This tiny, flat-faced breed is incredibly intelligent and playful. Because of their short noses, they get easily stressed out by hot and cold weather and can get allergies, colds, and other chronic breathing problems. Despite all that, pugs are quite playful and mischievous, traits that have earned them the nickname of clowns of the canine world. Pugs are great dogs for first time owners, families, and people living in all sorts of housing (apartments and tiny houses included). Like Boston Terriers and other brachycephalic breeds, they don’t particularly tolerate extreme weather in either direction because of their flat faces. Their flat faces also cause a number of health issues, like severe breathing issues, eye ulcers, allergies, and so much more and some vets have expressed concern over the popularity of these breeds. They also tend to wheeze and snore.
Even with all the health concerns pugs have, they can be wonderful and playful dogs. They’re quite loyal and incredibly intelligent, which makes them great companions but also means they get bored without a variety in their training. They’re not meant to be strictly outdoor dogs, as their size, flat face, and history makes them indoor dogs. But as mentioned, they’re great in smaller accommodations like apartments and are relatively inactive indoors. Daily walks and energetic games are important for pugs to keep them happy and healthy but make sure to not overdo it, as they might start wheezing if they do too much.
Pugs historically originate in China, dating all the way back to the Han dynasty from 206 BCE to 200 CE. The Lo-sze were pug ancestors and in the 1300s, they were one of three short-nosed dogs that the Chinese have been known to favor. Many historians and experts have debated the exact genetic origins of pugs. Some say they come from a shorthaired Pekingese; others say they come from crossbreeding a small bulldog; even more think pugs are just a miniature form of the French Mastiff. Whatever the exact origins of these dogs are, the fact still remains that they have been amazing guard dogs (in their own way), are great at performing tricks, and have remained loyal companions for centuries.
Pugs are considered a small breed, usually weighing 14-18 pounds and will stand 10-14 inches tall. While their coats are short, pugs are actually a double-coated breed that do shed a lot, especially in the summer. Regular brushing and bathing will be your best friend with a pug, as it’ll help keep their coats healthy and can bring shedding to a minimum. And while pugs are small, they are not quite as delicate as other small breeds. Many pugs love to be around kids, which makes them great family dogs! But if you’re looking for a rather active dog that will play games or fetch, a pug will not be a good choice.
If you’re looking to rescue a pug, there is the Seattle Pug Rescue in Washington state! There are also other pug rescues around the United States, including the DFW Pug Rescue Club in Texas and the Colorado Pug Rescue. But if you decide to go with a breeder, it’s important to research the breeder beforehand to make sure the dogs are treated well and are all healthy.
Ultimately, pugs can be amazing companions. It’s important to keep an eye on their breathing to make sure they aren’t overdoing it and to brush their coats regularly. Their intelligence and happy demeanor means they’re goofy, wonderful dogs!