Pug: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed


A little toy dog from China, the pug has a short, silky coat that can be black or fawn, a wrinkled face, a curled tail, and a short nose. They are strong, little dogs with plenty of personality. Pugs are normally friendly and affectionate, but they can have a little bit of sass. Although they can adapt to a wide range of living conditions, they favor mild climes. And they like spending as much time as possible with their family. This breed is a suitable dog for families with children because of its even-tempered temperament.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches

WEIGHT: 14 to 18 pounds

COAT: Smooth, short

COAT COLOR: Fawn, black

LIFE SPAN: 13 to 15 years

TEMPERAMENT: Affectionate, sweet-tempered, playful




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Characteristics of the Pug

Pugs generally have a very affectionate and upbeat temperament. Their personalities are marked by their love of people. They don't have a high energy level, but they still love to play.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark Low
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Pug

One of the oldest canine breeds in the world, the pug has been around since at least 400 B.C. Although there is great disagreement over the pug's exact ancestry, it is widely accepted that the breed originated in China. Though some people think the breed is descended from the bulldog or mastiff, the pug may be connected to the Pekingese. Little dogs were highly prized by Chinese emperors and were in high demand as gifts.

In the 1500s, the pug started to become popular all over the world. They gained favor with the European aristocracy, which encouraged more extensive breeding. After the British took control of the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860, a fresh batch of pugs was imported into England. They gave the breed shorter legs and the contemporary pug nose.

The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1885. And it is still one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States today.


Pug Care

Pugs don't have a lot of energy, but they still need to exercise every day. To ensure their manners, dogs also need constant socializing and training. And they have simple grooming requirements.


Pugs require a modest amount of every day, around an hour. It should be plenty to go on morning and evening walks in addition to some vigorous fun. Pugs also like competing in like agility and rally with their owners. They also like playing with puzzle toys to keep their minds and bodies challenged.

Avoid overworking your dog, especially during warm weather. Due to their small muzzles, pugs are unable to effectively cool themselves by panting, which can cause heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


The pug's short coat only needs basic maintenance and is quite simple to maintain. To disperse skin oils and eliminate loose fur, schedule a weekly brushing. And depending on how unclean your dog becomes, wash him around once a month. However, since the pug's skin folds are prone to infection, plan to wipe them at least once a week with a gentle, moist cloth. Make careful to completely dry the creases.

Check your pug’s nails roughly once a month to see whether they need a trim. And aim to brush its teeth every day.


Pugs often have a high desire to please and are responsive to good training techniques. Although it's crucial to avoid overfeeding them, sweets are very motivating for them. It's a good idea to use some of their regular meals as rewards for training. Because pugs are sensitive, severe punishments will cause them to immediately shut down and stop participating in training. Start training as early as possible, ideally with a puppy session that also incorporates socializing.

Additionally, start exposing your pug to a variety of people, animals, and environments as early as you can. Pugs are typically gregarious dogs, so they will feel more at ease and confident if they have positive social interactions.


Common Health Problems

Like many dog breeds, pugs are prone to some hereditary health issues, including:

  • (breathing problems and overheating due to their flat face)
  • Eye problems, such as and corneal ulcers
  • Encephalitis

Diet and Nutrition

Keep fresh water on hand at all times for your pug. And feed your dog a high-quality, nutritionally complete meal. Two measured meals each day are typical. However, you should always go over the quantity and kind of food with your veterinarian because a pet's nutritional requirements might alter with age, activity level, and other factors. Pugs also tend to be overweight because they like eating. In order to prevent your dog from overeating, it's vital to keep an eye on treats and other excess food consumption.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Pug

Pugs are a well-liked canine breed. So it's worthwhile to search for a dog in need of a home through neighborhood animal shelters and breed-specific rescue organizations. Expect to pay between $500 and $2,000 for a puppy from a reputable breeder, however prices might vary greatly.

For further information to connect you with a pug, check out:

  • Pug Dog Club of America
  • Pug Partners

Pug Overview

  • Infrequent barker

  • Small but sturdy

  • Highly affectionate and family friendly

  • Prone to overeating

  • Needs extra cleaning in skin folds

  • Can have breathing difficulties

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you think the pug is right for you, be sure to do plenty of research before obtaining one. Talk to other pug owners, reputable breeders, rescue groups, and veterinarians to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are pugs good family dogs?

    Pugs can make for excellent family pets when they are well trained and socialized. They tend to be tolerant of children, though dogs should always be supervised around young children.

  • Are pugs aggressive?

    Pugs typically are friendly dogs that do not display aggression. They tend to be affectionate with their family and even open to meeting strangers.

  • Are pugs good apartment dogs?

    Pugs can do well living in a small home, such as an apartment, as they don't need a lot of room to run and play. However, it's still important that they get out every day for exercise.


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