Retro Pug

Retro Pugs: A Complete Guide to a Healthier Pug Version

Retro Pugs: A Complete Guide to a Healthier Pug Version

A Pug is a lovable dog breed. No one can ignore the adorableness of this pooch. But the little fellow suffers from numerous health problems.

The cute little nose and flat face come with brachycephalic syndrome. It is a condition that leads to eye injuries and trouble breathing. These issues have urged the breeders to look for a healthier version of Pugs.

This healthy version is known as a Retro Pug.

Retro Pug is a popular alternative to the pure breed Pug. This breed is a result of a cross between the famous Jack Russell Terrier and pure Pug breed.

Retro Pug dogs adopt a lot of resemblance from the Pug parent. They are short, have a round head, and muscular physic. This breed also has skin folds just like the Pug.

However, these puppies have a longer snout. This feature comes from the Jack Russell Terrier parent. There is no brachycephalic syndrome in Retro Pugs. So, they do not face any health issues.

The health concerns of pure breed Pugs lead to the breeding of these dogs. Most Retro Pugs are not only healthy but also give you the best of both worlds.

Mix breed can inherit features from either parent. That means their appearance and temperament are not constant. Some Retro Pugs will be more friendly and fit than others.

If you are into Retro Pugs, this guide will help you learn more about the breed. Let us help you take a closer look at this healthy alternative.

What is a Retro Pug?

A Retro Pug is a result of a cross between the famous Jack Russell Terrier and standard Pug. The term Retro Pug has come from the word “Retromops.” It is a German word. German breeders introduced this little pal. They struggled for many years to reduce the health issues present in pure breed Pugs.

Breeders have done a lot of research to achieve the required outcomes. Finally, they introduced the mix of Jack Russell Terrier and Pug. The puppies from this cross have a close genetic resemblance to Pugs.

Retro Pug Quick Overview

  • Retro Pugs adopt multiple features from their parents. You will see certain features in them that are similar to their parents. They have a short and sturdy body.
  • This designer breed is thinner than the pure breed Pug.
  • However, they have many Pugs’ features, including facial folds and small height.
  • Retro Pug’s face length is different than standard Pugs.
  • Most puppies of this breed have a longer face. It is because of their Jack Russell parent.
  • Retro Pugs’ facial features reduce the risk of breathing difficulties. There are low chances of reverse sneezing and eye problems. Elimination of these problems makes them a healthier version of regular Pugs.
  • Other than facial features, they enjoy some other health advantages as well. This dog breed does not face many dental problems.
  • Their height can range anywhere between 9 to 15 inches.
  • The coat color of this ball of fur is not predictable. It depends on the genes of their parent breeds.
  • Retro Pugs can have a single-color coat. Their coat can also have a combination of different colors. Commonly their fur is of fawn color.
  • Usually, Retro Pugs have a short but smooth coat.
  • Retro Pugs are great companion dogs. They have a friendly and loyal temperament.
  • Their weight can lie anywhere between 13-18 pounds.
  • This breed is also known as Retro Mop, Old German Pug, and Jug Dog.
  • The expected life span is around 16 years.
  • It is a friendly and confident dog breed, but socialization is a must.
  • Can become a great family pet.
  • It is a toy breed.
  • Their tail is not as curled as standard Pugs.

History of Retro Pugs

In the 20th century, the breeders tried to recreate Pug’s facial structure. Their facial structure causes them difficulty breathing. This can result in their inability to regulate temperature. So, some German breeders mated Pugs with Russells to correct the Pug’s health problems. 

Let’s have a look at the history of Retro Pug parent breeds.

Pug History

Pugs are considered one of the most ancient dog breeds. Their roots are deeply connected with the Chinese royal family. In the 16th century, they were introduced in Europe.

Original pure breed Pugs were similar to Retro Pugs. They were bred to be companion dogs. They were very famous among Chinese Royal families.

Their popularity started to increase in the 16th century. It was the time when Pugs were imported from China to the US.

No doubt the Pug’s appearance is admirable. But their flat-faced look leads them to many fitness concerns. They suffer from a wide range of eye conditions. This is why breeders are now focusing on the popularity of Retro Pug.

Jack Russell Terrier History

Jack Russell

Jack Russell Terrier is not as ancient as the pure breed Pug. This dog breed was developed over the last 200 years. Their origin is the country of Devan in England. They are also known as Parson Russell Terrier.

This breed is named after its original breeder (Reverend John Russell). It is a smart and affectionate dog breed.

The life expectancy of a Jack Russell Terrier is around 10 to 15 years. Healthy dogs of this breed weigh about 13 to 17 pounds. They can grow 10 to 15 inches tall.

Russell Terriers were initially used for hunting purposes. However, now they are commonly used as companion dogs.

Fun Facts about Retro Pugs

  • Retro Pug puppies are known as Retro mobs in different Germanic countries. Because there, the Pug puppy is known as Mopshond or Moppie.
  • You may feel it is a new mix breed. Actually, breeders are reintroducing the original facial features of pure breed Pugs.
  • Yes. Originally, the Pugs were not flat-faced. They were similar to Retro Pugs.
  • Retro Pugs are becoming popular because of their longer muzzle (nose).

Difference between a Retro Pugs and a Standard Pug

  1. Standard Pugs have short snouts, while Retro Pugs have more extended facial features.
  2. Retro Pugs’ coats can be of different colors. In contrast, standard Pugs are usually fawn or black.
  3. Retro Pugs have fewer eye concerns because of their long faces.
  4. Standard Pugs have round shape physic. Retro Pugs are usually skinnier and have long legs. Retro puppy’s leg to body ratio is different.
  5. Retro Pugs have floppy ears. Their ears are longer than a Pug’s ear.
  6. Pugs have button ears.
  7. Due to the squished face, Pugs have to deal with bulgy eyes.

Coat and Colors

Retro Pugs usually adopt a darker shade of coat. But the exact color is not predictable. They can adopt the fur from either parent. They can have black or fawn coat like the Pug parent. However, white, black, Brown, or markings are also possible because of Jack Russell.

Before adoption, make sure to have a look at the parents. It will help you determine what type of coat your designer breed will inherit.

Retro Pug Temperament

Retro Pug

Designer breeds can inherit any temperament from their parent dogs. Let’s have a look at the parent breed temperaments first.

Pug Temperament

This pure breed is friendly with children and pets. They are a great fit in most homes. Their small size helps them in getting along with small spaces.

A standard Pug has a social and friendly nature. They are also pretty smart.

Jack Russell Temperament

Jack Russell is a brave and loud personality dog breed. These fellows are Fearless, confident, and loyal.

Jack Russell’s are active, but they are vocal as well. So, they need much exercise to release their energy. Less exercise routine can make them aggressive.

Mixed Temperament

Depending on the parents, the puppy may fall in between these personalities.

Grooming Tips for Retro Pugs

1. Cleaning their teeth

It is essential to adopt good dental hygiene for the adorable little pal. Do not forget to brush their teeth at least once a week. Providing them with chew toys is also beneficial.

2. Brushing their fur at least once a week

Retro Pugs can shed due to their Pug genes. But they are not extreme shedders. You may have to brush their coat many times. To avoid the loose strands, brush their fur at least once or twice a week.

3. Wash only once a month

Pugs have very sensitive skin, and they are prone to allergies as well. So it is crucial to limit washing to once or twice a month.

Training a Retro Pug

Both of the parents belong to smart breeds. So they also enjoy training and learn things quickly. Retro Pugs respond very well to positive training.

Your Retro puppy also has a short attention span. They are not likely to cooperate in long training sessions. Shorter sessions are enough for them.


Jack Russell Terrier parent needs much exercise to reduce destructive tendencies. Their health also relies on their exercise routine.

Pugs love to participate in healthy activities. But excessive exercise is not possible for them. Demanding activities may lead them to trouble breathing. Swimming is also a dangerous activity for Pugs.

If your Retro Pug has a flatter face, avoid extra exercise routines. It is ideal to speak to your vet for proper guidance.

The Average Lifespan

Retro Pug on white

The average lifespan of Pugs is 12 to 15 years. Usually, the male Pug lives around 12.8 years. The life expectancy of a Retro Pug is approximately 16 years.

Retro Pug Common Health Issues

Unfortunately, mixed breeds can have health issues because of their parents. Breeders are trying to create a healthier version of pure breed Pug. But it is not guaranteed what characteristics the new puppy will have. The little fellow can have a Pug-like appearance with all the genetic health problems.

Through the chances of a Retro Pug, having a short nose are low. But if poorly bred, this is possible. They can also suffer from brachycephalic syndrome.

If your Retro Pug has a flat-faced appearance, below are some problems they may face:

1. Allergies

Retro Pugs can suffer from many allergies. Common reasons can be sensitivity to pollen, dust, and pests. They also suffer from severe itchiness and skin lesions. Few other diseases can arise from food intolerance, including gluten and milk products.

2. Skin cancer

Skin cancer is also one of the most common health issues in Retro Pugs. Mostly the older ones are at a higher risk. A common symptom is pink lumps on the skin. Immediately concern your vet if something is suspicious.

3. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is amongst the significant causes of seizure attacks in Pugs. These seizures may start from an early age, which needs to be treated as soon as possible.

4. Hip and Shoulder Dysplasia

Dysplasia is the abnormal formation of the joints. Mainly in the hip and shoulder region, joins are more affected. With time, this can also lead to arthritis, causing the little fellow more pain and disability.

5. Breathing Issues

Retro Pugs can face an issue called Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). It is a breathing problem a Retro Pug can adopt from a Pug parent. The thin nostrils can cause significant issues in breathing. That is the reason you should always prefer a reputable breeder.

We all know that dogs are restless than any other pet. Make sure that your Retro Pug does not feel shortness of breath while playing around with you.

6. Overheating

Retro Pugs are sometimes unable to regulate their body temperature. And due to this reason, they may suffer from overheating issues. This is because they do not sweat.

In such cases, make sure to cool down your dog. We suggest you take your dog under a shade if you are outside. And if it is possible, urgently shift your dog into a cold or air-conditioned room. It will help your dog a lot. Soak the towel with water and cover your dog with it. Give sips of water at regular intervals.

7. Skin issues and infections

Retro Pugs have skin folds. These folds can lead them to get infectious diseases. This is because their folded layers of skin do not get enough air.

The bacteria and yeast can easily survive in the folded skin. The little fellow can even get smelly.

The most prevalent disease that a Retro Pug may get is lip-fold pyoderma. It is a disease in which the puppy’s skin starts discharging moisture. Other common symptoms may include redness and smelly odor.

8. Ulcers

Your Retro Pug is more likely to have ulcers too. If you are upbringing a Retro Pug, you must be very careful about your dog’s health. They can get mild to severe ulcers. This happens because of their body conditions. So, you must take care of your dog and visit a vet regularly.

The primary type of ulcer that your Retro Pug may have is an eye ulcer. This is because their eyelids do not close properly. This leads to cracking or dryness of the cornea.

9. Dental Issues

This ball of fur easily gets dental problems. According to research, about 80% of dogs face issues related to the teeth. Retro Pugs do not face many issues, but it is good to make a dental appointment.

Your Retro Pug may face tooth issues. Especially when your dog grows older than two years, it can develop plaque. The first sign of unhealthy teeth in your dog will be tarter that builds upon the teeth. After that, they may even lose all their teeth. So, you must be careful about their teeth and brush them regularly. Always use a toothpaste recommended by your Pug’s dentist.

Do not use your own toothpaste for the puppy as an alternative.

10. Protruding Eyes

Eye ulcer is the first problem. The second problem is protruding eyes in Retro Pugs. This is the condition when the eyes pop out, and there are shallow eye sockets. This causes the dryness of the eyes.

Retro dogs can suffer from proptosis. It makes their eyes pop out more than usual. There is no coming back from this problem. But you can take preventions.

The above mentioned were the main issues. Other health concerns may include:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney stones

These conditions happen because of complicated breeding strategies. But you can overcome this by adopting a Retro puppy from a reputable breeder. Taking great care of your dog and noticing every detail is also helpful.

Retro Pugs are Sensitive Pets

Pugs are usually attention-seeking. Retro Pugs would love to spend time with you. These little fellows are sensitive and make great companions.

Just like the Pug parent, they dislike loneliness. Lack of attention and boredom can make them depressed.

Jack Russell Pug Mix

Are Retro Pugs Good Family Pets?

The Retro Pug needs someone who can spend a lot of time with him. These adorable creatures deserve a caring family.

Proper socialization can turn your Retro puppy into a confident dog. A lovely personality depends on socialization from a young age.

How Much Does A Retro Pug Cost?

This designer breed comes with fewer health problems. Therefore they are relatively expensive. Pugs cost between $600 and $1500. Their price generally depends on:

  • Specific breeder
  • Physical features of Pugs

Finding a Retro Pug Puppy

Make sure to buy the fluffy fellow from reputable breeders only. Do not fall for any puppy scam.

Research the breeders and question them for your satisfaction. Do not buy from any pet store and puppy mills. Search places have no interest in the dog’s health. They are only interested in the amount of profit.

Retro Pugs are becoming more and more popular. So the puppy scams are also growing rapidly.

Read our guide to find reputable puppy breeders. 

Rescuing a Retro Pug

Rescuing a Retro Pug is a smart choice. Rescue dogs are also often much cheaper than buying a puppy. Reputable rescuers also help you in taking care of the little fellow. Rescuing also eliminates the chances of puppy scams.

Cons of Getting a Retro Pug

Let’s have a quick overview of the pros and cons of your pal.

  • Poorly breed puppies suffer from many health issues.
  • Are not fit for challenging exercises.
  • This hybrid is a result of a cross between a healthy and unhealthy breed.
  • Cannot predict personality and physical features.

Pros of Getting a Retro Pug

  • Retro Pugs have a lovely personality.
  • They are considered healthier than pure breed Pugs.
  • Due to genetic diversity, there are more chances that you will get a healthy puppy.
  • It is a small breed pooch. You can easily fit this buddy in your space.

Similar Dog Breeds

This breed is an improvement over the pure breed Pug. But here are some other alternatives to this breed as well.

  • Miniature Poodle
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Border Terrier

Frequently Asked Questions

How to know if I have a pure breed Pug?

Pure breed Pugs have different facial features. They have a round-shaped head and short nose. The adorable and bright large round eyes add to their beauty. You may also find thick folds on their forehead.

Are Pugs bred aggressively?

Pugs are famous due to their cute faces and lovely personalities. But this breed suffers from a lot of health issues due to its facial structure. Therefore, breeding pure breed Pugs is considered cruel in reliable breeding circles.

Bottom Line

mutt pug jack russell terrier mix PS cropped

Pure breed Pugs are considered an unhealthy dog breed. They tend to have more health problems. People are now attracted to designer breeds. And a Retro Pug is an excellent choice for Pug lovers.

They are fun-loving and make great companions.

But before adoption, do plenty of research. Search out the internet for reputable Retro Pug breeders. Ask people you know or online having Retro Pugs.

Your little follow is worth the effort. All this hard work will make sure you are getting a friendly puppy.

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