Are You Pug Worthy?

Sometimes when I’m out walking Pablo, people will stop me. They’re thinking of getting a pug and want to know if they make good pets. The top two concerns are their breathing and are they good with children. I’m always happy to be an ambassador for pugs, and I tell them that breathing isn’t usually a problem except in very hot weather and that pugs have a good reputation as family dogs. However, I notice that people don’t wonder if they would make good pug owners.

Here, then, are four questions to consider before investing in a pug.

1. Are you willing to put your pug’s comfort above your own?

Would you carry a pug through drifts of snow so that his delicate paws didn’t freeze? Go to three different pet stores to find his favorite brand of dog food? Put off using the toilet so that the pug snoozing on your lap wasn’t disturbed? If you blanch at any of the above, then perhaps a pug isn’t in the cards for you. (I admit to doing all three, and more than once.)

2. Is your wardrobe and furnishings in colors other than black?

The pug sheds. People are often surprised to hear this, perhaps because pugs have short coats. But shed they do. Year round. When you take in a pug, you also inherit pounds upon pounds of fur that will need to be swept from floors and teased from rugs, upholstery, and fabrics. Forget about wearing wool–ever. Of course, if you choose a black pug, wearing dark clothes is less of a problem. But then light-colored frocks are out of the question.

3. Is snoring music to your ears?

If your nasal passageways were as short as a pug’s, you would too. Pablo’s snoring has never bothered me. In fact, I get a kick out of listening to his gentle and not-so-gentle snores. However, slurping is another matter. I don’t know why he does it, but he makes weird slurping sounds when he grooms himself. Yep, pugs are a bit cat-like that way.

4. Do you want a dog that will sit on your lap, not climb mountains?

This one sounds self-evident. After all, pugs were bred to be companion animals. But you would be surprised to learn how many people forget that. I once spoke with a woman who wanted a second dog and was considering a pug. It seemed she enjoyed hiking with her current dog and wanted to know if pugs made good hikers. Pugs??? The only place a pug will willingly hike is to his dinner bowl, and it had better be filled when he gets there. This is not to say that pugs don’t like to run and frolic. They do. But long walks up hill and dale are not for short-legged creatures with smushed-in snouts. Get yourself another dog, I advised the woman.

If you answered yes to all four questions, congratulations! Go to an established breeder or rescue group (but not a pet shop, please) and pick out your new best friend.

62 responses to “Are You Pug Worthy?

  1. Drax

    But there was only one question!

  2. You are absolutely right! I have carried my pugs through snow drifts and the rest of the way home from walks that they don’t feel like finishing, basked in the surround sound of pug snores, cleaned all manner of pug goo from my furniture and gotten a sitter for them any time I am gone for more than two hours. Pugs are an all-consuming lifestyle, and I wouldn’t be happy any other way (although I could do without that weird slurping sound you mentioned).

  3. Kim B.

    Ha, you are so right. I just quit my job so I could be home with our pugs. My husband took a different job to earn more so I could be home with the pugs. We have had to cut back on a lot but it is worth it to us. Two of our pugs are elderly are need more attention and since I was going to be at home we adopted our first puppy in twenty years, and this will most likely have to be our last puppy because of our ages. We are loving every minute with our pugs but they are a lot of work.

  4. YES, I am SOOOOO worthy 🙂

    I can recognize and say yes, to all of the above questions.

    My first dog was a pug. Got him in 2001.

    He is in dog heaven now 😦 I loved him so much!!

    When I met my, now fiance, we got Vera, a little bitch (do you call it that?) and we love her sooo much to……

    3 years later, we HAD to get pug number 2 🙂

    Got him (Gustav) from the same loving and caring breeder……

    They thrive here in Copenhagen Denmark, and we do see them as our small “children”, we do not want “real” children….. so they are a big part of our little puggy family……

    Pug hugs from Lone 🙂

  5. Marieke

    I think I will always have a Pug the rest of my life! They’re amazing dogs :), very loveable and I want to add that they need to sleep in your bed. they’re just little princesses and princes.
    I got my 1st and 2nd Pug from a rescue and couldn’t have felt more lucky.
    My 1st Pug passed away last year and that was very hard.
    My 2nd Pug however loves to come on hikes with our border collie every morning in the park. We meet lots of dogs and she just don’t want to miss it.
    You have to go early (so in the summer I get up at 5.30) so it’s not too hot for her. She knows all the people who have treats in their pockets. It’s fun.

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  8. Hi, you are totally right, I live in a hot place and I have a pug, of course she lives in air coinditioning all day. I love her she is my daughter and yes, I’, pug worthy but as you i advice peopl who think they can have a pug on their backyards or outside in the heat. I hate to hear about poor pugs living on that conditions, is terrible 😦

    • John Shinall

      I have 2 Pugs in Florida- both will go out for a while but have never really seen them run except in short spurts. I tried walking them down a ‘Trendy’ Lake in Downtown Orlando and ended up having to carry them back to the car because they refused to walk any further- so use caution- when they are a puppy they are crazy and high energy- but that wears off sometimes. Both of Mine are always in sight. I like the boys mellow demeanor but get them fixed quick or you will be putting them in PeePee pants for life unless you want dribbled on baseboards…once they lift that leg it’s almost impossible to break them. They are very loyal and loveable dogs…..I’m single…and realized I’m sleeping in a King Size Pug Bed- I’m definitely out numbered- and even bought stairs for the climb up. Sometimes they can have anal glands that are overly active and need expressing, and allergy shots. Although cute- they are NOT maintenance free dogs. To avoid shedding though, you can actually groom a pug down to almost like a crew cut that looks good…but no hair everywhere!
      They are catlike when it comes to licking LOL….Snoring can be mild…almost like a cat purring….All PUGS love FOOD remember….PIG and PUG are only one vowel away. My family total w/ siblings and my own have totaled 6 PUGS- THEY ARE GREAT, LOYAL, AND SWEET DOGS. I LOVE MY PUGS! Once you have one and fall in love…..you’re HOOKED!

      The ORINGAL ARTICLE ABOVE IS VERY ACCURATE!!

  9. Allen

    We live on a conservation park and our little pug loves running back and forth on the trunks of the fallen trees, likes to hop over them, and loves to run up a large hill that’s there as well. She also likes to bolt across an open field. Then, she will lay around the other 90% of the time. Yes, they do like to climb, but, Iike to rest in between.

  10. Elina

    Once pug owner always pug owner….we have 2 and love them dearly 🙂

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  12. Jay vincent

    It’s a pug life for me … I’m a hairdresser , she loves work …. Sleeping on a chair next to me slaving away , spoilt or what ….. But she loves her trips out , and boy can she run ( in big circles ) very fussy with her toilet habits ….. Off the lead and out of my eyesight …. How modest…. Bit of a pain , she won’t use my garden ….!!!!!! One man and his pug …… I think it’s the other way around …..!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. Sheryl

    We have both a fawn and black pug; none of my clothing or upholstery is safe from pug fur. They are the heart and joy of our family life. Another question I would ask a prospective owner is “Do you have room for two pugs?” because the are addictive like potato chips and sometimes you just can’t stop at one. 😉

  15. Jules

    I gotta say this, I once was hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire with my boyfriend and we passed by an older couple hiking with a pug. That pug was doing better than I was. Of course, he was used to it. I was more used to sitting at home watching Animal Planet with my pug Frank.

  16. Yep, I’ve done all three as well. Except instead of carrying mine above snow drifts I’ve carried her over steaming hot asphalt. Poor thing, Pugs really weren’t meant to live in Florida! Oh well, she’s snoring soundly on the perpetually-licked couch, A/C blasting on her shedding fur. : )

    • Yes, pugs are creatures of comfort, no doubt about it. Pablo is snoring by by side after having braved the mushy snow from his morning walk. He’d probably prefer Florida’s heat right now.

  17. Natasha

    All true.

    *brushes fur off keyboard*

    There isn’t an inch of my apartment that isn’t covered in pug fur, but you do get used to it. I have a pug named Lily who just went out for a walk in the snow for the first time…and needed to be carried home as soon as we made it to the park. She’ll start licking my arm (or the bed sheets), and won’t stop for hours. She snores. She refuses to let her nails be clipped without a fight. And she starts begging like crazy whenever I step too close to the kitchen.

    But I love her, and as any pug enthusiast knows, you can’t say no to those eyes.

    • Don’t I know it. This morning I walked Pablo up and down our frozen back alley do he could find the perfect spot. Then I carried him home and gave him his treat. We every definitely work for them.

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  20. Zeta

    Yes yes yes to all of those. Zizou, my pug child is 10 and I love him more than I can ever possibly describe in words. He absolutely rules my world and will always place his comfort and his well being above mine. Without blinking

  21. Sarah

    I have three pugs, all rescues. I know people love their little faces but I am glad that you point out the need to tell people the truth about pugs–the whole truth! Of course, they are the most fantastic and lovelable creatures on earth, but they deserve to be with people who understand their unique needs and love ( in fact, worship) all of their little pugiosities!
    I carry my pugs in the winter when their paws are cold, and again in the summer when they get tired ( too much humidity for their little flat faces). Sometimes I ‘walk’ them in a wagon alongside my more agile dog.
    I also wear pug fur all the time. And I sleep with three on me, all the time. I never move when they are snoring…ahh, puggy bliss is my bliss!

    • I just got back from a walk with Pablo. It snowed recently and there’s a lot of salt on the sidewalks. They burn his paws so I was carrying most of the time. The things we do for these furry little creatures!

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  23. Chris Minnelli

    I do all that! I’m definitely addicted to my Pug. She’s smaller than the average. You are right in all you write. Pugs are wonderful only if you are a Puggy person and would do anything for them!

  24. Kara

    You forgot to ask if they are willing to spend a ton on vet care, because due to all the issues you mentioned, as well as others, if you get one that has been poorly bred, you could be in for thousands of dollars a year on vet bills.
    http://www.pugvillage.com/general/dont-get-pug

  25. Kara

    By the way, we have SIX pugs… well, five and a Pug mix. I couldn’t imagine my life without the stubborn, lazy little turds! LOL You also forgot to mention that you have to be accepting of accidents in the house, because they can be VERY hard to house train, due to their stubbornness.

  26. Norm Hartzman

    This may be the very best article that I have ever read! I rant about the antics of my little pug to anyone within earshot on a continual basis. I knew that others loved their pugs just as I love mine but I am thrilled to hear that I am not the only “crazy person” who calls carrying him to and from the park in minus 20 degree weather a “walk” or remain in an uncomfortable position in bed to accommodate for Ozzy’s comfort snuggled in behind my knees. Additionally, I truly do think of his prepetual snoring as music to my ears. Pugs really do enhance and improve the quality of our every day lives. I for one, can’t wait to get home from work each day just to see my little 11 year old friend. My wife and I have had pugs in our lives since shortly after we got married 25 years ago. They have been like additional children to us. It is almost an insult to refer to a Pug as a pet, so let me say this: For anyone who is considering bringing home one of these angelic little creatures, you will never find another pet (or human friend) who will love you and want to share your company more than your pug.

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  29. Tracey

    I have 2 adorable pugs I love dearly there my life,there great company and have a great way about them, they both have there own little personality which are very funny. My female is very stubborn my make is more layed back.. I would like them to socialise with other pugs does anyone no how to go about this??

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  31. lili

    I love my brindle pug I even buy him a cake for his birthday and lots of toys and treats

    • Ron Russo

      They require a lot of attention.They are worth it. Be sure you are a dog person. they will always give you more than you give them.

  32. I now know I can take care of a pug not just adore their adorable faces

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  34. PugmomB

    People underestimate pugs. Mine goes for long hikes up mountains all the time. It’s all about conditioning. No different then. I didn’t run for most of my life. I started training and have been able to run marathons. Was my first run 26.2 miles? Ah, no. More like 1/2 mile. Don’t underestimate your pugs. They deserve better.

  35. John

    All of these comments of PUG Owners are very accurate. If you want a companion a PUG is the choice. .I’ve heard they were originally known for keeping the ‘Royals’ feet warm LOL. But I do believe if you do condition them from a PUP then you can get a PUG that is a hiker….but mine like to play and run…with their toys…but inside….but they will follow you everywhere if you get a real stinker……which most are until they hit the golden years of like 10- then they still play…..but are sleeping 10 min later LOL

    • Thanks, John. PIG and PUG missing only a vowel is very true. The way Pablo snorts on the trail of some tasty tidbit makes me think he’s part pig.

    • Desiree

      I live in Phoenix Arizona and have taken my pug hiking on Camelback which is a pretty strenuous mountain.. my dog seems to be the exception as he’s always full of energy and would rather run when going for a walk than actually walk.. He is also only a year and a half so maybe he just has that puppy energy. I can’t imagine owning a more loyal and loving dog and recommend this breed to anyone that can care for the dog’s needs. Grain freed quality food is important (and not over feeding as they are prone to obesity) as well as cleaning their stinky face wrinkles.

      • Yep, some pugs are definitely more active than others. Pablo was a good walker in his younger years and full of energy too. Now, at 13, he still likes his morning and evening walks, but I have to be careful not to take him too far or else I’m carrying him back!

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  37. Jay

    Has anyone received the Pug Talk Magazine issue beyond Jan/Feb/March 2014?

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  39. Sylvie

    I have Vader, a black pug. If he’s asleep on the couch on someone, we’ll cater to that person in order to not disturb him. And he has a super excited, aerodynamic run that makes everyone laugh! Looooves long walks but hates getting his feet wet. He’ll avoid puddles at all costs. He’s such great company! I’ve bought him boots for winter to protect his little paws from the cold Quebec winters. We also have an evening couch routine… Don’t let these stubborn dogs fool you into thinking they’re stupid! They fully understand what’s going on!

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