All about the breed – pug

Pugs are one of the earliest pure breeds of dog kept in Australia

Originally bred in China, over a thousand years ago, the Pug was brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Company. In Europe they became the dog of aristocrats and royalty holding high status amongst dog breeds. Pugs are one of the earliest pure breeds of dog kept in Australia. Although it is uncertain as to when they arrived in this country, there are records from the Agricultural Society of NSW listing two pugs exhibited in 1870.


The Pug has been described as ‘Multum in Parvo – a lot of dog in a small space’. It is compact, square, and has a cobby body, large bone structure and thick, wrinkly skin. The head of the Pug is short, blunt and large compared to the rest of the body. For many people the two most engaging characteristics of a pug are its face and tightly curled tail. Large dark eyes protrude prominently from the wrinkled squashed face and give the dog an animated expression. The tail is curled as tightly as possible over the hip, with a double curl being considered perfection. The coat is dense, soft, short and glossy.

Colour – The short coat is soft, fine and smooth. Coat colours come in apricot, fawn, black and silver.

Coat Length – Short

Age Expectancy – 10 -12 Years

Weight/Height Range – Dogs stand at 30 – 36cms at the withers and weigh 6 – 9kgs, bitches average at height is 25 – 30 cms from the withers and weigh 6-8kgs.

Feeding & Ownership – Be very careful to avoid overfeeding. Also, many Pugs have skin problems and may need to be on special diets.

Other Expenses – Veterinary expenses could be high as they are susceptible to breathing, eye, mouth and general health problems. Pet insurance is recommended.

Personality – The Pug has a happy-go-lucky attitude and is loyal, loving and affectionate with their families. Playful, lively and are sure to keep you laughing. They get along well with other breeds of dogs and pets, and good with both children and visitors. They can be relatively inactive indoors and will do okay without a yard. Due to their short faces they do not do well in hot weather and should be kept indoors at a comfortable temperature.

Energy – Medium

Tendency to bark – Low

Overall Exercise Requirement

They need to be taken on daily walks. They enjoy energetic games and will keep in better health if given regular exercise. But be careful not to overdo it, especially if you see them start to wheeze.

Suitability as a guard dog – Low

Level of Aggression – Low

Other animal compatibility – High

Grooming – The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush and comb with a firm bristle brush and shampoo only when necessary. Dry thoroughly after a bath so the dog does not get chilled. The creases on the face must be cleaned regularly.

Grooming Requirements – Once a week

Coat Trimming Required – Nil

Tendency to shed hair – Normal


Pugs are prone to Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain that strikes adolescent Pugs usually between the ages of 2 and 3. The cause is unknown. Pugs catch colds easily and are stressed by hot and cold weather. They are prone to allergies and the short muzzle contributes to chronic breathing problems, tending to wheeze and snore. (Pugs suffer from poor ventilation.) Prone to skin problems. Some Pugs are also prone to keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) and ulcers on the cornea. Eyes are prone to weeping.

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