Pug Dog: Breed Facts and Temperaments
There is a phrase in Latin that perfectly describes the Pug dog. And this phrase is “multum in parvo.” This translates in English to mean “a lot in a little.” When it comes to the pug dog, this is precisely what you get – a whole lot in so little. Pugs have the facial features that make them look like that grumpy old man in the neighborhood. Nevertheless, they are loved by so many because of the affection and energy they bring. If you are in the market for a pug dog or some pug puppies, then we have you covered. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the pug from feeding to temperament. Let’s begin.
History of the Pug Dog
Before we proceed any further, why don’t we take a trip back in time to learn a little bit about the history of the pug dog? So, where do pugs come from? Pugs are originally from China. Their origin can be traced over 2000 years ago in what can only be described as a noble lineage. This is because, centuries ago, pugs were bred purposely for the Chinese emperor to be used as a lap dog and a pet companion. Aside from that, they were also bred with the Shih Tzus to be kept in the court of the emperor. How did pug dogs attain global popularity? In the fifteenth century, traders from Holland brought these noble pets to Europe. Within a short time, their nobility had had a huge impact on the Dutch and English royalty. Queen Victoria was especially fond of the noble pugs and kept more than a pack of them at her castle. With time, the ‘ordinary’ people were given the opportunity to experience living with royalty when the pugs were made available to be bred as a family dog. Currently, pugs have become so popular that the American Kennel Club ranks this breed as the 28th most popular dog breed. Thus, anytime you happen to see a pug trotting along the street, you might as well take a boy. Those little guys are royalty!
Quick Facts About The Pug Dog
Now that we know that we are dealing with royalty let us find out some quick facts about this noble dog breed.
- First of all, pugs can be very stubborn and difficult to housebreak. But then again, which royalty will like to be controlled by a ‘commoner,’ right?
- Pugs are brachycephalic. This means that unlike other dog breeds, their noses are more pushed in than other dogs. This also means that pugs are more prone to breathing problems than other dogs.
- Pugs are one of the most adaptable dog breeds (which is quite unlike royalty). This makes them excellent companions as they are well suited to any environment, as well as any family size.
- Life Expectancy: Pugs have a life expectancy of twelve to fifteen years. However, this is not a giving. As a pug owner, you need to play your part in keeping your dog safe and well catered for.
- How big do pugs get? An adult pug can weigh from 14 pounds up to 18 pounds. They also measure 10 inches to 14 inches tall at the shoulder level.
- Types of pugs: Pugs are usually one of three types – the Lion dog, the Pekingese, and the Lo-sze, which is more of the ancient Pug.
- Pug puppies are available at several breeding centers across the United States Of America. However, always make sure you purchase your pup from a reputable breeder.
Things You Should Know About The Pug Dog
Now, before you dash off to the pet store, there are some very important things you need to know about the pug dog in order to be certain that this is the right dog for you.
The health problems that pugs are prone to are very common, as every pug owner (or potential pug owner) should be mindful of them.
- Breathing problems: As mentioned earlier, unlike other dogs, pugs are brachycephalic. This means that their noses are more pushed in than other dogs. This also means that pugs are more prone to breathing problems than other dogs.
- Eye problems: Pugs have big prominent eyes that are prone to several issues. Some of them include dry eyes as well as infections of the eyelids and eyelashes. The eyes are also very easily injured. Thus, you have to be very careful if you have a pug at home.
- Skin Infections: The skin folds around their noses are very prone to infections. Thus, regular inspections must be conducted around that area. Also, pugs are prone to other skin infections like dry and irritated skin. Also, watch out for the stubborn Demodex mites.
- Hip dysplasia: Like a lot of other dog breeds, pugs are also prone to hip dysplasia, which is a disorder of the hips that causes serious pain and, in some instances, deformity and immobility.
- Heart Problems: Because pugs fall in the small dog breed category, they are also prone to mitral valve problems. The main symptoms of this problem are a loss of energy and frequent coughing. There are simple treatment options available at the veterinary.
It is very important to ensure that your pug gets regular medical examinations at the vet. This will not only help to help to keep it healthy but will also help to detect potential health issues even before they show up.
As indicated earlier, pugs can be difficult to train if you do not have enough experience and patience with them. They can have a mind of their own and a very strong personality (their royal history probably has something to do with it) that can be a bit overbearing for a new owner. Plus, they are very easily distracted. Thus, it is recommended to opt for pug puppies in order to begin their training at a tender age, as this will make it much easier. Housebreaking and litter box training at a young age will get your pup well adjusted to the habit at a mature age. When it comes to litter box training, pugs have frequent urgency to pass urine because of their small bladders. Thus, it is very important to start litter box training very early. Also, as a pug owner, you need to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and make its litter box available as soon as you notice that it needs to pass urine. Beginning basic behavioral training at an early will give you better control over certain negative behaviors associated with adult pugs. One simple trick to get your pug’s obedience is to reward with a lot of treats to encourage it as pugs are generally driven by food. If you are finding it difficult to train your pug to obey basic commands such as “sit,” you can always seek the assistance of professional dog trainers.
Just like any other dog, pugs need a lot of exercise to keep them healthy. One major reason why your pug should get all the exercise it needs it because pugs can be very greedy eaters and can, therefore, consume just about any amount of food you serve them with. For this reason, your pug can be easily overweight if you do not keep its health in check. Combine regular exercise with a balanced diet. However, you have to be careful not to give your dog too much exercise during humid or hot conditions as this will only lead to more health problems. Pugs have nasal passages that are very narrow and, as a result, find it very difficult to breathe during hot and humid conditions. Also, it is best to keep your pug from swimming activities. Otherwise, you must always make sure that it has a dog life vest on. Also, focus on agility exercises to help promote a healthy heart condition for your pug.
Although your pug dog can gobble up almost anything you out in its bowl, you must be very careful about what you feed it and how much. As mentioned previously, pug dogs are very prone to overweight as well as other health issues associated with being overweight. Thus, you must always ensure that your pug receives a balanced diet at servings. At least sixty percent of your dog’s diet should consist of natural-based protein sources to help fuel its muscles. There should be a healthy mixture of carbs, fruits, and veggies to ensure that it gets all the essential minerals and vitamins it needs. Again, you must be very careful not to feed you pug too many carbs. The easiest and safest option is to purchase already made dog food. There are several trusted brands to choose from that offer either wet dog food or dry kibble. It is recommended to feed your dog a combination of wet and dry dog food on a rotational basis. If you have a pug puppy or intend to purchase one, it is best to purchase dog made especially for puppies as it is not advisable to feed puppies adult dog food. A lot of dog food brands have specially made puppy food. If you intend to feed your pug raw food or cook at home instead, then it is best to first consult with your vet nutritionist for the best options that will provide a complete and balanced diet for your pug.
Grooming your pug will not be as stressful as training it as pug dogs have hair coats that are very easy to care for. You will have nothing to worry about when it comes to shedding as this short-haired dog breed does not have much of a shedding problem. However, it is best to brush your dog’s coat every week to help get rid of loose hair. Although you may not have too much to worry about concerning your pug dog’s hair coat, you should pay close attention to the skin folds. You need to make sure, any time you are grooming your dog, that the folds are always dry and clean as these areas are usually breeding grounds for bacteria. Look out for redness, swelling, and itching around these areas as these could be a sign of an infection. Whenever you notice that the skin folds and areas around it are damp or moist, always clean those areas with a pet-safe wipe. You can consult with your vet for the best veterinarian-recommended pet-safe wipes to purchase. Pugs usually have anal gland problems, which can cause them to groom that area excessively. If you notice this behavior, get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as you can.
When it comes to pug temperament, the pug dog has been described to have a clownish personality. As described earlier in this article, pug dogs have so much in terms of personality contained in their small bodies. Their wrinkled faces might make them look like grumpy dogs, but their temperament is the exact opposite. Pug dogs are fun-loving entertainers. And you’re guaranteed to have fun with them around as they are always more than eager to play with their owners or any other available humans. When playtime is over, your pug dog can be an excellent lap dog (remember their royal ancestors were used mainly as lap dogs by the Chinese emperors). Also, when you are too busy, your pug dog will not mind being a couch potato until it has your attention again. Their personalities may not make them look like the smartest dog breed (that combined with the fact that they can be very difficult to train). However, pugs are smart enough to learn some basic training. They are ideal for any family size and are very good around children because of their playful nature. And oh, expect occasional barks and snoring.
In conclusion, the pug dog’s comical looks with large eyes and deep wrinkles have made it an adorable and popular breed of dog. It has an affectionate personality and is ideal for any family size. There is no dull moment when it comes to playtime with this breed of dog. But, just like any other pet, you need to be ready to take good care of it. You cannot go wrong with choosing a pug dog as your canine buddy.
- Pug – Washington University in St. Louis