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Species group:

Other name(s): Chinese Pug; Dutch Bulldog; Dutch Mastiff; Mini Mastiff; Mops

The basics:
A little dog with a huge sense of importance, the Pug is a natural charmer. As one of the oldest dog breeds, with a history that dates back to at least 400 BCE, the Pug has been a royal pet found over the centuries everywhere from humble Tibetan monasteries to the Chinese Imperial Palace. With a dog this adorable and this self-assured, you may find it a little too easy to spoil and over-indulge your pet. But, all in all, this cute and generally quite amusing breed can be a great choice for the beginner.

As with any short-faced breed, the Pug may present some special health challenges that you should be aware of in order to provide the best care for your pampered pet.

Appearance / health:
The Pug is a little dog that gives the appearance of being more substantial than it is-- small, square and sturdy in build, with a sleek and soft coat. The head is large, round, and short faced with deep wrinkles on the forehead. The ears are soft and preferably rose-shaped; the eyes are dark, radiant, prominent and animated; the muzzle is short, flat and black; and, the teeth meet in a somewhat undershot bite. The tail is tightly curled and lies on the back. A double curl in the tail is a highly desirable trait.

The Pug is an easily groomed dog requiring brushing two or three times each week and bathing only when necessary. Dry thoroughly and quickly after bathing to prevent chill. Give attention to the nails and teeth weekly. The eyes should be washed 2-3 times per week to avoid infection. Clean the facial creasing regularly. Pugs are a seasonally heavy shedder.

While they are a toy breed, the Pug requires more exercise than the typical toy breed. Daily walks and lively games will keep them in good shape and prevent the obesity to which they are prone. Though walks should be somewhat brisk and games energetic, avoid strenuous exercise, particularly in warm weather, as it is difficult for them to breathe with such a short snout. The key to their overall health is consistent, daily exercise rather than intermittent strenuous exercise.

Pugs do not tolerate hot and cold weather; in fact, they will be stressed by it. They catch colds very easily and are prone to allergies and chronic breathing disorders due to their short muzzle (always ensure adequate ventilation). Their eyes are delicate and prone to weeping, inflammation of the cornea (“keratites”), corneal ulcers, and issues involving the eyelids. Additionally, they are prone to Pug Dog Encephalitis (“PDE”), which is a brain inflammation of unknown cause that strikes between the ages of 2 and 3 years. They are also prone to skin disorders. Other health issues that can affect the Pug are deformities of the mouth and nose, hip dysplasia, luxating patella, Legg-Perthes disease, epilepsy, inability to give birth, and heatstroke.

Behavior / temperament:
Pugs require an owner who can establish and maintain their place as the pack leader in order to be happy and to prevent them from developing unwanted behavioral characteristics. This is very important in Pug ownership because this adorable little dog is very intelligent and will resort to amusing, playful and witty strategies to get what they want, often refusing to stop until they get it. The Pug can be loving and affectionate, spunky and playful, quiet and unassuming and, occasionally, very willful. They are devoted to their owner, are good watchdogs, and rarely demonstrate any aggression. Pugs have a curious nature and will often investigate new people thoroughly. This is a good breed for the novice owner with a great sense of humor and who can remember to hold his or her place as alpha in the family pack.

The Pug is rated high in learning ability, medium in obedience, and low in problem solving. They will respond very well to basic obedience training but require a gentle hand; they are a sensitive breed and will respond to your tone of voice, making harsh punishment completely unnecessary. They will get bored with repetitious training sessions, so find ways to vary it up and make it interesting to them.
Pugs are average barkers.

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This is Jeff, he is turning 6 years old this year. The first 2 years of his life where spent being passed from home to home, family to family, the poor little guy had no consistency. Our Shar-Pei had been diagnosed with cancer at 13 years of age, leaving our 8 year old Chihua...

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