BREED IN FOCUS
Although this friendly, companion toy breed is more likely to lick an intruder to death, the Dutch Prince William was saved by his perky pet when it raised the alarm while the Prince was sleeping, foiling an assassination attempt. Despite being adopted by the Dutch people as an apt icon for their small, steadfast country, the Pug originates from further back in time and from much further east, China.
The fine, short coat of the Pug is smooth and soft to the touch, can be apricot, black, fawn or silver in colour, all with black mask and ears. Not typically one to turn down a good meal, maintenance of optimum weight can be a struggle for the Pug who should range between 6 to 9 kg, dependent on height, and gender, with most standing 25 to 28 cm tall.
With no need for professional salon visits, weekly attention with a brush or comb followed by a massaging polish with a grooming glove will keep the coat of a Pug in tip-top condition. Continually losing a small amount of hair is normal, with moulting twice a year to be expected. Special care must be taken to keep the facial folds clean around the nose and ears, to prevent irritation and potential infection.
Training and temperament
The permanently puzzled expression that the Pug portrays so well is purely a front, contributing to its comical charm, as this breed is by no means lacking in intelligence. These easy-going, sociable and individual characters are fairly straight forward to train. However, being sensitive souls, they do react negatively to stress so sessions must be relaxed and enjoyable.
Common health conditions
With an average life expectancy of 13 years, Pugs will be tested by reputable breeders for hip dysplasia and hermivertibrae. Elbow luxation is also recorded and facial features are such that upper respiratory problems are not uncommon. There is a predisposition in the breed towards eye problems, including dry eye, inward-turning eyelids and irritation caused by extra eyelashes, and with protruding eyeballs. Care should be taken as a Pugs eyes can be easily scratched.
Content with both town and country dwelling, the Pug can reside in an apartment without a garden as long as its daily needs for mental and physical stimulation are met. Thriving on human company, this breed would not take to kennel life at all and would prefer to accompany his human family as much as possible than be left home alone. That said, half an hour's daily exercise with free play is enough to manage the energy levels of this breed and care must be taken to not over-exert them. They particularly suffer in the heat and are also not fond of wet conditions, so would benefit from chilling out at home during hot Summers and staying snug indoors on chilly, wet days, with perhaps a cosy coat as a Christmas pressie for those winter walks!