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Chug

The Chug is one of the smaller designer crossbreeds and while still not common in the UK, the breed is growing in popularity around the world.

The breeds that make up the Chug are the Chihuahua (long coat or smooth coat) and the Pug. The Chug can be a first cross (with one Chihuahua and one Pug parent), can be bred back to one of the original breeds or be two Chugs bred together - so there are varieties in size, shape, colours, coat types and health, but in all cases this is an extremely small companion dog.

 

  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking half an hour a day
  • Little toy dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10–13 years
Weight: 4.5–9kg
Height: 25–35cm
Colours: The Chug can come in any of the colours common to the Chihuahua or Pug including:
Brown, black, fawn, silver, apricot, cream or white
Their coats may be solid or a mix of colours
Size: Small

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5
Chug dog sitting sideways

Personality

Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Chug depends on the parents and how they have been bred and reared, but both the Chihuahua and the Pug are affectionate dogs who bond closely to their owners.

The Chug may be a tiny dog, but they have no idea that they are, as both breeds have large personalities! The personality of a Chug seems to be more consistent when they are first crosses (F1). As a line is successively bred, they can be either bred back to one of the original breeds (and so strengthen either the Chihuahua or the Pug personalities) or else be bred to another Chug - in which case there is less predictability in temperament (and in-breeding becomes more of a potential issue).

Responsible breeders should be prioritising behaviour as highly as health and so it is important to find a good breeder. A well-bred Chug should be outgoing and confident and not nervous, shy or fearful. This does require early and ongoing socialisation.

History and Origins

The Chug originated in the early 2000s in the United States. There’s no specific breeder that claims they created the breed, but it’s thought that it was developed in order to breed out some of the unhealthier attributes of the Pug, such as the short snout.

Although the Chug is a very recent breed, the Chihuahua and Pug have a long history, so long in fact, it’s under debate where they actually originated from to begin with! There are several theories about where the Chihuahua came from including the Aztec period, the Middle Ages and some believe that Chinese dogs contributed to the breed we know and love today. However, what is clear is that they were very popular in 19th century Mexico and they were brought into America by tourists who would often take home a dog or puppy as a memento.

The Pug on the other hand is widely known as a Chinese dog breed and are thought to date back as far as the Han dynasty (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200). The breed came to European shores in the late 1500s and early 1600s when China began trading with Europe, and then eventually came to England in 1688 with William III and Mary II when they set to claim the throne. Pug’s became incredibly popular with people around the world, especially in the European courts and even Queen Victoria was a fan, keeping 36 of them and breeding and showing them.

The Chug can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.

Health and Common Issues

One aim with crossbreeds is to dilute or eliminate any inherited health issues that may exist within one or other of the breeds. This dilution or elimination is only likely if only one parent is the carrier of any particular condition, and where this is a first cross (F1). As this can’t always be guaranteed, all parents should be health tested prior to breeding:

  • Chihuahua: they can be prone to eye problems and also a potential windpipe problem. They can also suffer from hydrocephalus and like many small breeds can be prone to luxating patella’s.
  • Pug: this breed is prone to several health issues. With their flattened face and short nose, they can have breathing problems, and also issues with their skin, eyes, and teeth. Certain health tests should be done including: Hemivertebrae testing, patella testing, as well as a Pug Dog Encephalitis DNA test.

Information on DNA health tests for both breeds can be found on the Kennel Club’s website. As the Pug is a brachycephalic dog, be sure to do your research on what this means and the potential health issues that come with owning a flat faced dog.

Exercise Needs

The Chug will be happy with half an hour walking each day (on a harness), as long as they have plenty of gentle games and owner interaction. All exercise should be done with care however as this is a very small dog who can’t walk quickly, can be easily frightened and badly injured by other dogs, even in play.

Space Requirements

This is a small dog who can live in a flat or a smaller property as long as they have access to the outdoors for toileting and walks.

Nutrition and Feeding

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Your dog’s diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed them at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of their particular food.

Grooming Chugs

Chug coats can vary between quite long to short (depending on the coat length of the Chihuahua used), but in either case, grooming such a small dog is fairly easy, although they are likely to shed. Ensure you have soft, gentle grooming tools for their small, delicate body.

Training Chugs

The Chug can be a smart little dog and most will enjoy learning tricks and playing gentle games. They should be trained to walk on a lead and harness, as well as come back when called.

This is a breed that needs early and ongoing socialisation so they gain confidence with people and other dogs.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Chug can in theory make a good family dog, but is generally too small and delicate (especially as a puppy) for a young or active family. They tend to bond closely to one person, so they’re ideal to singles or couples that can be home most of the day.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Due to their shorter snouts, Chugs can be prone to heat stroke so require additional care during the summer months.
  • Chug is also known as the Pugwawa and the Pughuahua.
  • They have very affectionate natures and love spending time with their family.
  • Chug’s aren’t currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club as they’re a mixed breed.

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