The Pug Puppy

How to Train a Pug, Health Care Information, and About the Breed

 

If you love dogs that are “so ugly they’re cute,” then say hello to the Pug puppy. This so-called toy dog breed is a lot bigger on the inside than you’d suspect, with tons of character, much of it tied up in their active sense of humor.

Pugs are popular because they’re excellent companions, bonding well with their human pack.

Breed History – Pugs

Like the Shih Tzu, the Pug got its start in China and rose to popularity as a breed of choice for Emperors. They next spread to Europe, and then around the world. They were recognized in America in the late 1800s.

Appearance – Pug

Even a Pug puppy will be called “old man” or “old woman” the instant you see that wrinkly, expressive face. You can’t miss the personality playing across all those facial features.

The Pug’s tail is also distinctive, permanently fixed in a curly-Q over the Pug’s back.

A Pug’s coat will shed and should be brushed regularly. The coat is either black or brown, and is short, doubled, and glossy.

A healthy Pug that’s raised with a good diet is a muscular dog which stands about a foot at the shoulders, give or take a couple inches, and weighs between 15 and 20 pounds.

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Social Temperament
The “Eternal” Pug Puppy

Pugs love people, they love to be the center of attention, and they love comedy. They’re fairly easy to keep happy. Families with children will find the Pug puppy to be no problem.

Like any breed of dog, especially the popular ones, you should consider buying your Pug puppy from a reputable Pug breeder. This can mean the difference between a dog that started life with the right care and puppy socialization, vs a dog that was left in a box until sold.

Some specific temperament notes about Pug puppies worth knowing:

  • A Pug will be a puppy for a long time, up to two years. They do settle down and mature well, but the Pug’s puppy-like love of causing comedy never ends.
  • Pugs are inside dogs.
  • A Pug will automatically be a good watchdog, but they are not prone to excessive barking.
  • Once the Pug puppy matures, they require a little less exercise than many other dog breeds.
  • Pugs love making new friends and are easy to socialize. However, like any dog breed, they do need to be socialized as puppies for the best possible temperament.
  • Most Pugs will occasionally slip into a stubborn streak.
  • Pugs can be prone to separation anxiety, if living in a home where they’re often alone.

Unique Health Problems – Pugs

A healthy Pug puppy will live about 12-15 years. Your chances of getting a Pug with a long, active life are much better if you buy your Pug from a breeder that’s well-known and has a good reputation.

Some of the following health issues are hereditary, some are nearly-unavoidable due to the “nature of the beast.” Your veterinarian will be able to answer all your questions about the following:

  • Older Pugs often get cataracts.
  • A Pug’s large eyes must be checked for “gook” regularly, and should be protected from damage.
  • Brush your Pug’s teeth regularly and watch their gums for signs of decay and wear.
  • The flat muzzle of a Pug can cause breathing difficulties. This will be made worse in extreme climates.
  • The Pug’s wrinkly faces must be washed out with mild soap.
  • Since the Pug puppy is an indoor dog, and grows up to be a little bit lazy, it’s easy to overfeed. You should watch their weight and food quality to avoid obesity-related health problems.
  • Like many dog breeds, there are several hereditary medical issues to be aware of, most of which can be bred-out.

How to Train a Pug Puppy

 

You should know that a Pug puppy is a willful little creature. The first months of your obedience training are going to be a bit more of a chore than it would be with other dog breeds. Start right away, because this prevents the Pug puppy from believing he has free reign to act out – but be kind and earn the dog’s respect, by being a trustworthy, consistent alpha leader who rewards good behavior.

Avoid long training sessions that wear-out the Pug’s attention span, and keep sessions fun. Heap praise on the Pug puppy for getting things right, and remember that the best punishment for the wrong behavior is simply to cut off social contact. Being consistent about praising the right and avoiding the wrong, is the most effective training method for any dog, especially one that’s as independent as a Pug puppy.

Here are the main notes to keep in mind when training a Pug puppy:

  • Pug puppies have small bladders, and for other reasons are a little harder to house train than other breeds. Make sure you stick to your house training schedule and forgive accidents.
  • Crate training goes a long way toward teaching the stubborn Pug puppy how to contain himself.
  • Since Pugs are stubborn, you need to teach your Pug puppy household etiquette starting immediately. It’s the only way to avoid problems like chewing on furniture, counter surfing, and so on.
  • Also, begin leash training your Pug as soon as they’re old enough to be outside. Otherwise they can drag you all over town.
  • A Pug puppy is perfectly capable of learning all the basic obedience training commands.
  • Don’t forget that Pugs love people and love to have fun. Keep the training positive and they will fully engage themselves in learning from you.

For those planning to train a Pug puppy at home, I recommend the “Pug Dog Secrets Training Package,” which expands on my own puppy training guides with a good deal of specific information tailored to the breed.

Learn how to train dogs, or read about other pet dog breeds.

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