A lot of people and some dogs as well look at the Pug’s wrinkly faces and the bulgy eyes and are not sure what to make of the expression. My little daughter ones asked me about our Pug: “Is she always sad?”. Those eyes are surely irresistible but what is it that they want?
Are they loving? Is it affection they crave?
Pugs live and breath to love and to cuddle. From the moment they wake up, and preferably while asleep, they crave human affection and touch. Pugs have been bred to be companion dogs for over two thousand years, and there is nothing more natural for them than the close proximity of their immediate family; you. But this love will also extend to the rest of the household, the neighbors, and practically anyone who wants it.
Custom made ‘Man’s Best Friend’
Some dog breeds were bred to be guard dogs, hunters, retrievers or trackers. Pugs were bred to be companion dogs. It started in Imperial China over two thousand years ago and through selective breeding and many generations, the Pugs character has been shaped to be the ultimate human lap dog.
Pugs have been the staple dog for China’s Emperors, Dutch Royalty, French and British aristocracy and even many of today’s’ modern aristocracy, celebrities.
Cuddle and Touch
Most dogs look for their human owners for affection and assurance and see them as their pack leader or Alpha Dog, but Pugs go beyond that. Pugs want close proximity and physical touch. Whenever possible and you are sitting or lying down, full contact cuddle will be preferred. If that is not possible, partial contact will be the next choice.
You will often see my Pug sitting with her butt halfway on my foot. I could be sitting in a chair or standing in the kitchen. She is going to be right there, slightly touching. I can’t count the times I have almost tripped over her taking a step backward. She does the same to my Mom when we come over.
What about night-time
Here too, the preferred method for a Pug would be to cuddle or spoon right with you, in bed. If for whatever reason you prefer not to share your bed with a Pug, they will settle for sleeping at the side or the foot of the bed, but still in proximity. The only time I found our Lev to make an exception is at winter when the wood stove’s side is warm and very appealing.
Pugs like to please and they’re up for anything
Aside from cuddling, pretty much any activity will be welcome, as long as it’s together. Want to go for a walk? great, Trip to the park to play? even better, go for errands? Ok. They will join you with excitement and energy every time.
Physical exercise is important to Pugs, who have a natural tendency to become an overweight couch potato. Your Pug will gladly join you for a jog, but because they like the company, not the exercise. These are no Greyhounds, so if you are going for a jog around the block, that’s great, but if you are training for a mini-marathon, your Pug will soon run out of breath and may overheat.
Speaking of training
Pugs can be trained, but often a slightly different approach is necessary compared to other dogs. You see Pugs know what they want, and when you demand something different, there is a conflict and you discover that your Pug is not only opinionated but also stubborn. Training your Pug is just a matter of teaching certain commands and actions, it’s more of a long-term negotiation. But there is no reason to be discouraged, remember, at the end of the day you are negotiating with someone who above all, want your company and love. The other thing working in your favor is their second love, food.
Are Pugs easy to train then?
Pugs are not hard to train, it will take time and patients. Pugs do not respond well to punishment or scolding, they actually take it to heart and get genuinely hurt. However, wanting to please, they respond well to positive reassurance. They will respond even better if that positive feedback comes in the form of treats. The three ingredients for negotiating with your stubborn Pug are patients, love, and treats.
Over time, you will be able to wean your Pug from treats and provide other means of positive feedback to achieve the same result. By the way, if part of your routine is playing in the park and giving treats, that’s fine, but you may want to restrict treats to feedback for doing what you ask or training. If your dog is a bit more stubborn than the average Pug you may notice you are going through packs of treats and there may be three reasons why you may want to avoid this. First, treats are usually very rich foods (the good ones) and are not meant to be consumed in large quantities. The may cause an upset stomach, especially the cheaper ones. Second, it’s always good to keep an eye on your Pugs weight. Their love of food and sleep may be a dangerous combination. Sure, a chubby Pug is cute, but being overweight may bring on or aggravate a number of health issues. Third, good treats are expensive.
Love be a substitute for treats
If you do want to limit treats to training or maybe even limit them there, so they don’t become a ‘crutch’, just go back to the basic premise of what your Pug wants from you most of all, your affection. Pugs, like most dogs, are very sensitive to the tone of your voice. You may say awful things, but if you use a sweet tone, they will wag their tails and be very happy about it. It is a good habit to also use the same phrasing in combination with the tone of voice, they re-enforce each other. You can further enforce your intention with physical touch. A pet on the head, a rub on the back (that point they just can’t reach is always a favorite). Furthermore, you are also welcome to use toys or other non-food desired objects, will also do the job.
Is a Pug’s love exclusive?
As far as training your Pug will probably mostly listen to one person, but when it comes to general and physical affection a Pug will gladly extend it further. Pretty one anyone who approaches a Pug with a positive attitude will be welcomed with a wagging curly tail and enthusiasm…
What about other dogs
Pugs will also welcome dogs, mostly larger dogs as Pugs don’t see themselves as small dogs. Pugs will gladly play with cats and practically any animal which will welcome it. Cats can be stand-offish but it will not deter the Pug from trying.
Pugs would probably rank very high among ‘Best Dog to have as Pet’. Their big eyes, the good nature, relative quit and overall fun to have around definitely put them high on the list. Pugs are not perfect and do have minor character flaws and some breed typical medical issues. They may also not be the right fit for you, your taste in dogs or your lifestyle but if there is one thing that cannot be denied about Pugs is how loving and cuddly, they are.
Do Pugs do better in pairs?
Pugs often do come in pairs and as a spectator it even more adorable than just one. Generally, being a friendly and company craving dog, two Pugs sharing a home would get along fabulously and keep each other company. Definitely a plus if you have a job that keeps away for long hours. Pugs do have their own personality and there is always a chance they will not get along, but that seems to be the exception to the rule. A few tips I picked up from owners of two or more Pugs;
- It is better (for you) to have the first one potty trained and crate trained (if you plan on it), before bringing another puppy to the mix.
- Female Pugs may be a little Diva-ish
- Two males will be better off neutered
- A male and female are usually a safer bet.
Are male or female pugs better?
There are some differences between male and female Pugs, but take them with a grain of salt as personalities may be more dominant in determining the character and behavior of a specific Pug. We’ve had a male and a female and they are both wonderful to have, and the similarities are more prominent than the differences. Since we are trying to generalize:
- Females may be a bit of a Diva
- Females are smarter and easier to train
- Males are more co-operating and laid back, especially after neutering
- Un neutered males will be harder to potty train as they have a stronger urge to mark their territory
- Spaying a female is more complicated and expensive than neutering a male
- An un-spayed female is going to be harder work (if not breeding), and a lot more work if you are (Not advised)