the weather we find there are not made for this sturdy but sensitive little dog.
In addition, this dog is very attached to his comfort. He only appreciates cosy places and he will not be satisfied with a mere patch of carpet placed in a corner of the living room. Garden-based lodgings are out of the question.
Anyway, his low energy expenditure makes him a perfect dog for apartment life. A few outside walks a day will meet his needs, aerate his spirit, and stretch his paws to his satisfaction.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Very little to not-at-all athletic; there’s no hope of running a marathon with a pug given the risk of losing him along the way!
It’s best to look at him as the team coach, because the Mops does not need much exercise to be fulfilled. Combine outdoor hygiene breaks with indoor play and the tutelage of tricks to satisfy his limited need for energy expenditure.
Moreover, since he is brachycephalic, the main reason for keeping him in an apartment is to avoid breathing problems. In fact, any intense physical activity must be avoided.
Travelling / easy to transport
The pug’s modest silhouette makes him a dog that you can take everywhere fairly easy, especially with the help of a pet carrier/bag.
However, the breathing difficulties that the Pug suffers are sometimes incompatible with certain trips: especially when it is hot or involves air travel for example.
The dog’s attempts to regulate his temperature in unfamiliar climates could lead to his premature death.
Pug and cats
This dog gets along perfectly with cats; he will show himself indifferent sometimes, while other times he will be playful.
The arrangement will be harmonious as long as the two subjects grow up together.
Pay attention to the possibility of aggressive reactions toward cats (he can scratch their eyes or muzzles). And keep a particular watch out for acts of retribution from his feline companion.
Pug and dogs
As he doesn’t consider himself to be a small dog, the Pug will get along with other dogs. However, it will be necessary to ensure that large dogs are not too abrupt with him.
Early socialisation is necessary so that the Pug puppy and his peers can live as serenely as possible. In order to do so, regular, controlled, and friendly meetings will have to be arranged with his contemporaries.
Pug and children
A very playful being, this dog likes to amuse his audience, especially children with their tendency to provide him the attention he requires. This is a dog that will be able to integrate into a family with children without problems.
Pug and the elderly
His need to be surrounded, his hatred of loneliness, and his moderate need for physical exercise are all aspects of the pug that correspond in every respect to the everyday life of an elderly or sedentary human.
The price of a pug varies depending on his origins, age and gender. An average of £850 is to be charged for a dog registered with Kennel Club.
The monthly budget allocated to the maintenance of the Pug is between £20 and £30 depending on the quality of the food chosen and taking into account occasion of his various annual treatments (vaccines, deworming, etc.).
The maintenance of this small hound is not difficult but requires a certain regularity. His coat should be brushed weekly to maintain its brightness. In addition, special attention must be paid to his eyes, ears and the wrinkles of his nose.
This dog loses his hair continuously throughout the year. The rate of this loss is moderate but more intense during the moulting period in the autumn and spring. During moulting, brushing should be completed daily to remove dead hair.
Nutrition of the Pug
The Pug can be satisfied with dry industrial food (croquettes) but portion size must be adapted to the age of the dog, his physical condition and his state of health, in order to avoid too much intake of a nutrient that could make him overweight.
The pug puppy will benefit from a diet adapted to his growth, which can sometimes be tricky and therefore should be kept in check. There are many recommended products but avoid croquettes.
Health of the Pug
The lifespan of the pug is estimated at 13 years.
Strong / robust
The chunky aspect of this hound could be interpreted as robustness, but this small dog is somewhat delicate, mainly because of his flattened snout.
However, besides this anomaly - a real complication in the pug’s life - the creature rarely falls ill.
Brachycephalia (flattened snout) is a cause of many respiratory complications. This dog does not have the same capacity as others to regulate his body temperature when he is hot.
When temperatures rise, Pugs are not able to sweat. Because of his flattened muzzle, it takes a more substantial effort to keep himself cool.
This dog does not have a thick undercoat to withstand the weather (cold, humidity). So he should never be left outdoors in such conditions. During winter walks, even the wearing of a coat may not be enough to protect his skin.
Tendency to put on weight
The unlimited appetite of this well-padded little dog can lead him to become much fatter than he should be. Even though he should not be skinny, neither should he be any rounder than necessary.
Be careful to feed him a diet adapted to the physical condition of his breed.
- Respiratory disorders, peculiar to brachycephalic dogs, meningoencephalitis-encephalitis (neurological pathology)
- Dermatological Infections due to wrinkles and creases in the skin
- Pseudo-hermaphroditism in males (abnormality of the genital tract)
- Difficulties during delivery
- Eye conditions
- Puppy's delicate growth