Pug – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
How challenging is it to own a Pug? Are they so prone to heatstroke or not? Read on and get answers to these questions and many more.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder
14 to 18 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

If there is a breed so-known without mentioning their name, Pug would take the first place.

This small-size breed is so popular that dog fanciers had to invest serious strategies to fight off unethical breeders who easily made huge harm to this breed.

Pug is best known for appearing in Disney cartoons, and for having a wrinkled and short-muzzled face, next to their curled tail. They have a fine and glossy coat that demands regular brushing.

Did you know that tiny Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds? They are so ancient that they date back before 400 BC?

They are small in size, making them compact for city life, although they don’t do well in hot weather.

They have a long life expectancy of between 12 to 15 years, but they usually spend their lifespan being prone to major health problems, such as Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) and canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and these are just some of many.

Rethink of high veterinarian expenses as something that you have to deal with in the long run, when owning a Pug.

Quick Facts

Real name: Pug
Other names: Dutch bulldog
Origin: China (Ming dynasty)
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 14 to 18 pounds
Height: 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 4 – 6 puppies
Color: Fawn and black
Coat: Short and double-coated

Pug History

It’s easy for ancient breeds to believe that they are of the modern date when they are so popular as Pugs are.

These dogs of unusual appearance and small size are one of the oldest dog breeds alive.

Originally bred in China to be companion dogs, these flat-faced dogs kept their main purpose – to be best friends of their human families.

Different breeds were included in the creation of this breed, including the Lion dog, the Pekingese, and the “Lo-sze,” also known as the ancient Pug.

They even kept their original appearance> they all come with a wrinkly face, short-muzzled face, and curled tail.

Pugs were brought from China to Europe in the 16th century. The House of Stuart, and the House of Orange of the Netherlands are most responsible for the breed’s popularity in Western Europe. They were also adored in Italy and Spain.

During this period they were mostly busy being companion dogs and even working as guard dogs.

In the 19th century, Queen Victoria added to more of the breed’s population.

During the 19th century, these wrinkled dogs arrived in the States, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1185. In 1931, the Pug Dog Club of America was founded.

Pug Physical Appearance

Pug is a square dog with short legs and a long body. Their head is always large, round, and massive, and usually seems a bit bigger than the rest of the body.

They are never apple-headed, eyes are dark in color, expressive, and large. The ears are thin and small, while the neck is slightly arched. The tail is curled, while the coat is fine and smooth.

As for the color, they may appear in fawn or black tones. Overall, these dogs are usually described as small and sturdy dogs with really short legs.

As for the size, they weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, both males and females. They commonly stand between 10 to 14 inches at the shoulder. Pugs are also known for their wrinkles, as well as being one of the most popular dog breeds with underbites.

Pugs are abundant and deep, and usually located on the face and forehead.

Pug owners know that cleaning these wrinkles is very important if you want to avoid any allergies.

Pug Physical Personality

Pug is here to be loved. This isn’t a breed that will guard you or your home. They are also not fast to hunt or retrieve.

These dogs were made to be companions and they are true to that role of theirs even today.

Pugs are lap dogs and they are perfect dogs for cuddles and adoration. This is a sedentary dog, who will enjoy indoor time and being a couch potato. This doesn’t mean that they will prefer to stay in all day long.

No, expect this dog to be playful, active, and often comical. As a lap dog, he will do his best to keep you entertained and happy.

Pugs are highly social beings. If Pug were a person, he would be described as a serious-looking person with a dry sense of humor. Believe us, there is a lot of humor inside of them.

Don’t let their size and love toward calm minutes confuse you because they are packed with a lot of energy. They are massive people-pleasers, but that won’t stop them from being stubborn a bit.

Pugs are in general fairly laid-back dogs and they are not prone to barking, digging, or even chewing.

Still, behavior is affected by several factors, including environment, training, and socialization.

All in all, these dogs tend to get along nicely with children, as long as they know how to behave around dogs.

Children must know how to safely interact with dogs and not to disturb them when they are sleeping, eating, resting, or playing with their toys in their space.

If your child expects a dog to enjoy fetch games, a huge disappointment is about to happen – this dog just won’t do that.

Any playtime between dogs and children should be supervised. Pugs can be trusted with cats, rabbits, and other small or smaller animals.

Pug Physical Training

If you are a first time dog owner, you can put Pug on your list. These small size dogs are, in fact, great for first time dog owners.

They are small in size which makes them great apartment dogs and easy to handle in general.

The biggest downside or the biggest challenge of owning this breed is that they are a bit clingy.

Pugs will expect to have a human next to them all the time. As such, they cannot be left for a long time alone. Plus, Pugs are really great when it comes to training because they are massive people-pleasers.

Pugs will be eager to please and perform any task in no time. Make sure that you make training sessions fun, consistent, short, and packed with treats.

Never use any harsh training methods, because no dog should experience any negative methods.

Plus, there are always other ways, such as puppy classes, or hiring a professional dog trainer to help you with training sessions. This may cost you more in the beginning, but it will pay off in the long run.

Pug Physical Exercise

Dogs thrive on exercise, no matter how small or big they might be. They use the outdoor time to explore, to learn, to have fun, and burn out that extra energy.

To keep your Pug’s joints active and strong you should provide a minimum of an hour of exercise a day.

Next to this, you should provide enough space for mental stimulation to keep his brain engaged and active.

A mix of regular walks, additional exercise and fun indoor games should be enough to keep your Pug happy and active.

Pug Physical Grooming

Grooming is a big part of dog ownership.

Being a dog owner goes beyond brushing, petting, and playtime. Dog ownership is also about keeping the dog well-cared of, keeping his safe and well feed. That being said, grooming is much more than merely keeping the dog happy.

That little pooch needs also to be well-groomed and handled when needed. Those nails won’t be cut nicely without a good set of nail clippers, or a visit to the professional groomer.

Next to this, you should provide the following:

  • Weekly brushing with adequate grooming tools
  • Daily wrinkles cleaning
  • Cleaning his ears. If you don’t know how to clean a dog’s ears click here to learn how to do it
  • Daily cleaning of the eye area
  • Cleaning in between baths, if and when needed

You probably know that dogs don’t need frequent bathing as humans do. Their skin is different and should be treated only with specially designed dog shampoos.

These dogs do not get haircuts. Shaving him is also not an option. Their coat is specially designed to protect them from cold and heat. Still, you will have to brush him regularly to minimize his shedding. It helps to know how to care of Pug completely, so you can avoid some of the most common health issues in Pugs.

You can expect more intense shedding during the shedding session, in spring and autumn.

Pug Physical Health

When it comes to the health of this breed people are divided. Some would say that this is a healthy breed, while others cannot stop pointing out just how many breathing issues this breed comes with.

As a face-flat breed, Pugs are prone to Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), which leads to major breathing problems.

The biggest cause for these conditions is defined by their squished noses.

In other words, their nostrils are too small, obstructing airflow and leaving dogs to fight for every breath.

As a Pug owner, you should be extra careful when it comes to the summertime or humid weather. Heatstroke is something that happens regularly in breeds with flat faces.

Make sure that you never leave your Pug in a car on a summer day, or in front of a store.

During the hot, sunny, and humid days provide enough freshwater and keep your Pug in the well-designed shade.

Another common health issue in this breed is linked with their eyes, as pug eye problems is something that Pug owners continually have to deal with.

Regular veterinarian check-ups and daily eye check is something that can help your Pug keep healthy eyesight up to Fido’s senior years.

Their eyes may be appealing and attractive, but they’re also very vulnerable and sensitive.

Some of the most common eye problems in this breed include corneal ulcers and dry eye.

If you want to be sure that you are getting a healthy puppy, you should deal with responsible dog breeders only.

They will present you medical documentation on the breed, let you meet the bitch, show you the facilities, and give you input on how to care about your Pug.

On top of that, responsible breeders will also inform you on what are some of the possible health issues that you might experience as a Pug owner in the long run.

5 Fun Facts About Pugs

  • Their wrinkles are planned
  • Napoleon’s wife had a Pug
  • They are one of the most present dogs on the big screen
  • They’re one of the oldest dog breeds alive
  • They were the symbol for a Secret Society

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