Think "Frank the Pug is so ugly he's cute?"
Want to get a pug "just like Frank?"
You see how cute Pugs are. Now here is the rest of the story on the Pug breed:
Thousands of pug dogs just like Frank end up on the streets, in pounds and shelters, or in rescue groups each and every year. Here are some facts that you should know about Pugs before you make the decision to add one (or more) to your household.
1. Pugs require a lot of time and attention. Pugs were bred to be lap dogs and to keep people company. They want to be right next to you most of the time. If you do not want a dog that wants to be with you all of the time, don't get a Pug. If you work a lot or are away from your pug for many hours a day, you are setting your Pug up for behavioral problems and possible depression because if a Pug cannot do his "job" he'll be miserable. Also, a pug is not a dog who will gladly stay off the furniture.
2. Pugs cannot be kept as outside dogs. Because of their short noses, they are very sensitive to heat, humidity and cold. Pugs can die very quickly when exposed to extreme heat or cold so they cannot live outside or be left outside for any period of time unattended. In addition, they are often sensitive to bee stings, so you could come home to a dead Pug who has had a reaction to a bee sting. Finally, Pugs are often stolen out of yards, or gardeners or meter readers or others leave a gate open and the Pug escapes.
3. Pugs shed. A lot. Even though they have short hair, they have a double coat, which means there is twice as much fluffy hair to come off. Ever seen a tumbleweed? Pugs shed tumbleweeds of fur - 365 days a year. They also snort, sneeze, and snore. A lot. And they pass gas. And they never, ever say excuse me.
4. Small children and pugs are not a good combination. While pugs are not generally aggressive dogs, young children tend to be fascinated with their curly tails and bulging eyes. Pugs eyes are very sensitive and easily injured, and having their tails pulled can make even the most easy-going pug snap at the person who is doing the pulling.
5. Pugs require some special care. See that cute little wrinkle over the pugs nose? Dirt and moisture get in there and the nose wrinkle can get infected. You need to clean the nose wrinkle daily. Ears tend to get dirty quickly and need to be cleaned, nails clipped often (they use their paws like cats to clean their faces and can knock an eye out if left long) and anal glands need to be "expressed" frequently or you may get "slimed" with foul smelling excretions when you least expect it.
6. Pugs can't go running, hiking or bicycling with you; unless you put them in a little pouch like a baby carrier and carry them on your chest. Again, because of the short nose, a pug cannot tolerate hard exercise and they have no stamina. You can usually take your pug on shorter walks when it is not too hot or humid outside. Pugs, typically, cannot swim as well. They are very solid and tend to sink instead of float. A life preserver is recommended for any pug near the lake, ocean or pool.
7. Pugs have tendencies to develop certain physical problems. Every breed has problems that they are more likely to experience. Pugs are prone to eye problems. (Almost 1/2 or more of all pugs will need eye medicine at some point in their life. One common ointment is $40.00 for a tiny tube). Luxating patella's (slipping knees), elongated soft palate's, pinched or undersized nostrils, narrow tracheas, spinal problems, pug dog encephalitis, liver shunts and other medical problems are "common" in the pug breed.
8. Pugs are difficult to housebreak. Even older pugs that are technically housebroken and know where they are supposed to go, often still have accidents. That is just part of the "charm" of owning a pug. Pugs can be stubborn and as puppies, just when you think they are housebroken - oops! It can take up to a year to housebreak a pug puppy.
9. Think pugs are couch potatoes? Think again. While a pug over three can become a laid-back couch potato, pugs under three are extremely hyper! Yes, all puppies are hyper, but pugs tend to be even more hyper. Biting toes, ears, hands etc. "Butt tucking" all over the house while banking off couches etc. They also drive other pets crazy with their antics!
10. Since pugs are getting so popular, I think I'll get a female and breed her. I can probably make some good money. First of all, you will most likely lose money breeding your pug. Before breeding your pug, you should have her tested for eye problems, knee problems, and thyroid. Then you have to pay a stud fee. Many pugs cannot give birth on their own, so a vet must do a caesarian section of the mother and you risk losing the mother and the puppies. You must be there around the clock for the first three to four weeks to make sure the puppies are staying warm (but not too warm), and that all the pups are nursing. Some pugs are not very good moms, so you'll have to take several weeks off work to be there to feed the puppies by hand every two hours, and clean them. Then there are vet check ups for the mom and for all the puppies. A reputable breeder does it to improve the breed, spaying and neutering all Pugs with medical problems and only breeding those pugs who've earned their AKC Championships and are considered as close to the "Standard" for health and conformation as possible. One breeder reports that it costs an average of $4,000.00 to breed a litter and Pugs usually only have one to three puppies per litter. A reputable breeder will be doing it for the love and dedication of the breed, not to make money. (For more information on what to look for in a reputable breeder, please go here.)
Still interested in a pug? Great! Do some research. Try to spend some time around some actual pug dogs so you get to experience first hand what a pug is like. Many cities have monthly gatherings of pug lovers, or contact your local rescue group to inquire about being a foster family for a pug waiting to be adopted.
Make sure you are willing to make a lifetime commitment to the dog you bring into your home. Pugs live on average, 12-14 years, but some live as long as 17 or 18. Will you still be willing and able to love and care for a Pug 18 years from now? Also, think about *who* wants the pug in the family. Is it the teenager who still lives at home who just saw Men in Black II? Where's he or she going to be in the next few years? Who's *really* going to have to care for this little creature who looks for so much?
Do your homework! Be sure to either adopt from a rescue organization or buy from a reputable breeder. Reputable breeders have almost always shown their pug to championship and tested for genetic disorders before breeding them. They will also give you a health warranty on the puppy. They do not advertise in local papers or on the Internet and they aren't selling puppies in front of the grocery store. Puppies in pet shops come from puppy mills and backyard breeders and you may be buying a whole array of medical problems, in addition to contributing to the exploitation of unhealthy, neglected dogs. A good breeder will interview you, the buyer, and not just want your cash. If a breeder just wants the money for the pup and doesn't care about you, walk away. For more information about puppy mills, visit www.nopuppymills.com.
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For a tri-fold informational brochure about pugs in Adobe Acrobat, please click here. Please print this and distribute as you see fit. Rescue groups - you can put a label on the back with your organization's information!