Pug breed guide


Up to 14 inches at the shoulder


Male and female between 14-18 pounds


Between 12 – 15 years



Pugs are an ancient breed of dog, originating in China, and were thought to have been brought to Europe as far back as the 16th Century. They first gained popularity in the UK under the reign of Queen Victoria who had an interest in the breed, as pugs were often considered a symbol of royalty. The pug used to have a long and lean appearance, but due to breeding trends in the last century the pug as we know it today bears little resemblance to what it used to look like.


Small but sturdy, pugs are surprisingly strong for their size. As they are such a popular breed, they have been bred to look a certain way, and can be characterised by their flat faces which places them in the brachycephalic group of dogs. Pugs have a glossy coat, are most often fawn or black in colour, and bear distinct wrinkles on their faces.


Pugs are loyal, peaceful, playful and lovable. They are stubborn (training may take more time than other breeds) but very intelligent, so don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes whenever food is around – they know what they’re doing!

Pugs are very expressive and, if well trained and socialised, they are good around other dogs and children. Adult pugs spend most of the day sleeping and were bred to be lap dogs, hence pugs will love unconditionally and cherish human companionship.

Things to watch out for

Because pugs are a brachycephalic breed they often sadly have major health issues, notably respiratory issues and eye problems. If you are considering buying or adopting a pug, please ensure first that you choose one whose face is not dangerously flat, and check that they came from a responsible breeder.

Snorting and wheezing in pugs is very common, and while some people may think it is cute, it is a result of selective breeding and ending up with a shortened nasal passage. It could also be a result of the pug being overweight, so it is important to limit treats and seek advice from a vet to ensure your pug is following a diet of essential, balanced nutrients.

Is a pug the breed for me?

Pugs are a calm, playful and loyal family dog. They do not require a lot of exercise and only need around half an hour a day, or two short walks, morning and evening. They must not be walked in hot weather as pugs are vulnerable to heat due to their short nose. Pugs have a short coat but shed all year round, so you’ll need to be okay with lots of dog hair around the house.

Did you know?

Pugs are one of the gassiest breeds! However, there are things which can help, such as holding back on human food treats and investing in a slow feeder bowl to stop them eating too much too quickly.

We offer insurance for Pugs from just 4 weeks old, check out our dog insurance page to learn more.

Looking for more dog advice?

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Need Insurance for your Pug?

Dog insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your Pug gets injured or falls ill.


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Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
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