Pug Dogs: More Than Just Another Pretty Face
The Pug dog’s motto is “multum in parvo.” Multum in parvo is the Latin phrase that means you get a lot for a little (dog). If you are a Pug owner, you know just what I mean by “a lot for a little” when talking about Pugs.
Pugs live for fun, and they are the most lovable dog breed of them all.
A Pug dog is part of the family. He happily follows you from room to room. He wants to be in the mix when you go out and see friends. The happy little guys or gals want to make you laugh and are always at your side.
Pug dogs have an easy-going temperament that everyone will love. Many, many people love Pugs.
If you don’t believe me, just go to youtube and search for “Pugs.”You’ll see things like 9.1M views, 2.6M views, and 6.7M views. Please wait to go to youtube to watch the videos.
Pugs play well with others: other dogs, cats, children, and old folks. Pug dogs are sturdier than the other small dog breeds. You don’t have to worry too much if there’s a little rough play.
The Perfect Pug Personality
One thing that every Pug owner will agree on is that Pugs are perfect companion dogs.
They love to spend time on your lap and craves attention. Pug dogs are carefree and cheerful. They are clowns, the center of attention, a little package full of joy.
Most everything else you read about Pug dogs will have conflicting views. Some people say they’re high maintenance. Others say they’re low maintenance. Are they high energy or low energy? I’ve heard people say both. What about training? Some owners scoff at people who say their Pug dogs are hard to train. Others talk about house-training their Pugs forever! Some say they’re stubborn; others insist that Pug dogs always want to please their owners. And it goes on and on like this.
The reason for such conflicting views is that Pug dogs are all these things.
For example, you may be watching a movie, and your Pug dog is content lying on your lap. And then if someone flipped a switch, it’s playtime! He grabs a toy, pushes it in your face, starts slipping and sliding running across the tile floor. All of a sudden, you’re having a Pug show whether you wanted to or not.
Pug dogs are charming entertainers. They’ll put on a show when your friends are over and then settle down and join the human tribe.
I believe that Pugs are very intelligent. They will wander around the house looking for something to get into. They are mischievous. It’s not a good idea to leave them alone for long periods.
Pug dogs are very social and have a high need to explore. Socialize them. Take your Pug dog to the dog park, find a Pug meetup group, enroll them in a training class.
Meet your friend at the park, so he can have another human to interact with.
Pug dogs are the #1 family dog. They’ll love everyone in the family. Just get ready to share your bed with your new family member.
They love to play and show affection.
They’re great with little ones. Pug dogs are small but sturdy. They can handle children who are still learning to be gentle with dogs. Plus, they’ll give your children lots of attention and playtime.
Pugstory (Pug History)
Pug dogs originated in China about 2,000 years ago. The emperors of China liked the flat-faced toy dogs, one of them being the Pug. Pug dogs were not considered pets, but members of the imperial court. People were not allowed to have Pugs unless they were a direct gift from the Emperor.
Tibetan Buddhist monks considered them sacred, and they bred them.
Pug dogs were thought to drive evil spirits away with their flat, wrinkly face and wide popping eyes.
No wonder they are so intelligent, they are one of the oldest breeds, around since before 400 BC.
Pugs off to Europe
In the 16th century, Dutch traders returned to Europe with the Pug dog breed. Again, they lived with royalty, specifically in Holland’s royal House of Orange. A Pug dog is said to have barked to warn the prince of an attack and saved his life.
In Victorian times Pug dogs were brought to England. They became incredibly popular with the wealthy.
The previous favored dog, King Charles Spaniel, was quickly replaced by Pug dogs.
Did Pugs get their cleverness from what they learned from Napoleon’s wife? She used her Pug to carry secret messages under her Pug’s collar to her husband while imprisoned.
We can also thank Josephine for Pugs that have to sleep in our beds. Josephine told Napoleon if her Pug did not sleep in their bed, neither would she.
Many other royalties and famous people acquired Pug dogs. As you can see, Pugs have a long pugstory with rich and royal families.
Pug Health & Pug Parent Responsibility
We love our Pug dogs with their squishy little faces and the overabundance of wrinkles. They are bred for companionship and those good looks.
But that squishy little face that we all love, but puts them at risk for the brachycephalic syndrome. This means Pugs have pinched nostrils and an elongated soft palate. As a result, Pug dogs can have breathing problems.
Some believe that all Pugs have Brachycephalic Syndrome.
There are many articles on the web about Brachycephalic Syndrome. Many of these articles talk about Pugs with terrible health problems. Some of these problems include Pugs needing surgery and collapsing when exercising.
If you go and talk to Pug owners or go to a dog park during a Pug meetup, you’ll find these extreme cases are rare. You will see Pugs running around and having fun.
I’ve never met anyone who had surgery done on their Pug for Brachycephalic Syndrome.
None of us got a pug dog to be our jogging partner. Running is difficult for Pug dogs to breathe, especially in hot and humid weather.
Just pay attention to their breathing.
I had Pug dogs when I lived in Phoenix, AZ. There was never a problem, but I always made sure the house was cool. And we enjoyed many fun times with a short swim in the pool. They wore life jackets, of course.
It’s Tough Being a Pug Parent
As pug parents, you and I have to watch their weight. Those pleading little eyes tell us that one chicken nugget will not harm them, but it can. Be strong. No people food.
Pug dogs are like most of us when it comes to weight. It’s so easy to put on and so difficult to get off. And the extra weight for our Pug dogs adds problems to their breathing difficulties.
Pugs sometimes have dental problems due to crowded teeth. Again, the shape of their head contributes to this. Sometimes puppy teeth need to be pulled when adult teeth are growing in. This allows proper room for permanent teeth.
We love our pug dogs with their beautiful eyes. However, their big eyes that protrude from the face are prone to eye injuries. Pug dogs can develop a variety of problems.
These problems include dry eyes, corneal ulcers, and other corneal problems. Also, eyelashes can irritate the eyes. This can be due to extra lashes, or the hairs are curling inwards.
Do Pug Dogs have Too Many Problems?
That’s a tough question to answer. My Pugs have never had any serious genetic issues. I’ve had Pugs that have had a few baby teeth removed that were not coming out naturally.
You and I need to focus on what we can control. Keep your Pug dog at a proper weight and make sure he gets light exercise a couple of times a day. Always be sure he doesn’t get too hot and spoil them with love and attention, not Friday night pizza.
I talk to a lot of Pug owners with great Pugs and no serious health issues. The issues described due to Brachycephalic Syndrome is minimal. I think most of the problems that I have ever seen in Pugs are Pug parents letting their Pugs get overweight. We need to be responsible and keep their snacks to a minimum, no matter how hungry they look.
Find a breeder who screens their breeding Pug dogs for genetic disease. They breed only the healthiest Pug dogs. Even with this type of diligence, puppies can still develop an illness.
In most cases, with proper veterinarian care and medicine, your Pug dog will still live a good life.
Pug Dog Care and Grooming
The Pug dog is an easy-care pet, but as with all royalty, it needs some special care.
Pug dogs have a smooth double coat, except for black Pug dogs. They only have one coat. Pug dogs have short coats, and they do shed quite a bit.
Make brushing your Pug a daily habit, and your house, clothes, body, etc. will be less covered in Pug hair.
Don’t be fooled by their shedding. Pug dogs shed all year round, not just in the spring. Start the brushing habit early. It’s part of the responsibilities of owning a Pug dog.
No more dirty, stinky faces! Clean your Pug’s facial wrinkles regularly, at least a few times per week.
Use a damp cloth or buy a facial cleaning wipe for dogs. Just be sure to wipe those wrinkles out, especially around the nose. Be consistent to prevent infections.
Bathe your Pugs as needed. I bathe my Pugs at least once every three weeks. It is best to use a gentle dog shampoo. I use an Oatmeal shampoo, which leaves my Pug dogs smelling great. It’s a mild shampoo, so I can bathe them weekly if I need to.
Be sure to trim the nails every other week. Regular trimming keeps them from causing discomfort.
Teeth brushing is always a challenge, but necessary. Use a vet-approved pet toothpaste – never human toothpaste. Brush your pug dog’s teeth daily.
Work teeth brushing and nail trimming into your schedule, so your Pugs are taken care of.
When I trim nails, I give them some of their kibbles while I am nail trimming.
They still don’t like their nail trimming, but they’re less frantic with snacks.
The same goes for teeth brushing. I give kibble before, after, and a few pieces during the brushing process. It’s not pleasant, but they have stopped acting like I’m going to kill them!
Healthy Dog Food
There are so many dog foods to choose from; it can get overwhelming. Yet, here are some general guidelines:
Number 1. The first ingredient should be real meat. The first ingredient should say chicken, beef, lamb, or bison. Avoid dog foods that have meat meals.
Number 2. No Fillers. Fillers include corn bran, rice bran, cereal by-products, soybean hulls, and peanut hulls. Fillers may fill a dog up quickly, but they add minimal nutritional value.
Number 3. Grains? Some people believe that grains are perfectly fine, and others do not. It’s probably best to check with your vet.
We are a grain-free family. Mimi got nasty yeast infections in her ears and mouth area. I changed her food to a grain-free brand, and we haven’t had any problems.
Number 4. No Artificial Preservatives. Try to avoid any kind of chemicals in your Pug’s food. These are unhealthy for our Pugs to eat and play a significant role in many health problems for pets.
Number 5. Vegetables. Dogs need vegetables. The food I use has lentils, chickpeas, peas, and sweet potatoes. Avoid corn as it is difficult for Pug dogs to digest. Corn is considered a filler as corn adds very little nutritional value.
Track how much you feed your Pug. They will eat whatever you give them and will become obese.
Pugs Need Exercise
Pugs need exercise, but not that much. It’s important to keep him lean, fit, and mentally challenged, especially when your Pug dog is young.
Pugs are little toughies with short, straight legs. They need daily walks. Twenty minutes twice a day will suffice.
Another way for your Pug to get exercise is to play fetch with a toy or ball. In the winter, I often throw toys down the hallway to get some fun and exercise in on those cold days. Always watch, so they don’t overdo it. Remember, your Pugs can have breathing problems even inside when it’s not hot.
Because they don’t need much exercise, Pugs are great for apartment life. A couple of walks a day and some potty breaks will be fine with most Pugs.
Pug dogs are small, so they don’t need a lot of physical movement. When you take them for a walk, watch how many steps, their little legs make compared to your one step.
I go for walks twice per day with my Pug dogs. Our walks are actually more like strolls for 30 minutes each time. They do get exercise, but we spend a lot of time sniffing and exploring. I know they are naturally curious, so I let them scout around during our walks.
Pugs do best with some daily exercise to help with their weight problems.
Training Your Pug Dog
Pugs have a reputation for being stubborn and difficult to train. Even though they are strong-willed, most Pug dogs are extremely food driven. This makes for an excellent situation for positive-reinforcement.
Also, Pugs love being the center of attention. Teach some easy tricks, so they get to show off and keep their brain engaged.
Pugs do not like mundane, monotonous tasks. Generally, they will stay motivated to learn the training if they are treat driven.
If not, you may have a difficult time.
When I train my Pugs, I usually use kibble. I don’t want to add extra pounds with those yummy treats. If they do need motivation, I switch to tiny training treats.
Lulu is not as food motivated as most Pug dogs. Sometimes right in the middle of a training session, she just walks away. She’s bored. I can usually get her back into the training session, but not always. Sometimes she just goes on the couch, stands on a pillow, and watches.
There are mixed reviews on whether Pug dogs are difficult or easy to house-train. I’ve owned other breeds and mutts. I found Pugs difficult to house-train.
Consistency is the key. Put your Pug dog outside every 2 hours. Have treats handy for when she goes.
It is not until six months old that Pugs build their muscles around their bladder to have control. It took nearly a year for my Pugs to learn to go to the door if they had to go potty.
I had to watch for other signs instead.
Mimi would run back and forth in the living area as if she was on high alert. She also did this when I was cooking something aromatic. Lulu was a little more transparent. She would either start circles. Her other option was to stop, drop, and pee with no warning.
The most effective way to house-train is to put them often outside, praise, and give a treat when they went potty.
How to Live with a Pug Dog
Pug dogs are extremely easy to live with. Pug dogs need light exercise a couple of times per day and are certain they are not overfed.
They also need companionship. Actually, they need a lot of companionship.
Here are some things to consider if you are considering going into the Pug life:
If you own a Queen-sized bed, how much of that bed will you have to sleep in once your Pug arrives? There will be approximately ¼ of the bed left for you. If you sleep with your partner, you will still only have ¼ of the bed.
How Large is Your Bladder?
When a Pug lies on your lap, they also put a spell on you. The spell is that you will not want to move as long as your Pug lies there.
So, they can lie for hours, and no matter how badly you need the bathroom, you will not want to disturb them.
Seriously, it’s some kind of a Puggie spell.
Pugs love to relax and take a nice nap in the afternoon. Many people think that Pug dogs are lazy.
These round little love-bugs are not lazy. They sure do not adore exercise or activities as much as they love food, but in the real sense, they are not that lazy.
Sure, a lot of Pugs will sleep 14 hours per day, but I believe it’s because they want to be glued to their owners.
I work from home, so I’m generally on my couch with my laptop. That’s where my Pugs are. If I were the kind of person in the kitchen, busy from room to room, my Pugs would probably be sleepless. They would spend their time following me from room to room.
Attention on You Even if You Don’t Want It
Do you like to eat without being stared at? There is a very good chance that your Pug will stare at you when you are eating.
Like, the entire time.
I used to have a glass table. My little Pug would sit under it, the entire meal, looking up through the glass.
Who’s the Center of Attention?
Is there someone who is the center of attention in your home? In some homes, one person seems to be the center of attention. It could be the child with the best grades or the worst grades, or one of the parents.
None of that matters now.
Whoever was the center of attention will be de-throned by your Pug. If you have no center of attention in your family, get busy. You’ve got a throne to build if you’re bringing home a Pug dog.
Work and Expenses
Do you ever have to do Video conferencing calls from home? If so, here are your options.
1. You can move to the back room of your house and shut the door.
2. You can have your Pug dog barking, staring at the person on the screen, or climbing all over you during the call.
If you want to try to look like a professional for work, you’ll take option #1.
Where are you going to cut back on your expenses? Because your Pug cast a Puggie spell on you when you brought him home, you will buy only the best food. Of course, you will spend hours researching online first.
Then you will purchase the best treats with no regard to the price tags.
Pug dogs need everything with their names on it. They need their bowls, bed, treat jar, your coffee mug, and anything else that can be personalized. I guess you get the idea.
All the cutest toys ever and items to add to their comfort costs money. I had to either get another job or cut back on my expenses.
There was no way I was going to get another job as that would take time away from my Pug dogs. So, although they get the best food ever, I eat Ramon noodles!
Are Pug Dogs Addicting?
How many dogs do you want?
One? Good luck with that. You may start out with one Pug and think that is all you’ll want.
You’ll want at least one more. You might think that you can’t imagine loving any Pug as much as you love your first Pug, but it will happen. When that second Pug becomes a family member, you’ll love her just as much as you do first.
“Ask not what your Pug dog can do for you, but what you can do for your Pug.” ~ unknown Pug
Pug dogs are the best!
They’re a great family dog or companion dog for a single person. They’re funny, loving, friendly, and easy-going. But in any relationship, it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.
Pugs need a lot of attention. Or should I say that Pugs demand attention if you’re not giving it to them. You quickly find yourself giving in to their demands. They decide when you are done working, and you should spend some time with them.
They’re great if you live in an apartment but still need exercise. Just not too much. The weather needs to be not too hot or not too cold. They need a moderate amount of grooming and wrinkle care. The less you groom, the more time you will spend cleaning up Pug hair.
There are very few drawbacks to having a Pug. However, if you want a jogging or hiking partner, the Pug dog is probably not for you.
If you work long hours away from home, again, the Pug dog is probably not a good idea.
Other than those minor things, the Pug is perfect. After all, who wants to job or work long hours anyhow?
The more time you spend with your Pug, the happier you’ll be.