— Breed of the Month —

The Pug

Back to Breed of the Month

Breed Traits and Characteristics

According to the American Kennel Club, here are some breed characteristic you can find in Pugs. 

 

  • Height

    10-13 inches

  • Weight

    14-18 pounds

  • Life Expectancy

    13-15 years

  • Coat Type/Length

    Smooth/Short

  • 100 Affectionate with Family
  • 100 Good with Young Children
  • 80 Good with Other Dogs
  • 80 Trainability Level
  • 60 Energy Level
  • 20 Barking Level
  • 80 Shedding Level
  • 20 Drooling Level

History

The Pug is often thought of as coming from Holland, but the breed in fact originated in China. It is likely the breed was first transported to Holland via trading ships around 1572.

History tells that it was a Pug’s barking which sounded the alarm to approaching Spanish soldiers in the late 1500s when Spain tried to take control of Holland. This Pug was credited with saving his master’s life - Prince William the Silent. The breed forever after has been associated with the Royal House of Orange.

Napoleon’s wife owned a Pug, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor owned a Pug as a royal companion. The Pug became the latest rage during Victorian England, and Pugs can be spotted in many paintings and other artwork of that time.

Some believe the Pug’s name came from their likeness to a marmoset monkey, also called the ‘pug monkey,’ but the other theory is that the Pug name is derived from the Latin word ‘pugnus’ which means ‘fist’ - perhaps describing the breed’s round face and head.

The Pug

The Pug is an ancient Chinese dog breed with an impressive history, having been revered alongside royalty. The breed motto is "multum in parvo," a Latin phrase meaning a lot in a little - plenty of dog in a small package!

Pugs are members of the toy breed category and have a strong, noble appearance. The Pug is possibly one of the strongest and sturdiest dogs in this breed category. This sturdiness, along with their impressive looks, is perhaps a big reason behind their popularity.

Here's what the American Kennel Club has to say about the Pug:

"Once the mischievous companion of Chinese emperors, and later the mascot of Holland’s royal House of Orange, the small but solid Pug is today adored by his millions of fans around the world. Pugs live to love and to be loved in return."

Pug Breed Facts

Physical Characteristics

The ideal Pug tail should have two curls and stand proudly over the dog’s rump area.

Pugs have well-round heads, a short flat muzzle, and lots of wrinkles on their forehead. These vertical wrinkles on the forehead is said to resemble the Chinese character for the word "prince" and thus is known as the "prince mark."

The pug has a square body shape, a short dense double coat, and bulbous and prominent eyes that protrude. Like many of the flat-faced breeds, a Pug’s are prone to eye trauma because of their prominence.

A Pug’s coat color can range from a fawn and an apricot shade to silver and black. The black dogs are the only color to not have a darker mask.

Pug’s are strong and sturdy dogs with height generally ranging from 10 to 11 inches and weight from 14 to 18 pounds (six to eight kilograms).

Their short pushed in face and wrinkled forehead make them appear wise and they look as though they understand everything you are saying.

Their short dense, double coat makes them adaptable to most climates, but the very hot and humid days are not their friend.

Personality & Temperament

The Pug generally has a very even temperament with a somewhat sober side. They are sociable and usually get on well with other dogs. Pugs are also generally very good with children. They are more than happy to just hang out with their favorite human and often like to have their pet parents in sight.

Pugs are known to sometimes have a stubborn streak, but we believe that it’s largely due to them not always being properly understood and a lack of proper education and obedience training.

A very trainable breed, Pugs but won’t suffer fools lightly, you have to be in tune with their personality and understand what training best suits their needs.

Despite their adaptability to training, Bark Busters still get calls to train lots of Pugs or to address behavioral issues. The main issues are barking, not coming when called, dog aggression, and/or separation anxiety.

The Pug is a highly intelligent breed that adapts to training quite quickly providing their human is consistent and patient.

Fun Facts

  • It is believed that Pugs are related to the larger Mastiff dog breed and have been bred down to its diminutive size over many years. They do physically resemble a Mastiff in many ways, until you get to the tail.
  • Did you know that the ideal pug tail has two curls? The AKC notes that “the double curl is perfection.”
  • Pugs are the sturdiest dogs of the toy family, due to their mastiff heritage.
  • Pug’s do snore.
  • Due to their short snout, Pug’s don’t do well in very hot or humid weather. Take caution in summer / warm months, and don’t over exercise this breed.
  • Living up to 15 years of age, Pugs often enjoy a long lifespan.
  • The Pug became even more popular in the U.S. following the release of “Men in Black.” The movie featured Frank, the speaking Pug who was really an alien in disguise.

Bark Busters Trainer Jeff Drier on Pugs

When I think of Pugs I think of silly clowns. These dogs are mischievous and get away with it because they are so darned cute. I have seen more than one pug dance on its hind legs, especially if there is food around. It is an adorable display which almost always makes everyone around laugh, which I almost think is the intention. Pugs LOVE attention and will often put on quiet the show in order to get it.

While with a lot of Pugs it doesn’t matter too much, usually we are called because their people have not given these dogs any rules or boundaries at all and the dog has “taken over the household” and set their own set of rules. They can be moody as well and can pout if you don’t give in. They will usually get over it quickly and are typically compliant dogs that are easy to train as they want to please and get praised.

Typical issues are barking for attention, often at meal time. Pugs love to eat and can easily become over-weight if given into. They are also typically pullers on leash until taught to walk with you and not lead. Pugs are usually friendly but can tend to jump on the people they live with and visitors which is another issue we are called to help resolve.

Be careful about rewarding with treats as often these dogs will learn to not listen is there isn’t a treat reward, as I said these dogs love to eat. They will try to take advantage of those human treat dispensers.

Caution needs to be taken, especially in the summer, as with other flat faced dogs, breathing can be problematic in the heat and humidity of summer. Walks in the summer need to be short because of their physical characteristics. They are not excessively energetic dogs but are usually willing to participate in the family activities. They also do not need a lot of space and so are often good companions for apartment dwellers. Playing inside in the air conditioning during the summer is usually enough physical exercise for Pugs.

Overall Pugs are wonderful companions, with a cheerful disposition and they are not one of the main breeds we are called to help fix problems with. As with all dogs though, if you aren’t setting rules and boundaries, they will make up their own, which may not be in line with your thoughts and feelings.

While, as I mentioned, they are not one of the dogs that we get huge numbers of calls for help with, Dogs are all individuals and so their individuality needs to be considered when working with them. Bark Busters Trainers’ unequalled experience at helping dog owners resolve problems can usually help owners of Pugs quickly, so if you do have issues with your Pug, call us today so you can get help quickly and have a long wonderful relationship with your four-legged comedian.

Connect with Us!

Need help training your Pug? Call 1-877-500-BARK (2275)or enter your zip code.

Please begin by confirming your zip code.

Pug Grooming

The Pug is not hard at all to keep looking its best. A quick brush daily is best, making sure not to rip out any undercoat before its due to come out and definitely not in the winter.

Once the season changes, you will need to give your Pug a regular brush. Be sure you pay special attention to the areas around the face where the folds are.

The Pug does suffer skin conditions because of the many folds around its face which need regular attention. Make sure to keep those folds clean and free of dirt and grime. Diet does play a big role in skin conditions, so be sure your Pug has all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and without any skin issues.

A regular visit to your vet is recommended to ensure your Pug does not develop any skin conditions.

Tips for Every Dog Owner

Owner Taking Dog on Walk on Leash

One Step at a Time: A Guide to Successful Dog Walking

Walking our dogs is a great source of exercise for both pets and pet parents. It not only helps keep our canine companions healthy and physically and mentally stimulated, but also strengthens the bond between us. There are several factors for pet parents to consider, however, to keep walks fun and safe for all.

Bark Busters Dog Trainers Training Two Dogs

Tips for Every Dog - Why Training?

All dogs need some form of training and education. Love is vital to the bond you and your dog share, but on its own and without all the other elements of a strong relationship, your dog won’t feel fully fulfilled.

Dogs at Dog Park

Tips for Every Dog - Socialization

Dogs are social animals and like to be part of a structured social group. In the wild, their pack provides this purpose, but in the domesticated world, this consists of the humans they live with and other animals that live in your home.

Large Group of Dogs of Various Breeds

Tips for Every Dog - Four Basic Needs

At Bark Busters, we believe that every dog has four basic needs. When these needs aren’t being met, misbehavior will likely follow.

Hear from Bark Busters Clients Who Have a Pug

I have two crazy dogs named Lucy and Leo that LOVE to bark their faces off. :) We have a big family with people in and out of the house a lot, so it can get loud quickly. The Bark Busters method is almost instantaneous. Stephanie was an amazing trainer. She was extremely kind and very knowledgeable. They do not use treats since it can affect your dog's respect level, which was news to me. Everything was communication based. My pug Leo has had issues with potty training in the past, and tearing up the furniture. We worked on managing the situation even when I'm gone. And my pit Lucy responded immediately to the leadership exercises with her barking. They also both used to pull on the leash, but now they walk behind me calmly. Bark Busters is like magic! The change we saw in just one training gave me hope for these little guys. I would 100% recommend Stephanie to anyone with dog behavior issues!
I thought my crazy pug was hopeless and thankfully John showed me how easy this relationship can be with my dog! Super grateful!
I have a very unruly pug! I was at my whits end with his marking, barking and not being able to enjoy any walks with him.

Rachel was so kind and responsive. Even on the phone I knew she cared and would be able to help us! I’m a tough customer for sure, but rachel came in and knew just what to say to explain the method and the reasons behind it. I felt at ease before we even started. Which is very rare for me. I cannot say enough great things about rachel and bark busters. Y’all work miracles!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!
Recently rescued a pug puppy with leash aggression issues. Paula was great. By the end of the 2nd session we were able to walk by other dogs without lunging and barking. Completely exceeded our expectations. We are able to use several commands to take back control of the house and completely satisfied. Sam is much more at ease and is more relaxed.
We learned a lot! Great communication,looking forward to learning more.
We’ve been working with Ryanne for 6 weeks. During that short time she showed us how to communicate with our rescue. He’s a 1 year old Aussie border collie mix. We’re his 4th and forever home. He is a high energy and very intelligent dog. We knew we needed help. Ryanne came to our home and worked with us for 3 sessions over the last 6 weeks. She showed us how to immediately and effectively communicate with our dog. We can now take him to the park and play fetch. He walk's calmly by our side and ignores distractions. He only focuses on us. Before we could barely walk him without being pulled to the ground. If you’re thinking about using a trainer I highly recommend the Bark Buster program. Thank you Ryanne!
Diane and John are truly a power couple! They have an amazing bedside manner, have made us feel comfortable while supplying plenty of love and humor throughout the process. They are 150% dedicated to the work and are willing to work around the clock to help us with any challenges we have with Remy. These trainers are nothing short of amazing! They have helped us realize that although training with your dog can be challenging; however, it is more than possible, fun and worth the time we're putting in for our desired results. Thank you Diane and John! We look forward to our continued work with you all.
Friendly explained everything in great detail.
Our session was very useful & helpful in training our puppy Boji. We are looking forward to continuing the lessons with Karen.
Understanding her binary language barrier with a few simple commands made me feel at ease. Knowing my family can also walk and feel in control of our dog.
Unbelievable progress on the first day of training! Highly recommend Joshua as a highly competant and companionate trainer.
Josh was able to teach me how better to teach her! She may have some bad experiences w/ me that puts her on guard, but Josh helped a lot with recognizing the behavior and the methods how to fix this issue.
Noticed results right away!
Joshua is very professional and to the point, detailed, plus came prepared. Lucy was very receptive to him. We learned so much to make our lives plus lucy's life easier + with more joy! The information was very helpful plus the homework! Looking forward to our 3–4-week follow up. Thank YOU!
We were provided great philosophy plus lessons on how to train and understand our dog. Lucky learned a lot today!
Such nice and incredibly helpful people. Our dog is almost 4, and we thought we’d never be able to get her out of these bad habits that she’s always had. But they really helped us control her negative behaviors in a way that is not demeaning in any way. Our dog is thriving and we couldn’t be happier. Really worth the investment.
The training session was very effective. We see a massive improvement with our dogs already. Can't wait for the future!
Karen was very professional. She explained things where we could understand completely.
Very knowledgeable on training. Amazing to sum it all up!
I've worked with Bark Busters since 2021 when I first adopted my dog, Obi. He had some behavioral and anxiety issues that we needed to get under control. I shopped around for a few different trainers that were a bit cheaper but the training just didn't work well with my dog. I came across Bark Busters and was a little hesitant because of the pricing, but I felt that their methods of communication made so much sense. I first worked with Dalila and was stunned by her passion and commitment to this program. I had such an amazing experience with her and we were able to manage Obi's leash manners and home anxiety. As time went on, we reached back out to Bark Busters since Obi was beginning to act up again around other dogs. Because of that lifetime guarantee, we were able to work with Jared at no additional cost. Jared was very lovely and personable. He gave us great tips and a little refresher course. I would highly recommend working with Bark Busters because you can tell they genuinely care about their clients and want the best for your family!
Pixie went from out of control to passive today in our session with Karen.
Yesterday, Lissette from Bark Busters came to our house and spent 3 hours working with us and all three of our dogs. Her results were amazing! It was probably harder to train the humans than the dogs but she was extremely patient. She gave us the needed equipment, instructions, and videos to be successful. She also promises unlimited support should we have any questions or concerns before our next visit. After following her instructions last night and then today, our dogs have already shown improvement in their behavior! I HIGHLY recommend Bark Busters to anyone who loves their dog(s) and wants to take back control of their environment.
Stephanie is great! As first time dog parents we needed some guidance. So thankful we found Stephanie who provided us with some wonderful information and tools to help us with our new fur baby!
5 stars
These guys are amazing. I got Randy and Jared, and they were both equally as amazing. After the first visit with Randy, 75% of all issues were taken care of. After Jared came a few weeks later the remaining 25% of problems we were dealing with were fixed. Since they left me with all the tools to continue practicing good behavior with my dog, none of the problems have resurfaced. The things they helped fix was: jumping on the people and on or doors, eating our other dog's food, recall, and walks. Getting my dog to go on walks was super important because she was terrified of leaving the driveway and I had no idea what to do about it. On the first visit Randy helped to get her more comfortable with being on the leash and being in front of the house. After the second visit with Jared she venturing out on walks with full confidence. Bark Busters really is incredible and they have amazing being working for them. I do recommend Bark Busters.
Omar was amazing. He taught us how to truly communicate with our dog. And learning better communication with our dog we're getting the behavior changes we desired Omar. Our trainer was well spoken very clear and concise. He was an excellent instructor. I highly recommend Barker Busters to anyone who wants to get rid of chaotic anxious behavior in a dog. The written materials that Barker Busters leaves behind as well as emails electronically are very helpful. we look forward to learning more from Omar at our next appointment. The in-home training also is a huge benefit because it allows the trainer and the owners to concentrate on each other without interruption by others or other dogs.
I feel like I got a new dog today. I did not know my dog could be this calm & behave this well.
After just one week working with Bonnie, my dog Sherman understands that I am the leader of our pack. He walks next to me beautifully. He stops barking when commanded. He follows me vs. being unruly and underfoot. He is far more relaxed overall. The concept is brilliant and very easy to administer for fast results!

Need Dog Training Assistance with Your Pug? Find Your Local Trainer Now!

Please begin by confirming your zip code.