The Pug

Comical, Adaptable, Easy Going

All about the Pug Dog Breed

By Janice Jones     |Last Updated 02-27-2021

Thinking you might be interested in a Pug? Well, if you find humorous, adorable, and loving all good qualities, then they might be the absolute perfect dog for you and your family.

Everyone knows the cute and adorable Pug for their short, flat face, bulgy eyes, and their infamous face wrinkles.

The curly-Q tail gives away the toy dog classification and the perfect curly Pig tail is said to have two full curls/spirals.

Some say the have a very comical look, almost like a cartoon character. This look is not for everyone, but if you find it absolutely adorable, then you might want to look into purchasing a pug.

Pugs are one of the most popular dogs in America, and it is easy to see why. One unique quality about these little guys is that they will essentially adapt to any lifestyle that you have.

If you have a very laid back lifestyle and like to sit on the couch, watch movies, and eat snacks, then your pug with sit there right with you.

On the other hand, if you are very active and love to go biking, or surf, then bring him with you, and they will adapt to that lifestyle.

The Pug is often described as Multim in Parvo, which means “ a lot of dog in a little space.” That could not be truer when it comes to these dogs. They are the most energetic, happy, little bundles of joy in a little toy dog package.

Quick Facts

Other Names Used: Chinese Pug, Dutch bulldog, Dutch mastiff, Mini mastiff, Mops, Carlin

Affiliation: Toy group; AKC recognized in 1885


Height: Males: 12 - 14 inches          

Females: 10 - 12 inches

Weight:  Males: 13 – 20 lbs             

Females: 13- 18 lbs

Coat Type:  smooth, short hair coat

Colors: usually black, fawn, apricot fawn, and silver fawn with a black mask

Country of Origin: China

Activity Level: low to moderate

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Good with Children: Pugs are notorious for being excellent with children

Good with Other Pets: yes


Young Pug in field of dandelions

Pugs are actually one of the oldest known breeds, and are said to have originated before 400 BC and continue to flourish to this day. There are many theories about where the Pug originated and what they are descendants from.

Some researchers say they are descendants from the Pekinese, others think that they came from Bulldogs, but most people can agree that they originated in Asia, more specifically, China. However, the breed became popular during the Victorian times in the 19th century.

They were actually bred to have some extra skin on their face, which results in their face wrinkles that many people know and love.

Centuries ago in China, these wrinkles were bred to create a pattern on their forehead. This pattern supposedly looks like the Chinese character for “ Prince.”

These furry friends were actually companions to Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and then the breed started appearing in Europe and Japan. The AKC recognized the breed in 1885, and ever since, they have been one of the most popular AKC breeds.


This Pug is enjoying a picnic outdoors.

The Pug is an energetic and overall easygoing and very happy dog. If you want to be entertained for hours, but also have a pup that will sit there with you on the couch, the Pug is perfect.

Affection Level
Friendliness Towards Strangers
Good with Children
Good with Other Dogs
Good for First Time Owners
Exercise Needed
Ease of Training
Watch Dog Ability
Grooming Requirements
Cold Tolerant
Heat Tolerant

Dog Breed Ratings Got You a Little Confused?
Here's a little help in understanding them

  • Playfulness:   Most Playful = 5    Least Playful = 1
  • Affection:  Most Affectionate = 5   Least Affectionate = 1
  • Friendliness Towards Strangers: Most Friendly = 5  Least = 1
  • Good With Children:  Great= 5    Not Good with Children = 1
  • Good With Dogs:  Great = 5   Not Good Around Dogs = 1
  • Good With First Time Owners:  Fine=5  Not Appropriate = 1
  • Exercise Required:  Extensive Daily Exercise = 1  Minimal = 1
  • Ease of Training:  Very Easy = 5     Difficult = 1
  • Watch Dog:  Excellent Watch Dog = 5  Minimal = 1
  • Grooming:  Time Consuming = 5   Minimal = 1
  • Shedding:  Heavy Shedder = 5     Minimal = 1
  • Cold Tolerance:  Well Tolerated = 5   Poor Tolerance = 1
  • Heat Tolerance:  Well Tolerated = 5  Poor Tolerance = 1

This little bundle of joy has such a comical look to it, almost cartoonish, and a personality to match. Happy-go-lucky and is very loving, they are loyal, and affectionate with their whole family.

These dogs are the near perfect family dog. They can adapt to most location and situation and get along with all ages, especially kids that can give them extra nonstop attention.

Since the pug is so energetic and happy all the time, they tend to overwork themselves to keep their owners happy.

They will play as long as their family does, but keep in mind that dogs overheat much quicker than humans, and especially pugs because they are brachycephalic.

This just means they have a short muzzle, which causes them to have a harder time catching their breath. Look out for this when playing outside with your little guy.

Pugs are very easy to hang out with and they will love anything that you do. This is a characteristic that many people are attracted to. They are also just easy companions and fun to be around, however make sure that they know who is in charge and who is the real alpha dog.

Two pugs are looking up at the camera.

The owner needs to be calm, confident, and consistent with rules.

When these dogs feel like they have the control they will start guarding things as their own such as furniture, toys, or other places or spots in the house. This only happens when they are allowed to take over, so be careful of that.

These dogs have a tendency to be very sensitive to the tone of people’s voices, so harsh punishment is unnecessary.

They are good watchdogs, however not yappy, which is a good quality to have in a toy breed.


A Pug puppy laying on a hand

Since Pugs have a short and smooth coat, they are very easy to groom. This breed is a pretty heavy seasonal shedder, so they need to be brushed often with a firm bristle brush.

A good shampooing/ bath when necessary, but make sure to dry them well so they do not become chilled. The body grooming is a piece of cake, however the wrinkles and creases on their face need to wiped out and cleaned daily.

If not, then moisture gets in them and bacteria can grow which is a bad thing overall, but especially so close to their eyes, nose, and mouth.

Airtight wrinkles equal airtight infections, but as long as the Pug is kept clean and bathed, they are pretty healthy.

Other than that, there is little else in the way of grooming that is required.  All dogs, however, even short haired breeds need the nails clipped, the teeth brushed, their anal glands expressed periodically and their ears checked and cleaned periodically.  

Health Concerns of the Pug Breed

A black pug is walking with an older couple

This breed is fairly healthy, but there are a few precautions you might want to take if you decide to bring this furry friend into your family.

They are brachycephalic which means they have a flat face and short muzzle, which leads to an elongated palate and causes respiratory problems. They especially have trouble breathing in warmer weather and it can even require surgery if it gets too bad.

Keep this is mind if you’re playing with your pet outside. They always need to be supervised when playing.

        Read more about Brachycephalic Syndrome


This is a condition where the dog’s eye essentially pops out. This can be caused by putting too much pressure on their neck such as pulling too hard at a choke collar, or by even having it on too tight.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)

PDE is an inflammation of the brain that usually occurs in Pugs 2-3 years of age. The cause is unknown.


Pugs are especially prone to obesity and an overweight pug is not a healthy one.

Read more about Obesity

Cherry Eye

Cherry Eye occurs in a variety of breeds and is not a pretty sight.  The third eyelid contains the glands that produce tears.  When the gland pops out of position, it is visible and become swollen and even infected.

Read more about Cherry Eye

Hip Dysplasia

You might think that hip dysplasia is restricted to only large breed dogs, but that is not so.  Many small breed dogs are also prone to the disorder.

Read more about Hip Dysplasia

If you still need answers to your questions about the Pug breed, may I suggest you check out how to take care of a Pug.


  • Pretty adaptable to your lifestyle
  • Notorious for being great with kids
  • Loyal, loving, and outgoing
  • House training is a walk in the park with food and positive reinforcement.
  • Easy to hang with


  • Can be a heavy shedder
  • Tends to overeat which can lead to obesity
  • Does not do well in the heat
  • Respiratory problems
  • Demands daily cleaning of face

The Pug Dog Breed Pin Image

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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