The Playful Pug
Pugs are a always a favorite breed because of their outstanding personalities, their easy going manner and their gentle temperament. The Pug was the 26th most registered breed with the American Kennel Club in 2011, a true testament to how popular they are. Their small size, short easy care coat and their unforgettable wrinkled faces make these a distinctive breed the world over.
If you want a dog that seems to have a sense of humor, adjusts well to whatever is going on and loves to be with the family then a Pug should certainly be on your list. These dogs are very intelligent and will quickly learn who in the family is a pushover and who they really do have to pay attention too. However, the Pug also is very bonded to the family and they aim to please. Often just a change in your tone of voice is all this little, spunky breed needs to realize they are crossing the line.
Pugs are stocky in appearance, longer than they are tall, and they are thick through the body without being fat. Males are slightly heavier and taller than females at about 10-20 pounds and between 11 and 14 inches at the shoulder. Females are typically 10-18 pounds and usually not more than 12 inches at the shoulder. They have a large, prominent head and a very short muzzle. They eyes are very round and slightly protrude from the head. It is common for the Pug to have thick wrinkles across the forehead and the face.
As a brachycephalic breed (short muzzle) they can be prone to respiratory problems and are sensitive to high heat and humidity. They should not be exercised in the heat of the day or left in vehicle without air conditioning because of their tendency to heat stroke, which can be life threatening in this breed. Their unique head shape can also be problematic for whelping and it is important to work closely with your vet if you are considering breeding your Pug. The anatomy of the head and muzzle will predispose them to some medical problems. They will need more frequent dental care and the skin folds on their face will need constant maintenance to avoid infections. Finally, they are prone to eye problems such as glaucoma and injuries. Don’t be warned off by the seemingly long list of medical issues, they are all manageable and nothing regular care and a good vet can’t handle.
Loyal and fun-loving, the Pug is very adaptable to an active or a more quite household. They get along well with children and other pets provided they are well socialized and trained. A Pug raised with kids is a great companion pet and they also do very well with other dogs and cats in the family. As one of the oldest recognized dog breeds, dating back to at least 400 BC, the Pug has a long history of being an outstanding companion pet.
The Pug is a long lived breed and can stay very active well into their senior years. It is not uncommon for a Pug to live to be 15 years of age, especially when routine vet exams and vaccinations are part of the dog’s life.