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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Pug


Origin: China

AKC Group: Toy

Height: 10 - 11 inches (Male)

Weight: 14 - 18 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
10 - 11 inches
Male weight: 
14 - 18 pounds
Short and soft. Tail curls over back; a double curl is most desired; ears hang down.
Apricot-fawn with a black muzzle and a black line called trace that runs along the back. Solid black and silver with black markings are less common. Eyes are dark and nose is black.

The Pug has a relatively ancient heritage going back to the Chinese, who developed several flat-faced dogs, including the Shih Tzu (Lion Dog), the Pekingese and the Pug (Foo Dog), all of whom may share bloodlines. Pugs were highly prized by Chinese Emperors, and it was against the law for anyone but royalty to own the dogs. As traders from the Dutch East India Company made their way around the world in the 16th century, they found the Pug, and like most people, quickly fell in love with him and brought specimens back to Holland. The breed became the official dog of the House of Orange when a Pug saved the Prince of Orange's life by alerting him to approaching Spaniards in 1572. Some 100 years later, when the Prince's grandson William III took over the English throne, he brought Pugs with him, and their favor soon spread throughout England. Queen Victoria had Pugs, as did the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Pugs became popular throughout Europe, and the French Emperor Napoleon and his wife, Josephine, owned them.

Pugs made their way to the United States shortly after the Civil War and were exhibited in the mid-1880s. They didn't immediately gain favor; in fact, it wasn't until the 1930s that they became recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In the past decade or so, however, the Pug has become one of the most popular - and well-recognized-dog breeds in the United States.

The Pug's motto is multum in parvo - a lot in a small package - and it captures his essence. It is no wonder he has been adored by so many for so long - he is big enough to be "all dog" but small enough to go anywhere. The Pug is an even-tempered, happy, affectionate and jovial companion. He is curious and curious-looking, attracting attention and returning affection. He is clever and mischievous just when least expected. He tries hard to please his owner and loves to be the center of attention by clowning around.
At home: 
Pugs make ideal apartment dogs because of their size and low exercise requirements. Because of their shortened face, Pugs have breathing problems and will snore and snort. The shape of their face also makes it harder for them to cool off, so they don't do well in very hot weather. A fenced yard is a necessity, and any swimming pool or water area must be inaccessible to a Pug, who generally cannot swim well.
Lots of exercise isn't a requirement for this breed. A Pug still needs daily exercise, but several short walks a day will satisfy his needs. Taking walks will also continually socialize him, as people who pass him will likely say hello - something he'll be happy to oblige. Pugs must be monitored when exercising in warm weather because they overheat easily.
Pugs tend to gain and retain weight easily, and because obesity is a serious health concern, their food intake should be closely monitored. It is easy to give in to the Pug’s beseeching (and large) eyes, and he is often on the receiving end of leftovers. It is not easy to get the weight off him; though, so owners need to be vigilant about how often and what the Pug is fed. He needs the highest-quality, age-appropriate food to be in the best possible health, and he should be fed several small meals a day.
The Pug is a natural "gentleman" - perhaps on account of centuries of royal living - and his easygoing nature makes him less of a handful than other breeds. However, this doesn't mean that he shouldn't be trained. He's an intelligent and curious fellow who appreciates direction when done in a positive manner. He can get bored easily, so training sessions should be kept short. Working with him from puppyhood will both ensure that he knows his manners and form an even closer bond between you.
He is friend to all types and ages of people and gets along well with other animals, too - especially when socialized from an early age. Pugs are wonderful with kids, but small children must be taught to be careful because the breed's protruding eyes are prone to injury.
The average life span of the Pug is 12 to 15 years. Common health problems of the breed include corneal ulcers; obesity; pinched nostrils or elongated palette; Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain that affects adolescent Pugs; sensitivity to hot and cold weather, making it difficult for them to breathe; and skin problems.
Fun fact: 

It is said that while Empress Josephine was in prison, she would send notes to Napoleon stashed in the collar of their Pug.

Grooming blurb: 
The greatest challenge in grooming a Pug is keeping his face clean. The wrinkles need to be kept dry and free from dirt, as do the areas around his eyes. His coat needs only occasional brushing, although he is a regular shedder.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.