Agility Pug

7 Strong Reasons to Teach Your Pug to Behave

7 Strong Reasons Why You Should Teach Your Pug to Behave

You may be thinking, “Teach my Pug? She’s already perfect!”

Let’s face it. Pugs are pretty great. They’re happy, friendly, generally outgoing, and adorable. They’re great with kids, i.e., they will tolerate just about anything. We don’t have to worry about them attacking other people or dogs.

If they don’t want to go out to go pee on a rainy day, pick them up and set them outside. On the contrary, you can’t do that with a Great Pyrenees.

You may be saying to yourself, “So why teach your Pug to behave differently? They’re the perfect package!”

Motivation for Training Pug Dogs

One night before bed, I was carrying Mimi & Lulu out to go to the bathroom. They were tired and didn’t want to go.

I started a habit of carrying them outside and setting them down outside. That night I was annoyed. I was mostly annoyed at myself. I knew it was my fault that I was carrying them.

A few nights in a row, they would not come when I called them to go out to the bathroom, so I just started carrying them. After that, I just moved them without going through the hassle of them ignoring me when I called them.

Yes, it was my fault. I mean, if someone carried me to the bathroom when I was sleepy at night, why wouldn’t I go for that?

At this time, they were ages 1 and 2. My last Pugs lived to be 16 years old. Was I going to spend the next 14 or 15 years carrying them outside at night?!!

Time to Get Serious

Between carrying them outside, getting walked on (literally and figuratively), I decided it was time to get serious. I knew my relationship with my little darlings would be better if they learned some manners. A Pug without manners is just a wild, crazy beast.

Another thing, Mimi and Lulu used to fight. I could see the jealousy in both of their eyes. Mimi’s ears would perk up, and they would go after each other. Two girls are more likely to be aggressive with each other than any other combination.

No one backed down. I would pick up Mimi and separate them until they calmed down. I would tell Mimi and Lulu, “You’re Pugs. You’re good-natured. Pugs don’t fight.” However, no one listened to me (again).

So, if you and your Pug face any of these challenges, here are seven reasons why you and I should teach our Pugs to behave.

Reason # 1: Taking a Nice (Drama-Free) Walk

Pugs with tangled leashes

It’s nice to take a walk in public without the embarrassment of being tangled in dog leashes. It’s so much more enjoyable to stroll, rather than being pulled by a Pug on a walk. And how can they be so strong with those little bodies? Interrupting a walk every 50 steps to untangle me from leashes around my legs is not enjoyable for them or me. They want to walk, not stop as I untangle myself.

Mimi & Lulu do not “heel,” but they are walking on “relaxed leashes.”

Walking on a relaxed leash means they casually walk without the constant pulling. Then again, it could be the opposite! Mimi has a habit of digging her feet in the ground when it was too wet or sometimes what seemed to be no reason at all. You never know what a Pug is going to come up with next.

If I tugged on her harness to get her to move, I worried that the harness was going to slip over her head. Eventually, I would pick her up, walk about ten steps, and put her back down. This became a terrible habit and interrupted our daily walks.

And I’m embarrassed to say, but our walks were often interrupted. They were interrupted with Mimi trying to eat sticks and Lulu trying to eat poop. Therefore, teaching the “Leave It” command was one of the first things they learned. Our walks became more smooth and pleasant.

Reason # 2: Making Everyone’s Life Easier

Let me back up to the pre-walk behavior, putting on the harnesses. If you take your Pug for a walk regularly, he will love it! But what about putting on that harness? Both of my Pugs love to go for a walk and get so excited when they see their harnesses. My little one, Lulu, will run around like crazy if she gets ahold of her harness. As a result, I end up chasing her around the living room as she carries the harness in her mouth.

She thinks, “Oh, Boy! We get to play this chasing game and go for a walk!”

Mimi loves a walk. When the leashes and harness come out, she’s super happy and runs up to me. However, the minute I try to put that harness on her, she runs away. What’s wrong with the harness? Wrong color? Last year’s style?

It’s this back and forth between wanting to go for a walk and running away because she doesn’t want me to put the harness on. Most days, by the time I get the harnesses on, I’m ready for a break!

Learn to Place

Learn to Place on Cot

For this problem, I had to use the “Place” trick. Mimi sits on her little cot, and I put the harness on. I give her tons of praise for this. Over time, she has learned the harness will not hurt her, and she now waits, relaxed, until I put her harness on. It’s pretty easy to teach your adult Pug or Pug puppy to Place.

Reason # 3: Woo Hoo! More Freedom for Pug Dogs

A well-mannered Pug will receive fewer restrictions.  Training isn’t about controlling your dog and getting him to do what you say.

It’s about keeping him safe, so he doesn’t run in front of cars. In addition, it’s about allowing more socialization with humans. Jumping on people and being rowdy decreases time with people.

The Dog Park

Let’s say you and your Pug are having a lovely afternoon at the dog park. Your Pug is enjoying his time being leash-free, tearing it up with the other dogs. Indeed, he runs up to strangers (people and dogs) and get’s plenty of attention.

Just when you think things are great and your Pug is running around enjoying the spring air and the butt smelling, you see a potentially aggressive dog heading toward your Pug. Maybe the dog is a known bully in these parts. When you see a potentially aggressive dog or bully, does your Pug come to you when you call him?

Yes, a trained adult Pug or puppy will come to you when called. Even with all the dogs and people at the dog park, he comes to you. He is reliable, and a potential fight averted.

Therefore, you can rest easy that the dog park will be a pleasant experience for him.

You must look out for your Pug and have him come when called. We need to protect our Pugs at the dog park and anytime when taking a walk.

Avoid Dog Bullies

Not everyone realizes that bullying a small Pug is not okay and can be traumatizing.

Have you ever seen a group of Moms with their little ones on a playdate?

One Mom says, “Leave them alone. They’ll figure it out.” As if 2-year old’s can think in kind and rational ways. Well, they do figure it out. Eventually, someone smacks somebody else with a plastic truck, and now there is a problem.

In my opinion, Pugs are more emotionally intelligent than 2-year old’s and still, “they’ll figure it out” is a bad idea.

Make sure your Pug comes to you when called and gets out of the potential fight.

Reason # 4: Better Socialization, i.e., More Attention for Your Pug

What happens when a friend comes over? For the first few minutes, she loves your Pug’s attention and cuteness. After a few minutes, she may be bothered that your put won’t settle down. But she knows the motto, “Love me, love my Pug.”

Love Me Love My Pug

So, if your friend wants to spend time with you, she has to love your Pug. And she probably does love your Pug, just not as much as you do. But maybe she’s too polite to say anything when the frantic greeting goes on and on.

Perhaps you decide to hold your Pug back, so she doesn’t jump all over someone sitting on a chair or couch.

Your Pug is just can’t help herself. She’s just so happy and full of love for your friend!

Teach Them to Relax

Teaching your Pug to relax will, in the end, get him more love and attention. It is much easier to love a Pug when you’re not holding him back because he’s invading your personal space.

Teach them to relax. If you’re a Pug owner, it’s not a surprise that Mimi and Lulu are either at level zero (couch potato) or 100 (OMG!)

Someone’s coming to kill me with those nail clippers! No in-between. I bet your Pugs are the same way.

Someone knocks on the door, or another dog walks by on a leash. It must not feel great for Pugs either to be so frantic.

Teach your Pug to relax, and as a result, he will feel more confident.

But how do you teach your Pug to relax?

I taught my Mimi to “Place” on a cot. You don’t have to use a training cot. Likewise, you can use a pillow, blanket, or anything your Pug likes.

At first, Mimi was tense. She didn’t like the cot, but she learned to stay in that spot with a lot of praise and attention from me and feel relaxed. As a result, she’s learned to associate the cot with a place she can relax and feel good.

Now she stays on her cot when I answer the door and doesn’t try to dash out. She’s relaxed on her cot. It’s not a punishment, but rather keeping her safe and in the house.

Reason # 5: Teach Your Pug Dog Boundaries

Teach your Pug to be well-behaved, so you don’t feel like a piece of furniture. You know the routine. Get up in the morning. After the Pugs do their business outside, it’s breakfast. After that, it’s your time to take care of your needs. You grab your coffee and sit down on the couch to read your email on your laptop. Then what happens? Everyone else has to get comfortable. That’s fine. But in my house, it often ends in two Pugs walking back and forth across my lap while I hold my laptop high in the air. And sometimes, a pink tongue lands in my coffee cup.

And any time someone knocks on the door or hears a sound, they fly across me. They are not concerned with which body part they have run across.

Have you ever noticed that although your Pug weighs about 18 pounds, it feels like 180 pounds per paw size when they land on your gut?

Pugs do not know boundaries. For this reason, you and I need to teach them.

Reason # 6: Pug Dogs Love the Attention They Get With Training

Pug Looking Up


Training is a positive experience and builds your relationship with your Pug. Pugs love our attention, praise, and treats for when they do something well. Give your Pug positive feedback every time he looks at you, even if it’s not during the prescribed “training time.”
It’s bonding.

It builds trust. If you teach regularly, your Pugs will know they can look to you for reassurance. They need this when they feel nervous or insecure.

Teaching your Pug is a great time to spend with our Pugs. They want to spend time with us. Sure, who doesn’t like to sit on the couch with their Pugs watching Netflix?

But training time is so much more. The attention is on them. 100%. We all like to know when we’re doing a good job. Our Pugs thrive when they know they are doing a good job, too!

The Punishment Days are Gone

Long gone are the days of swatting a dog with a rolled-up newspaper or scolding a dog for misbehavior. That type of behavior from humans only hurts Pugs and makes them scared. If people are angry and overly emotional, the Pug becomes scared, and he probably has no idea what is wanted.

Remember, Pugs don’t speak English.

Can you imagine an angry person yelling at you in a foreign language?

You might run away or freeze and still not figure out what he wants you to do. From personal experience, I know that his anger only made it more difficult for me to figure out what he wanted. I just couldn’t think straight. And a Pug won’t be able to either.

Keep it Positive

Positive training is the best way to teach your Pug. In other words, it rewards that motivates a dog for good behavior. It also builds your relationship with your Pug based on mutual trust and respect.

Set your dog up for success. Guide your Pug into making the right choice. Understand what she needs to be happy will increase the bond between you.

Reason # 7: Stop the Boredom

Black Pug Yawning 1

Boredom. Dogs get bored just like people get bored.

Sometimes when people (usually kids) get bored, they get into trouble. The same goes for Pugs.

You come back into the room to find a chewed up shoe, and your neighbor tells you your dog barks all day; your Pug digs excessively in the backyard or obsessively licks things.

Mental Stimulation

We all need mental stimulation, even our Pugs. Mental stimulation increases happiness, reduces anxiety, and reduces bad behavior.

Is providing mental stimulation just a new gimmick to sell toys to pet owners? No. It’s a legitimate aspect of pet health backed by canine behaviorists.

Teaching your Pug requires your Pug to think. It’s more than just playing fetch. It staves off boredom and destructive behavior. And hopefully, your Pug will stop chewing on your shoes.

You’re the one introducing mentally stimulating activities. Your Pug engages with you. He or she will love you even more (is that possible) for alleviating their boredom. These activities and games are fun and mentally stimulating. Both your Pug and you will enjoy playing with each other in the house or outside.

Agility Course

Agility Pug

Exercise your dog physically and mentally by building an obstacle course. You can purchase these products, or you can make your own.

For an agility course, use a blanket, a broom, some toys, and some filled water jogs. There’s no need to buy special items to do this. Orange hazard cones look cool, but you decide if you really need them.

Teach your Pug to jump (or step) over a broomstick or weave through the cones (water jugs).

An obstacle course can be a mental workout for your dog. Ask your Pug to do one thing after the other.

Encourage them with treats or their favorite toy. Reward them each time they complete an obstacle. Work with them, so they’re able to make it through each part. Then, have them run the entire course and a jackpot of treats at the end.

Obstacles are physical challenges for the dog as well as mental ones. Your Pug will have to figure out how to complete it. Yes, it’s going to take a while, but your Pug will probably end up loving to play on the obstacle course.

The cool thing about Pugs is you can teach the obstacle course in your backyard or your living room. You don’t need a lot of space.

Teach Them the Name of Their Toys

Another fun training exercise to keep your pugs mentally stimulated is teaching them the name of their toys.

Need some inspiration for this? Check out this video about the dog who knows over 1,000 words.

Do this with a few toys and then start requesting they bring you a particular one.

Their little wheels will start turning, and they’ll be using their brains for something other than how to figure out to steal the food off your plate.


There are so many benefits to teaching your Pug to behave. Pugs that receive regular training from their people feel more confident, happier, and less bored. They get to socialize more with others and have more freedom.

Teaching your Pug different things is a great way to continue to build your bond. Pugs love praise. I’m not trying to get too dog psychology on you here, but he will feel better about himself with praise.

In conclusion, a well-behaved Pug is even cuter (if that’s even possible) than a rambunctious Pug. Rowdy Pugs like to fly across and furniture, your lap, and also the coffee table sometimes.

What are you going to teach your Pug today?

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