Breed Spotlight: Pugs

 Monday Aug 07,2023
By  Lancaster Puppies

Pugs are lovable little companions that are great for families with kids. They’re playful and adaptable to pretty much any environment, making them an ideal pet for many households. They have a unique history involving ancient China and medieval royalty before crossing the sea to the U.S. Keep reading to learn more about the Pug’s personality, history, and care.

Breed History

The Pug is recognized as one of the oldest known dog breeds, with evidence of their origins dating back to 400 BC in China. They share similar origins to the Pekingese and Shih Tzu and were a pet of Tibetan monks in that time. They made their way into eastern imperial courts where they were given as gifts to western merchants.

Pug breed spotlight traits: Affectionate, great family dog, easy to groom, good in apartments, and playful

In the 16th century, Pugs were brought to Europe by Dutch merchants. Legend has it that a pug saved the life of the Prince of Orange from Holland’s royal house when the pug barked to warn him of an attack on his camp. Shortly after, Pugs became the House of Orange’s mascot and were brought with William and Mary of Orange to England. This caused the breed to explode in popularity all over Europe and spread to the new world. They were first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885.

Pug Characteristics

Appearance & Coat

Pugs always have a short, smooth coat that is either completely black or fawn with black markings on their face. Their muzzles are distinctly flat, with wrinkles all over their face. They are in the Toy size category and have a short, curled tail.


Pugs are lovable and playful pets. They do very well with children, gently playing when they’re engaged by kids. They can also adapt to be the perfect lap dog for you, with lower energy than other small breeds. They can, however, be difficult to housebreak, so pay close attention to them when you first them home.


Pugs are, unfortunately, susceptible to various conditions, so be prepared to take them to the vet for frequent check-ups. Most notably, Pugs’ smushed noses can cause brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, which will need to be lasered open. There is also a condition called Pug Dog Encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain. They are also at risk of eye conditions, skin problems, nerve degeneration, epilepsy, allergies, luxating patellas, hemivertebrae, and back issues.

Caring for a Pug

A Pug’s Ideal Home

A Pug’s ideal home is really anywhere with a loving family. They adapt tremendously to any environment they live in, be it an apartment or a large house. They also do well with people of all ages, young and old. Pugs are affectionate and sometimes needy, however, so be willing to show them affection too.

Training Best Practices

Did you know? A pug once saved the life of the Prince of Orange in Holland, becoming the house's mascot.

Pugs can get lazy and become obese unless you train them to enjoy exercise. As mentioned before, it can be difficult to housebreak your pug, so keep an eye on them and positively reinforce good behavior when they use the bathroom outside. Pugs are relatively intelligent and very affectionate, so they will be eager to please you by learning tricks. Just keep up with the positive reinforcement!

Exercise Needs

As mentioned before, pugs are moderate to low-energy dogs who need motivation to exercise. The upside to this is that you don’t need to take them on several walks each day. But you need to be persistent in taking your pug on a walk once a day or playing a game, like fetch.

Grooming & Hygiene

Pugs are very easy to take care of, really only needing a brush once a week. They are moderate shedders year-round, though, and more frequent brushing could help. Their wrinkly skin could get dirty and irritated, so cleaning them once a month will help prevent those issues.

Do Pugs sound like the perfect breed for you? Find adorable Pug puppies near you today, or browse similar breeds on Lancaster Puppies