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  • Temperament: Charming, Mischievous, Loving
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 32 of 192
  • Height: 10-13 inches
  • Weight: 14-18 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
  • Group: Toy Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Pug
Pug
Pug
Pug

GENERAL APPEARANCE

Symmetry and general appearance are decidedly square and cobby. A lean, leggy Pug and a dog with short legs and a long body are equally objectionable.

HEAD

Head: The head is large, massive, round – not apple-headed, with no indentation of the skull. The eyes are dark in color, very large, bold and prominent, globular in shape, soft and solicitous in expression, very lustrous, and, when excited, full of fire. The ears are thin, small, soft, like black velvet. There are two kinds – the “rose” and the “button.” Preference is given to the latter. The wrinkles are large and deep. The muzzle is short, blunt, square, but not upfaced. Bite – A Pug’s bite should be very slightly undershot.

BODY

Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is slightly arched. It is strong, thick, and with enough length to carry the head proudly. The short back is level from the withers to the high tail set. The body is short and cobby, wide in chest and well ribbed up. The tail is curled as tightly as possible over the hip. The double curl is perfection.

FOREQUARTERS

The legs are very strong, straight, of moderate length, and are set well under. The elbows should be directly under the withers when viewed from the side. The shoulders are moderately laid back. The pasterns are strong, neither steep nor down. The feet are neither so long as the foot of the hare, nor so round as that of the cat; well split-up toes, and the nails black. Dewclaws are generally removed.

COAT

The coat is fine, smooth, soft, short and glossy, neither hard nor woolly.

HINDQUARTERS

The strong, powerful hindquarters have moderate bend of stifle and short hocks perpendicular to the ground. The legs are parallel when viewed from behind. The hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs and buttocks are full and muscular. Feet as in front.

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About the Pug

The Pug’s motto is the Latin phrase “multum in parvo” (a lot in a little)—an apt description of this small but muscular breed. They come in three colors: silver or apricot-fawn with a black face mask, or all black. The large round head, the big, sparkling eyes, and the wrinkled brow give Pugs a range of human-like expressions—surprise, happiness, curiosity—that have delighted owners for centuries.

Pug owners say their breed is the ideal house dog. Pugs are happy in the city or country, with kids or old folks, as an only pet or in a pack. They enjoy their food, and care must be taken to keep them trim. They do best in moderate climates—not too hot, not too cold—but, with proper care, Pugs can be their adorable selves anywhere.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Pug

Find a Puppy: Pug

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
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Care

NUTRITION

A high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) will have all the nutrients the breed needs. Pugs live to eat and are prone to obesity, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

GROOMING

The Pug’s short, smooth, glossy coat needs minimal maintenance, but it does shed. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt, or a hound glove will help to remove the loose hair and help keep him looking his best. Pugs don’t need to be bathed unless they happen to get into something particularly messy or start to get a doggy odor. The Pug’s nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause him discomfort.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

Given the opportunity, a Pug will happily spend much of the day snuggling on the sofa—which, combined with the breed’s fondness for eating, makes obesity a real possibility. But the Pug is playful, sturdy, and lively, too, and owners can keep the breed fit with daily opportunities for moderate exercise, such as walks or play-sessions in the yard. It’s vital to remember that as a short-faced breed they aren’t tolerant of hot weather, however, and they shouldn’t do strenuous exercise when it’s warm and humid out—better to be in air-conditioning. Some canine sports in which Pugs participate and excel include agility, obedience, and rally.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The Pug has been bred to be a companion and a pleasure to his owners. He has an even and stable temperament, great charm, and an outgoing, loving disposition. Pugs live to please their people, so they are generally easy to train. Their feelings are easily hurt, and harsh training methods should never be used. A Pug wants to be with his family and will be unhappy if he is regularly left alone for long periods of time. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

The Pug’s dark, appealing eyes are one of his main attractions, but also one of his vulnerable spots. Eye problems including corneal ulcers and dry eye have been known to occur. Like all flat-faced breeds, Pugs sometimes experience breathing problems and do poorly in sunny, hot, or humid weather. The website of the breed’s parent club, the Pug Dog Club of America, offers detailed information on breed health.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis DNA Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Pug
Pug
Pug
Pug
Pug
Pug

History

The Pug, often called the Pug Dog, is an ancient breed that can be traced back some 2,000 years. The emperors of ancient China had a preference for flat-faced toy dogs—the Pekingese, Shih Tzu, and Pug were all developed as refined pets of the emperor, his family, and members of the imperial court. Like many breeds favored by Far Eastern potentates of the ancient world, Pugs were a closely held treasure that outsiders could acquire only as a gift.

The Pug’s career as citizen of the world began sometime in the 1500s, when Dutch traders returned to Europe with specimens of the breed. Legend holds that the Pug became the mascot of Holland’s royal House of Orange when a Pug save the life of the Prince of Orange by barking to warn the prince of an attack on his camp by Spanish troops. When William and Mary of Orange arrived in England to assume the monarchy, their Pugs accompanied them and began a craze for the breed among the British.

The worldwide fascination with Pugs can be gauged by how many names the breed has had in various eras and places: Lo-sze (China), Mopsi (Finland), Doguillo (Spain) are just a few. Among the Dutch, still closely associated with Pugs, they are known as Mophonds.

Theories abound as to the origin of the name Pug. One suggests that Pug is based on the Latin word “pugnus,” meaning “fist”—the idea being that the dog’s face resembles a clenched fist.

Did You Know?

The Pug is one of the oldest breeds of dog; has flourished since before 400 BC.
The Pug was a pet of the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet.
Josephine, wife of Napoleon, used her Pug "Fortune" to carry secret messages under his collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes.
Authorities agree that the Pug breed is of Chinese origin with some basic similarities to the Pekingese.
The Pug was the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland after one of the breed saved the life of the crown prince; the dog appears in the effigy of the monarch over William’s tomb.
Though called "mopshond" (Dutch, "to grumble") in Holland and "carlin" in France, but the name "Pug" probably comes from the dog's facial expression, which is similar to that of the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets of the early 1700s and known as Pugs.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

Symmetry and general appearance are decidedly square and cobby. A lean, leggy Pug and a dog with short legs and a long body are equally objectionable.

HEAD

Head: The head is large, massive, round – not apple-headed, with no indentation of the skull. The eyes are dark in color, very large, bold and prominent, globular in shape, soft and solicitous in expression, very lustrous, and, when excited, full of fire. The ears are thin, small, soft, like black velvet. There are two kinds – the “rose” and the “button.” Preference is given to the latter. The wrinkles are large and deep. The muzzle is short, blunt, square, but not upfaced. Bite – A Pug’s bite should be very slightly undershot.

BODY

Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is slightly arched. It is strong, thick, and with enough length to carry the head proudly. The short back is level from the withers to the high tail set. The body is short and cobby, wide in chest and well ribbed up. The tail is curled as tightly as possible over the hip. The double curl is perfection.

FOREQUARTERS

The legs are very strong, straight, of moderate length, and are set well under. The elbows should be directly under the withers when viewed from the side. The shoulders are moderately laid back. The pasterns are strong, neither steep nor down. The feet are neither so long as the foot of the hare, nor so round as that of the cat; well split-up toes, and the nails black. Dewclaws are generally removed.

COAT

The coat is fine, smooth, soft, short and glossy, neither hard nor woolly.

HINDQUARTERS

The strong, powerful hindquarters have moderate bend of stifle and short hocks perpendicular to the ground. The legs are parallel when viewed from behind. The hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs and buttocks are full and muscular. Feet as in front.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 007
FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 082