Pug - PetFirst
Breed Spotlights


by MetLife Pet Insurance
6 years ago

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Weight: 14 – 18 lbs.
Height: 10 – 14 inches

Where Does the Pug Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


The Pug isn’t the easiest breed to train, however, with a stern training method they catch on fairly quickly.

Shedding Friendliness

9 out of 10 rankingThe Pug does not shed often.

Ease of Grooming

9 out of 10 rankingThe Pug does not require a significant amount of grooming. The Pug is a low-maintenance breed.


8 out of 10 rankingThe Pug is known to have more health issues than similar small to medium breeds, and are prone to obesity, cherry eye, allergies and skin conditions.

Exercise Needs

Your Pug does not require a significant amount of exercise and prefers to be sedentary the majority of the time. They do have some energy though. You should provide your Pug with a moderate amount of exercise to prevent obesity problems.

Good with Children

10 out of 10 rankingThe Pug is very good with children and enjoys being part of the family.

Barking Restraint

10 out of 10 rankingThe Pug is not extremely vocal. Excessive barking is not a common problem in this breed.


What You Need to Know About Pug Dogs


Pugs are extremely playful, energetic dogs who require a great deal of attention. They are very close to their family and expect to be with their family at all times. They are a true “center-of-attention” dog and may develop behavior disorders if ignored.

They are known to be good watchdogs; however, they are not big “barkers.” They are very good with other animals and good with small children.

They Pug does not enjoy guarding, hunting or retrieving. They were bred to be a companion dog and that is essentially their purpose. They believe they are here to please you and be at your side. If you are searching for an independent dog, this is not the dog for you. If you are searching for a companion, the Pug may be perfect.

The Pug is also mainly sedentary and enjoys cuddling rather than running around. They are great apartment-dogs for this reason. They are perfectly content as long as they are near their pet parent.


The Pug is known to be extremely stubborn and may be more difficult to train in comparison to other breeds. Throughout training, it is necessary to be assertive and confirm your position as pack leader for training to be successful.


The Pug needs minimal grooming. Their grooming routine involves ear cleaning and a weekly brushing.

Health Problems

Obesity – The Pug is a breed which easily becomes obese. Free-feeding should often not be permitted with this breed to avoid overeating. You should also limit their treats to ensure they remain at a healthy weight.

Walking Dandruff – The Pug is known to have ‘walking dandruff’ which is caused by a small mite. If you notice a significant amount of dandruff, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. The mites are contagious as well so if you have other dogs, they should also be treated.

Cherry Eye – The Pug is known to exhibit cherry eye. Cherry eye results from the protrusion of the third eyelid in the corner of one or both eyes.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) – PDE is an inflammatory brain disease that is unique to the Pug breed. There is not a significant amount of research done on this disease and researchers often do not know a Pug has this disease until they test their brain following death. PDE often affects young Pugs.

Allergies – Some Pugs are known to suffer from contact and/or food allergies. If your Pug is rubbing his face in excess or licking his paws excessively, you should contact your veterinarian.

Demodectic Mange – Demodectic mange is caused by a tiny mite. This mite is not able to be passed from dog to dog (not contagious) other than when a mother passes it to her puppies. Demodex mites live in the hair follicles of a dog and may be a nuisance when a dog’s immune system is compromised (young age, old age, illness). 

Top 10 Most Common Health Issues for Pugs

  1. Otitis – middle ear infection
  2. Periodontal Disease – infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone
  3. UTI – urinary tract infection
  4. Allergies
  5. Dermatitis – inflammation of the skin
  6. Colitis – inflammation of the large intestine or colon resulting in diarrhea or loose stools
  7. Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) – cause of back pain, rear limb paralysis, and inability to walk or feel the back legs
  8. Arthritis
  9. Pyoderma – bacterial infection of the skin
  10. Corneal Ulcer – open sore on the outer layer of the eye

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

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