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Pug - Small Breed Dog Profile

Updated: Feb 20

A fawn Pug laying on dog bed

At Mary Puppins luxury dog home boarding in Cheshire, we love having Pugs to stay! As small breed dogs, they are always a lot of fun.

The Pug, a delightful small breed dog, is cherished for its charm and affectionate nature.

This article explores the breed's origins, purpose, physical characteristics, personality traits, grooming and exercise requirements, age range, measurements, and common health conditions of the Pug.


“Pugs are highly adaptable, full of character and thrive in different environments. They are playful, with lots of energy, making them a popular dog for families with or without children. One of the oldest breeds, Pugs’ history can be traced back to 400BC China.” - Petplan


Origin of the Pug

The Pug has a fascinating history that dates back over two thousand years.

These delightful dogs originated in ancient China and were bred as companion animals for Chinese emperors during the Han Dynasty.

Pugs later became popular in European countries, particularly in the Netherlands and Britain.

Purpose of the Pug

Pugs were initially bred to be companions to Chinese royalty, and they excelled in this role due to their affectionate and friendly disposition.

They were cherished as lap dogs and were often seen in the royal courts.

Their primary purpose has always been to provide companionship and offer a source of amusement and comfort to their owners.

Pug Physical Characteristics

Pugs are easily recognisable thanks to their distinctive physical features.

They have a compact, muscular body with a short, smooth coat. Their coat colours typically include fawn and black, though silver and apricot variations exist.

Pugs are known for their wrinkled faces, short snub noses, and tightly curled tails.

Pug Personality Traits

Pugs are celebrated for their friendly and affectionate personalities.

They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and sense of humour. Pugs are frequently called "clowns" because they are playful and entertaining.

They thrive on human interaction and are sociable with children and other pets.

Pug Grooming Requirements

Low dog grooming needs with a short coat. Occasional brushing is sufficient.

Grooming Pugs is relatively straightforward due to their short coat. Regular brushing helps keep their fur healthy and reduces shedding.

Their wrinkled faces should be cleaned and dried to prevent skin issues. Their ears should also be checked for cleanliness regularly to prevent infections.

Pug Dog Walks and Exercise Requirements

Pugs have moderate exercise needs; Pugs enjoy playtime and short walks.

Pugs are relatively low-energy; however, they still need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

Short walks and playtime are usually sufficient. Owners should be cautious during hot weather as Pugs are susceptible to overheating due to their short noses.

Pug Breed Characteristics

Pugs are friendly, sociable, and excellent with children. Known for their wrinkled face and curly tail.

Pugs are known for their adaptability, making them suitable for various living environments.

They are equally content in apartments and houses. Their affectionate nature and friendly disposition make them excellent family pets.

Pug Age Range

Pugs typically live between 12 to 15 years. They often maintain their playful and loving personalities well into their senior years.

Pug Measurements

Pugs typically measure: Height: 10-13 inches (25-33 cm); Weight: 14-18 pounds (6.4-8.2 kg). Pugs are small and sturdy dogs.

Pug Health Issues

Pugs are susceptible to specific health conditions, including brachycephalic syndrome, obesity, hip dysplasia, and skin issues.

Due to their physical characteristics, such as their short noses, they are sensitive to extreme temperatures. They should be protected from excessive heat or cold.

Are Pugs good with children and other pets?

Pugs are generally very good with children and other pets, as they are playful, affectionate and adaptable.

They love being around people and being the centre of attention. They can easily adjust to various living conditions, from busy family homes to quiet single-owner households.

However, like any breed, they should be supervised with children at all times, especially young ones who might accidentally hurt them.

Pugs can get along well with other dogs and cats if appropriately socialised early.

How should I care for a Pug's wrinkled face?

One of the most distinctive features of a Pug is their wrinkled face, which gives them a lot of character and charm.

However, these wrinkles also require special care, as dirt and moisture can be trapped, which can then cause skin infections.

It would help to clean your Pug's face daily with a soft cloth or cotton pad moistened with warm water or a mild dog shampoo.

Gently wipe between the folds and dry them thoroughly. You should also apply some petroleum jelly or corn starch to prevent chafing.

You should also check your Pug's eyes regularly for any signs of irritation or injury, as they are prone to eye disorders due to their bulging eyes.

What are the standard coat colours in Pugs?

Pugs have short, glossy coats in four primary colours: black, fawn, silver and apricot.

The fawn colour is the most common, ranging from light cream to dark tan.

The black colour is the rarest, covering the entire body except for a small white patch on the chest.

The silver colour is a variation of the fawn colour, with a silvery sheen on the coat.

The apricot colour is similar to the fawn colour but with a reddish hue on the coat.

Are there specific dietary recommendations for Pugs?

Pugs are known for their love of food, which can lead to obesity and affect their lifespan if poorly managed.

It would help to feed your Pug appropriately according to their age, weight and daily activity level.

Follow the guidance on their food packaging and check in with your vet if you need clarification.

You should also avoid giving your Pug human food or table scraps, as they can cause digestive problems or allergies.

You should also provide your Pug with fresh water at all times.

Are Pugs easy to train?

Pugs are intelligent and sensitive dogs but can also be stubborn and independent.

They may only sometimes obey your commands, especially if they find something more exciting or rewarding.

Therefore, you need to be patient and consistent when training your Pug.

You should use positive reinforcement methods, such as praise, treats and toys, to motivate your Pug and make training fun.

It would help if you also avoided harsh or harmful ways, such as yelling, hitting or scolding, as they can hurt your Pug's feelings and damage your relationship.

You should start training your Pug from an early age and enrol them in puppy classes to socialise them and teach them basic commands.

What are the common health issues in Pugs?

Pugs are overall healthy dogs but can be vulnerable to specific health issues due to their genetic makeup and physical characteristics. Some of the common health issues in Pugs are:

Brachycephalic syndrome

affects pugs because of their short muzzles and flat faces.

It causes breathing difficulties, snoring, wheezing and overheating.

It can also lead to more severe problems, such as collapsed trachea, laryngeal paralysis or heart failure.

To prevent or manage this condition, you should keep your Pug at a healthy weight, avoid overexertion and exposure to heat, and consult your vet for any signs of respiratory distress.

Hip dysplasia

This affects the hip joints, causing pain, stiffness and lameness.

Genetic or environmental factors, such as rapid growth, obesity or injury, bring it on.

To prevent or manage this condition, you should keep your Pug healthy, provide moderate exercise and joint supplements, and consult your vet for any signs of mobility issues.

Eye disorders

Pugs can develop different types of eye disorders due to bulging eyes exposing a large area of their corneas.

These include keratitis, entropion, corneal ulcers and progressive retinal atrophy.

To prevent or manage these conditions, keep your Pug's eyes clean and moist, protect them from dust and debris, avoid direct sunlight or bright lights, and consult your vet for any signs of eye problems.

The Pug is a charming and affectionate small breed dog with a rich history.

Their origins, purpose as companions, physical traits, grooming and exercise needs, age range, measurements, and potential health conditions make them a beloved choice for individuals and families seeking a loyal and entertaining furry companion.

How long do pugs live?

Pugs typically live for around 12 to 15 years.

What did pugs used to look like?

Pugs used to have a more streamlined appearance with longer legs and a more pronounced muzzle compared to their modern counterparts.

Where do pugs originate from?

Pugs originate from China, where they were highly regarded as companion dogs by Chinese emperors.

What were pugs bred for?

Breeders intended pugs to be companion dogs for Chinese royalty, prized for their affectionate nature and playful temperament.

How much are pugs?

The cost of pugs can vary depending on factors such as pedigree, location, and breeder reputation, but generally, they can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.

Where do pugs come from?

Pugs come from China, where they were bred as companion animals for nobility and royalty.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider

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Mary Puppins small dog breeds uk expert

Mary Puppins, Pug

mary puppins small dog breed uk expert

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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