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Pug puppies are tiny decorative dogs that have a noble history behind them. Having a lively and balanced character, a pug is quite the discovery for a dog owner who wants to have a reliable companion who always eager to surprise anyone with his tricks and constant buoyant mood. However, before the pug becomes an exemplary adult, it undergoes growing with its unique features that we are going to reveal in this big article on pug puppies.
The History Behind Pugs
Pug puppies are imperial creatures that have a surprisingly noble history. In ancient China, pugs would accompany ruling families of the country. Being highly valued by Chinese Emperors, pugs were guarded by soldiers and kept in safety and luxury as honorable guests or family members. Later on, pugs were spread to other parts of Asia with wandering Buddhist monks who brought them to Tibet, where pugs were kept in monasteries. Since ancient times, pugs have retained devotion and affection to their owners. However, modern day pugs and those of ancient times differ in their appearance. While the early history is not attested to in detail, modern pugs derive from early pugs who were brought to Europe from Asia in the 16th century.
modern pugs derive from early pugs who were brought to Europe from Asia in the 16th century
Pugs quickly earned tremendous popularity with European courts, so much so that a pug became the official dog of the House of Orange after he saved the life of a prince by alerting of the coming assassin. The hysteria behind the breed was so overwhelming that Spain and Italy greeted dogs as a brand-new fashion that every royal family was to stick to. Thus, pugs were painted by Goya as riding private carriages while wearing pantaloons and jackets. Later on, they became so widespread that the pug fashion relatively came to naught and pugs were employed as guard dogs; some were even a military asset used to track down people and animals.
In the 19th century, the breed flourished in England under Queen Victoria’s patronage. She bred pugs herself and such involvement helped to establish the first Kennel Club in 1873. The popularity of pugs in England was depicted in many paintings and engravings, but one may notice that pugs back then had longer legs and noses than modern-day pugs do now. The pug’s appearance changed after 1860, when a new wave of pugs was imported from China who had shorter legs and flat noses. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the new breed in 1885, and In 1931 the Pug Dog Club of America was founded.
Character and Temperament
Every breed has its own character traits that are unique and common with their breed only. In this passage we will describe the pug’s personality as carefully as possible, noting both good and bad traits.
I’m sure you have heard many times that pugs are stubborn, but such a statement bears only a negative tone. Most owners agree that the stubbornness is something they have to deal with on a daily basis. However, it is not an obnoxious trait that is a result of the dog’s stupidity. Pugs know what they want, hence they are likely to use their own techniques in an attempt to see if their owner will swallow the bait and cave in. For a patient owner, it’s not a bad trait at all. The dog may simply be asking for some attention. No matter what other owners may say, this breed is NOT independent. Throughout centuries, pugs were bred to become a companion that depends solely on its owner. Your pug will never plant his tail and feet down and refuse to move. In fact, he’ll probably be following you around, or may be sprawled across your body while you’re sleeping. The best thing that will help you to get along with your pug is good sense of humor.
A pug is no harder to train than any other dog. They cope easily with commands as well as housebreaking. Just remember that training needs time, not a couple of weeks. If you want to get visible results, remember that an obedient dog is a motivated one. Prepare some treats and follow common guidelines based on praise and reward. Your pug may be learning commands better than some other breeds simply because he loves tasty treats and wants to please his owner.
Every pug has a begging trait. However, those puppy eyes can be treacherous as he may be asking for more food that he doesn’t need. In order to prevent begging, follow guidelines with feeding that will ultimately lead to better health. Human food is fine for a pug to consume, but the manner in which you give your pug food may be reinforcing the begging. Giving him scraps off your own plate is never a good idea. Giving food or treats to your pug in a certain manner may work, but not as establishing yourself as the indisputable leader. Sometimes all it takes is to firmly say “No,” but before you gain such an absolute leadership, you have to begin with common command training instead of pampering. Every meal must be given on a certain schedule and put down only after your pug is commanded to sit. Any treat or snack should be reserved for training only!
- Chewing things
Why do small dogs and puppies enjoy chewing things? Such behavior may be triggered by an inbred hunting trait, by early teething that brings an urge to chew, or by simple boredom and anxiety. When your puppy goes through the teething phase, it is rather helpful to chill toys in the fridge before giving them to your pug. Sturdy toys with various texture promote sufficient dental hygiene. While chewing toys really eases teething, it is highly recommended that you put away shoes, pocketbooks, wallets, shoelaces, and all personal belongings that your pug could reach. The teething phase is also a good time to begin command training. You can clap your hands to get the puppy’s attention, then remove the object that is not a toy, offer a good toy instead, and praise him as he bites it.
- Getting along with other animals
Every pug is a sociable dog and gets along well with other animals. A pug is rarely dominant and his friendly nature makes him vulnerable to bigger dogs. When you go for a walk where your puppy is likely to meet other dogs, you should keep constant watch over him. Puppies, unlike adults, charge ahead into troubles that they are not prepared for. Pugs are not submissive, nor are they shy, they’re simply way too friendly and curious, a trait that sets them apart from other dogs.
Pugs get along well with any human, despite their age. Young children may be too noisy and rowdy with the puppy, though, so you’d better set up a spot in advance where the puppy can hide from energetic kids.
Pugs, unlike other dogs, have the tendency to mimic their owners. Depending on your habits, your puppy gradually becomes aware of certain behavior and thus can be more outgoing or laid back. You set an example for him! Pugs are very adaptable and can change some traits over time, but mimicking stays with them forever.
Pugs are very sensitive to the tone you are addressing them with. Harsh words and an overall rough tone may break his heart, which will make him turn his back on you, refuse to greet you, and avoid contact. After being yelled at, it may take some time for his feelings to rehab. Always reward any good behavior and do not punish any misbehavior, just make necessary corrections at the right moment.
Buying a Pug
This passage is a guide on how to buy a pug, where you should be looking, and what you should be paying attention to when picking it up.
- Do you have time for a dog?
A puppy is a big responsibility. Many factors come into play, including schedule, proper feeding, walking, training, and veterinary appointments. However, a puppy with the potential to grow into a dog of particular character is another pair of shoes. Your pug will need at least three meals a day and complex socializing, and leaving him for work all day simply won’t work.
- Is your house ready?
If you have not prepared your house yet and have left any mischiefs lying around, be sure to fix it because your puppy will certainly find them. Detergents, household chemistry items, wires, shoes, and even access to the stairs needs puppy-proofing.
- Do you have a garden?
The more space you offer your dog, the better it is for his mood and development. Nevertheless, a garden can be very unwelcoming to a puppy, with low thorns and spikes pointing out in all directions. A smooth lawn, covered pool, thick fence with no jags, and trimmed bushes is all it takes.
- Can you afford to keep a puppy?
Buying is one thing, but keeping is quite another. Food and systematic veterinary appointments, as well as injury and illness, can rack up thousands in vet bills.
- Finding a breeder
Let’s be honest – a pug is not going to be sold in a shelter or local pet store. Pugs are specific dogs that require more attention than many other breeds; therefore, you will never find a pug being sold anywhere other than by a breeder. Breeders with a proven history of breeding can give you the best puppy: a healthy, fully socialized and vaccinated dog. If you are looking for a puppy, go to The Pug Dog Club of America website and search for breeders in your state. Only highly reputable breeders are members of this club, which also means that these breeders constantly undergo inspections carried out by state establishments as well as the Club itself.
When you visit the breeder’s kennel, the owner will show you all of the puppies currently available for sale, will tell you their history, present papers on their health condition and vaccinations, show the premises they are being kept in, and can tell a lot about their parents. If you buy a pug from a breeder, you are always buying a healthy puppy. To put it briefly, a breeder is the only reliable buying source that you may come across.
Types of Pug Puppies
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has set many standards that help owners distinguish their puppies from others. Directions set by the Club may indicate rarity and explain why there is a big price gap between two puppies you are looking at.
The AKC recognizes five colors:
- Apricot Fawn
- Silver Fawn
The majority of pugs are fawn and there is a large variety of fawn colorings. The AKC recognizes three types of fawn colorings, while there are endless shades of the same fawn. Moreover, a pug can bear two different shades, which makes the quantity of variations incredibly huge. If you have bought a puppy with a rare color, don’t rush into registering the dog for a dog show as the color can change dramatically while the puppy grows bigger. Within the first 18 months, the difference may gradually occur. One can barely find a solid fawn. Possible coat shades include silver, apricot and ordinary fawn, which may range from white to a dark orange.
Black is uncommon for pugs, which makes an adult pug a big rarity. Black may be slightly diluted with some additional tone presented in the markings (like a white mismark going from the chin down the chest), but certain colors set by the AKC are unique requirements set for dog shows only. However, any shade of fawn comes with a top overlay of black hair. At first glance the coat gives an appearance of haze but one can see light hairs underneath, which is more often seen on the saddle. Traces are also a distinctive feature. The “trace” is a strip of a lighter-toned hair that rubs at specific area. You may notice it usually on the chest and belly or at the spine. During the puppy years, it may be very apparent but after several months, the trace will fade to darker color or vice-versa.
The thumbprint is a special mark on the forehead, usually of black color. Don’t confuse thumbprints with wrinkles! This print includes a splash of coloring on the coat that may resemble a diamond, circle, or oval. Pugs rarely develop thumbprints while aging, it is a genetic feature that they’re born with.
The mask is a distinctive feature of the breed. This black coloring around the pug’s muzzle, encircling both eyes, looks like the mask of Zorro. The mask may be darker or lighter but a pug cannot be without a mask completely.
The mask is a distinctive feature of the breed
- Eyes, muzzle, and ears
Pugs really do have different faces! The disposition of their eyes, width of their muzzle, and ears have numerous variations, and meeting two similar pug faces is a rarity. Eyes can be set normally, closely, be excessively large and bulging out, be tiny or even slanting. The head can be normal, rectangular, with a longitudinal hollow, with a convex skull, or with too wide of a muzzle. Ears can be low-put, semi-raised, large, button, rose, or even button-rose.
The puppy you notice when attending the breeder’s kennel may be one of a kind: having button-rose ears, a wider more uncommon muzzle, and be black with a long white trace running down the chest. The breeder may also know that he is selling a real treasure. In terms of the price that a breeder may charge you for a pug, colors do matter so that you may see two differently looking pug puppies being sold with a 100% price difference between them.
The breed standard guide and list of respectful breeders can be found at AKC.
Bringing Home Pug
Before you bring your puppy home, make sure you have prepared everything it may need to feel comfortable. You will absolutely need a collar with an ID tag, a leash, bowls for food and water, a bed, special puppy chow, and potty training pads. While the collar and leash are an absolute must and you should have them prepared long before bringing puppy home, a bowl and some puppy food are two things worth thorough consideration.
Bowls for food and water should be made of stainless steel. When teething begins, your puppy will be trying to bite everything visible, and a plastic bowl can be dismantled in a day. Stainless steel will serve for years to come. When you get your puppy home, the breeder will give you some food that your puppy is used to. You must stick with the food you’ve been given for at least 1-2 weeks before making a transition to another food label. In order to prevent any indigestion, change your puppy’s diet slowly by diluting his current feeding menu with 10-20% of new food. Go on altering the content of every meal by adding 10-15% more of another dog food brand every week until the transition to the other brand is finished completely.
When your pug makes its first steps in a new environment, this is the best time to set boundaries with him. If you do not welcome your pup on your furniture or in your bedroom, make it clear right now. While your pug is examining his new environment, set some limits and give it time. 1-2 days later you should give it toys to feel comfortable with.
If you already have a dog at home, the first thing to do will be introducing your puppy to your other dog. They need to check each other out, do some sniffing, and reassure each other that no one is going to occupy the “leading dog” spot in the house. The puppy and your other dog may interact roughly, so you should separate them at the very first sign of unnecessary behavior. During the first two days, you should show the puppy his new sleeping place. After that, show your puppy his bowls with water and food.
Potty training may have been started by the breeder who used to put potty training pads close to the bed where the puppy was sleeping. Potty training is very important because accidents happen very often and may turn into a permanent habit. The earlier you begin potty training habits and the more consistent you are; the sooner you will stop cleaning up messes in the house.
After welcoming the new family member, you may start bonding with your puppy. Being of a tender age and very susceptible to new impressions, your pug will consider you the boss and its parent. You must show affection, pay attention, and talk to it so that the puppy gets accustomed to your voice only. During the first week, play every day for a short time, but don’t tire your pug out. After every play time, you can take a short nap together. However, speaking of the first night of sleep, it is recommended that you leave the dog be in its own place. Despite possible whining and barking, your puppy will feel comfortable sleeping in its own place – knowing that no one will take it from him. Although it may take some time, eventually your pug will be happy every time he goes for a nap or night’s sleep in his own place.
A pug is an unpretentious city apartment dweller who feels comfortable wherever he may be. While walking in a park or going rowdy in the backyard, a pug is the same cheerful beast that craves your attention and, luckily for you, nothing extraordinary in terms of care. If you want your puppy to live longer and without any problems, you should follow these 10 tips:
- Keeping him slim. Pugs are not supposed to be fat! Being so energetic, they need to release that energy. Otherwise, they get obese. Despite having “round features,” pugs have solid muscle volume that needs constant exercising. Usually, they are narrow at the neck and waist but are quite wide at the shoulders. This physique is a standard look that you should keep no matter the pug’s age. Do not feed your puppy human food, reduce his treats to command training only, or use more dry dog food than canned food.
- What can be done to prevent your pug from getting obese? Practically anything! Going for a walk and playing is all it takes. Sometimes owners go to extreme measures and put their dogs on a treadmill, but that only works with an already physically prepared dog. If your pug gets too obese, limit his food, add more walking, and when your dog can withstand long-distance walks, add 5-8 minutes on a treadmill daily.
- No smoking! We mean not only that you should quit this awful habit for your own sake, but for the sake of your puppy as well. Pugs already have enough trouble with breathing due to particularities of their build, don’t make it worse by smoking around him.
- Fence around your pug. This means that your backyard must be secured completely so that your pug doesn’t flee easily out of your sight and into danger. Cars and pugs don’t mix, plus pugs get kidnapped because they are highly valued dogs.
- Walking on a leash. Use a Y- or 8-type leash. Keep your pug on a leash even when carrying him, as there is no guarantee that he won’t get away from you at the first opportunity.
- What’s the temperature? Check your pug’s temperature every day, especially during late spring and thorough the whole summer. They tend to suffer from heat strokes, heart attacks, and seizures caused by heat exposure. If your pug doesn’t seem to be affected by the heat, it doesn’t mean he isn’t. Hose him down twice a day and keep him out of direct sunlight.
- Care for teeth. Good teeth mean good chewing and therefore good digestion. Unhealthy teeth tend to fall off and provoke abscesses that result in fatal conditions like septic shock. How should you treat your pug’s teeth? Offer him a mildly abrasive product like bone candy for chewing on or simply brush his teeth! Get some liver flavored paste from your local pet store, wrap your pug in a towel and brush his teeth.
- Protection against parasites. Fleas, ticks, and worms cannot withstand repellents prescribed by your vet.
- Taking your pug for a ride. What else is there to say?
- Daily attention. Having lives that overwhelm us with affairs to do, business to complete, and meetings to go through, we as dog owners tend to forget about our dogs. After a busy day, we can barely stand, so walking or playing with a dog is the last thing that on our mind.
A pug is a nice creature that can make your day brighter, fulfill your world with new impressions, and extend your life simply due to the fact that you have more reasons for smiling and laughing. Don’t let yourself think of the puppy as merely as a responsibility – think of him as your new best friend or new family member. You will absolutely learn to balance between common responsibility and pure joy that you both will be sharing every day from now on.