10 Things Every Pug Owner Should Know

Published April 20, 2012 by lovefashionandpugs

Hey guys,

I wrote this article a couple of years ago, and I thought I’d share it with you. If you have any question about pug ownership, please feel free to ask. It’s one of my favorite subjects, and I love to write and talk about it. How many of you are lucky enough to share your life with a pug? Whats the most important thing you would tell a prospective pug owner?




10 Things Every Pug Owner Should Know

Have you recently added a pug to your family or are just thinking about it? Congratulations! Here is the missing instruction sheet that should have come with every pug. These are some essential things I have learned through six and a half years of pug ownership. Of course, own a pug long enough and you will figure all these things out for yourself, but why not get a head start?

1. Pugs are very sensitive to heat: This is probably the most important thing for new pug owners to be aware of. Since pugs have flat noses, it is very difficult for them to breathe when it’s hot outside. Taking them out in very hot weather can result in heat stroke, which could be fatal. Protect your pug: If it’s the middle of the day and above 80 degrees keep him inside!

2. Pugs will eat anything: Do you like leaving a bowl of candy on the coffee table for visitors? How about a pack of gum open in your purse? Big mistake. Pugs LOVE to eat, and are very clever about sniffing out and devouring food when your back is turned. Some foods like chocolate, raisins and sugarless gum can be deadly to dogs. So if you are living with a pug you will need to keep all food on lockdown.

3. Pugs are stubborn but not stupid Pugs can be difficult to train. But don’t mistake their stubbornness for stupidity. They are actually very intelligent dogs, they just like doing things their own way. It’s not that they don’t understand that you don’t want them on the couch, they just don’t care! The couch is comfortable, and unless you use some treats to motivate them, their training may progress quite slowly.

4. Pugs need lots of love Pugs just want to be near you, they thrive off of attention. They are wonderful companions for stay at home moms or those who are retired or work from home. If you are a workaholic, they may not be right for you. Pugs are social dogs and miss their owners very much when they are separated.

5. Pugs are not athletes. If you are looking for a dog to go swimming or jogging with you, you are better off getting a lab. Pugs enjoy one or two brisk walks per day, and that is about as far as their athletic abilities go. It is also very important that you not leave them unattended near water, as their stocky bodies and short legs make it impossible for pugs to swim like other dogs.

6. Pugs should wear harnesses only. The neck area on a pug is very sensitive and since most pugs like to pull when they walk on a leash, they should wear harnesses instead of collars. Too much pulling could lead to a collapsed trachea, a condition which may require surgery.

7. Pugs need leashes. Pugs are easily distracted and are so friendly and curious, that they can get into a lot of trouble if they are let off leash. They may unknowingly provoke a fight with another dog, or wander into the street. In an urban environment, leashes are a must for pug safety.

8. Pugs have a sixth sense. Maybe it’s the way they tilt their heads when you talk, or the way they rush to comfort you when you are upset, but pugs really do seem to have an almost psychic connection with their owners. Some people say that all dogs have that ability, and that may be true, but pugs, having been bred as lap dogs for centuries seem especially tuned in to human emotion.

9. Pugs shed, a lot. You wouldn’t necessarily guess it by looking at them, but if you are getting a pug, make sure you have a good vacuum. You will be using it a lot!

10. Pugs will become a part of your soul Have you ever met a pug owner who wasn’t a total pug fanatic? I haven’t. They really do have a cult following. Pugs are not the kind of dogs that fade into the background of your life. These adorable, sensitive, regal, hilarious little dogs often end up taking center stage. Owning a pug truly is one of life’s great joys!

39 comments on “10 Things Every Pug Owner Should Know

  • I love this post! You are so right…there are no dog owners quite like pug owners!!

    I got my first pug when I was 13 (well my family did, but Arnie is really my baby-I wanted a pug and did all of his puppy training!) and even after doing research in books and stuff there are still so many things to learn after you bring the dog home. You read that pugs love food, but they REALLY love it! Like you said, you are not safe to leave any food anywhere. I don’t know about yours but mine will give you those big eyes when you’re eating and it is hard to say no, but I somehow do!

    My favorite point that you make is that pugs are not stupid, they are stubborn. This is so true. Arnie is very smart and knows commands but will only do them when he feels that it is necessary. I hate to laugh when he is being stubborn but it is too funny not to. My dad always says “like mother, like son” which I find offensive hehe!

    A great point that you make is that pugs should always wear harnesses. I was not aware about the harnesses when I got Arnie but I only used a collar on him for a short amount of time because I could hear what the pulling on the collar was doing to his breathing. No damage was caused to him because it was such a short amount of time that we used a collar but that is something I wish I would have know before I got him. I recommend the Puppia brand of harnesses, both my pugs have them and I love them!

    I knew that pugs shed before I got one, but they REALLY shed. I can’t wear black clothes around them unless I have a lint brush handy!! Arnie has a double coat so he really sheds so much more than our other pug Henry. But on the plus side, Arnie has an extremely soft coat.

    One thing I would say too is that pugs love to make you laugh. When they turn their heads and other cute things if you act like you think it is cute or funny, they will definitely do it more. They love to entertain!

    I really enjoyed reading this post, and as you can probably tell I could talk about pugs all day long!

    Please post some pictures of your puggies! :)

    • Hey Ali,
      Love this comment! Yes, my pugs will stare at me for hours if I’m eating. It’s so funny how intense they are about it, they act like you are starving them, even though every time we go to the vet, I get told that they should lose weight!
      It’s so hard not to laugh at pugs, even when they are doing something they aren’t supposed to. Miro will jump up on every person in the elevator to try to get them to pet her, and I think it’s so funny, but I have to try not to laugh and pull her back cause some people don’t appreciate it.
      I think I may be buying some new harnesses for my girls soon, so I’m going to look into the Puppia brand. I need something really sturdy, cause they will PULL hard on walks.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, and obviously, I could talk about pugs all day long too! I love how pug owners all have these common experiences to share. Oh, and I’ll definitely post more pics of my girls. I’m thinking of doing a post of a retrospective of all of their Halloween costumes over the years! :)


      • Just out of curiosity how much do your pugs weigh? We switched vets and the last one said that Arnie was overweight but the new one says he is just fine! He weighs 20 pounds.

        I would definitely recommend the Puppia brand of harnesses…you should check them out!

        I love that Miro jumps up to people to say ‘hi!’…Arnie loves people too and does not understand when they don’t pay him any attention…I don’t get it either.

        A halloween pug costume post would be great!! :)


      • Hey Ali,
        They each weigh about 21 pounds now. There was a time when they weighed closer to 24! Joni has longer limbs and looks skinnier than Miro. The breed standard says they shouldn’t weigh more than 18, but I would basically have to starve them to get them down to that, so I don’t think it’s accurate.
        Anyone who could ignore Arnie has no soul! I don’t trust people who don’t smile when they see a pug :)

      • I think 21 pounds is totally normal! Depending on the shape of the pug I think there can be a 4-5 pound difference in weight but I think the breed standard of 14-18 pounds is too low also.

        I also do not trust people who do not smile at pugs…it just makes no sense!


      • Thats good to hear! It’s frustrating to keep feeding them small portions and still being told they are overweight. I don’t think they look overweight at all, I’ve seen a lot of pugs twice their size :)

  • OH MY GOSH. This is the best article I have read in a while. I have a Pug, and cannot even deny that every single on of these attributes apply to her :)

  • We have 2 6 month old pug brothers. We foot them at 3 months. We are having trouble toilet training them. Sometimes they really seem to get it and then they pee and poo on tha carpet etc. we work, so a big contributing factor is that we are not there 24/7. Any advice?

    • Hi Ameeka,
      That is a tough problem, with pugs especially. My pugs are 7 and 8 and still have the occasional slip up. One thing I would recommend is walks and feedings at regular times so that their bodies get on a schedule. Maybe if you both work long hours you could have a neighbor or dog walker stop by to take them out every afternoon. If this isn’t possible, then the wee wee pad is your best friend. Put it in the same place every time, and reward them whenever they use it. If the carpet you have is just a throw rug and not wall to wall carpeting, you may want to just get rid of it, at least for awhile. I had this beautiful rug that Joni peed on about 20 times, finally I had to just throw it away, and once I did, she never peed on the hardwood floor, pugs are weird like that! Good luck, hope this helps a little.

    • Like Jess, my 8 year old pug still has accidents too! Pugs are just stubborn. In the last year or so we have got our 3 dogs into a regular breakfast/dinner routine. Feeding at the same time everyday really helps with a bathroom schedule.

      Good luck!

  • Great article! The shedding thing is sooo true! We currently have 3 pugs (2 fosters) and there’s pug hair everywhere, lol! But it’s worth it cause they are so sweet :)

    • Thank you! I know, no one would believe that dogs with such short hair shed so much! BTW, good for you for taking in foster pugs, I think thats so wonderful, if I had more space I would love to do that. Thanks for your comment :)

  • one thing you didnt mention that i find to be a common trait although it sort of ties into their affectionate side…is how they tend to bond exceptionally well with one particular owner…even though they are social dogs who enjoy and bask in the attention of everyone. pugs in general tend to pick a favorite amongst families or couples and even after having a new owner i have seen that it can retain that loyalty to the previous owner as well.

    my first pug i got was when i was 6 it was a family dog…old “homer”…i came home after being told my mom got us a dog and i went inside and saw this ugly thing in my house…i didnt know what it was…he was so shy at first he just ran down the hallway…the next day i looked at him…i thought he was sorta cute…and we all know what happens next. these dogs just sorta grow on you and over time i began to adore that dog even though he picked my mom as his favorite. they are very fascinating and wonderful creatures that literally feel like family. they have incredible personalities but are all affectionate and caring. like you said they do have a sixth sense and can tell when something is truly bothering you. im 22 now and have raised a bonafide diva pug…although i dont dress her or do anything over the line ridiculous she has a very sweet yet commanding attitude. when i pick her up she moves her feet like she is pretending to run up my chest…its just the cutest thing. anytime my girlfriend and i are on the bed just laying there she just hops right in the middle of us putting her butt on her and laying on me…trying to seperate us lol. all in all just a great dog the only lapdog i will ever own.

    • Hi Nathan,

      I loved this comment! Yes, pugs do get very attached to people. I know whenever I sit on the couch next to someone, Miro will always sit between us, she is the diva is this this house. Joni isn’t as possessive, but she’s still very attached to me.
      Pugs really do feel like family! It’s hard to explain but some dogs are just dogs and some are like little furry people :)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Hi Laure,
      Thanks for your comment, and great website! I love that your pugs are athletes! I’m all for keeping our pugs healthy and active. It’s definitely a stereotype that pugs are couch potatoes. I think each dog is different. The only thing to keep in mind is that many pugs do have breathing issues due to their short noses, so they need to be monitored more closely than other dogs when working out, but theres no reason why they can’t enjoy sports. Best of luck to your guys in their agility competitions!

  • My first pug, Zakkie, was my childhood dog. Anyone who met him instantly loved him. No one doubted that he was my dog through and through, even though he’d never ever say no to attention. He sadly died three years ago, I miss him still. Yesterday, after a month or so of discussion and planning, we went to a pug breeder. As I type this, itsy-bitsy little Talos is asleep on my lap.
    In this tiny (she weighs a pound – but she’s nearly 8 weeks old, and the vet gave her a clean bill of health) little body is already all that you said above and more. She loves her food so much that her back legs lift off the ground to get at it. She alternates between crazy romps and good long naps, much preferring a lap to the floor, but her bed is ok too.
    I think one of the most endearing characteristics of a pug, that somehow has been left out, is their snoring and snuffling sounds! They snore like champions, and you always know where your doggie is because it’s almost constantly making some sort of noise.
    As she sleeps, and as little as she is, little Talos is already softly snuffling to herself.

    (as an aside, their love of food REALLY helps with training.)
    Thanks for a great post :)

  • I just got my little baby pug today and I LOVE him already… this is my first time having a pug. :) his name is Jack and he was born Jan, 21st 2013… he is all black… I LOVE him already.. he is very loving and loves his toys :) he is sleeping right next to me right now as I type this on the couch lol… hehe can we say spoiled? he is also puppy pad trained and has not had any accidents so far… thank you so much for all this helpful information :)

  • Kathleen (England) Hi i have just been reading your comments on pugs you are so right on all accounts.We got our first pug LOUIE 5 years ago he is hilarious so much so when he goes in the garden to pee he does a hand stand and turns on his front legs spraying everything around him.I have never seen this happen in any dog.
    We love him so much we decided to get him a companion and gave a home to a 4 year old ex breeding bitch we named Elle 2 years ago and had her spayed so she never needed to have any more puppys,we think she had a litter each season so it was time to just enjoy life .
    She has those doe eyes i cannot refuse her anything and a complete lap dog where ever you go she is there with you,we love them to bits.
    Having had dogs for 33 years,2 cocker spaniels,1 boxer dog. and 2 yorkshire terriers all of which we loved all there lives the pug is just so full of fun, we would for the first time probably stay with the pug breed and have more pugs in the future. Keep your stories coming there great and full of information for new comers to the life of pugs.
    Kind regards Kath

  • I came across this post by total accident and I must say I read it everyday as I just love it. I’ve wanted a pug for years and in feb I finally got my baby, he was 3 and a half month old and he’s a little devil but never leaves my side! Pookie is truly my baby and I can’t bare to leave him, 2 weeks ago we were lucky enough to get another pug who is 10 weeks old at the minute and these two babies are just perfect! Anyone who sees my fur babies just fall in love immediately becaus their little snuffle faces and personalities just shine!

    I am like you all and could talk about pugs all day everyday, but I’d be lost without my baby’s now! They are my world :) xx

  • I just got a pug few days ago, and yes they are definitely has a human soul. He pooped inside the house but he just got vaccinated so i have to keep him inside as much as possible. I hope he wont get use on pooing inside the house.but we totally enjoy him being around!

  • You would think the word SVELT wouldn’t describe a pug, but it does describe mine. I have a BLACK pug, and a common difference I’ve noticed between fawns and blacks…they are more athletic and slender, and shed MUCH less than the fawns. I know people who have rounder, slower black pugs so I’m not saying all of the black ones are more athletic, but it does seem on average overall.

    Another reason my vet has said harnesses are better than collars, which totally freaks me out, is eye loss. If you put the right pressure on a collar, apparently an eye ball can pop out! My vet said if it happens it can be fixed within 10 min if you can get to a vet in time.

  • I have two pugs-1 is 5 and the other is 3. They are the loves of my life. However I do have to disagree with the pugs are poor swimmers. My oldest Bluto will dive directly into Lake Michigan and continue swimming until we call him back. He is a fantastic swimmer completely unaware that he is a pug and shouldn’t like the water! And as far as aggression goes-pugs have no idea what that word means. They are completely dosile dogs who’s only goal is to find a friend to love and a treat to steal! Finding this breed was a score. They are my pride and joy and i could never see a day without them!

  • I disagree. Not everyone who ends up adopting a Pug ends up loving the breed. I adopted a Pug six months ago and she is a pain in the butt. I personally wish I had thought twice before adopting her. And, I know that everyone will see this and think of me as a monster. But I’m not, I don’t mistreat her or anything. I give her everything she needs, I just dislike her. I know that dogs can sense that kind of thing, but I’m just trying to give it time. But the point I am making is that not every Pug owner falls in love with the breed. If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten a gerbil.

  • Thank you for sharing this. You are spot-on!

    #8 is my favorite. Whenever I feel sad, my pug will come next to me and put her head on my chest. I’m sure that if she could talk, she will tell me: “I am here, and it will be alright.”

  • why is my pug shedding much more than normal shedding,my pug is 11 month and 17 days,she had hee first heat on 6 month,when can i expect her second heat?????

  • I have a pug he is very old but i need to know why he is losing bowel control and his back legs r bad i think he also has zeiures but not sure. Can u tell me what i can do to help him or help me im scared he is dying

    • Hi Mary,
      I’m sorry to hear that your little guy is having some issues. The most important thing you can do for him is get him to the vet and get a thorough check up, then you will know the best way to help him. Remember that as dogs get older, their muscles, including bowel muscles can get weaker. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a serious illness, it’s just part of the aging process. There are some supplements and things like doggie diapers and other products available that could help keep your puggy comfortable, but first it’s important to go for a checkup just to make sure everything is ok. Pugs are one of the longest living breeds and senior pugs can have full wonderful lives if they get the proper care. Try to stay as positive as you can, and give your pug lots of love, because love really is healing for animals as well as people. I’m sending you and your puggy all my love and prayers and good energy. Let me know how the checkup goes, ok?

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