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The Pug is a popular toy dog, known for displaying puppy-like antics well into their adulthood. They will suit an owner with a sense of humour who wants an affectionate, trainable small dog, willing to go everywhere with them.  

One of the pros of owning a Pug dog breed is that they don’t need that much exercise, but a downside might be that they do like to snore — a lot, and loudly. However, they’re perfect for first-time owners and they’re easily trained so they’re sure to make lovely companions. 

12–15 years
25–33cm when fully grown
Silver, apricot, fawn or black
Kennel Club group
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Potential health risks
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
This breed has a higher risk of health issues

The Pug breed is classed as brachycephalic; problems associated with the condition include;
- Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome: a condition in brachycephalic breeds (those with a short nose and squashed face) where breathing is obstructed and can lead to reduced ability to exercise, or even severe respiratory distress.
- Skin inflammation/infection: brachycephalic breeds have a short nose and a normal amount of facial tissue. This means there is often excess skin around their face which leads to skin folds. The skin inside these folds can become sore and infections are prone to develop. 
- Eye ulcers: ulcers are painful erosions on the surface of the eye. They are more common in brachycephalic breeds due to their conformation, as their eyes tend to be more bulbous.

The breed is also prone to: 
- Patellar luxation 
- Legg-Perthes disease 
- Hemivertebrae which is a problem where dogs are born with spinal deformities 
- Pug Dog Encephalitis which is a serious inflammatory brain disease 
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) which is a painful condition where the tear gland stops working properly 
- Entropion¹ which is a painful eye condition where the eyelids roll inwards

Read more about pug health problems here

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Respiratory function grading system

¹Y. Kim et al, 'Combination of Stades Forced Granulation Method and Hotz-Celsus Procedure for Treatment of Upper and Lower Eyelid Entropion-Trichiasis in Three Dogs', 2021, Journal of Veterinary Clinics

Pug Appearance

Square, cobby, muscular, and surprisingly heavy, pugs wear their coat short, soft and glossy. The pug size is small, and their flat face, bulging eyes and facial wrinkles divide opinions, but they are enchanting, fun-loving companions. As for the Pug colours, they range from silver and apricot to fawn and black. 

Pug Personality

This charming, good-tempered toy dog is a happy, sociable companion. The Pug dog breed is friendly with both owners and strangers, playful, funny, and good with other dogs or animals. While pocket-sized, the Pug dog breed is still robust enough to cope with family life. 

These little dogs have big personalities and are beloved by old and young alike. They can be calm and quiet, but can also have their mischievous, clownish moments. A super companion if you can offer them the time they need, but keep in mind that they don’t like to be separated from their loved ones for too long. 

Vet Rating

History and Origins

Ideal Owner

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Pugs

Training Pugs

Are Pugs Good Family Dogs?

Pug Fun Facts

  • Now one of the most popular companion dog breeds, the Pug was made world famous in the film Men in Black (1997), when Mashu, a rescue Pug, played the part of a wise-cracking alien called Frank. He proved so popular that the character was expanded in the sequel made in 2002, by which time Mashu was seven years old and needed make up to cover his grey hairs! In the film he was even required to wear a $9,000 Italian suit. This popularity hasn’t done the breed any favours however, as unscrupulous breeders have capitalised in on this sudden public interest. They are one of the most irresponsibly bred and puppy-farmed breeds, leading to a huge increase in health problems. 
  • Not everyone loves Pugs however. While Josephine, wife of Napoleon, adored her Pug called Fortune, and insisted they slept in her bed, her husband was not so enamoured. His opinion was confirmed when Fortune bit him on their wedding night, and left scars that he would carry for life (history doesn’t tell us exactly where!). He hated all dogs from then on and was convinced they brought him bad luck. 
  • The German word for Pug is Mops. 
  • The Pug dog breed is often described as the Latin phrase “multum in parvo” which means “much in little”, referring to their big personality, despite their small size. 
  • A group of Pugs is called a grumble. 


Can a Pug be left alone? 

With training, adult Pugs can be left alone for up to 6 hours a day but puppies generally need constant attention so they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. 

Do Pugs bark a lot? 

Pugs are considered to be quiet pets as they don’t bark much and prefer to spend their time sleeping, rather than making noise. 

Do Pugs like to sleep with their owners? 

Pugs are people-oriented so they will adore spending as much time with their owners as possible, even while sleeping. 

Do Pugs bite? 

Normally, Pugs are not aggressive, and they shouldn’t bite, but if they feel threatened or in danger, they might react by trying to protect themselves. 

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