The Right Pug For You

So you have read the entire section on Breed Characteristics and have thought about the kind of dog that would fit into your home and lifestyle. It is important to be honest with yourself. You also have to understand that this is a 12 to 15 year commitment. Please do not get a Pug or any other dog if you are foresee big changes in your lifestyle in the next few years.


Pugs are generally happy, hardy, and easy to live with. Like all dogs (and humans) Pugs are susceptible to a few diseases which are known or thought to be genetic in origin. Note these diseases happen in other breeds and even in ‘mixed breeds’. The difference between ‘mixed breeds’ and purebreds is that purebreds have a well-recorded lineage and problems can sometimes be traced back though lines of dogs. Most mixed breeds heritage is not known past the sire (father) and dam (mother) so the problem seems random.


Key issues to ask breeders about are the eyes, skeletal system, PDE, and allergies. A CERF test by a certified opthamologist (not a regular vet) should be done each year on all breeding stock. It will note eye conditions such as eyelashes growing in the wrong direction and touching the eye or the eye not being able to close all the way because the eyelid cannot cover it all. OFA or PennHip tests look for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Pugs should also be chacked for slipping patellas (kneecaps) and hemivertibrae (unfused spine discs). Ask the breeder if any of his/her dogs have seisures or have died before they are three years old because of a seisure - this may indicate PDE. Genetic tests help the breeder to reduce the amount of disease in their Pugs. If they do not test, YOU, the new puppy owner may get ‘a lemon’ which will cost you dollars and heartbreak. You are adding a Pug to your family, do your best to ensure it is a happy healthy addition. Let your head rule your heart.


Look for a breeder who has experience in breeding purebred dogs. You should ALWAYS be able to enter the breeders premises to see the dogs and how they are kept. You should ALWAYS be able to see the dam (mother) of the puppies. Be very cautious if the mother is not available for viewing, it may indicate she is unhealthy, has a bad temperament, or is not being kept well. A breeder should be very open about the puppies’ pedigree and the genetic tests done on the dogs in the pedigree. Ask for a pedigree before hand and check for the names of the dogs certified by CERF, OFA , and by their veterinarian. The breeder should let you see all the puppies in the litter even if they are not available for sale. This will help you compare the puppies’ temperaments. Each litter will have a top dog or ‘alpha’ that is typically a dominant dog. This is not a good choice for a first time dog owner or a household with children


The puppies may be a little shy at first because you are new to their world – remember they have only had their eyes open for a few weeks. However they should be curious enough to gradually move towards you, even if it’s two steps forward one step back. If the puppies cower in the corner and do not move towards you at all beware of a temperament fault. Pug puppies make a soft sound when they breathe up close to your ear. Pug people are unanimous in agreeing that this is THE cutest sound in the world. It sounds a lot like the puff of air you get when you squeeze a dish detergent bottle without turning it upside down to pour. It’s a soft, rhythmic sound. You should not hear labored breath nor detect any blockage in the air passage. A healthy Pug can breathe fully and easily though there is some soft noise generated in the short passages. For a pet Pug expect the breeder to ask you to sign a Non-Breeding Agreement and a Spay/Neuter Contract. This does not imply the Pug is inferior or unhealthy. It means you purchased the Pug as a pet and that is your intended use. These agreements help prevent Pugs being misused and abused as breeding stock.


One last word on Registered Pugs vs. Non-Registered ‘Pugs’.

We sometimes hear ‘Why do I need to buy a Pug with papers when all I want is a pet?’ Good question. Registration papers show that the Pug you are buying is the result of ‘pure’ breeding of Pugs. No other breeds have been mixed in. Mixing in other breeds can result in health problems, temperament problems, and simply a non-Pug. Registration papers also prove the breeder is abiding by the rules of the CKC and Canadian Law in properly identifying all Pugs they own and breed. Ask yourself – Would I go to a doctor without ‘papers’ indicating he was qualified? Would I buy a house without ‘papers’ indicating the true owner of the house is the seller? Registration papers indicate the breeder is going about breeding Pugs honestly and according to the law. They protect the puppy buyer. Pugs bred without papers are often the result of illegal actions and are done for greed and not to provide you, the puppy buyer, with a good healthy Pug "at a bargain".

PLEASE DO NOT BUY PUGS THAT ARE NOT REGISTERED.

PLEASE DO NOT BUY PUGS WHOSE PARENTS ARE NOT TESTED FOR KNOWN GENETIC DISEASES.

PLEASE DO NOT BUY PUGS AT THE PET STORES.

Questions You Should Ask the Breeder

  • Can I see the mother of the puppies ?
  • The father ?
  • Do you offer a written health guarantee ?
  • May I see it ?
  • What characteristics are important to you ?
  • What hereditary problems does this breed have ?
  • Don't believe them if they answer none.
  • What precautions do you take to prevent hereditary disease in your dogs ?
  • Ask to see certificates of health tests Have you ever shown your dogs ?
  • Can I see a pedigree of the puppies ?
  • Can I see the medical history of the puppies, including vaccinations and worming?

Questions The Breeder Should Ask You

  • Why do you want a Pug ?
  • Do you have a fenced yard ?
  • What research have you done on the Pug breed ?
  • What will be the Pug's family setting ?