Pug , dog , food , health

Pugs: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Pugs: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

The Pug is a breed of canine that has been around for centuries - and it shows! This pup's delightful, dynamic personality can switch back-and-forth between clownish playfulness to serene dignity at any given moment. A sturdy little companion with a good nature, they will let out an amusingly unique bark when someone new approaches before happily welcoming them in with snorts and grunts. 

The peculiarly large and expressive eyes, coupled with a cocked head posture and strange vocalizations of most short-faced dogs almost seem to be deliberately designed to elicit parental instincts from the human heart. 

Owning a Pug is like having your own personal ray of sunshine! These merry little doggies are always eager to be around you and have some fun. Just make sure not to spoil them too much or they'll lose their signature charm - the one that keeps us all smiling day after day! 

Though stubborn, Pugs seldom get into real mischief. Adults spend much of the day sleeping. 

Gassiness can be an embarrassing problem, and housebreaking can be a challenge, especially in the rain, which Pugs detest. The biggest concern with this breed is their many serious health problems. 

If you want a dog who... 

  • Is small, yet sturdy and blocky
  • Has a short face with large expressive eyes
  • Has a short coat
  • Is usually polite with everyone, including other pets
  • Doesn't need much exercise
  • Seldom gets into real mischief 

A Pug may be right for you. 

If you don't want to deal with... 

  • Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, some slobbering
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Slowness to housebreak
  • Constant shedding – every day!
  • Lots of potential health problems due to his deformed build – yes, it might look cute, but it is badly deformed 

A Pug may not be right for you. 

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training. 

  • You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Pugs have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
  • If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
  • Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Pug to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy. 

More traits and characteristics of the Pug

If I was considering a Pug, I would be most concerned about...

1.Health problems. Unfortunately, breeders deliberately breed these good-natured dogs to be deformed. As such, they suffer more than their share of health problems – not only with their breathing, but also eye diseases, joint diseases, and a devastating (fatal) neurological disease called Pug Dog Encephalitis. Read more about Pug Health. 

2. Gassiness (flatulence). All short-faced breeds gulp air when they eat, and that air has to go somewhere, after all. However, commercial diets make flatulence worse by including fibrous or hard-to-digest ingredients. Pugs who are fed a homemade diet of real meat and vegetables have much less trouble with gassiness. 

3. Constant shedding. It usually comes as a shock to new Pug owners just how much a Pug sheds. Most dog breeds have two shedding seasons per year where they shed the majority of their dead hairs. But Pugs are constant shedders who drop a moderate amount of hair all year. You need to be sure that you're okay with this! 

4. Pug "sounds". Pugs snort, snuffle, wheeze, grunt, and snore loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others. 

5. Housebreaking. Pugs can be slow to pick up the concept of housebreaking. Expect several months of consistent crate training.  

6. Stubbornness. Though they seldom get into real trouble, most Pugs are at least mildly stubborn. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. Food is a great motivator with this breed, but too many cookies equals a fat Pug. Also you don't want a dog who only obeys when you're waving a biscuit at him.