Pug Temperament: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em
Pug Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Sometimes playful and clownish. Sometimes calm and dignified. Always sturdy and stable, good-humored and amiable. This is the Pug.
Though peaceful with all the world, the Pug will sound off with his rather odd-sounding bark when visitors arrive. Then he will welcome them inside with snorts, snuffles, and grunts.
As is the case with most short-faced dogs, his large expressive eyes, wrinkled forehead, cocked head, innocent expression, and strange sounds bring out parental feelings in many people.
Indeed, a Pug is very childlike and always needs to be with you. If not spoiled too much, he can be depended on to maintain his sweet, comical, charming personality.
Pugs are fine with other animals. (But they can be jealous of another pet sitting in your lap.)
Though stubborn, Pugs seldom get into real mischief. Adults spend much of the day sleeping.
Gassiness can be an embarrassing problem, and housebreaking can be a challenge, especially in the rain, which Pugs detest.
If you want a dog who...
- Is small, yet sturdy and blocky
- Has a short face with large expressive eyes
- Has a short coat
- Is usually polite with everyone, including other pets
- Doesn't need much exercise
- Seldom gets into real mischief
A Pug may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, some slobbering
- Gassiness (flatulence)
- Slowness to housebreak
- Constant shedding – every day!
- Lots of potential health problems due to his deformed build – yes, it might look cute, but it is badly deformed
A Pug may not be right for you.
Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.
- You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Pugs have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
- If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
- Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Pug to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.
More traits and characteristics of the Pug
If I was considering a Pug, I would be most concerned about...
- Health problems. Unfortunately, breeders deliberately breed these good-natured dogs to be deformed. As such, they suffer more than their share of health problems – not only with their breathing, but also eye diseases, joint diseases, and a devastating (fatal) neurological disease called Pug Dog Encephalitis. Read more about Pug Health.
- Gassiness (flatulence). All short-faced breeds gulp air when they eat, and that air has to go somewhere, after all. However, commercial diets make flatulence worse by including fibrous or hard-to-digest ingredients. Pugs who are fed a homemade diet of real meat and vegetables have much less trouble with gassiness.
- Constant shedding. It usually comes as a shock to new Pug owners just how much a Pug sheds. Most dog breeds have two shedding seasons per year where they shed the majority of their dead hairs. But Pugs are constant shedders who drop a moderate amount of hair all year. You need to be sure that you're okay with this!
- Pug "sounds". Pugs snort, snuffle, wheeze, grunt, and snore loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.
- Housebreaking. Pugs can be slow to pick up the concept of housebreaking. Expect several months of consistent crate training. Read more about housebreaking your Pug.
- Stubbornness. Though they seldom get into real trouble, most Pugs are at least mildly stubborn. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. Food is a great motivator with this breed, but too many cookies equals a fat Pug. Also you don't want a dog who only obeys when you're waving a biscuit at him.
Instead you should establish the right relationship between the two of you, where you are the leader and he is the follower. In other words, you must teach your Pug to respect you. Read more about Pug Training.
To help you train and care for your dog
Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.
The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.