Date updated: 17 11 2017
Pugs are living proof that the best things in life really do come in small packages. Always stealing hearts with their silly sense of humour, life’s never dull with this pint-sized clumsy clown by your side.
Above all else, pugs love to be the centre of attention. Your pug is your number one fan, so expect your little buddy to follow you everywhere! When they’re not playing and tearing around, pugs spend a lot of time napping. So in many ways, this is the ultimate house dog; they don’t need long walks, but don’t like being left on their own for too long, so if you’re out all day expect to come home to a seriously peeved pooch!
With an appetite for mischief comes a definite stubborn streak. House-training a pug isn’t exactly easy. Remember that pugs can pile on the pounds quickly if their diet isn’t monitored - so try to keep treat-based bribery to a minimum!
Although mostly low-maintenance, it’s important to watch out for the type of health problems that short-faced breeds can be prone to. But with some TLC and a little patience on the training front, the pug is pretty much the ideal companion…
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Weight: 6.35 to 8.16 kg for both males and females
Height at shoulder: 25 to 30 cm
Colouring: usually fawn, apricot or black
Grooming requirements: low-maintenance, but regular brushing is a good idea to keep shedding to a minimum
Average purchase cost: £500-£800
Bet you didn’t know…
Pugs quickly feel at home in any setting - including small houses and flats. If you love the idea of being shadowed absolutely everywhere you go,then a pug is definitely for you.
It’s not unusual for a pug to sleep for 14 hours a day (or longer). Expect plenty of naps interrupted by short bursts of fun! Most pugs aren’t that bothered by a game of run and catch, so if you’re looking for long walks around the park - or even the occasional game of frisbee, a pug might not be the right fit.
Pugs make great family pets, and love jumping and tumbling around the garden with kids. They’re deceptively sturdy, too - and smart enough to dodge out of harm’s way if needed.
Behaviour & training
They’re only tiny, but they know it - so “little dog syndrome” is rarely an issue with pugs. They also have an almost non-existent prey drive, meaning they’re happy to make friends with any other four-legged family members, including cats.
Pugs love their own family, but might get a bit mouthy when a stranger arrives at the door - at least at first. Once they’ve had a chance to calm down and realise that this is a potential new playmate, everything’s generally cool again.
Separation anxiety can be an issue for a pug left alone all day, so don’t be surprised if your buddy’s been chewing the sofa or yelping for attention while you were out! A nice big indoor play area can help soften the blow (and save your furniture).
These pups are smart - but only on their terms. When it comes to learning new tricks, a pug is definitely on board. But as for house training, be prepared to be on hand with lots of patience and plenty of praise. Crate training can be a big help here; once your pug grows to love their own little chill-out zone, they won’t want to make a mess inside it.
It’s always worth watching your step, so you don’t step on your buddy as he runs alongside you! Little legs mean that both puppies and older pugs can struggle with stairs, so a stair-gate is a good investment.
Two walks a day of around 20 minutes is bang on. Too much exercise can leave your buddy overheated or breathless, while too little can cause weight gain and loss of muscle strength. When out for your walk, don’t use a leash and collar; these are bad news for brachycephalic breeds, as the extra force around the neck can severely impede breathing. An orthopaedic bed can help both with keeping joint pain at bay making sure your buddy can breathe easily when napping.
If those wrinkles aren’t looked after, dry skin, yeast infections and dermatitis can develop. Two or three times a week, give them a once over and clean with a canine wipe. Those big brown eyes also have a habit of getting debris in them; so they’ll need a wipe a few times a week, too.
Pugs tend to shed a lot. A few times each week, give that coat a brush. And even if they don’t look (or smell!) like they need one, a bath is a good idea once every three weeks.
Common health issues to watch out for…