Pug Personality and Characteristics

There are many dog breeds to choose from as your best pet. But if you’re looking for a small dog that can live with you in the city, a pug dog can be your best option.

Many pug owners would testify about the loving nature of these toy breeds. If you’re interested in having one, it’s best that you know their personality first. In this article, we’re going to talk about pug personality and other tips you should know about.

Why Pug?

pug puppy

There are many companion dogs out there, yet this brachycephalic breed is ideal for city living. It has a compact body and a lovable personality fit for a companion dog. Unlike other dogs, pugs are not guard dogs, yet they can surely take away your stress.

Pugs are a member of the American kennel club as a toy breed. They have a good sense of humor and are playful. You can find them in pug dog clubs and pug rescue shelters.

You can also buy them from reputable breeders. They are one of the popular dog breeds in the city. You’ll never regret having a pug inside your home since they are loyal and friendly dogs.

A Glance of Pug History

pug history

These brachycephalic breeds originated in China. They are the ancient breed of dogs by the Emperors. They are the official dog of the royal family in China. How did pugs arrive in the US?

These little dogs were brought by Dutch traders from Holland’s royal house of orange. These traders handed these toy breeds to England where they lived with the royal family members. Because of that, pugs have refined personalities.

During the Victorian Era, pugs were very famous and you can see them in postcards. Queen Victoria was one of the known pug breeders during that time. Marie Antoinette is also known for having a pug named Mops. Many known personalities started having pugs as their home pet.

The American Kennel Club recognized the pug breed in 1855. They are treated as a companion toy group of dogs.

What are the positive personality traits of pugs?

pug personality

This toy breed is naturally smart and playful. They are affectionate to their owners. They love playing with their owner and kids. They can also come along with other dogs and pets.

Pugs are smart, and sometimes they can be mischievous. If you leave them for a couple of hours, they can mess around on your sofa. They will find where you hid the treats and eat them all.

Among the positive traits of pugs, the most notable one is their tendency to be clingy to their owners. They want to be part of their owner’s life. For instance, if love reading books while sitting on the sofa, they will quickly rest on your lap. If you’re lying on your bed, they will insert themselves into your personal space. This is how clingy they are to their owners. Invading personal space is natural to them.

Pugs are family dogs. They are highly sociable with other pets and with your kids. Once you have this adorable pet, expect them to share your bed space.

Besides that, pugs are stubborn. This is due to their intelligence as well. You need to have enough patience to train your pug puppies. Eventually, they will learn your commands. You simply need to love and extend your patience with them.

Understanding Pug Temperamentpug temperament

Pugs have a stable temperament in general. This makes them ideal pets. A pug dog breed is friendly dog to children and their owners. Below are some notable traits you need to know about a pug breed.

Pugs are not aggressive

Are pugs aggressive? It’s true that some pugs are stubborn streak, but they are never aggressive. They can blend well with children and other dogs. If they fight with another dog, there’s a great chance they did not start the fight.

Pugs are good lapdogs. If you like sitting on the couch reading books, they can be your perfect hangout partner. Not because they want to read books, but because they want to sit beside you.

If you have kids at home, don’t be surprised that your pugs love to be with them. Like other dogs, you cannot leave your small children with pugs without supervision.

Pugs love to please people

Most pugs love to please their owner. They are friendly dogs that would love to lick your face to please you. They will do what they can to make you laugh. These companion dogs are clingy to their humans.

As you can see in a pug’s facial wrinkles, they don’t respect personal space. They love to be beside you always! That’s why most pugs suffer from separation anxiety when their owner leaves them for a couple of hours. If you have a pug, never isolate them from family members.

Pugs are not super athletic

Pugs love to play and run around, yet they are not athletic dogs. You can walk them outside the house, yet you cannot expect them to run a marathon with you. That’s one reason why weight gain is a common problem for pugs.

You need to avoid overfeeding them since they don’t do many activities to burn calories. These small dogs are playful and mischievous, so keep an eye on them in your backyard. If you let them stay outside the house, make sure to tie them with a leash. Otherwise, expect them to run away from your house.

Pugs are good at finding food inside the house. If you don’t hide the treats and they find them, expect nothing to be left after their feast. This is the reason why obesity is common in this dog breed.

Make sure you’re not giving them too many treats. Keep an eye on their diet to avoid obesity. This ensures they have a healthy weight gain. By doing that, you’re also avoiding other health issues to come when they get old.

Pug Appearance

pug breed

Like other brachycephalic breeds, a pug’s motto is “multum in parvo”. This means having a lot in a little. A pug’s body is compact and filled with muscles. Their body is shaped like square frame with an average weight of 14 to 18 pounds.

There are two main coat colors for pugs: black and a mixture of fawn and black. A fawn pug has an Apricot coat with streaks of silver. Their head is short and flat. They have a black muzzle with wrinkled face. A pug’s eyes is comical and expressive. They matches with their wrinkly face.

Black pugs have a similar physical appearances. The difference lies in the coat color. If you stare at a pug’s face, you would see many expressions. And their curly tail, if it starts wagging, it means they are excited to play.

In general, these dogs have funny faces. Their huge tongue is quite big for their mouth. That’s why it makes them look funny when they hang their tongue out. It complements their wrinkled face and expressive eyes.

What are the living needs of pugs?

pug life

Pugs are companion dogs and they love to play with kids. But if you disappoint them, they are tough to cheer up. But this breed can easily go along with other dogs and pets.

They are good pets for city life since they don’t require too large space. Just leave them on the couch and they are good to sleep for 14 hours. They are not lazy, it’s just their trait to sleep that long.

Are they loud? Thank, God, this toy group doesn’t bark that much because of breathing problems. Their difficulty to breathe properly aggravates when they gain weight.

Don’t put them near the pool since they are not good swimmers. They love to stay cool and they cannot withstand extreme heat during the summer. Keep them indoors where they have a comfortable space to relax and play.

How to care for your pugs?

pug care

Despite their playful behavior, a Pug is undemanding in terms of care. This makes them perfect for older owners. Pugs are relatively inactive when inside the house, they are also one quiet breed that is a good choice for those living in an apartment. The biggest challenge when it comes to pug care is their health need which is relatively high.


Pugs love to eat just as they love you. Because of their small build they can easily gain weight which then leads to the risk of obesity. Therefore, Pug dog owners should help them manage their food intake. Try to limit their treats and don’t feed them with table scraps.

A recommended daily food amount for a pug is 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food, which is divided into two meals. However, this amount is dependent on the size, stature, metabolism, activity, and dog’s age. Just like people, they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The quality of food also makes a difference. Giving them the best type of dog food will keep them a healthy dog.


As you groom your pugs, make sure to examine for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, or inflammation of the skin, mouth, nose, eyes, and feet. Eyes should be clear without any redness or discharge, as pugs tend to develop corneal ulcers. Do this weekly to prevent potential health issues.


Typically, pugs have short coats in fawn color or black. This breed is double-coated and has a short, flat, black muzzle.

You might be deceived by pugs’ short and smooth coats, but pugs shed a lot, especially in summer. Regular brushing can help manage the shedding. Aside from their coat, their gums need brushing too. Pugs develop gum disease when not properly taken care of. Using a small, soft toothbrush, and dog toothpaste helps avoid this.


Generally, a monthly bath is all they need to keep them clean. But there are some pug owners who bathe their pugs more frequently. Pugs tend to get infections due to bacteria that can reside on their wrinkles. As pug owners, give extra attention to those sweet facial wrinkles as they can be a breeding ground for infection when they are damp and dirty. Using a dry cotton ball or commercial baby wipes, dry your pug’s wrinkles thoroughly after bathing.

Moreover, don’t forget to give special attention to the pug’s eyes as they are vulnerable to injury and irritation from chemicals. It’s also beneficial to give your pug’s floppy ears a cleaning every week, as well.


Giving your pugs regular trimming is very essential as they won’t naturally tear compared to active breeds.

Above all, it is important to make grooming a positive experience for your dogs by giving them praise and rewards.


Pugs’ ultimate goal is human attention. They love to spend time with you. Therefore, training your pugs shouldn’t be a complicated task as they are naturally people pleasers.

Furthermore, avoid any harsh training methods because they have delicate feelings. You can start with some basic obedience training such as sit, stay and come. You can do this by enrolling your dog in puppy training classes.

Don’t forget to incorporate early socialization too by taking them to many different places to let them experience life.

Pug’s Health

Compared to other breeds, pugs tend to be expensive in the first year of life. They often require nose resections to improve nasal airflow and surgery to shorten the soft palate. These surgeries need to be done to avoid them from snoring loudly.

With the help of these surgeries, it will allow the pugs to breathe, and keep cool in warm weather. The setback of not getting these surgeries is a symptom called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) This leads to sleep issues, saliva disorders, and difficulties with regurgitation.

Pugs can experience other health issues, including back problems, allergies, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and never degeneration later in life. In addition, many skin conditions can affect pugs like yeast and staph infections.

Their beautiful dark big eyes are also vulnerable to ailments such as face corneal ulcers, proptosis, and dry eye. Pug parents must maintain their dogs’ healthy weight as obesity can lead to breathing problems.

One disorder common to pugs is Pug Dog Encephalitis, a fatal inflammatory brain disease. Unfortunately, there are no known causes or tests for it. It can lead to blindness, and seizures, then falling into a coma and death.

If you’re considering this breed, it is fairly important to be aware of certain health conditions they are prone to. When buying a pug puppy, find a breeder who will present to you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents.

Expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and other related diseases; from Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying for normal eyes; and from Auburn University for thrombophilia. Check the OFA website (offa.org) to confirm these health clearances.

What Pug Personalities You Need to Consider?

pug dog club

Knowing the personality of a pug is best before you decide to have one. Getting a pet is not that easy, so it’s best if you’re happy to embrace the traits of a pug.

A pug dog breed isn’t the best dog breed you want. But when you look at this toy breed, you would want to hug them. They are so adorable and cute! But be careful since they are smart and can be mischievous.

Let’s get to know the important pug personalities, so you’d know if they are good for you.

Pugs are quite stubborn

This toy breed is adorable yet they can test your patience. When you’re training them, be sure to extend your patience. Oftentimes, they won’t listen to you right away when you call their name.

Even if they are a stubborn streak, pugs are never aggressive. You can seldom hear them growl or bite people. They are loving and playful to children and other pets. Once you get their loyalty, they can be your friend for life.

Pugs have a lazy nature

Pugs love to sleep. They sleep 14 hours a day on average. You may call that lazy, but that’s how they are. If you leave them on the couch, they can easily sleep there for hours.

Unlike other dogs, pugs don’t require extreme physical activity. You can take them for a 20-minute walk and that’s it. You need to let them play to avoid obesity. Weight gain is a serious problem for this brachycephalic breed.

Pugs are challenging to train

Because they are smart and stubborn, it will be challenging for you to train them. There will be days when they are easy and difficult to train. But because they want to please their owner, they will still obey you.

The best method of training them is positive reinforcement. That said, you need to prepare treats for your pug. Each time your pug successfully obeys a command, give them treats to reward them. This idea will stick to their mind, so they are motivated to obey what you said.

Once you have your pug puppy, it’s best to train them as early as you can. They are easiest to train when they are six months old or younger. If you train an adult or senior pug, that would be challenging to do.

Pugs don’t bark that often

Unlike other dogs, pugs are not loud. They don’t often bark at other dogs and strangers. They can make some grunts or snorts, yet for a short period only. But to ensure they won’t be loud, it’s best to train them while they are young.

When they feel excited or angry, you can train them not to bark. Instead, you can let them do other things to express their feelings. For instance, you can let them wag their tail or hug you.

Pugs love to be in the spotlight

Pugs thrive in homes that give them adequate love and care. They like pleasing their owner and playing with kids. Like other large dog breeds, pugs are highly sociable.

They can also socialize easily with other pets in the house. You need to properly introduce them with other pets to avoid jealousy. Pugs are emotional, so you can take care of their feelings.

What can make your pug aggressive?

Pugs are naturally friendly and calm pets. If you see an aggressive pug, it means something is triggering them to be like that. Here are some of the factors that can make your pugs aggressive:

  • If they are not spayed or neutered
  • When they are sick
  • If they are neglected for hours
  • If they accidentally feel pain or injured
  • If you invade their personal space
  • If they get jealous when other pets are in the house, and you don’t properly introduce them to each other

When you see that your pug is aggressive, don’t let anyone touch them. It’s safe if the owner will be the one to cuddle and tame the angry pug. Give enough time to play with them so that they will calm down.

How do you avoid pug aggression?

Pugs are gentle and friendly by nature. They are good pets since they are homey and family-oriented. To avoid pug aggression, your best solution is to train them as early as possible. The best age to train them is when they are 3 to 16 weeks old. Before they reach 20 weeks old, you should have trained them to behave properly.

Socialization skills must be trained to your pugs while they are still puppies. You can do that by exposing them outside. Like taking them out for a walk, and letting them play with kids and other dogs.

Obedience must also be taught to your pugs. Take note, they are smart and emotional. This is the reason why they can be stubborn streak at times. But they naturally want to please their owners, so you can take advantage of that trait.

That said, behavioral training is necessary to avoid pug aggression.

When do pugs calm down?

Pug puppies are hyperactive. This trait stays with them until they reach one year old. During that time, it’s best to play with them so that you build that friendship and loyalty with your pug.

When they are still young, expect them to be energetic and messy. If you don’t play with them, or give them their toy, they will destroy a lot of things in the house. To solve that, you can buy them a toy and schedule a play time with your pug daily.

That way, you are exhausting their energy so that they are already tired and ready to snooze. They are not lazy, yet they can sleep for fourteen hours a day.

Are there behavioral problems with pugs?

There are rare cases of behavioral problems you see in pugs. That’s because they are naturally friendly and calm pets. You usually see pugs sleeping on the couch. If they want to play or cuddle, they will approach their owners.

But it doesn’t mean pugs are exempted from having behavioral issues. Here are some common issues you will find in them:

  • Barking
  • Nipping
  • Whining
  • Dominance and separation anxiety
  • Growling
  • Being stubborn

These issues will vary on every pug. But you can resolve these behavioral concerns by training them.


All things considered, pugs are great pets for the family. Their friendly and loving nature are adorable as a companion for life. This is the main reason why many aspiring pet owners want this dog breed.

Should you have other questions about pugs, feel free to read our content. We cover almost everything about pugs.