As mentioned in my author bio, and for anyone who knows me, I LOVE pugs. Their chubby little bodies, big watery eyes, and curly tails, they have the makings of a cute factory built into their punched-in faces and I can’t get enough.
For anyone who owns Pugs you are aware that they are precious assholes for many reasons, but first, here’s my fur babies.
7 years old, fawn coloured, male, territorial pisser
Bosco’s son, 1 year old, mix-coloured, male, destroyer of couches
We love them both. Losing either would leave us devastated, but these fur babies (like any babies I imagine) can be such buggers while still being your whole world. Here’s some reasons why we love/hate Pugs.
Irresistible: Cuteness factor surpasses the ability to NOT squish their faces. LOOK AT THEM! Those eyes are always sad, even when they’re happy. The perpetual ‘puppy-dog eyes’ set to Break Your Heart mode 24/7. And those noses and curly tails are an overload of joy. Have you seen a Pug pant? They smile and their tongue hangs out…so cute.
Durable: Pugs are a small breed but by no means fragile. They play fight with the bigger dogs without hesitation, no fear, no thought they could be chomped to death in one bite, they just want what that King Sheppard has and they’ll get squirrelly in order to make it theirs. This also means you don’t have to worry about them jumping off the couch and breaking something. Tight hugs and rough-housing are an everyday occurrence.
Cuddles: Pugs are HUGE cuddlers. If you need some cuddles, Pugs are there every time. Their little bodies are like a heat pack for your sore back or upset stomach. Like most animals, they’re good at sensing your emotions and will be on your lap or in your face trying to make you feel better.
People Friendly: Pugs LOVE people so they’re great for company and kids. If you’ll show them some attention and pet them, or have food, they’re all over you, trying to sit in your lap or lick your face. Just give in. The payout is precious.
Energy/sleep: These high energy pups will tear through the house knocking over anything in their way, but once they stop they sleep for hours, which leads to loads more cuteness.
Bosco (back) and Mort tired out after some play time.
Unfortunately, Pugs come with some not-so-pretty issues. Since you love them, you deal, but you should be aware before you add one to your family.
Separation Anxiety: Pugs don’t like to be alone, and when they are, they like to make you regret it. Here’s a picture of my couch arm Mort destroyed one day and he had others pups with him. Now picture it along the entirety of both couch arms down to the wood. Yup, we ditched this couch. Bosco has done worse but I don’t have pictures. He’s chewed everything possible and somehow got into a container of butter, slathered himself with it, and then ran all over the house. Pugs need other dogs or people with them, so it’s not good for them to be alone for elongated periods of time while at work or out of house. Yes, they will follow you into the bathroom room and even the shower/tub if you let them. They hate being without you.
Health Issues: Because of the very things that make them cute, Pugs have a variety of potential health issues.
- Muzzle formation can cause tiny or collapsible nasal passages creating difficulty breathing.
- Multiple eye issues that can all lead to blindness. Also, the eyes get the brunt of damage with no snout to protect them. Poor Bosco has damaged one with a stick and now both have a discolouration growing from the inside of the eye and slowly blacking out his vision.
- Their mouths are formed in a way that makes it difficult for water to wash away particulates in their mouths, which if not cared for manually by the owner, can lead to decay or extractions.
- Their face folds need to be cleaned and monitored frequently. Too dry or too wet and they could crack and become infected. Since they have to put their whole faces into their food and water bowls, they get debris stuck and it can rot. It’s amazing how quickly the face folds get gunky.
I could go over 20+ more and only scratch the surface, intestinal issues, knee issues, many others, so please DO NOT get a Pug unless you have a great vet and intentions on using them regularly, as well as the time to devote to your fur baby.
Stubborn: Training can be a test of wills. Ours sit, give a paw, come when called, but all of these are done when they feel like it. Think of a Pugs attitude like a cats. They want to please you, but in the moment if they’re really not feeling it, they don’t try. Instead, they look at you with the cutest eyes ever and try and get away with anything and everything possible. With this comes an issue with clipping their nails. Bosco always hated it, and we blamed ourselves for not doing it enough at home, so with Mort I was diligent in cutting his nails multiple times a week to get him used to it. Nope. As soon as he got a bit older and realized what was going on, he would fight against it like I was trying to remove his feet from his body.
High Energy: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means you need to provide a lot of play time and outdoor space for them to run and play. They may be small but when they get those pudgy bodies moving the momentum has them knocking over chairs and people. If you don’t run them tired, they have plenty of energy to get destructive. They get bored. If they’re awake and don’t want to play with the over-priced toys you bought for them to gut in 24 hours, then they find stuff to get into and the result isn’t always fun to clean up later. We found that after 3 years Pugs tend to slow down. Bosco is chill and hangs out (yes on our desks), but Mort is a ball of energy as most puppies are. Pugs are not little lap dogs that shiver and shake. They need to be active.
Just like with kids, Pugs have their positives and negatives, but are worth it if you have the time to make their lives happy. And when my mother-in-law got her own Pug bundle, Desiree, and Bosco and Desiree were left alone for a few minutes too long, we suddenly had a family on our hands.
We kept one pup – Mortimer – originally because he was born pure black, but he changed colours. A bugger from the womb. The light one in the middle is ‘Shadow’ and she now lives with my Aunt and Uncle. The other was named ‘Emma’ and now has a great owner who owns another Pug who needed a pal. Raising them was exhausting and I NEVER want to do it again. Ever. But I’m glad we did it this once.
If you want a companion who is small but full of attitude and needs you like your best friend, then a Pug is for you.
Plus, LOOK AT THOSE FACES!
Bosco cuddling with my brother
Loving sitting on my desk. Such a clown.
Mortimer, sick of pictures
Bosco as a baby
Bosco-bugger stealing a hair tie and hiding under the bed
Mortimer wishing the tub was lower so he could jump in