9 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Pug for Your Family
The Pug dog is a good choice for kids and families. Good? Why not great? Why not perfect? I would love to tell you the Pug is perfect because I love and adore Pugs.
I think they are perfect! But it depends on the lifestyle of your family and your children. However, if you’re up for the responsibility of owning a dog, Pugs are the best dogs for kids.
Here are some questions to ask when looking for a dog for your children and your family.
1. What is the Best Size Dog for my Children?
If you’re looking for a smaller dog, make sure you pick a breed that is not too fragile. Many toy breeds are cute but just a little too fragile for children. Also, having a smaller dog can lead to a lot of stress. You may spend a lot of time reminding your children to calm down around the toy breed dog.
However, all puppies are fragile, including Pug puppies. Therefore, extra care does need to be taken when handled.
Once your Pug is full-grown, they are a bit sturdier than other toy pooches
A Pug weighs anywhere from 14 to 20 pounds. They are still small enough that children will need to be taught to be gentle around the Pug. Don’t let them be too rough and tumble when playing with Pugs.
With Pugs, you will still need to teach your children proper manners. Pugs are to be treated with respect. However, a full-grown Pug is less likely to protest being dressed up in a costume or hugged during an entire 2-hour movie.
2. What about Treats?
As I said, Pugs weigh around 14 to 20 pounds. For health reasons, it’s essential to keep them in this range. That’s a pretty extensive range for the size of a Pug, so check out this article here to keep your Pug at the best weight for them.
Children love to feed dogs treats and bits of their food when they have a snack or meal. This is a big NO-NO for Pugs. Pugs put on weight quickly, and they seem always to be hungry. My Pugs are often looking at my hands. They know where the food comes from. My Mimi is in the kitchen, acting like she has not eaten for months if I’m in the kitchen. I’ve learned what treats they can and can’t have. They don’t care if it’s a carrot or a high-calorie cookie, so I stick with things like carrots.
Be sure your kids won’t be turning your Pug dog into a Pug balloon dog.
You will have to monitor your children and teach them the correct food your Pug can have. Even with healthy food, it has to be kept to a minimum.
You don’t want a Pug with a belly ache.
3. How Much Family Time does Your Pug Need?
When families get a new pet, everyone is excited and gives the dog or cat a lot of attention. But, as human nature would have it, the excitement wears off, and your pet does not get as much attention. And that’s fine for a lot of cats and dog breeds. Not the Pug!
A Pug needs a lot of attention and is a family member. We don’t treat any family members treated as a second-class citizen. A Pug will not fade into the background. In fact, not only does a Pug need to be a family member, but he also needs to be the star. Pugs come from a long history of royalty. They were not just the “Emperor’s dog.” Pugs had their own servants!
They are very good at training you to become their servant.
Expect your Pug to be in the mix of the family all the time. Even a tiny little sleeping Pug manages to take up most of the sofa. My Lulu wakes up, and I am her “on-demand” entertainment. Whenever she wakes up, she’s right there with me. Working from home? Forget about it. When your Pug wants attention, she will not give up until she gets her way. So training is definitely needed if you plan to get anything done at home.
4. What about Training?
Kids get knocked down by dogs a lot. So, of course, they should all be trained not to do that. But what’s going to bring more tears? A Labrador jumping on a five-year-old or a Pug jumping on a five-year-old?
The Pug will bring fewer tears, but they still need to be taught some manners. For example, when your perfect little Pug jumps on someone, do you know some humans look annoyed?
So, whether it’s a child or an adult, you’ll have to train your Pug. After that, it’s just a matter of what size dog you decide to train.
If you’re thinking of a puppy, get ready for some serious training.
Kids love puppies. Pugs are great dogs because they hold that puppiness for a long time, even when they are adults. Potty training at the bare minimum takes four months. However, there seems to be much debate whether Pug puppies are easy or difficult to potty-train. Some people are adamant that Pug puppies are easy to potty-train. Others lament that they’re still finding pee spots inside at one-year-old.
The key is that everyone in the family is consistent, patient, and uses positive reinforcement. Coming home after a long day at work to find a pee stain on the carpet followed by, “Sorry, Mom, I didn’t see it” can take a lot of patience. Yell at the dog or yell at your child? Neither, of course. I can’t tell you what to do about your child, but I will tell you are that yelling at your puppy will not do a bit of good. He will be confused and feel hurt. He’s not going to look at your angry face, the pee spot, and put it together.
Pugs are pretty simple to train. However, Pugs have gorgeous baby faces, and they are just hard to be stern with. Have you ever seen a youtube video where the Pug is acting crazy and tearing stuff up? What’s the owner doing? Recording the whole thing, laughing and with a very childish voice saying, “She’s a bad little Pug.” If you’re serious about training, you have to stop taking videos or pictures and get busy training.
And an older Pug can be great also. My last two Pugs lived to age 16. So even if you get a Pug that is 3, 4, or even 5, you have a long relationship in front of you. The benefits are the dog is already potty trained. But maybe he will be shyer around strangers or not get along with other dogs; it’s hard to say. If you buy your older dog, get all the information to ensure she is a good match for your family.
Most Pugs are very friendly, snuggly, and a part of the family.
Even as I write this now, my little one is snuggled up on my lap. She is slightly squirmy because she just can’t get comfortable. But, overall, they have to be one of the friendliest breeds out there. Make sure you have the time and emotional energy to give to her. If you don’t meet their needs or include them in the family, they will demand it.
Remember, Pugs are not the “family dog”; they are part of the family.
5. How Much Energy does Your New Companion Have?
If you’re looking for a running partner, then move on. The Pug is not for you. A Pug is adorable with that squashed-up nose, but it’s not functional for heavy breathing when out on a run. But a Pug does need a brisk walk once or twice per day. So leash up your Pug, get the kids, and head out the door.
A length of a Pug walk is probably long enough to keep your kids interested.
Of course, it’s nice to have a backyard for the Pug and the kids.
Pugs love a play session. But, Pug play sessions aren’t long. Sometimes they can be all or nothing. But, they are probably long enough for a 10-year old’s attention span.
Not to say that Pugs are slugs by any means. On the contrary, I have no greater delight than sitting on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, and all of a sudden, my little Lulu darts off down the hallway.
Then back again. Back and forth. Crazy. Chasing her tail, falling down, jumping on the couch, bouncing off the back and over my shoulders. Who knows what’s going on? It’s a burst of energy from nowhere, so joyful, and then it’s over. She’s back at my side. Yes, zoomies are a common Pug trait. Unknown mystery?
Overall, I would say that Pugs are lower energy dogs. Lower energy dogs usually interact better with children because they are more patient.
6. What About Taking Your Pug on the Road with You?
Want a dog that you can take with you? Pugs have the best personalities, and they love just about everyone. They are silly and have great attitudes. It’s a great way to meet people. Everyone wants to stop, pet your Pug and talk about him. Don’t take it personally. You may be ignored when you have a gorgeous creation like a Pug at your side!
There are lots of pet-friendly restaurants now. You and your Pug will love sitting on the patio on a beautiful day. Pugs cannot be left in the car, even for a few minutes.
Cars heat up faster than most of us think (external link). It’s not safe for any dog, but especially for a brachycephalic dog like a Pug. (internal link)
Seventy degrees outside a car can mean death to a Pug in a vehicle. Seventy degrees outside on a sunny day means 113 degrees inside after an hour. Pugs can suffer brain and organ damage in just 15 minutes.
And winter is no better. A car can cool down very quickly. Pugs are pets that don’t spend a lot of time outside in the winter.
Therefore, they are more susceptible to the cold. In addition, they can be at risk for hypothermia at 50 degrees.
7. What about Temperament?
Pugs have a great personality. They are calm dogs and can form strong bonds with kids. And they are great companions for kids. Do Pugs ever become aggressive with kids or others? I’ve never seen it, but I’m sure it could happen. You should keep an eye on your kids when they’re with your Pug, especially if your kids are little. And especially if your Pug is new to the family. Once everyone learns their manners (Pugs and kids), you won’t need to watch them too closely.
Pugs will put up with a lot of poking, squeezing, and hugging before they walk away. They love the attention. Rather than become aggressive, I have seen Pugs get scared. You may have a timid Pug that gets scared if kids are a bit too rough.
Of course, we don’t want our Pugs to become scared, but we also want our kids to have a great companion. So keep an eye on everyone until everyone knows the boundaries of Pug play. (Insert internal link here).
8. Where will Your Pug Sleep at Night?
I know some people like to keep their Pugs in a crate or large cage at night. That’s fine if your Pugs are used to it. However, it is primarily a good idea when they are puppies, and you are potty training them.
It’s not fun to wake up to a wet spot on the bed and to do laundry in the middle of the night.
I might be projecting here, but I think Pugs like to sleep in our bed.
Some Pugs sleep at the end of the bed, but most of my Pugs want to be curled up to your body. It sure can be fun if you have several and they all want to the best spot – next to you!
9. What Ongoing Care will Your Pug Require?
Most of my Pugs have been pretty low maintenance. They don’t have many medical issues, but they will if you don’t care for them properly. One of the most essential things is paying attention to their breathing. Because dogs can’t sweat, they use their tongues to regulate their body temperature. As a result, they pant, and the air moves quickly over their tongue and respiratory tract. This allows the moisture to evaporate, and your Pug will cool down. If you see heavy panting, it is time to stop, get your Pug a drink, and possibly carry them home on the walk.
Pugs need regular grooming. Pugs shed.
A lot! (internal link). You will need to build daily brushing into your routine, or expect to have Pug fur everywhere. Pugs need all the everyday things other dogs need, such as teeth brushing and nail clipping.
Pugs do put up a fight when these grooming tasks have to be done. It must be done. You might need to put some money aside to take your Pug in for a nail clipping.
And don’t forget the wrinkle cleaning.
Pugs are excellent family dogs, especially if you have children. They do sleep more than most breeds. But when they are awake, they need a lot of attention and like the activity of a family. They are more high maintenance with their grooming needs. And be careful with their exercise as they are a brachycephalic breed. They need exercise, but not too rigorous.
However, if you’re ready to take on the responsibility and commit to a dog, the Pug could be a good option for you. Most of us aren’t out training for marathons or spending every night away from home. If you’re looking for companionship and loyalty, the Pug is for you.
If you have kids, a Pug could also be right for you. Pugs like the affection and attention. They can tolerate a lot, even an afternoon dress-up day. (Insert costume link here). I’ve never seen an angry Pug, but that doesn’t mean your kids don’t need to learn limits.
A Pug is a great family dog because that’s what they were bred for.
Some dogs are bred to be herders, guard dogs, or hunters. Pugs were born to be lap dogs and companions. That is one skill they are perfect at and blends into a family’s lifestyle very well.