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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Pug

The Pug is a popular toy dog, known for displaying puppy-like antics well into their adulthood. Square, cobby, muscular and surprisingly heavy, pugs wear their coat short, soft and glossy. The flat face, bulging eyes and facial wrinkles divide opinions, but they are enchanting, fun-loving companions.

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

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

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 6.3–8.1kg
Height: 25–33cm when fully grown
Colours: Silver, apricot, fawn or black
Size: Small
Kennel Club group: Toy

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 5/5
Pug sitting on the country road

Personality

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

These little dogs have big personalities and are beloved by old and young alike. He can be calm and quiet but he can also have his mischievous, clownish moments. A super companion if you can offer him the time he needs, he does not like to be separated from his loved ones for too long.

Pug yawns in the arms of the owner

History and Origins

Country of Origin: China

This is an ancient breed whose origins have been lost in the mists of time - and indeed there are many theories as to where and how the breed developed.

It is however thought that the Pug came from China where it had been known for some time (and may be one of the ancestors of the Pekinese), before accompanying traders to Europe, where they developed largely in the Netherlands - then travelled to England with William III and Mary II when they came to the English throne in 1688.

The Pug quickly developed fans around the world - especially in the courts of Europe. Queen Victoria was a fan of the breed, keeping 36 of them and indeed breeding and showing them. This passion was passed on to others in her family including King George V and King Edward VIII.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • 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 her 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.