Do Pugs Bark A Lot? How Noisy Are They?

If you’ve ever heard your neighbor’s dog bark in the middle of the night, for what seems forever, or went by a yard with a dog on a leash who just wouldn’t stop, you might be a bit wary of having a dog living inside your home and displaying this type of noisy behavior. You might be also considering a Pug as your next, or first, dog. You must be wondering;

Do Pugs bark a lot? And how loud are they?

The answer is, yes, of course, they bark, this is how they communicate. Gladly though, Pugs are not very loud barkers and compared to most other breeds they don’t bark a lot. I like to think of Pugs a ‘Practical Barkers’ meaning they will bark to make a point, to convey a certain message or if they think it is necessary.

Pugs are home and apartment dwellers and it is very different to have a dog barking in the yard than one sitting in your living room at your feet (that is often their preferred spot). Let’s examine the behavior of Pugs when it comes to your peaceful and quiet home. We’ll see when they bark, how they bark, why and how their noises affect the house in general? We are speaking in generalizations, Remember, Pugs have their own personalities, and as such will each have their own unique communication style.

How loud are they?

If you look at a Pug’s build, you can assume that a great bear roar is probably not going to come out of there. They are sturdy enough so a Pug is not going to have a high pitch yelp as other, smaller toy dogs may, but no one standing behind the door will think a German Shepard is about to greet him. They have a medium pitch bark which I would compare to roughly the same range as people. If you, your partner or other family members raise their voice, it would be comparable (not screaming) in loudness and tone to an average Pug barking.

How quiet is your home?

If you live alone or as a quiet couple and you sit in your comfy chair reading, a Pug’s sudden bark may startle you. On the other hand, in a lively family’s house, with TV in the background and kids being kids, you will probably barely notice the little dog’s barking.

Howling at the TV?

Speaking of TV, Pugs (as many other dogs) will often be triggered to bark by a noise coming from the TV. It would usually be either as a response to a dog barking or certain high pitch noises. The same goes for sirens, so if you live close to Hospital or a Fire Fighters’ Station be prepared for some howling. This would resemble more the sound of a wolf howling at the moon, but a couple of notches lower in volume.

Do they bark at strangers?

Pugs, like most dogs, are territorial. With that said, they are also not aggressive, so when a stranger enters the house they will bark at him but as soon as they see a friendly gesture and the potential for petting, they will stop and run towards the visitor wagging their curly tail.

Compensating for size

Often when you see a smaller, pocket size, toy dog, you will be met with a long serious of very energetic and sometimes aggressive series of high pitched barks and yelps, as if the little one is trying to compensate for size with decibels. Pugs don’t think of themselves as small and although they often have childish demeanor, they will bark accordingly.

Barking as communication

Pugs have been bred to be companions dogs. They have been companions to royalty since Imperial China, through the Dutch Monarchy to the British Aristocracy. They are people’s dogs and being with and around people is very natural to them. Being dogs, their main form of communication with us, other the large, bulgy, ‘Can I have another?’ eyes, is barking. I remember the first time when Lev was just a Pup noticing a (like a mother hearing a baby’s cry) particular type of bark which literally meant “Excuse me, you forgot to refill my water bowl”.  She is now seven years old and I can recognize that same intonation in a single bark and apologetically walk to the bowl and see that it is indeed empty.

Practical Barking

In much of the same a significant amount of a Pugs barking is just them trying to tell us something. Though there are exceptions the barking will be fairly short and to the point. It could signify, ‘There is someone at the door’, ‘There is a cat on the window edge’, ‘There a strange dog in the yard’ and probably some dog things I don’t understand. It will often be ‘can I have food?’. Most Pugs would not stand and bark for long periods of time at some cat who may or may not be across the street, as some other breeds may.

Reaction Barking

A dogs hearing is not just better then ours, they can also hear sounds that are outside of our ear’s range. There will occasionally be a sudden burst of unexplained barking that seems to be a reaction to something I have not noticed or heard, but it’s not that common, and I don’t presume to understand everything that goes through those tiny little brains of theirs’.

Do pugs bark when left alone?

Seeing themselves as our companions, Pugs, like children who never mature, cannot comprehend why we would leave them alone and go somewhere else. They may bark a little as a form of protest or as last effort of ‘Please take me with you’ but being Pugs they will not stand at the door and bark relentlessly until you come back home. When alone they will bark occasionally in reaction to some outside noise or stimulation, just as they would, were they not alone. For that reason, you may want to minimize the view and maybe draw the curtains or shade when you are out. Don’t leave the poor thing in the dark though… Pugs do have a tendency to Separation Anxiety (and that would be a whole other article) but it usually does not manifest through barking.

How to stop a pug barking?

A Pug will usually not stand and bark relentlessly for no apparent reason. But what should you do instances where the barking continues more than you desire? As with any form of training Pugs, you need to ingredients: A clear and repeatable command and a form of positive reinforcement.  As a general rule, Pugs want your affection and will respond better to positive feedback rather than punishment. They are sensitive to our tone of voice and will genuinely be hurt if you raise your voice at them. However, a firm ‘Shush’, ‘Hush’ or ‘Quiet’ can be learned and is intuitive for you too. If the response is positive, and even if the barking stops for a few seconds, be sure to follow it up with a treat or a form of praise. Training takes repeatability and consistency and you need to make sure to associate the Stopping of the barking and not the barking itself with the positive reinforcement.

Group behavior

Up until now, we examined the behavior and relations with one Pug. This can change if you have more than one Pug or a Pug another breed of dog. (Cats don’t bark so we’ll leave them out). Dogs in multiples will develop a bit or a lot of ‘Pack mentality’ in which case you will not just be dealing with one Pug but multiple variations of behavior. In case there is an ‘Alpha dog’ mainly need to be able to control him (It will usually be a male) and the rest will follow. As far as barking goes, the more, the merrier. Dogs tend to follow the lead of their fellow dog, so if one starts barking for whatever reason, the rest will happily join in the fun. Getting them to stop may be more challenging as well but that will really depend on the number and the combination of breeds and gender.

No discrimination on the bases of color and gender

There seems to be no difference as far as barking between Black or Fawn and the same pretty much goes for male or female. Females are known to be more territorial and feistier then males and males may be a bit disobedient during their ‘teenage’ years (roughly 6months to 2.5 years). Despite all that the character of the specific Pug will likely play a larger role in their behavior and barking habits then color or gender.

Other Noises

Barking is trivial, all dogs do it. Pugs make a wide variety of other noises that range from funny and endearing to almost alien. It’s a combination between their oddly shaped nose, and their character. Breathing itself is sometimes challenging for pugs, especially after physical exercise. If the weather is hot, there will be panting and it gets worse with age and weight. As the man of the house, I had given the number one spot for loudest snoring to our Lev. She is not only louder, but she also does it with flare. If you are a very light sleeper, be aware.

But other than voicing their difficulties to breath Pugs also have a type of whimpering voice for begging or cuddling and even some odd squeaks when sleeping or dreaming. Pugs,, snore, pant, groan, cry, yelp, squeak, gulp, and a few more noises I cannot find the words to define.

Here is a recording of just a few of them

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