How does one define "needy"?
Pugs are toy dogs, bred specifically to be companion dogs and to stick close to their people. If that is why they were bred, and the qualities that were chosen when the breed was developed so many years ago, why fault today's pugs for being pugs?
If you want a more independent breed, get a terrier or a herding dog - they manage very nicely on their own and seem to enjoy some independence.
For myself, I like that Otto wants to be close to me and is there when I need a warm nose or a wagging tail close by.
Otto's mom (also known as Linda)