Pug Information


Often described as “a lot of dog in a small space,” the Pug is a member of the Toy Group well-known for its big playful personality, even temper, and outgoing disposition. Along with excelling in the ring at dog show competitions, Pugs are wonderful companion dogs that are currently ranked as the 30th most popular dog breed in the United States by the American Kennel Club. If you are considering adopting this “larger than life” breed, read on to find a complete breed description of the Pug to determine whether it is the right match for your family.

Basic Info
Other NameDutch mastiff, Mini mastiff, Mops, Carlin, Chinese pug, Dutch bulldog,
Size Type Small Dog Breeds
Breed Group Toy Dog Breeds
Life Span12 -15 years
TemperamentSociable, Clever, Charming, Docile, Quiet, Playful, Stubborn, Attentive,
HeightNot specified in breed standard
Weight14 to 18 pounds
ColorsFawn, Black, Apricot, Silver Fawn
Puppy PriceAverage $300 - $400 USD


Physical description

Body Type

As a small, stocky, and thickset dog with a squared body, the Pug has a large rounded head adorned with a short and blunt muzzle. The teeth meet in an underbite with the bottom set protruding slightly, the disproportionate prominent eyes are often dark colored, and the face has large deep wrinkles. The small ears set high on the head may be either be shaped like a button or rose. While the high-set tail is normally curled over the back, those in the show ring may exhibit a double curl tightly over the hip. With shoulders that are moderately laidback, the dogs have very strong and straight legs, small feet, and toes that are well split-up with black toenails. Male Pugs are typically between 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder height with a weight ranging from 13 to 20 pounds, but females are slightly smaller at 10 to 12 inches and a weight from 13 to 18 pounds.


According to the breed standards, the acceptable colors for Pugs include fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn, or black. Usually, the markings are clearly defined and there is a trace of a black line that extends from the back of the head to the base of the tail.


Pugs possess a short-haired coat that consists of soft, fine, and smooth hairs that combine for a glossy appearance. Since the coat is so short, the dogs are extra sensitive to hot or cold weather and catch colds easily if not kept at a comfortable temperature.

Good with Kids
Cat Friendly
Dog Friendly
Hypoallergenic  No


Since the breed is known for being a seasonally heavy shedder with the seasonal changes of winter and spring, there are minimal grooming requirements necessary for maintaining a coat in good condition and keeping the short hairs off furniture. Rather easy to groom, it is recommended that owners brush and comb with a firm bristle brush on a weekly basis to remove dead hairs. Pugs should only be bathed with shampoo when necessary, but it is important for owners to dry the dog thoroughly after a bath so that he or she does not become chilled. In addition, veterinarians suggest that owners clean the creases on the face and inside the ears regularly to prevent the buildup of debris.


As one of the oldest breeds known today that is believed to have originated before 400 BC, most researchers agree that the Pug descended from a short-haired Pekingese in Asia. Other theorists indicate that the breed may also have been the result of crossing a small Bulldog or simply be a miniature form of the French Mastiff. Although there is somewhat of a debate over its exact origins, the Pug was brought from China to Western Europe by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century before becoming popularized by the House of Stuart and House of Orange in the Netherlands.

After a Pug named Pompey saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him of assassins, the dogs spread in popularity among the royalty and were used by the military as guard dogs or human trackers. Along with becoming the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland, the Pug was continually depicted in works of art across Europe, including by artist Hogarth who displayed a popular Pug named “Trump.” Also commonly kept in Tibetan monasteries as pets, the British discovered several Pugs in the 1860s when taking over the Chinese Imperial Palace and brought them back to England. Growing as a fashionable breed for generations, the dogs arrived in the United States in the 19th century and were recognized by the AKC in 1885.


Considered a delightful blend of dignity and comedy, the Pug is an amiable, playful, confident, keen, peppy, spirited, animated, loving, affectionate, and rambunctious dog. With a pleasant happy-go-lucky attitude and pleasant disposition, the dogs are eager to please and keep their owners laughing with their lively shows. As a highly intelligent breed, the Pug can become bored easily without variety in its training or exercise activities. The breed requires a calm and confident leader who establishes consistent rules in order to avoid the common symptoms of Small Dog Syndrome, including guarding, jealously, and stubbornness. However, when given proper leadership, Pugs lack behavioral issues and behave impeccably with children, unfamiliar visitors, other canines, or non-canine pets.

Since the breed is relatively inactive indoors, Pugs are suitable for apartment living as long as they are given regular access to exercise outside to work off excess energy. With their muscular bodies and strong short legs, the dogs must be taken daily on walks. In addition, energetic playtime games and a good romp in a fenced-in open yard will keep the dogs in better health. On the other hand, it is important for owners to not overdo it, especially if the dogs behind to show signs of fatigue or even wheezing. Due to the fact the dogs are prone to obesity, Pugs must not be overfed and should be given plenty of exercise within its limits.

Interesting Pug Facts

  • When Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Empress Josephine was sent to prison, she used her little Pug named Fortune to send secret messages to her husband by placing a note under his collar.


  • As the comedians of the dog world, Pugs normally cannot swim because of their short legs, short muzzle, and trouble with breathing.
  • After a 107-year history of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the pug named Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck finally brought the losing streak for the breed by winning the coveted top honors of Best in Show in 1981.