Pugs are a wonderful breed of dog, however they’re not for everyone. As Pug advocates it’s our responsibility to provide the negative aspects of Pug ownership. PugVillage.com takes this approach because we want Pugs to be in appropriate homes, for their benefit as well as your own.
When selecting a dog, it’s vitally important to match breed with owner, so that the experience for all involved is a positive one. There are many things you should consider before you even begin your search, and what follows is a compilation of the most commonly mentioned downsides to Pugs. This article is designed to focus on the people side of Pug ownership, to help you decide whether your personality and lifestyle fits with the nature and characteristics of the Pug breed. We urge you to consider these downsides carefully and seriously before deciding on buying a Pug:
Health Issues: The bottom line regarding Pugs and health is that Pugs are prone to a myriad of genetic health issues, and require more veterinary care than the average breed of dog. If you get a Pug, be prepared to make a lot of trips to the vet. Not every Pug will require frequent vet visits, but many do, so it’s in your best interest to plan on spending a lot of time, and money at the vets office. If you don’t have the time, money or willingness to commit the next 12 years to a dog that may have frequent and significant health problems, don’t get a Pug.
Shedding: As mentioned in our Pug FAQ’s section, Pugs shed a lot. In fact, they shed more than a lot. They shed tons. If you read or hear anything to the contrary, you’re either getting misinformation, or the input of someone whose Pug is a rare exception to the norm. If you get a Pug, you’ll have fur all over the place. On every piece of furniture, on all your clothes and in your car. You don’t even have to put your Pug in the car, the fur will just be there…and everywhere else. If this is at all a concern to you, don’t get a Pug.
Housetraining: Pugs are not the easiest dogs in the world to housetrain. They’re small, which makes them inherently more difficult to housetrain than large dogs, which have a greater capacity to “hold”. Their size may not be the biggest obstacle to housetraining however, as Pugs tend to have a stubborn streak which makes them less than cooperative students. Skilled and experienced dog owners usually manage to housetrain their Pugs within 3 months of bringing their dog home. The majority of Pug owners however, often find housetraining a task that takes a year or even longer. If the idea of a years worth of poops and pee on the carpet isn’t tolerable to you, don’t get a Pug.
A Pug is Your Shadow: Pugs are clingy dogs, because they’re people dogs which thrive on human companionship. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, because they were bred to be companion dogs. If you get a Pug, expect it to be at your feet and under your feet all the time. Not once in a while, or during meal time…all the time. A Pug will follow you, everywhere. Some people find this endearing, other people find it maddening or at least occasionally annoying. Think long and hard about this one, because you may not realize it bothers you until it happens. If this clingy nature is something that you think might bother you, don’t get a Pug.
Pugs Don’t Catch Frisbees: Pugs are low activity dogs. This means that they sleep a lot, as much as fourteen hours a day. It also means that Pugs have short bursts of energy, so you won’t see a Pug run very long or very far before it slows down and retreats for a nap. A Pug isn’t going to jog along side you on the sidewalk. It won’t even consider trying to catch a Frisbee. Most Pugs won’t even fetch a ball or a stick. If you’re an outdoor person seeking to share your active outdoor lifestyle with a dog, don’t get a Pug.
Pugs are Indoor Dogs: Stated quite simply, Pugs cannot tolerate high temperatures and humidity. This type of weather is unhealthy for Pugs, and over exposure to this type of weather can cause immediate or long-term health problems ranging from heat stroke to organ damage. If you live in a warm weather climate, and you don’t have air conditioning, don’t get a Pug.
Pug Maintenance: Pugs require a fair amount of grooming and general care. They have to be brushed frequently due to minimize shedding. Pugs have facial folds which need to be cleaned, every other day, every week or every month depending on the dog. Their nails grow fast, very fast, and need to be trimmed often. Pugs are also prone to having their anal sacs fill, and these sacs in turn, must be drained from time to time…not a pleasant, or easy task if you chose to do it yourself. If you won’t do it, then you’ll need to take your Pug to the vet to have it done, sometimes several times per year. If you’re looking for a low maintenance dog which requires minimal grooming, don’t get a Pug.
Photo of Jimi submitted by pug forum member JamminJimi.