Even if you’re not an expert on dogs, you likely recognize a Pug.
With their adorable scrunched-up face and cute “Pug” nose, it’s impossible not to fall in love with them whoever you are.
And if you’re wondering, are Pugs good with kids, the answer for the most part is a resounding “yes.”
The Origin of the Pug
Before we get to some of the reasons why Pugs make such good pets for kids, let’s talk about their origins, which should help you understand the reasons why this is so.
Pugs originated in China around 206 BCE to 200 CE. At that time, they were favored by Chinese royalty and often had luxurious accommodations and even soldiers who guarded them. There is evidence that Pugs were found in ancient Tibet and Japan.
Pugs’ popularity spread throughout Europe, and some of the people who owned Pugs have names you’ll recognize. Marie Antoinette and Josephine Bonaparte both owned Pugs, as did royalty such as Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, Lord and Lady Willoughby d’Eresby, and even Queen Victoria.
After the Civil War, pugs were introduced to the United States, and they were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. In 1931, the Pug Dog Club of America was formed, and today pugs are more popular than ever.
The Pug Breed: In a Nutshell
Pugs are sturdy and compact and are classified as part of AKC’s Toy Breed. Not only are they friendly and social, but they have great senses of humor that they love showing off to everyone around them! They are playful dogs that love to “entertain” people by showing off tricks and funny antics.
Since they are a small dog breed, and they were originally bred to be lap dogs, Pugs love human companionship. They are very affectionate but also don’t mind sitting in your lap for long periods of time while you watch a movie or read a book.
Pugs have a very easy-going personality and love kids and other animals, but if your kids want a dog that stays very active most of the time and loves to fetch and run all day long, this is not the dog to choose. While Pugs are energetic, they tend not to be that way all day long.
So, if you’ve asked yourself, are pugs good family dogs, the answer is “yes,” as long as you don’t expect lots of energy around the clock. Pugs tend to be very good with adults, kids, and all types of animals, so they really do make great family pets.
Pugs love all types of human and other types of companionship, and while they’re not active 24/7, they should never be left alone for hours at a time. If you work full-time and you’re gone all day, every day, it’s probably not a good idea to have a Pug, or any other type of Pog for that matter.
Nevertheless, a Pug is a good family dog that is very loving and easy-going, so it’s easy to fall in love with him every day.
Vital Stats and Information on Pugs
If you’re one of those people who loves stats and numbers, here are some about the Pug dog breed that you’ll likely appreciate:
- Dog breed group: Companion dog
- Height: 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulders
- Weight: 14 to 18 pounds for both males and females
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Pugs have comical faces and deep wrinkles that surround their dark eyes, not to mention a flat round face that everyone who sees them loves. According to legend, the Chinese, who perfected the breeding of the Pug, loved the wrinkles because they looked very similar to the symbol for “good luck” in the Chinese language.
In fact, the favorite Pugs of the Chinese people are said to be those whose wrinkles look like the Chinese word for “prince.”
It is also believed that the reason these dogs are called Pugs is because it comes from the Latin word for “fist,” which is what the Pugs’ faces resemble.
Pugs have great personalities and are easy to get along with. A bit mischievous, these dogs are happy and charming, but if you go to train them, be prepared for a few possible challenges.
Why? Because Pugs are both very intelligent and willful, not to mention a bit stubborn. Do not worry, though, because if you use a lot of positive reinforcement and you are patient, they usually train very well.
In fact, when you’re house-training a Pug, crate training is highly recommended. This seems to be the most effective method of house-training given their personality.
One other aspect of owning a Pug is this: they do tend to shed a lot! This is in part because they have a short but double coat. If you own a good vacuum cleaner, be prepared to use it on a regular basis.
In addition, because they are small and quiet, they can usually live in apartments and be all right. They should, however, always be indoors because the flat shape of the Pug’s face means that it won’t do well when it’s extremely cold or extremely hot outside.
And once Pugs are well trained, they can even make good watchdogs, although they don’t make nearly as much noise as many other dogs do. This is something that your neighbors are certain to notice and appreciate!
What About Their Health?
Pugs are generally healthy animals, but they do need to be monitored for certain ailments and injuries. These include the following:
- Because of their very prominent eyes, they are prone to eye injuries
- They are greedy eaters and will overeat when not monitored, which can lead to obesity
- They are prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, and hypothyroidism
They can also suffer with:
- Allergies, including contact allergies and food allergies
- Cheyletiella dermatitis (walking dandruff)
- Corneal ulcers
- Dry eye and other eye problems
- Demodectic mange, or demodicosis, which affects their skin
- Nerve degeneration
- Sensitivity to certain vaccines
- Staph infection or yeast infection
- Patellar luxation, or dislocation of the kneecap
- Pug dog encephalitis (PDE)
These things should not concern you. The chances of your Pug getting a lot of the ailments on this list are not very high. If you purchase a Pug from a reputable breeder, they’ll provide you with a health analysis because most of them have their puppies checked out with a veterinarian before selling them to their new owners.
Good care and regular visits to the vet are the best ways to lessen the chance that your Pug will suffer with any of these conditions. And speaking of care…
How to Care for Your Pug
Although quite playful, Pugs are very low-maintenance animals, making them the perfect choice for older pet parents. You should let them spend time outdoors every day because they do need some exercise, but they should spend most of their time indoors. This is especially applicable if you live in a hot, humid area.
As far as meals go, Pugs should get two meals a day and should consume no more than one cup of high-quality dog food per day. Again, keep in mind that they will eat much more than this if you let them, so always monitor what your Pug eats.
Pugs can be bathed once a month, although some pet parents prefer more frequent baths. Regular brushing and bathing can keep their shedding to a minimum. You should also trim their nails regularly as well.
Because pugs have so many facial wrinkles, these wrinkles are prone to infection. When you bathe your Pug, make sure the folds are cleaned out thoroughly. In between baths, use a wet wipe of some type to clean between the folds so they do not get dirt, sweat, or debris between them.
And as with all dogs, you’ll need to brush their teeth regularly so they don’t get any dental disease or problems.
Finally, if you’re a light sleeper, be aware that Pugs tend to snore, so you might want to invest in a good pair of earplugs!
Pugs: The Perfect Dogs for Kids and Families
Playful and easy-going, social and even funny, Pugs make great family dogs whether you have kids or not. They are easy to please and love human companionship, and they do well around other animals such as cats, dogs, and many others.
Pugs are also easy to care for, with the main thing that you need to be aware of being their massive shedding. Nevertheless, Pugs make a great addition to anyone’s family, and you don’t even need a big yard for them to play in because they only need minimal amounts of exercise.
If you want to adopt, you should be able to find a lonely Pug who needs a family at your local shelter. If you buy from a breeder, make sure that breeder is reputable and has all of the paperwork you need to look at. And if you can, try to meet one of your new family member’s siblings or parents.
One thing is certain: you won’t regret getting a Pug. Not only are they playful and make great best friends, but they are also one of the most fun animals that you can have around the house!