Fancy one of the most favored lapdogs throughout all of history? Pugs are playful little pups with peculiar humor and an adorable, quirky face. These dogs are people-lovers through and through, but they can also have a mind of their own.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


10 - 13



14 - 18


Life Span





Hip Dysplasia

of dogs

What is it?

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease that involves the malformation of the hip joint in one or both hind legs.

Clinical signs:

Reduced activity and coordination, abnormal gait (limping, swaying, hopping), weakness, loss of muscle mass in the affected limb, enlarged shoulders


Physical therapy, exercise restrictions, weight loss, medications, supplements, surgery

Other risks:

Knowing the signs is vital to secure prompt diagnosis and treatment. Older dogs are sometimes not suited to surgery.

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit https://www.spotpetinsurance.ca/sample-policy for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.


Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

of dogs

What is it?

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease has similar signs to hip dysplasia but is a unique condition.

Clinical signs:

Avoidance of, pain around, or reduced muscle mass in the affected limb, limping gait


Total hip replacement (THR) surgery, or medications and medical therapy

Other risks:

Treatment continues with long term follow-ups

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit https://www.spotpetinsurance.ca/sample-policy for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.



Pugs are a docile breed that gets along easily with others. From family to dogs to strangers, pugs are confidently friendly.


This is a toy breed with a history of companionship for royal families, which would often include children. Pugs have the perfect temperament for such a purpose – sweet, gentle, and easy-going.


Pugs have a mind of their own at times, which can make training somewhat difficult. Turn training into an enjoyable experience with plenty of positive reinforcement and playful practices.


These dogs are made for families – whether human or canine. Pugs love to be around others. Deprive them of attention, and they will be sure to make you know their frustrations.


Pugs live up to their purpose with a delightfully playful temperament that balances gentleness and low energy levels with a fun-loving, humorous demeanor.

Lifetime Care


A short, smooth coat covers the pug’s body, down to their twisty little tails. This short coat sheds significantly and handles cold weather better than warm.

Coat Colors

Pug coat colors can be black, apricot, silver, or fawn.




Pugs shed significantly and need regular brushing to help keep their coat clean and healthy. You should also pay close attention to cleaning your pug’s facial wrinkles, as those have specific grooming needs. Nail trimming, dental cleaning, and bathing needs are normal.


While pugs are highly intelligent dogs, they also have a strong will. Training can be a difficult task, but with patience and positive reinforcement, it can be accomplished.

Pug: Breed Information Guide

Some breeds have their own unique reputation. Pugs are one of those breeds.

These funny little pooches are well known for their silliness, stubbornness, and affectionate personalities. As ancient lap dogs, their purpose is clear – be a cuddly companion. Pugs are often described with the phrase “multum in parvo,” or a lot in a little — these pups have a ton of personality in one small package.

While this purpose may seem simple, there are still plenty of considerations for a potential pet parent.

Today, our Spot Pet Insurance breed guide is all about the pug and what it can mean to take proper care of a dog from this breed.

Meet the pug

Best known for their deep wrinkles, curled tail, round heads, and silly personalities, pugs are equal parts adorable and entertaining.

Their name is believed to have come from the Latin word for fist, “pugnus.”

Many owners fancy this toy breed for a family companion, but are pugs right for you? Do low exercise needs balance out their training challenges? Do potential health concerns outweigh an ideal personality?

Ultimately, the decision comes down to balancing your own needs with your pugs. Read on to inform that balance by understanding the pug breed more deeply!

Where does the pug breed come from?

Most agree that the breed originated over 2000 years ago in China, where they served as fanciful toy dogs for royalty. They were bred for the Chinese court alongside similar breeds such as the Shih Tzu. Some historians even believe they’re related to the Tibetan mastiff, albeit distantly.

At the time, pugs were tightly guarded by royalty and were therefore extremely rare. A few hundred years, the breed was finally brought to Europe with Dutch traders returning from the East.

The pug craze spread quickly amongst the wealthy and powerful in Holland, England, Spain, and Finland, among other places. Josephine Bonaparte even had a pet pug before she married Napoleon.

During the Victorian era in the 19th century, pugs were particularly popular, and even Queen Victoria herself was a pug owner. It was around this time they found their official standardization. By the 20th century, pugs had spread to America.

Today, pugs are one of the most popular breeds in the world. They may have come a long way from ancient China, but their purpose as non-working companions has not changed.

What are the potential health problems for pugs?

Like most small dogs, pugs have a substantial life expectancy of 12-15 years. However, there are quite a few potential health issues that this breed is predisposed to. Reputable breeders will screen to avoid these issues.

Elbow and hip dysplasia are some of the most common problems in pugs. While the disease is common in a number of dog breeds, only one has a worse rate of the disease than pugs, according to statistics from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.

Hip dysplasia can hinder quality of life and even lead to further injury, but thankfully it can be treated (with a generally positive outlook for success and recovery).

Other conditions such as degenerative myelopathy, dry eye, entropion, patellar luxation, hemivertebrae (a spinal condition), ulcers, and skin problems are also quite common.

Pugs also often struggle with breathing problems — they may snore and wheeze quite loudly, too. In particular, they may develop brachycephalic syndrome, just like French bulldogs, Pekingese, and other pups with short muzzles might.

One unique condition to be aware of is pug dog encephalitis. Unfortunately, this brain disease is often fatal, and there is no known cause, test, or treatment at this time, but research is ongoing.

Are pugs affectionate with family?

Yes, pugs are affectionate with their family!

For hundreds of years, these little dogs served as loving, entertaining companions for royalty and other wealthy families across Asia and Europe. This wasn’t by accident – the pug has a temperament that’s very well suited to such a role as a lapdog.

They truly live up to their toy name with how entertaining they can be. Their silly demeanor often shows itself in their affectionate demonstrations to family.

If you’re looking for a family dog that shows you lots of love, this could be the breed for you – but make sure you’ve got plenty of time and love to devote to them in return.

If you don’t, your pug is likely to be just as demonstrative in showing you that they want more affection and attention.

Are pugs intelligent?

This is a highly intelligent breed of dog, but also a sensitive one. Pugs can enjoy training, including obedience and being taught tricks, but there’s got to be something in it for them. Positive reinforcement with rewards is the best method for this breed so that their intelligence works for you, not against you.

If you train a pug with aversion techniques, their sensitive selves will likely lock down and look for their own ways to stay mentally stimulated, which you may not like.

Pugs need plenty of mental stimulation, but it should primarily come from play. Thankfully, pugs are extremely playful and will gladly spend bonding time with you.

Do pugs do well with children?

Families with children often thrive with a pug in their midst. These dogs are sweet, gentle, affectionate, and playful, not to mention small. These are all the best qualities for a companion dog for children.

How are pugs with strangers?

Pugs are considered a very friendly, confident breed. Some individuals might have a higher watchdog instinct, in which case socialization will become especially vital.

In any case, all dogs should be socialized from a young age so they know how to interact during new encounters. Thankfully, this is an easy process for pugs, who have a natural disposition for friendliness.

Do pugs get along with other pets?

Just as pugs are social with children, they can also be the same with other dogs. In fact, adding another dog to your family could be a great way to ensure your pug has plenty of companionship and a playmate at all times, even when you are busy.

How to be the best pet parent for a pug

Proper care for a pug starts with understanding your responsibilities as a pet parent, both in a general sense and specific to this breed.

Our Spot Pet Insurance Blog is a great place to go from here, full of helpful resources regarding health, safety, lifestyle, and more!

Let’s cover a few more pug-specific areas before we wrap up.

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your pug

Training a pug isn’t going to be the easiest task compared to other breeds. Their intelligence is counter to their strong will, which means that although they are capable of picking up training quickly, they sometimes don’t want to.

The most important thing to remember is that pugs are highly sensitive. It’s vital to use positive reinforcement. A pug who has been offended is an even harder dog to train than usual!

With the right methods, pugs can come to enjoy training and lose their stubbornness. With aversion techniques, stubbornness is compounded, and training becomes much more difficult.

Thankfully, the pug’s social temperament means they won’t necessarily get bored or distracted too easily. They want to be with you, and if you can make training a positive bonding experience, it will be more fruitful for everyone involved.

What types of foods should pugs never eat?

We know it’s tempting to give your pug some scraps from the table, but certain human foods you might have around your kitchen need to be kept away from pugs in all circumstances. These foods are toxic to dogs in general. Here are some common examples:

Exercising tips to keep your pug staying fit and healthy

It is often said that pugs are docile – some might even call them lazy. They can certainly take a little motivation to keep their exercise needs met.

Thankfully, these needs are generally low. Vigorous exercise isn’t suitable for this breed, so low-intensity activities (such as a walk or some playtime) for 15-30 minutes each day should suffice. Don’t expect a pug to be your jogging partner or to play fetch for hours on end – if at all.

They don’t need tons of space for this exercise, which can be ideal for those living in an apartment or for seniors who may prefer to have their pug play inside.

Pug life stages

Puppy: 0 - 1 year

Adult: 1 year - 9 years

Senior: 9 years - end of life


  • Pug Dog Breed Information | American Kennel Club (AKC)

  • Pug Dog Breed Information & Characteristics | Daily Paws

  • Pug Dog Breed Hypoallergenic, Health and Life Span | PetMD

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia | American College of Veterinary Surgeons - ACVS

  • Breed Statistics | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

  • How Much Does Dog Hip Dysplasia Surgery Cost? | Vet Info

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

  • Pug History: Origins of the Ancient, Wrinkly Companion Dog | American Kennel Club.

  • Degenerative Myelopathy In Dogs | VCA Animal Hospitals

  • Susceptibility to Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) | Animal Genetics

  • Does training method matter?: Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare | bioRxiv

  • Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat | WebMD

  • Pug History | The Pug Dog Club of America