Though they aren’t exactly known for it, Pugs can be quite agile. It all depends on their strength, skill, and health.
A physically fit dog who loves the playground is a better candidate for agility training than one who is ill, elderly, or just a good old-fashioned couch potato.
Do you think your Pug has what it takes to master an obstacle course? Do you dream of entering them in a competition one day and showing the world what they can do?
Here’s what you need to know about Pug agility.
Can Pugs do agility?
When you think of a Pug, you might not think of a graceful dog. Many of them are more likely to snort on your ankles than execute a perfect, swan-like dive through a plastic hoop.
It might surprise you, however, to learn that Pugs can be agile. They’re a lot more active than some people give them credit for, and since they’re also smart, social dogs that thrive on praise, you can channel their energy and eagerness into reward-oriented training.
How do you know if your Pug is capable of agility? Here are just a few things to consider:
- Health. Pugs are predisposed to a number of health conditions that can limit their mobility, including arthritis, obesity, respiratory difficulties, and canine hip dysplasia. If your Pug suffers from any of these, they might not be fit for an obstacle course.
- Temperament. It can take a lot of work to create an agile Pug, and some are more easily trained than others. Is your pup the agreeable sort? Can they be motivated by food and toys? Have they ever taken an obedience class before, and if so, how did they behave?
- Socialization. If you plan on entering dog shows, you’ll need a well-socialized Pug that isn’t afraid of crowds, judges, trainers, and other dogs. They’ll also need to be okay with things like lights and noises.
Can Pugs enter agility shows?
Pugs are allowed at all major dog shows, so yes, they’re more than welcome to strut their stuff on TV.
The “golden trio” of dog shows are the ones sponsored by the American Kennel Club:
There are local and national dog shows that you can enter as well. It might be a good thing to start small before attempting the big leagues. For example, you could try your luck at the Houston World Series of Dog Competitions before heading to Westminster.
Has a Pug ever won a major dog show?
Good news for hopefuls! Pugs have taken home plenty of blue ribbons.
The most prestigious award ever given to a Pug is probably the “Best In Show” designation from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This is an all-breed, internationally famous competition that’s been running for decades, and a Pug named “Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck” won it all in 1981.
No Pugs have ever taken home the grand prize from the National Dog Show or the AKC National Championship, though they’ve won categories like “Best of Breed” and “Best Toy Breed.”
Most recently, a Pug named “Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece” won the World Dog Show in 2004.
How do you improve your Pug’s agility?
There are several ways to improve the flexibility and dexterity of your pooch:
Humans aren’t the only ones who can appreciate a good stretch! Not only will it reduce the risk of injury before physical exercise, but it will also strengthen your dog’s muscles and increase the support to their joints and tendons. They’ll be able to run harder, jump higher and slobber with even more rigor.
Agility equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. You’ve probably seen things like tunnels and hoops in dog shows, but you can also buy ramps, seesaws, hurdles, barrels, A-frames and weave poles. The best equipment for your Pug will depend on their level of skill and the specific things that you want to teach them.
YouTube is full of funny videos where dog show contenders decide that they aren’t interested in the track anymore. While these are fun to watch as a spectator, it’s much less fun as an owner! To succeed in a dog show, your pup will need the ability to focus, heed commands, complete tasks and ignore distractions. Fortunately, these are all things that you can work on at home before you step foot into a show.
Training your dog will require time, patience, and a whole lot of love. It’s basically a team sport where you both share in the victories and defeats together. Things will be much easier if there’s trust between you, and the only way to build that trust is with active, wholesome bonding. Smother your Pug with kisses for every obstacle that they clear!
These are a few simple ways to improve Pug agility. Whether you’re dreaming of a dog show trophy or just trying to get your lazy cuddle monster off the couch for a while, these are the tips and tricks you’ll need for a more agile dog.