Find out what you really need to know about pugs featuring Fishstick the Rescue Pug

Maybe like me, you are one of the millions of fans of Doug the Pug or the Pugs that Play Minecraft with Dan TDM, or our own rescue rock stars Kilo the Pug and Fishstick.

Susie and Doug the Pug smiling at Global Pet Expo 2018

Susie and Doug the Pug at Global Pet Expo 2018

I caught up with Doug again last week at Global Pet Expo promoting his new calendar and don’t miss our interview when he was in Toronto for Woofstock.

But are you really ready for a Pug? Here are the things you should know first.

Pugs are so charming, cute, funny, and friendly. What’s not to love?

Let us know what you love about pugs in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Where do they come from?

Ancient Pugs are believed to have been bred in China as a companion for Emperors. They were lap dogs that looked like proud little lions and their forehead wrinkles looked like the Chinese sign for Prince.

Pug_Emperor illustration by Sean Lewis

Illustration courtesy of talented Canadian Illustrator Sean Lewis

Thank you to talented Sean Lewis for allowing me to use his gorgeous illustration. Lucky for me he has a soft spot for pugs and his parents have two.  I am thrilled to discover his work as he is based  in Toronto like me and attended the prestigious OCAD University. You can check out his site here.

Traders took the breed to Europe as royal gifts more than 400 years ago. They lived to amuse their owners and be adored and pampered like royalty. The pug reportedly became the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572 after a Pug saved the life of the Prince by alerting him to the approach of assassins.

This does not surprise me as my Kilo the Pug always alerts me to the arrival of any strangers, especially the poor mail man. We are working on this.

Quick Pug Facts.

  • The Pug is a squarely built, deep chested, compact breed with short but strong legs, a tightly cute curled tail and an unmistakable flat, squishy, wrinkled face with large, round, dark protruding eyes.
  • They are the largest of the Toy Breeds, recognized by the AKC since 1885.
  • They come in 4 different colours :  fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn, or black.
  • They are a flat face or brachycephalic breed like Bulldogs. They frequently have an under bite.
  • They are usually a pretty healthy breed except for breathing issues – must admit their reverse sneezes and struggles to breathe upset me. They can live to 15 years old.
  • It is important to be aware of the climate you live in as pugs may suffer in extreme temperatures, especially heat. Their bulging eyes are also vulnerable to injury.

Susie Sophie and Kilo smiling in matching t-shirts

Pugs love Company

The Pug is known as the shadow or velcro dog. They usually crave company and love to be with their humans. Pugs should not be left alone for long stretches if possible.

With Kilo “Every move I make, every breath I take”, he is watching me- in the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room and in the kitchen. I often wake up to his cute face an inch from mine staring at me. He uses me as a pillow, a ladder, a source of heat and a toy. He expects to be allowed to get comfy on my lap, bed and sofa.

These comical little clowns are adaptable and can make great house or apartment pets, as long as they get lots of love and attention.

They need to be supervised and the house should be regularly “Pug proofed” as they are very resourceful about finding food and can be rather mischievous.

They are usually quite sociable with other dogs, especially pugs.

Pugs Love Food

Pugs LOVE food and equate food with love.  It can be so hard to resist their little faces looking up and I often cave but they do need to eat an appropriate diet as they can be prone to obesity. They should weigh from 14 to 18 pounds.  Kilo weighs 16.5.

Check out Fishstick’s hilarious interview with PetGuide.


In terms of grooming, Pugs require regular face cleaning in their wrinkles, nail trims which Kilo really hates, teeth cleaning and occasional baths. What surprised me most was that they shed, a lot, all year. We have black pug hair everywhere.

Pugs need regular mental and physical exercise.

Energy, Tricks and Sports: Pugs are not exactly natural athletes or trick dogs like Border Collies but they have strong little legs, endless curiosity and unbridled enthusiasm. Pugs get energy in bursts for races or zoomies but don’t have great stamina so are often happy on the couch napping beside you, and in many cases, snoring.

Kilo takes several short walks every day and has lots of puzzles, toys and chews. He won’t chase a ball or a disc, but he enjoys an audience and loves playing games with me, especially go find or football with an empty plastic water bottle. He also likes mini agility.  He is so fast and fearless.

He can jump several times his own height and has reached many things he shouldn’t have by leaping up on tables or pulling bags off counters.

Some enjoy swimming but most do not seem to be fans and need a life jacket.

Although pugs are smart and eager to please, they can be stubborn to train. They are often very food motivated dogs so make sure to have lots of treats on hand and be very positive and patient.  I rescued Kilo at 2 years-old and all he knew was sit. Now 3 years later after much love and hard work and many treats, he is crate trained, almost toilet trained and knows over 30 tricks or behaviours.

If you are a perfectionist and not prepared to put up with the occasional accident or pug crime, a pug may not be perfect for you. Many pugs, including Kilo, seem to have selective deafness and do not have a 100% reliable recall. Kilo often does not respond to his name, but he can hear the crackle of a treat bag or the drop of a single piece of kibble on the wood floor from a deep sleep. I always keep him on a leash out walking. He still does not like peeing or pooping outside in snow or rain which means the odd “accident”.

Pugs and Kids

We often get asked which breeds are good around kids. Every dog is different of course, but the pug is a fun-loving robust compact companion dog and if properly trained and socialized, should be great with kids.   Kids just have to be trained to treat any pet with respect and especially be careful of the pugs’ eyes. Pugs can also make amazing therapy dogs for reading programs with kids.

Pug Social Life

We have Pug Chat weekly for Pug Parents on Twitter and meet ups across the US. A group of pugs is called a grumble. We have a local grumble with monthly meet ups in an off leash park. We also have Pug Races at events like Woofstock and regular pug parties hosted by Pug A Lug Pug Rescue.

If you love pugs, make sure to give this video a thumbs up. Thanks for watching and make sure to subscribe for more videos!

Let us know any questions or pug stories in the comments below.

You Love!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




  • Awww, I love pugs. They are so cute! Gotta love a good pug video!

  • They have a long illustrious history! How cool that a pug stopped an assassination. Love the illustration.

  • One thing I do see about pug owners is that they are definitely one of the most passionate bunch of dog lovers about their breed!!! This is a great overview….

  • I love pugs, they are really little clowns and just so adorable. I watch them in the park all the time and they just make me laugh. Great post for those that want to adopt one

  • I’m glad you mentioned obesity and how much pugs love their food. I’ve seen so many “sausage” pugs come into the store. Hard to tell people their baby is fat – but sometimes it is the kindest thing. Better than having arthritis and all. I love that a group of pugs is a grumble – how cute!

  • I saw two pugs outside a cafe a while ago, I SOOO wanted a pug. Thank you for all the information. Now I just need to convince the cats,

  • Now I see there was so much I didn’t know about Pugs! 🙂

  • Pugs are so cute! I didn’t realize that they were so food motivated! Love the videos and will share them.

  • I’m not a dog owner however I have never met a person that didn’t love a pug! Loves their squishy face and big eyes. I honestly didn’t know that Pugs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, among other things. One thing I can relate to in training cat or dog is patience! I agree 100%

  • Very thorough post! It is so important for potential pet parents to do their research to know if a dog is right for them. Pugs are adorable but not for me.

  • Fishstick is adorable. Pugs are adorable. I just feel sad about the fact that many have a hard time breathing, get overheated easily …

  • Such an informative and cute video about pugs! Bernie was watching with me and I made it *very clear* to Mr. McSquare that he is not to try that trick with the roll of toilet paper! LOL!

  • Such a sweet post! Those little Pug faces, so adorable! I love how Kilo tossed that puzzle piece in the video! BOL! I think our Husky Chloe must secretly be a Pug in disguise. Treats are her life!

  • I love discovering new artists – thank you for sharing this piece by Sean Lewis. Thank you also for sharing Pug traits. Sadly, too many people do not do their research and frustrated new pet owners surrender pets to shelters. Great video!

    Also, how cute are those pug tees you’re modelling?!

  • Pugs sound a lot like Persians. We don’t have the extreme faces, but do have some of the breathing issues Persians have.

  • Very informative post about Pugs, it’s so important for people to research a breed before deciding to bring one home. There are always surprises – my sister got a Pug years ago assuming they would not shed much, boy was she wrong! The shedding drove her nuts for years. I love the Pug’s friendly, sweet personality. My sister’s Pug was so great with her son, they were total besties.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  • I have always said a pug is about the only toy breed I would ever consider. They are like a big dog in a tiny package. Their personalities are so endearing! This is such an informative post for anyone considering getting one of these little guys.

  • I love pugs. I find them really adorable, but their breathing issues make me sad. Pugs have a certain sassiness to them that I like. Most the pugs I’ve met have been really happy dogs with lots of personalities!

  • Pugs are absolutely adorable! My sister had one and she was awesome. They never fail to make me smile, but I wish they didn’t have so many potential health issues.