Life span: 12 to 14 years
Height: 8 – 15 inches
Weight: 18 – 30 lbs.
One of the most distinctive breeds in the world, the Pug is a small-sized dog of the toy group, with a wrinkly face and short nose. The Pug has a portly build with short, muscular legs, making for a compact dog. The Pug has a short coat that is typically fawn or black in color. Its lively and friendly attitude makes it a perfect, yet sometimes mischievous, companion.
This loving breed gets along well with children and other household pets, as long as they are trained properly. They are playful but will also enjoy sitting on the couch with you. They also like being the center of attention.
Their ears are small and bend downwards, although not quite falling, and their tail is medium length and curls tightly over their backs. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their straight coats are sparse and short. Coat colors include black, light brown, and light grey.
Originating in China, this breed’s exact origin time is unknown, but it is believed to have originated between 206 B.C. and 200 A.D. (during the Han dynasty). They were highly popular among Chinese Emperors and greatly valued, to the point that they had guards to protect them. Similar dogs have been found in Tibet and Japan. They were renamed “Mopshond” when they were brought into Europe by Dutch traders in the 1500-1600s, where they became highly popular as royal companions. As their popularity around the world spread, their names varied. They were named Doguillo in Spain, Carlin in France, Mops in German and Carganlino in Italy. During the 1800s, two breeding lines were dominant in England, the first one was the one based on Queen Charlotte’s dogs (the Morrisson line), the second one was created by Lord and Lady Willoughby de Eresby and based on imported dogs from Germany and Hungary. They were proudly shown during the Victorian era in postcards and such. After the civil war, they were imported into the United States, leading to its recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and the creation of the Pug Club of America in 1931.
Given that their original purpose was being a companion, they are great at it! They enjoy spending time with their owners and are extremely playful. They are extremely intelligent and must be shown that you are the leader of the family. They get along well with children and other household pets.
This breed may suffer from many eye problems. They may also suffer from:
Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.
Cheyletiella Dermatitis, or walking dandruff, is a skin condition caused by small mites. It is highly contagious and must be treated immediately.
Corneal Ulcers, which may cause blindness and eye rupturing if left untreated, is easily solved with medication. Symptoms include squinting, redness and excessive tearing.
Demodectic Mange, or demodicosis, a disorder in which mites (which would otherwise be harmless), passed from the mother to the puppies with weak immune systems, cause hair loss and red, scaly skin. This disease usually passes on its own, but should be checked by a professional in any case.
Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.
Hemivertebrae, in which there is a malformation of one or multiple vertebrae, causing it to be shaped like a triangle and sometimes putting pressure on the spinal cord.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, or dry eye, is caused by an autoimmune reaction to the tear glands that causes lack of tears, and can lead to blindness.
Legg-Perthes is a disease caused by the lack of blood reaching the femur bone, causing the cartilage around it to crack and for the bone to eventually collapse, affecting the hip joint, and noticeable through the dog limping.
Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.
Nerve Degeneration, which has no known cause, progresses slowly and appears to cause no pain. Symptoms include staggering, being unable to jump, being incontinent, and dragging their back legs. Medication may be prescribed to slow the symptoms.
Pug Dog Encephalitis, which is an inflammatory brain disease that only occurs in pugs, does not have a known cause nor treatment, and can only be diagnose through removing and testing brain tissue. The disease is deadly and its symptoms include seizures, blindness, and circling, after which they will fall into a coma and eventually die.
Staph Infection, which is caused by Staph bacteria, is usually found on the skin. If you notice pimples or infected hair follicles that have the appearance of a hive or ringworms, take your dog to the vet immediately to get treatment.
Vaccination Sensitivity, which, as the name suggests, is a high sensitivity towards vaccinations that can result in swelling from the face, or other symptoms that may seem like allergies, even during routine vaccinations.
Yeast Infection, which affects the groin, armpits, feet, neck, and inside of the ears, can be easily treated with medication. Symptoms include itchiness, bad smell, blackened and thick skin.
They should have their coats brushed weekly, with only occasional bathing. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are lazy dogs who will enjoy laying on the couch the most, making them prone to obesity. This means they should be exercised regularly, preferably in the form of walks, agility or obedience competitions and even rallies! Training should be easy given that they love to please their owners.