Pug – Everything You Need To Know

Pug Breed Overview

Do not judge the Pug by their size; as they say, “multum in parvo” (a lot in little) aptly describes this small but muscular breed. Pug’s name came from the Latin word meaning fist as it resembles the human fist. Typically, they come in three colors: silver or apricot-fawn with a black face mask or all black, although there are other rare and hybrid breeds such as white, blue, and brindle.

The Pug’S large round head, big sparkling eyes, and wrinkled brow give Pugs a range of human-like expressions—surprise, happiness, curiosity— that are delightful to watch. Pugs are an ideal house dog that can adapt to any environment, like the cities or countries, kids or elder ones, alone or in the pack.

They are prone to obesity if not taken care of in their lifestyle (they sleep a lot) and are best suited for moderate climates- not too hot, not too cold, but can adapt if adequately cared for. Pugs are playful clowns at heart, but they carry themselves with dignity and love to be the center of attraction and are heartsick if ignored.

Pug Pros and Cons

Small but sturdy in sizeSnorts and makes other nasal noises
Infrequent barkersProne to overeating
Family-friendly, especially good with childrenNeeds frequent cleaning in face folds

Pug Highlights

  • Pugs need constant human companionship. 
  • Pugs are prone to be headstrong and are challenging to housebreak. So, crate training is recommended.
  • Pugs can’t tolerate high heat because of a short muzzle. Pugs are house dogs and should not be kept outdoors.
  • Pugs shed a lot despite their short coats
  • These dogs wheeze, snort, and snore loudly
  • Because their eyes are so striking, Pugs are prone to eye injuries
  • Pugs are prone to over-eat. Since they gain weight quickly, they can quickly become obese if their food intake isn’t monitored carefully.

Pug Basic Information

  • Name: Pug
  • Size: Small
  • Height: Males 10-13 inches (25.4-33.2) cm & Females 10-12 inches (25.4-30.48) cm
  • Weight: 14-18 Pounds (6.35 – 8.16) Kgs
  • Coat: Short
  • Lifespan: 13 to 15 years 
  • Color: Black, Fawn (light yellowish tan) or Silver Fawn, Apricot, White, and Brindle (brown base color overlaid with dark brown or black stripes).
  • Energy: Low to Medium 
  • Origin: China 
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Activities: Walking and Sniffing, Fetch Games, Tug Games, Scent games, Swimming, Agility Games, Trick games, Free play with mental stimulation toys.
  • Barking Level: Contextual
  • Shedding Level: High
  • Litter Size: 4 to 6 puppies
  • Group: Toy Group, Mastiff
  • Other Names: Lo-Sze (China), Mopsi (Finland), Doguillo (Spain), Mopshonds (Dutch), Mops (Germany), Carlin (France), Caganlino (Italy), Dutch Bulldog, Dutch Mastiff. 
  • Breed’s Original Pastime: Companion animal or lap dog

Different Types of Pug

Pugs by themselves do not have types; they are mainly differentiated either by their coat color or the breed they have been crossed.

  1. Fawn Pug

Fawn Pugs differ from the standard Pug due to its coat color, which is fawn in color, ranging from dark tan to lighter.

  1. Apricot

Apart from their coat color, which is similar to fawn but with few reddish-brown hairs makes them Apricot Pugs. The recessive gene gives rise to the apricot, and so they are not a mixed breed but are part of Pug genes.

  1. Brindle

Brindle Pugs have alternate black and white stripes that are darker than the core color of their coat. They have a short nose and a muzzle on their neck, just like any other Pug. Their coat pattern can evolve, but it can’t be expected for a brindle puppy to become fawn or black with time. However, the color intensity can vary.

  1. Black

These Pug’s difference lies in their coat color, having thick and shiny black coats giving them a royal look.

  1. White Pug

These Pugs have a pure white coat with a dark muzzle. It is due to crossbreeding, and American Kennel does not recognize crossbreds. But it is still popular among people for its loving disposition.

  1. Silver Fawn

These Pugs are a subcategory of fawn Pugs and are differentiated by their silvery fawn coat.

  1. Miniature Pugs

These are small-sized Pugs that result from a cross between a Pug and a Chihuahua, also known as Chug, toy Pugs, mini-Pugs and weigh between 3 to 10 pounds. 

  1. Blue Pugs

These Pugs appear blue because silver or grey is present between the black hair. The blue Pug is a hybrid of fawn and black Pugs.

  1. Chocolate Pug

These Pugs are given fancy names to attract dog lovers, and like most other Pugs, it is differentiated by their chocolaty coat color.

Pug History

It is believed that Pugs have their origin in China, dating back to (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200) and are related to Tibetan Mastiff. The emperors of China valued them so much that soldiers guarded them. When the Chinese began trading in the 1500s and 1600s with the Europeans, the first Pug came with the Dutch traders and was named Mopshond; it became so lovable that William, Prince of Orange, made it an official Dog. 

Legends have it that a Pug reportedly saved the life of the Holland Prince from the Spaniards back in 1572. The two lines that became England’s standards were the Morrison Line and the Willoughby line. The Click, a breed produced from Lamb and Moss, which are purebred of Chinese origin, is credited with making Pugs a better breed.

In the United States, the Pugs were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, just after the Civil War.

Pug Personality

Pugs were bred to be companions, craves affection and your lap, and becomes unhappy if it is not reciprocated. Hunting, guarding, or retrieving is a big no to these affectionate Pugs.

They are sedentary and like to be with you. That should not deceive you from what it can do.

We know that temperament is an inherited trait, and it is what determines its personality, and puppies with sound temperaments are playful, approachable, and curious.

It will be handy to check their parent’s temperament, especially mother’s

while buying, that is not all; even puppies with friendly temperaments can be naughty and restless if they are not properly socialized.

Friendliness Overview 

Affection Level                            High 
Family-Friendly High 
Kid-Friendly High 
Pet-Friendly Medium to High
Strangers-Friendly Medium to High

Adaptability Overview 

Good for New Pet Owners High
Good for Apartment Living High
Sensitivity Level Low to Medium
Tolerates being alone Low 
Heat Tolerance Low
Cold Tolerance Low

Trainability Overview 

Easy to Train Medium
Intelligence Low to Medium
Prey Drive Medium
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-bite High 
Tendency to Bark or Howl Medium to High 
Wanderlust Ability Low 
Tendency to Dig Low 
Tendency to Snore Medium to High
Attention/Social Needs Medium to High

Pug Breed Physical Features

The head is large, round – not apple-headed, with no skull indentation. The eyes are dark in color, extensive, bold and prominent, spherical shape, soft and solicitous in expression, bright, and, when excited, full of fire. 

The ears are small, thin, soft, like black velvet. There are two types – the “rose” and the “button.” But the preference is given to the button. The wrinkles are large and deep. The muzzle is short, square, blunt, but not up-faced.

Neck, Topline, Body

The Pugs has a strong, thick, lengthy, and slightly arched neck with a broad chest, short body, and curled tail.


The legs are straight, moderately lengthy, and with higher strength, with pasterns neither steep nor down. The feet are smaller. The shoulders are laid back.


It has powerful and robust hindquarters with moderately bent stifle and shorter hocks perpendicular to the ground, and legs appear to be parallel when viewed from behind. The buttocks and thighs are full and muscular.


The coats are smooth, soft, short, and glossy, neither woolly nor hard


The colors are black or fawn


The markings are clear, be it on muzzle or mask, ears, moles on cheeks, thumb mark or diamond on forehead, and the black backtrace extending from occiput to the tail.


The forelegs should be carried forward with no sign of weakness in pattern, and the paws should land squarely with the central toes straight. The rear action should be free and strong throughout with no twist or turn outwardly at the joint. The front and the hind legs should follow in line.

Pug Temperament 

They are playful, stable, outgoing with a loving disposition and even-tempered breed. Early socialization- exposure to many different sights, people, sounds, and experiences at a young age can ensure that your puppy grows into a well-rounded Pug. Pugs do not like a hot or humid environment and are sensitive to it, and you need to make sure they do not spend much of their time outside. Pugs can sometimes become stubborn and difficult to housebreak. Providing them with crate training is found to be helpful.

Pug Exercise Needs

The Pugs, although playful, sturdy, and lively, like to sleep as well. You should make a routine for daily walks and engage them in various canine sports such as obedience, rally, and agility.

Exercise Needs Overview 

Energy Level                                 Medium
Exercise Needs                            Medium
Playfulness                                   High 
Intensity High 

Pug Grooming

The Pug’s smooth, glossy, and short coat needs minimal maintenance. Pugs shed a lot. Brush them once a week with a grooming mitt or a hound glove and do a bath only when it gets messy or has an odor. The long nail can cause discomfort, so you should trim it regularly.

Grooming Overview 

Amount of Shedding                   High 
Tendency to Drool Low 
Easy to Groom High 

Pug Health

The Pugs are generally healthy, but like all animals, they are prone to various illnesses.

Health Overview

Basic Health Low 
Weight Gain Possibilities High

Some of the major health problems faced by a Pug are

  • Cheyletiella Dermatitis This is a skin condition caused by a contagious mite, causing heavy dandruff, especially down the middle of the back.
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis PDE is a fatal inflammatory brain disease unique to Pugs and usually affects young dogs, causing them to seize, circle, become blind, fall into a coma, and die. The American Kennel Club is still sponsoring research to find the cause of the disease. Diagnosis can be made from the dead brain tissues of the dog.
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome A combination of abnormalities of the upper respiratory tract in Pugs results in (partial) upper airway obstruction.
  • Epilepsy It is also called idiopathic epilepsy and causes seizures for no reason; unlike PDE, these are less dangerous.
  • Nerve Degeneration It affects the older Pugs and causes difficulty in their movement. The symptoms advance slowly, and the affected Pugs do not appear to be in pain. 
  • Dry Eye Pigmentary keratitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca are the two conditions seen in Pugs. In Pigmentary keratitis, the cornea has black spots, and if the pigment covers the eye, it can cause blindness.
  • Proptosis The eyeball is dislodged, and the eyelid clamps behind it
  • Distichiasis The eyelashes rub against the eye due to abnormal growth of eyelashes on the margin of the eye.
  • Entropion The lower lid rolls inward and causes the hair on the top to rub on the eye, irritating.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy The gradual degeneration of retinal visual cells in the Pugs.
  • Allergies When your Pug rubs his face and licks at his paws, it may be due to the allergens most from food or dust.
  • Demodectic Mange It is caused by the presence of Demodex mite in the hair follicles, and it is hereditary passed on to the pups from their mother, and Pugs with the compromised or weak immune system are prone to the disease. The symptoms include scaly patches of red, skin with hair loss on the head, neck, forelegs, or extreme conditions all over the body.
  • Staph Infection It is commonly caused by the staph bacteria found on the skin. Symptoms include pimples, lesions, and infected hair follicles.
  • Yeast Infection It causes a bad smell, itchy, black, and thickened skin affecting the armpits, feet, groin, neck, and inside the ears.
  • Hip Dysplasia It causes deformity of the hip joint due to genetics, environment, and diet; it affects small and large breeds.
  • Legg-Perthes Disease The blood supply of the femur is decreased, due to which the pelvis begins to disintegrate, and the hip becomes gradually weakened. Symptoms include limping and atrophies of the leg muscle. The diseased femur can be corrected with surgery.
  • Patellar Luxation The dislocation of the kneecap causes the knee joint to slide in and out of place. It can be painful and crippling. Mainly it affects the hind leg.
  • Vaccination Sensitivity The Pugs may suffer from facial swelling, soreness, and lethargy post-vaccination. It can lead to complications or death of the Pug if not appropriately monitored.

Pug Diet and Nutrition

Your Pug should do well on high-quality dog food suggested by your veterinarian, whether home-prepared or commercially manufactured. Any diet that is moderately fed should be suitable for the dog’s age. Pugs love to eat and are easily prone to obesity, so watch your dog’s food consumption and weight level. Treats can be an essential aid during training your Pug, but giving too many can make them obese. Try figuring out the foods which are safe for your Pug and which are not.  

Pug Living Condition

The Pugs are playful, low-maintenance companions, ideal for children and the old aged. They are quiet, small breed, remain relatively inactive indoors, and are a good choice for apartment dwellers.

Did you know?

  • Pug is one of the oldest breeds of dog that is in existence since before 400BC
  • In Tibet, the Pug was a pet of the Buddhist Monasteries
  • Reports say that the Pub dog breed originated from China with some similarities to the Pekingese dog breed.
  • The Pug was considered as the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland after one among the Pug dog breed saved the life of the crown prince. 
  • In 1885, the American Kennel Club (AKC) had recognized Pub along with 14 other breeds.

Pug Club Recognition

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club

Adding a Pug to Your Family

Pug Rescue Groups 

There are countless Pugs in need of adoption and/or nursing, and there are several breed-specific rescue associations across the country that are listed below

  1. National Pug Rescue Groups
  2. Pug Dog Club of America

To Buy a Pug Online Now 

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