You’ve seen them: short, squat, personable, cuddly looking Pugs.
They’re a tempting breed for people who want a companion dog who looks comical and is undemanding on the upkeep.
But if you’re a first-time dog owner, you might want to ask yourself some questions before you commit to any long-term responsibility like owning a dog.
If you’ve had dogs before and you understand that the package does come in a variety of personalities, then read on to see if a Pug is for you.
How do Pugs compare with other breeds when it comes to temperament?
Pugs originated in China where they were developed as a pet for royalty. There they lived the posh life of palace luxury in return for offering their generally calm companionship.
This is a breed that was not bred as a working dog, a herder, a guard, or a swimmer. The Pug was bred to be in close intuitive contact with people. It is a lap dog in the toy class of dog breeds. This means that Pugs have a great deal to offer emotionally and socially, even if they can’t manage a lot of herculean feats.
Pugs are an ancient breed, probably from as far back as 200 A.D. The Chinese carefully bred Pugs for temperament over thousands of years before Europeans introduced the little guys into Western high society. The tendencies they display are deep, but with careful training, their initial appeal won’t become a chronic annoyance.
Pugs are generally friendly and easy going, get along with other pets, and enjoy contact with people. They may bark when visitors come over and then make all sorts of snuffling noises as they greet the newcomer. They serve as a door greeter more than as a watchdog. Pugs really enjoy the company of others which has great appeal to someone who wants a close companion dog.
The flipside of this is that they sometimes can be clingy. So if you understand that a dog bred to be companion sometimes can’t turn it off, then you understand small breeds in general and the Pug in particular. They may have separation issues and spend their tightly bundled package of energy gazing softly upon you with those big sad eyes and hypnotizing you into giving them more snacks than they really should have. With careful training, consistency over time, and patience, you can establish yourself as a great leader and companion for your Pug.
Health Issues and Temperament
One of the things that can affect a Pug’s temperament and personality is their health and wellbeing. Pugs like to be fairly sedentary – after all, they spent their days in royal courts looking cute and dignified while keeping the Chinese royalty warm. So while they need exercise, they also need very careful measuring of food and snacks. This way they don’t get fat and lazy. Using a routine of daily training and reasonable exercise will burn energy and deepen your relationship on a healthy level.
Pugs have short snouts which affect their breathing, so be careful how much you exert them. Extreme weather affects them more quickly for the same reason.
They tend to shed on a daily basis, so brushing will help, as will a high-quality diet. Their short fur can make them feel cold easily, so consider how cute they would look in little sweaters and coats. Raincoats will also help them go outside for bathroom breaks rather than having accidents inside – Pugs apparently hate the rain. Truly a couch potato if ever there was one!
In summary: The Pug’s temperament is relaxed, playful, and at times clingy. But for most Pug lovers they wouldn’t have it any other way!