The Pug originated in China where it was “bred to adorn the laps of Chinese emperors during the Shang dynasty”, but was brought to Europe in the 16th century by Dutch settlers. Notable historical figures who have owned pugs include Marie Antoinnette, William of Orange, Queen Victoria and Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Josephine.
Pugs are known by many names, including the “Mini Mastiff”, “Dutch Mastiff”, “Carlin”, “Mops” or “Dutch Bulldog”. They are a breed who was bred primarily for companionship, and will seek out your constant companionship.
- Can tend to be quite excitable in the first two years of life, but settle down generally after age 2
- Are intolerant to temperature extremes and must live in a temperature-controlled environment, including air conditioning in the summer
- Love to go for walks, but care must be taken to ensure that they do not overheat as they can become seriously ill if overheated
- Are often referred to as the ‘clowns’ of the dog world – they will do anything to get a laugh out of their owner and love the attention
- Will follow you from room to room in your house
- Love children and other people
- Can tend to be stubborn and headstrong – training is best accomplished with positive reinforcement and a patient attitude. They do not take well to yelling and should never be hit, as they are extremely sensitive and have a huge desire to please.
- May take longer to housetrain than other breeds and can be quite stubborn in this aspect.
- Love to be the center of attention.
- Require a premium diet and a watchful eye with treats, as they do have a tendency to become overweight very easily. Feeding them a high-quality food is the best choice. Rule of thumb: if you can’t buy it at a pet store, it isn’t good enough to feed your dog.
- Have a very happy disposition and are not considered an aggressive breed.
- Find it difficult to stay off the couch and always want to be in your lap.
- Get along well with other animals, but prefer the company of humans.
- Require regular brushing, as they can shed as much as a cat, especially fawn pugs. A high-quality dog food will cut down somewhat on the shedding, but will not completely eliminate it.
- Tend to snore, sneeze, wheeze, or have an assortment of other funny sounds.
- Are generally not big barkers.
- Do not do well when left alone for long periods of time, as they require lots of companionship and attention.
- Can range in size, but generally fall between 18 and 25 lbs. at maturity.
Common Health Problems In Pugs
Every breed has common health problems. Here is a listing of conditions that are common to Pugs.
- Obesity due to overfeeding, affecting the Pug’s joints and causing undue stress to his heart.
- Luxating Patella – bad knee caps (may require surgery due to discomfort and pain; common in small breed dogs. Pain is identified when your dog is only using three legs.).
- Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) – an inflammation of the brain which generally occurs between the ages of 2 and 3. It is almost always fatal.
- Hemivertebrae – a malformation of the spine causing paralysis.
- Stenotic nares – narrowed nasal passages that make it difficult for the dog to move air properly into their lungs through their nose. Surgery may be required depending on the degree of severity.
- Elongated palate – fluid or debris can get stuck under the palate and cause difficulty breathing or irritating the throat.
- Pimples – especially in younger dogs. Use of metal dishes vs. plastic is always recommended.
- Prone to eye injuries due to their prominent eyes, including scratched corneas and entropion (eyelid folds inward).
- Infection of the nose wrinkle – this must be cleaned regularly to ensure it is free of debris, dirt and hair.
- Reverse Sneezing – gulping air and wheezing.
- Overheating – Pugs are indoor dogs and should not be left outside or in your vehicle for any length of time.
- Demodectic mange – aka Demodex, caused by a weakened immune system and is passed from mother to puppy.
- Flatulence – Pugs are can be very flatulent. Feeding them a high-quality diet can cut down on this.