Pug breed – Facts and traits

What’s that funny sound you hear, is it a snore, is it a grunt? Noooo, it’s just a Pug. These fat faced dogs have been around for a very long time with records dating back to 700 BC in ancient China, where they were bred and owned by emperors. Ordinary people were not allowed to own a Pug at all, and if they were found with one, they would be put to death.

Pugs were so respected and admired at the time, that they lived in there own part of the royal palaces and they had their own servants that attended to them all day. The female Pugs were given the same status as the emperor’s wife and were guarded by soldiers and fed only the absolute best of everything. Although the exact origin of the Pug remains unknown, they are considered one of the most ancient breeds on this planet.

Pugs have really flat faces with bulgy eyes that no one can ignore, with layer on layer of wrinkles/folds around their faces. The tail gives away the toy dog classification, it curls up towards the back like a little corkscrew. The perfect tail is said to have two full curls.

Pugs are very humorous and love being clownish. With their comical look and their neck brace for a body, Pugs have waddled their way into one of the most popular dogs. These fourlegged weightlifters usually come in four colours: black, fawn, apricot fawn and silver fawn. Both males and females will grow up to 25 to 30 cm in height and weigh between 6 to 8 kg. The average life expectancy is between 12 and 14 years, and because Pugs have such a small gene pool, the breed suffers from quite a bit of hereditary health issues, including eye disorders, breathing problems, intestinal issues, leg problems, spine issues and neurological health issues, but the main thing to be cautious of is their eyes that can easily pop out. This is called proptosis.

Proptosis occurs when there is forward displacement of the eye. This can be caused by accidentally holding the neck too tight or by tugging on a choke collar too hard, so be very careful with your little Pug. If this should ever happen, the eyeball needs to be put back in right away.

Pugs tend to have breathing problems in warmer weathers, and some may even require surgery. This is all because of their flat faces. However, the upside to this smooshed in face is adorable face wrinkles. Pugs were bred to have extra skin on their face, folding into wrinkle upon wrinkle. What some may call ugly, others may call irritably cute. Centuries ago in China, these wrinkles were bred to create a pattern on their forehead, a pattern that looks like the Chinese character for Prince ( 王子。)

One of the reasons why Pugs are loved by so many people is because they are so easy to hang around with. If you like to sit at home and relax in front of the TV, the pug will love it; if you are an outgoing person that loves walks and fun activities outside, then the Pug will love that too. They just love being with you whatever it may be.

While Pugs are easy to hang around with, there are a few things to take into consideration, e.g. the weather. It does not have to be boiling hot outside for a Pug to feel uncomfortable. Owners need to be extra cautious that their dog does not overheat.

If there is one thing that Pugs do enjoy, it’s being groomed. You will have to do it often if you own one. Pugs can be minimal, but they do shed. Also, remember that those airtight wrinkles can also cause airtight infections. A lot of moisture goes in-between the wrinkles and bacteria grow. Therefore, part of the regular grooming procedure should be keeping your pug’s face very, very clean.

Training with Pugs involves a real walk in the park. Pugs are durable little dogs, but be sure to keep them cool and not to squeeze too hard when petting them. They need careful cleaning of their facial wrinkles and train them early to follow commands. Kids and adults will find the Pug a great friend. Pugs are almost the perfect family dog.

Average Adult Height25 – 30 cm in height
Average Adult Weight6 – 8 kg
Life Expectancy12 – 14 years
Exercise requirementsLittle required
Similar BreedsPekingese, French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Chihuahuas
Rescues in South AfricaPug Rescue 

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