How to Choose the Perfect Dog Breed Just for You
How to Choose a Pug
When it comes to choosing a pug, many people think that all pugs are the same, but every dog has its own unique appearance and temperament. Pugs all have distinctive personalities. Most importantly, every pug deserves a good home. If you want to own a pug, you’re not alone. There are countless breeders and rescues where you can buy pugs, but there are also important steps to take before you bring any new pet into your home.
Picking a Pug Puppy
Use breed standards to assess the puppy.While some of the height and weight averages are not necessarily applicable for pug puppies, other parts of the American Kennel Club standard for pugs may be helpful when choosing a puppy. Use these standards to feel confident in selecting a puppy who is truly a purebred. The pug's coat should be shiny and dense. Accepted pug coloring is full black or fawn, and fawn-colored pugs should have a fully black face mask (muzzle and area around the eyes).
- Note that choosing a purebred dog doesn’t predict the future health of your pet.
Request a health report.An ethical breeder should have puppies wormed and vaccinated prior to sale. Before you purchase a pug puppy, ask for a report detailing all of their visits to the veterinarian, vaccinations, any past health issues and treatments they received, and providing timelines for upcoming vaccinations.
- Ask for any genetic screening records that might predict future disease or abnormalities.
Visit puppies and parents.See a new litter of puppies at several different points. You’ll want to watch the personality of the puppies as they grow, make sure the breeder is socializing them properly, and get to know the puppies and their parents. Watch how the pug puppies grow and interact with each other, the dam (mother), and with people. This will help you choose a friendly, healthy dog when the time comes.
Select a pug from the litter.Once the puppies have reached the age where you can take one home, it’s time to decide which pug is right for you and your family. Each puppy will have a unique personality, but there are a number of behaviors you can look for to help you choose the right pug for you. When it comes to making a choice from a litter of puppies, there are three main dog personalities: curious, cautious, and shy.
- The curious investigator pug is typically the first one to be chosen. This puppy comes right up to you when you arrive. They typically make the best dog for a family. They’ve been socialized and are not scared of or intimidated by new people or situations.
- The timid, cautious pug is a great option for a family with at least one adult in the home for most of the day. As puppies, timid pugs don’t run up and greet you, but they don’t shy away either. They observe and approach when they feel comfortable. If you have the time to invest, these dogs will socialize quickly and make a great family member, though they typically show loyalty to the person who spends the most time with them.
- Shy and fearful pugs are not for everyone, but they still deserve a loving home. If you have extra time to spend with them, want a companion you can take everywhere, and don’t have young children in the home, this could be the perfect dog for you. A naturally affectionate breed, once a shy pug gets used to a new owner, it will follow you wherever you go and is a great lap dog. Shy or fearful pugs are perfect for retirees and people who work from home.
Take the pug puppy home for a trial.Most purchase contracts allow for the pug to be housed with you for a period of time, typically between 3 days and week. This trial period allows you to make sure the dog you met at the breeder’s home or adoption center is the same when it comes to interacting with you, your family, and your home. If returned before the trial period expires, you should expect to receive a full or partial refund. Review your purchase contract before taking the pug home with you, and ask for a trial period agreement if there is not one in the contract.
Buying an Adult Pug
Learn the breed standard.While you may not be interested in breeding or showing your pug through the American Kennel Club, or comparable organizations in other countries, these standards were put in place to help describe the healthiest dogs in the breed. Choosing a pug that meets the breed standard is the best way to ensure you’re selecting a dog who will lead a long, happy life as part of your family.
- From the tip of the shoulder to the floor, pugs stand between 10 and 12 inches.
- The length of the pug from breastbone to tailbone should be equal to the height from the shoulder.
- A healthy adult pug should weigh between 15 and 20 pounds depending on height.
- The coat should be smooth, soft, and shiny. The pug standard allows for full black and fawn colored with a dark face, but there are rare silver and white varieties.
- The gait when walking or running should be even with a slight roll to the hips and back end. The pug should hold its head high and appear jaunty.
Recognize common health concerns.Unfortunately, pugs are prone to a number of chronic diseases, and it’s important to check for warning signs of these illnesses before choosing a dog. Some of the most common diseases include hip dysplasia, obesity, arthritis, melanoma, and allergic concerns like atopy.
- Check the eyes for watering, a glaze or film over the pupils, and squinting.
- Listen for signs of rasping or wheezing when the dog breathes. Make sure the pug is breathing through both the nose and mouth.
- Note that pugs often have breathing trouble due to their nasal anatomy. They also tend to have lots of eye drainage.
- Watch the dog walk looking for signs of limping or uneven gait. Also, listen for clicking or grinding sounds when the dog walks.
Request a health history.Any past or current conditions, vaccination schedules, and ongoing treatments should be provided before you purchase an adult pug. You should also ask for health history of the dog's parents as this can be indicative of future illnesses.
Assess the pug's personality.If you decide to adopt a fully-grown pug, you'll be able to see exactly what the pug will look like and get to know their personality. Spending time with an adult pug before purchasing or adopting it will give you a good idea what type of personality the pug has. Ask for a trial period, so you can take the pug home to see how it interacts with your family, home, and other pets. Also, make sure to gather as much information as possible about past behaviors before buying the pug.
- Ask if the dog has ever bitten a person, fought with other animals, or otherwise demonstrated aggressive behavior.
- Ask if the dog is house trained.
- Ask about past behavioral issues like chewing furniture and excessive barking.
Train adult pugs by being consistent.As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but this intelligent breed may be the exception to that rule. With persistence, even a fully grown pug can and will learn new things. The key is to be consistent in your training.
Deciding Where to Get Your Pug
Find reputable breeders.It’s important to purchase your pug from a litter that has been well cared for. You don’t want to support breeders who force dogs to mate too frequently, have a number of dogs in a small area, or otherwise mistreat their pugs. While these puppies need good homes, giving unethical breeders money perpetuates the cycle. Instead, look for breeders who treat their dogs well and have clean, abundant facilities for their breeding pairs and puppies.
- If a breeder is willing to answer questions, let you visit often, and provides a fair and complete purchase contract, you are likely dealing with an ethical breeder.
- If a breeder avoids answering questions, won’t let you visit, requires a cash deposit before you can view puppies, or seems uninterested in how you will care for the puppy, you are likely dealing with an unethical breeder.
- Consider reporting unethical breeding to the Pug Dog Club of America (PDCA). They will be able to look into the breeder and determine whether intervention is necessary.
- The PDCA is also a great resource for finding a reputable breeder when you’re looking to buy a pug.
Review purchase contracts.It’s important to have all the facts in writing before making any large investment and that includes purchasing your new pug puppy. Most purchase contracts include the cost of the dog, refund and return policies, a trial period agreement, health history of the puppy and parents, and at least three generations of pedigree information. You can ask for the contract to include any other information you deem necessary, so don’t hesitate to ask for more information.
Learn fair pricing.The cost of purchasing a full-bred pug puppy will vary dramatically between breeders for a number of reasons, but typically puppies will cost between 0 and 00. This is based on a number of things including quality of the dog, pedigree, and general supply and demand.
- A “pet quality” pug puppy will be less expensive than a “show quality” pug puppy. Pugs who will be able to win at AKC recognized dog shows will be sold for more money than those who do not show signs of being show quality.
- Dogs whose pedigree is exceptionally good will also be more costly. You should request at least three generations of pedigree to be included in the purchase contract of the pug. Puppies whose pedigree includes numerous champions or other AKC recognized dogs will likely be more expensive.
- Traditional economics like supply and demand also play a major role in determining the pricing. If the breeder has a waiting list of people who would like to purchase their puppies, they are able to ask more money for each one.
Rescue a pug.There are a number of organizations worldwide whose purpose is to find homes for pugs, and these dogs deserve good, safe, loving homes. Start by visiting the Pug Dog Club of America at www.pugdogclubofamerica.com. This organization offers a full list of pug adoption centers and rescues that provide quality puppies and dogs. Adoption also saves money as the new owner is typically only required to pay a fee between and 0.
Adopt a pug.Many local animal shelters also need to find homes for pugs. If you know you want a pug, reach reach out to local animal shelters. In many areas, the shelter will contact you if a pug becomes available. You can also use the ASPCA's pet adoption tool found at to find a pug near you. Perhaps more than any other pug, those who are in local shelters may be most in need of a new home and family. Due to overcrowding, most local shelters have to euthanize dogs that are not promptly adopted.
- Due to their anatomy, pugs tend to require a lot of veterinary care. They are also prone to breathing troubles, which make them ill-suited to dog owners who want active, outdoor dogs.
Video: Things to know before buying a Pug.
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