Small, stocky and compact with large, welcoming eyes and a fantastic, family friendly personality; Pugs make a great companion for anyone with children and/or other dogs. They can be very playful and thrive when kept busy with a varied routine. They also have a highly acute sense of hearing and so respond very well to commands if trained correctly. Most importantly, they can be very strong minded and so require a calm and confident owner as well as a consistent set of rules.
|Good With Other Dogs|
Stories From Real Life Pug Owners
What it's like to Own Pugs
I've had a pug for the past several years, and they are truly remarkable dogs. My first pug was a male, Gideon, and my current pug is a female, Zelda. I have completely fallen in love with the breed, and I'll never not have a pug, as they are truly a breed all their own. They're adorable, with very distinct features including their smooched, flat face, wide eyes, and curly tail. They have incredible personalities and are pure joy to have.
I loved pugs for several years in college, and always dreamed of owning one. As a child, I always thought they were cute when I saw movies and TV shows with pugs in them, but it wasn't until college that I seriously began thinking about one day having a pug of my own. I spent months looking at pugs on animal adoption and rehoming sites, and finally saw an ad for someone needing a new home for Gideon, as they didn't have enough time to care for him. It was truly love at first site, and after experiencing the joy of having a pug I knew that I'd love the breed for the rest of my life. They are truly a remarkable type of dog.
Training Your Pug Puppy
Pugs are very easy to train, though they can be stubborn at times. Pugs absolutely love food and treats, and are highly motivated by food, so it can be easy to train them when rewarding them with treats or pieces of dog food. I've had my pugs learn how to sit and go into their kennel when I leave for the day almost by accident, when they've associated getting a treat with doing a specific behavior. Gideon even "trained himself" how to catch popcorn in the air!
Pugs are incredibly smart, and can learn several different words and commands. Gideon loved human food, and would try to sneak it whenever he could. His favorite food was pizza, and he learned what the word meant. He would recognize the word pizza and wake up from a nap if I said the word near him. He eventually learned that when a pizza delivery man called my phone because he was outside with a pizza, it meant that a pizza was about to arrive. If I answered my phone with a simple, "Hello?" and then when to the door, he would race to the door and jump excitedly, knowing what was going to be coming through that door.
Are Pugs Stubborn Dogs?
Not only are pugs smart, but they can also be a bit stubborn. This can be a challenging combination, especially if you're adopting a pug later in life, and who may not have been properly trained as a puppy. Again, pugs are heavily motivated by food, and I've definitely been in situations where my pug would be extremely obedient if I had a treat in my hand, but would somehow forget the command if no reward was in site. In some ways, Zelda has learned to train me!
Do You Need To Walk A Pug Everyday?
Zelda was extremely energetic and hyper when he was young, but he did calm down relatively quickly, around a year or two. They can be very lethargic dogs that will certainly play and be excited when the time is right, but who don't need lengthy walks or runs every day. This makes pugs an ideal breed for smaller houses and apartments, and for people who may have busy schedules and wouldn't be able to devote time to taking the dog for lengthy walks or runs every day.
What Health Problems Do Pugs Have
Pugs are known for having some types of health conditions, and specifically breathing problems. Their flat faces can sometimes make it difficult for them to breath, especially in hot weather. It's important to make sure they aren't outside for extended periods of time in the heat. It's also a good idea to use a harness instead of a regular collar when walking a pub. Not only does this help with being able to breathe if the dog strains on the leash, but pulling too hard on a leash can actually cause a pug's eye to be unattached, which obviously requires immediate medical attention.
Pugs absolutely adore being around people and love meeting new humans. They have very gentle, loving, and playful dispositions and you don't have to worry about a pug being angry or aggressive. Some pugs may be a bit timid, but once they know a person is safe, they're likely to be extremely friendly and loving. My pugs would rarely leave my side. If you have a pug, be prepared to sacrifice some of your personal space, as pugs will often do whatever they can to be close to you. Every pug I have had has made a point to fall asleep curled on my lap or right next to me on the couch, and if I leave the room, he or she follows me to my next destination. Yes, it is not uncommon for a pug to follow you into the bathroom! My pug also likes to sit in between my legs while I cook in the kitchen!
Because pugs enjoy food so much, they can often get into trouble by trying to get into things they shouldn't. If something smells like food, a pug is going to want to investigate it. On more than once occasion I've walked into a room to find garbage tipped over or something on a coffee table knocked off. Be mindful of this if you get a pug, to ensure she doesn't eat something that could make her sick.
Do Pugs Travel Well In Cars And Airplanes?
One of the best things about pugs is that they travel very well. My experience traveling with my dogs has been completely smooth. I've driven with them in carriers, and I've even flown with both of my pugs on multiple occasions. They're very mellow dogs and aren't prone to being nervous or anxious, even during strange situations like traveling on a plane. With both pugs I've owned, traveling with them was always a breeze. They wouldn't bark or get upset while in a car. The only issue I encountered was that it was easy for them to get hot while traveling in a car, even when the car was running. Be mindful of this, as you may need to take breaks to make sure your pug is comfortable. And of course, never leave your pug in a car unattended for any period of time when it's warm out; even mild weather can reach very hot temperatures quickly. Since the breed is prone to breathing problems, this can turn deadly in just minutes.
Pugs are small enough to fly under the seat of airplanes, and since they're such great travelers, doing so is a lot of fun! I always get many compliments going through security with my pug, as they're a fun and popular breed. As I mentioned, both Gideon and Zelda that I have traveled with have been very calm when traveling on an airplane, and have literally just gone to sleep in their carrier under the seat during the flight. Pugs cannot go in the belly of the plane for plane travel, and most airlines won't even accept them, as they run the risk of health complications from being too hot and not able to breathe in such an environment.
Pugs love to play and are true people pleasers. They are extremely cuddly and also very gentle. They're great with people of all ages, though young pugs who are teething can nip and chew on your hands at times, so it's important to keep this in mind if you have small children.
Because pugs are so easy going, they're willing to put up with quite a bit. Everyone has their own opinion about dressing dogs up in clothing, but I will say I have enjoyed having Gideon and Zelda in clothing from time to time, even in sweaters during cold months. Both dogs that I've owned have been good sports for wearing any sort of clothing, and their unique features make them look absolutely adorable.
Be prepared for some interesting sounds when you own a pug. Again, this comes largely from their flat faces and potential breathing complications. Both pugs that I've owned have been known to snort, snore, and grunt regularly! However, they are not very vocal dogs and do not back much. You don't have to worry about a "yappy" dog who is barking at every slight noise that comes about.
Do Pugs Shed A Lot?
Potential pug owners should be aware that they are known for shedding. This is a characteristic of the breed, and I've grown to accept the need to have lint rollers in my house and at my work. Brushing does help with this somewhat, but it's ultimately something that all pug owners will have to accept.
Though they definitely calm down and get more lethargic as they age, they remain active and excited dogs well into their lives. It's a very nice balance to have, as one of the joys of dog ownership is being able to play and interact with your dog. However, it's also nice to not constantly be on the lookout for your dog getting into trouble, and a snoozing pug on your lap is a great way to brighten any day.
Pugs are a very recognizable breed, and if you get one, you're sure to get a lot of attention from neighbors and people who see you walking her. I've been stopped countless times while going for a walk, by both children and adults, all wanting to give my pug some attention. They have made a name for themselves in pop culture, being in movies like Men in Black, The Adventures of Milo and Otis, and The Nut Job. When walking my last pug, I cannot count the number of times I had another person on the sidewalk point to my dog and exclaim, "That's the Men in Black dog!"
Owning a pug is a life changing experience. They are truly a remarkable breed and offer a fun, easygoing personality, an adorable body, and a lifetime of love and devotion. Though they do have a reputation for certain health problems, the benefits of owning them far outweigh any possible complications that may have to be addressed. I am forever a total fan of the breed, and I have recognized that any pug owner I've met feels the same way. Pug owners are never neutral on pugs; every pug owner is completely in love with their dog and the breed itself. Pugs are amazing dogs that are well suited for just about any sort of lifestyle, and are sure to bring happiness to their owners every step of the way.