If you are new to the world of Pugs, you may be wondering if those frowned faced, bulged eyed little creatures actually make a good pet, are they friendly? do they get along with people? are they ok to have around kids? what about my cats? Do they bark a lot?
Is your Pug going to be a ‘Good Dog’? The answer will have to be an overwhelming YES. Pugs are amazing pets. They love people of all ages, they are great with children and absolutely safe with babies. They get along with other dogs and will happily play with cats. Pugs are not aggressive and will usually only bark when ‘necessary’. You will always receive unlimited amounts of unconditional love, and they will never grow tired of you.
Reading this, you may think I am biased, and I am, and it can’t all be shiny and rosy. Well, a Pug is still a living entity and is not all perfect, however, I will outline all the ways Pugs are wonderful, and all the reasons you may not like them as much, and I am pretty sure you will see that the good outweigh the bad.
Pugs, Babies, and Children
We got our first Pug when our daughter was a year old baby. We soon learned that if we left the two together, the dog is the only one we need to worry about. Preston would very patiently tolerate the ear pulling, the poorly coordinated slapping (baby’s version of petting) and excessive hugging. In most cases, a Pug who has had enough will just walk away.
Pugs and Older People
Pugs are a wonderful companion for the elderly too. They are always there for you and are usually happy to join whatever it is their human companion wants to do. They are fine with just hanging around and watching TV or reading a book, and will also gladly join you for short walks.
Pugs don’t think of themselves as small dogs and will treat dogs of all sizes as equals. They will gladly chase cats, with playful intent. It’s the cats that are sometimes reluctant. Pugs will be curiously friendly to most other animals and will rarely show aggression towards any being.
A Peoples Dog
There is probably nothing Pugs crave more than human companionship. Bread as a lap dog and a companion, a pug is always up for interacting with people. When you sit, the Pug will sit right next to you, if you go out it will (want to) join you. There will always be someone to greet you when you get home and any form of attention will always be welcome.
We Aim to Please
Although known for having a lot of character, the underlying nature of a pug is to please you and get your approval. Any negative gestures will be received with a puzzled look and will to compensate with even more cuteness
Home is where the Pug is
Pugs generally prefer to be indoors. It is the natural habitat for them, especially if their human is there. If you have a garden, they will go out to do their business and maybe say hi to the neighbors’ dogs, but soon enough they will be back to check on you. Generally, Pugs do not enjoy extreme weather, rain, snow or high humidity. The average Pug is not going to run into lakes and pools and prefers water as a beverage.
The great outdoors
Of course, if you go out for a walk or even camping, your Pug will want to join you and will co-operate. I have known Pugs who even went for jogs and leisurely bike rides with their humans. Being a playful being, they will run with you and chase, other dogs, cats, children and birds in the park. Don’t expect them to play catch though, They may chase the ball, but will probably lose interest as soon as it stops. I remember the first (and pretty much last) time I through my Pug a ball to fetch. He followed the ball with his eyes, without moving or flinching, and then looked back at me with a bewildered look as if asking: ‘What do you expect me to do?’
So, Where’s the Catch
Nobody is perfect, and every cute trait has it’s darker side and a Pug is no different. Something else to take into account is the fit. All those characteristics which may make a Pug the perfect dog for one person may be off-putting or just a wrong fit for others.
That Furry Pug
My wife will probably name this as the number one reason to not get a Pug. Pugs shed, a lot. Pugs have what is called a double-coat, and although small they seem to have an unproportional amount of fur to shed. Some say that Pugs shed seasonally, in the summer, fall, winter and spring. If you like black cloth, get used to some hair clinging to it. If you really like black pants and you also like to hold you pug on your lap, a black Pug maybe the smart choice. Frequent brushing (do it outside if at all possible), will slightly reduce the amount of hairs in your house, but frequent vacuuming will still be necessary.
Not a Guard Dog
A Pug is no guard dog. Although legend has it a Pug saved Prince William in the 16th century, by warning him of the enemy Spaniards arrival, pugs may bark at anyone coming to the door but will probably not scare them away. They may charge at them and also give them a good sniff.
As mentioned, Pugs thrive on human interaction. In that sense they are a bit like a very ‘clingy’ partner or child. Leaving them home, alone will not always be met with the understanding one would expect. If you have to leave to work, your companion may be less receptive to house training, and may make it’s emotions evident.
Character in Spades
One of the known traits of Pugs is their character. The down side of strong character is stubbornness. Pugs do aim to please, but will have their limits, and when they reach that point it is usually their way or nothing. That doesn’t mean Pugs cannot be trained or persuaded, but it will have to be gentle persistent and on their terms. Training pugs is known to be challenging and will usually involve a lot of positive reinforcements of treats, which will bring us to something else thy like;
Pugs like to eat. Yes, I know, most dogs like to eat, but when your dog thinks he is 120 pound dog when in fact, shouldn’t be more than 20 pounds, there may be an issue. Pugs are notoriously prone to overweight. Keeping your pugs’ weight down is going to be challenging since they are not too keen on exercise and unless you take them on jogs from a young age they will gladly become ‘couch potatoes’. A slightly chubby Pug may be cute, but at some point, it may become unhealthy and aggravate a whole slew of other problems. When resembling a little keg with four stumpy legs, we’ve probably gone too far…
Pugs are one of the Brachcephalic (flat faced) breeds and as such have a range of health issues
Beauty Has a Price
That comical expression which makes the most adorable puppies, among other cute puppies, has a price. The folds around the nose, tend to be prone to all kind of skin issues, especially if moist.
Those big soulful eyes bulging out the cute expression have their drawbacks too. They tend to dry and get tiny scratches from the eyelids themselves if in dry or very dusty situations. They are also vulnerable just because they are out there and have very little nose to act as a ‘bumper’.
Snoring and Wheezing
Don’t let that small nose fool you. It can be noisy. Bugs are notorious snorers, putting many strong men to shame when it comes to annoying the household at night. (I have lost that battle long ago). They tend to start at a fairly you age and it gets worse with age, weight and other health issues.
Getting bitten by a pug
You have to really agitate a Pug, in a playful manner of course, in order to evoke a bite. I have been bitten by Pugs multiple times and it always feels like pinch from a child. The never brake the skin.
Every Pug has his or her own character and behavior and is an individual. The generalization given will probably fit your special Pug to some extent, although some variance is expected. Most of these issues are also covered to greater depth in related posts and articles on PugInsider.com
A lotta of dog
All in all when you bring a Pug into your home and into your life, you are getting a who lotta dog in a compact package. Although Pugs are included in the ‘Toy Dog’ category, you will soon learn that these are no toys.