AKC Toy Group


Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

One of the older breeds, the Pug is believed to have originated before 400 BC in Asia. He was a pet at Tibetan monasteries and later traveled to Japan. The Pug then came to Europe, where the endearing little dog was the pet of royalty in several countries and even became the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland. A Pug saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by alerting him to the approach of the Spaniards in 1572 at Hermingny. Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, sent secret messages to her husband under the collar of her Pug while she was in prison. When the British overran the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860, they discovered several Pugs and Pekingese, and brought the little dogs back to England with them. The AKC recognized the Pug in 1885 and the breed has since become a popular companion dog.


A small, square and stocky dog with a large, round head, short face, deeply wrinkled forehead and a tightly curled tail. The ears are soft and velvety, rose shape preferred. The eyes are prominent, expressive, dark, and lustrous. The teeth should meet in a slightly undershot bite. The back is short, with a level topline. The tail curls tightly, resting on the hip. A double tail curl is highly desirable. The Pug’s smooth, fine glossy coat gives him a well-groomed appearance even with minimal brushing. Coat colors are fawn, silver, or black with black mask and other black markings including a black “trace” (a line running from the occiput to the tail).

Key Facts

  • Height:  10 to 11 in.
  • Size:  Small
  • Weight:  14 to 18 lbs.
  • Availability:  Widely available
  • Talents:  Watchdog and performing tricks


Don’t overfeed this little dog, as he tends to put on too much weight. Like many short-nosed breeds, the Pug is prone to respiratory trouble, and should not be over-exercised, especially in warm weather. After bathing, dry him quickly and thoroughly to prevent chill. Expect Caesarean sections if breeding. The delicate eyes are prone to weeping. This breed tends to wheeze and snore, but, on the whole, the Pug is a very easy care dog. A small percentage of Pugs die of Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), a progressive and often fatal disease of the central nervous system. A DNA test for PDE is available to determine whether dogs carry the genetic marker for the disease.


  • Children:  Excellent with children
  • Friendliness:  Fairly friendly with strangers
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Needs people a lot
  • Dominance:  Low
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Not a barker
  • Indoors:  Relatively inactive indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  A little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Seasonally heavy shedder
  • Exercise:  Very little exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A poor jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Good for apartment living
  • Outdoor Space:  Does all right without a yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates; does not like heat
  • Longevity:  Moderately long lived (12 to 15 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Pug Breed Standard


Pug Breed Club


Search for a Breeder


Rescue Organizations


Books about the Pug


Pug Gifts