Breed Characteristics and Facts
As one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, the Pug continues to captivate the attention and hearts of people around the globe. Pugs are believed to have originated in the Far East as early as 400 B.C. The Pug was greatly revered by the Chinese emperors and leaders for centuries before being presented to Dutch explorers as a gift in the 1500s.
By the 1700s, the enthusiasm surrounding this breed was experienced far and wide across England, Holland, and other European countries. After being introduced to parts of northwestern Europe, Pugs were finally made popular in the United States. Recognized as an official breed in 1885, Pugs have since secured itself a position as one of the most beloved dog breeds the world over.
Pug Physical Appearance
The Pug breed is known to be small, stout, and very wrinkly. Though their body is quite muscular (similar to an American Pit Bull Terrier), Pugs tend to have a lean appearance.
A Pug’s head is quite large with round eyes that are slightly bulging. Their flat button nose and excess of wrinkly folds give them the appearance that is characteristic of this breed. These features, in particular, are what they are most famous and loved for.
A Pug’s velvety ears are thin and slightly floppy. They also have a tail that is curly and tight. As for their short coat, it is thick and soft. Although their coat comes in several different colors, its nose, ears, and mouth are always of a darker color.
Height and Weight
These stout canines usually weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, regardless of their sex. As for how tall Pugs can get, 10 to 13 inches is the average measurement at the withers.
Pure Breed Colors
When it comes to the different shades their coat can come in, fawn and black are the only two colors officially recognized as the breed standard by the American Kennel Club. In spite of this, there are a number of other coat colors that breeders often develop and sell independently.
Listed below are the unofficial colors that may be seen in this dog breed:
- Silver Gray
- Apricot Fawn (variation of fawn hue)
- Dark Apricot (variation of fawn hue)
- White (extremely rare)
- Brindle (this pattern of light and dark hairs intermixed is infrequently seen)
- Smuttiness (this refers to black patches of hair peeking through the lighter fawn coat)
Although many of these color variations are hard to come by, the exceptionally beautiful black and fawn shades are common within this breed.
Most Pugs possess a temperament that many dog owners find adaptable and easy-going. These dogs often fit perfectly in any setting, from rural areas to small apartments. Although Pugs can be a bit reserved and laid-back, they also have a playful streak in them that allows them get along wonderfully with children. In spite of this, these pups are known to get into some mischief at times.
Pugs often make ideal companions to people young and old due to their good-natured, affectionate demeanors. This versatile breed is beloved most for its charming personality and desire to unconditionally love those in its family.
Famous Doug the Pug
The personality of this breed is so popular that one of its members, Doug the Pug, has found his claim to fame on sites like YouTube and Instagram. Boasting of almost 4 million followers on Instagram and hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube, this goes to show how beloved this wrinkle-faced breed truly is.
Popular Pug Mix Breeds
Due to its unique, pudgy look, Pugs are often crossbred with other canine breeds. Although many people are drawn to these hybrid breeds because of their interesting looks, potential mixed breed owners should remember that selecting a trustworthy breeder is key to getting a healthy dog.
Here are some of the most common breed mixes:
- Chihuahua Pug
- Husky Pug
- Pitbull Pug
- Dachshund Pug
- Pomeranian Pug
- Corgi Pug
- Boston Terrier Pug
- Boxer Pug
Although they are not technically a mixed breed, Teacup Pugs are also a popular option amongst dog lovers. Those falling for the cuteness of teacup breeds should be wary of the fact that these breeds are prone to significant health issues.
Adoption and Rescue
When looking to adopt puppies or adult Pugs it is ideal to look into no-kill shelters and rescues. Pet stores are often vastly overpriced, so adopting is not only best for those wishing to save money, but it is often more charitable. Canines in shelters that are not adopted within a set period of time are sometimes needlessly put down.
This is why it is always best to support no-kill shelters both locally and out o f state, such as those listed below:
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Fur Kids Animal Rescue & Shelters
- Bubba’s Hug a Pug Rescue
- Animal House Shelter
It is recommended to begin the search for a dog at local no-kill shelters and rescues.
Caring for Pugs
An attractive aspect of this breed for many prospective owners is their low maintenance requirement. However, one of the most important parts of caring for Pugs is keeping them out of extreme heat and humidity. Due to their flat noses, Pugs can quickly become too hot and suffer heatstroke. Even more, because this breed is predisposed to obesity, they will need daily exercise. Because overheating is such a prominent issue for this dog, special attention should be given when Pugs are exercising or playing too heavily.
In terms of life expectancy, Pugs usually lives between 13 and 15 years if kept in optimal health. Aside from obesity, most of the health problems that this breed sees revolve around its eyes and respiratory system. The slight protrusion of its eyes leaves this poor pup disposed to eye injuries, dry eyes, and ulcers in the cornea. Additionally, its tiny nose and flat face keep it from being able to properly take in a sufficient amount of oxygen. This leaves it prone to overheating and similar breathing issues. (This is an issue shared with the French Bulldog.)
Dogs of any breed may live long, joyful lives if their physical and mental health are given top priority. This can be accomplished through regular check-ups at the vet, special attention to any abnormal symptoms that arise, and giving it plenty of loving attention.