The Pug is an ancient dog breed, dating back more than 2,000 years to origins in the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet. Pugs are tiny dogs, known for their wrinkled faces, their friendly even temperaments, and their desire to be with their owners at all times. These happy-go-lucky little dogs don't require a lot of exercise; instead, they love to curl up in the laps of their owners.
Pugs are gregarious, friendly little dogs. They enjoy following their owners around and are constantly curious about what's going on around them. To encourage this amiable nature from a young age, introduce your pug to a variety of people, places and other pets. Always praise your pug, and give treats as positive reinforcement for good behavior around strangers.
If many visitors are in your home, it may be best to confine your gregarious, curious pug to a safe area, but reward the dog for good behavior during the excitement of having so many strangers around. By putting your pug in a safe place, you protect the friendly little dog from being stepped on by people who may not be looking for a tiny dog underfoot.
House Pets and Children
Pugs are affectionate and most love being around children and playing games with them. They also enjoy the company of house pets, and will play with them as well.
Because pugs form strong attachments to their humans, your pug may suffer separation anxiety when left at home alone. This can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing your favorite possessions or furniture.
To prevent development of separation anxiety when you have to be away, confine your pug to a small, safe area of your home, such as a small room. Leave food, water and an indoor potty area where your pug can access them. Give your pug puzzle toys to help alleviate boredom. Fill these toys with treats that the dog can get to over a period of time. Pugs love food and treats of any kind. Leave for short periods of time, gradually lengthening the time your pug spends alone. The goal is for your dog to remain calm in your absence for an extended time. To give your pug a greater feeling of security, place a comfortably equipped dog crate in the confinement area so the pug will have a safe, cozy, den-like place to retreat and to snooze.
Pugs are perfectly happy as couch potatoes as long as they are with their people. They also love food. This combination of traits can leave your tiny companion overweight and out of shape. To keep your pug healthy and fit, it is important that you ensure the dog gets sufficient daily exercise.
Pugs enjoy going on daily walks and playing outdoors. However, during walks and other activities such as chasing a ball, it is important to guard your pug against overheating. This is a brachycephalic (short-faced) breed. Like all such dogs, the pug is prone to breathing problems and heat stroke. When the weather is hot, it may be best to exercise your pug in a climate-controlled environment. For example, you can play a game of hide and seek, with a treat as the reward for finding you. This game works well with your pug's natural inclination to follow you around, and it gets your dog some exercise.
When interacting with your pug, don't yell at or intimidate the dog. Pugs don't respond well to this type of treatment, and they can easily be discouraged if they are verbally chastised. These sensitive dogs get their feelings hurt, and won't feel motivated to interact with you after such behavior.
Take special care when handling your pug, because these little dogs are delicate. Pugs love to spend time on your lap or next to you on the couch. But they can suffer orthopedic problems. It is best not to let them constantly jump onto and off of furniture. You can buy special pet stairs to help your pug climb onto furniture. Otherwise, it's best to lift your pug on and off the furniture to avoid orthopedic problems.
References & Resources
United Kennel Club: Pug
American Kennel Club: AKC Meet the Breeds: Pug
VetInfo: Pug Puppy Care
Dogster: Pug Dogs
Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: Brachycephalic