20 Pug Facts and Characteristics (2024 UPDATE)

Are you interested in learning some Pug facts? We’ve prepared the best and most interesting ones for you. 

Pugs are generally interesting dogs, and whether you like them or not, you can’t argue that they are quite popular today. So, here are some stats and facts that show their influence today.

Top 10 Facts About Pugs

General Pug Facts

Pugs are an exciting dog breed, and the details about their history and features might even surprise you.

1. Pugs are an ancient dog breed.

(American Kennel Club, Wag!)

Pugs originate from Ancient China, where a similar-looking dog was bred about 2,400 years ago. From there, it spread to Japan, Russia, Europe, and eventually the US, its popularity only increasing by the year.

The first Pugs were called Lo-Sze and served as companion dogs for the wealthy. They had shorter legs and longer muzzles when compared to today’s versions.

A fun fact is that the Lo-Sze breed was recently recreated by an American woman. She wanted to create a breed with characteristics closer to those they had initially.

2. Pugs were the official dogs of the House of Orange.

(Animal Friends)

It happened because a Pug named Pompey saved the life of William of Orange, king of the Netherlands, in the 16th century. The House of Orange spread the love for Pugs in Britain when they took the throne in the 17th century. 

From Britain, Pugs spread to the rest of Europe.

3. Queen Victoria owned 36 Pugs!


Though some sources claim this number to be 38, one thing is for sure — she owned many dogs and was a great dog lover. Queen Victoria holds an unofficial record for most Pugs owned by a single person.

4. The American Kennel Club first recognized them as a breed in 1885.

(Daily Paws)

They came to the US just a decade or two before that. There are no precise records, but it’s known that Pugs appeared only after the Civil War was over.

The Pugs’ popularity was immense in the beginning but faded until the 1930s, when Pugs got their popularity back.

5. There are five different Pug colors.

(Pugs quest)

  • Fawn Pugs — light cream color 
  • Black Pugs — entirely black but can have some white markings on the body.
  • Apricot or apricot fawn Pugs — orange undertone
  • Silver or silver fawn Pugs — Pugs with grey undertone
  • Brindle Pugs — a combination of black and cream stripes.

American Kennel recognizes only two colors of these five — fawn and black. Apricot, brindle, and silver/grey Pugs cannot compete in any breed show in the US.

Other rare color variations, such as albino or panda Pug, are also possible but not officially recognized. Also, they are very rarely seen in pure-bred offspring.

6. Teacup Pugs are the smallest Pugs you can find.

(The Goody Pet)

They are bred from two dwarf Pugs and are as big as a teacup, and they weigh only 2–5 lbs. Mini Pugs, on the other hand, are not 100% Pugs, but a crossbreed between a Pug and a Chihuahua. 

Be aware that these two Pug types are really small, as Pugs already belong to the toy dogs. 

7. There are over 30 different crossbreeds of Pugs.

(Lucky Pug)

Those types come from cross-breeding Pugs with other breeds. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Puggle (Pug and Beagle)
  • Chug (Pug and Chihuahua)
  • Bugg (Pug and Boston Terrier)
  • Daug (Pug and Dachshund)
  • Hug (Pug and Husky)

These are all designer breeds and are officially not pure Pugs. 

Pug Temperament and Characteristics 

If you want to find out more about Pugs as family pets and their general characteristics, keep reading.

8. Pugs have an extremely calm temper.

(Hill’s Pet Nutrition)

Pugs don’t normally bark, chew, or dig too much, and they are as well behaved as a dog can be. They get along with other dogs and pets too, so you don’t have to worry if you already have one.

They also don’t run much and are not very active.

9. They are excellent family pets.

(Black Pug Site, The Crazy Pet Guy)

Since they were bred to be companion dogs from the beginning, they like to be close to their owners. Plus, since they are cuddly, calm, and protective, they are great for families. Children love them, and they love children too. 

This also means that they don’t do so well alone — they need a lot of attention.

10. Stubbornness and attitude are a part of a Pug’s personality.

(Black Pug Site)

Pugs are not the most easily trained dogs. Even though they like pleasing their owners, they can be stubborn. So, to train a Pug, you need a lot of patience — but it pays out in the end.

11. Female Pugs are easier to train than male ones.


On the other hand, male Pugs like to cuddle more and have a calmer temper. Female Pugs are also more protective, but they are just as affectionate as males — when they choose to be. 

Pug Health Problems

Pugs are unfortunately known for their health problems. No matter how good the breeder is, your dog will probably have some problems. Some will be minor, such as Pug acne, but some can be life-threatening. 

If you get a Pug, prepare to visit the vet a lot more than the recommended once-a-year checkup. Read on to learn what you can expect if you get a Pug.

12. An estimated 1.2% of Pugs die from Pug dog encephalitis.

(Great Pet Care)

Pug dog encephalitis is an illness causing the brain to inflame and brain tissue to slowly die.

Even though this disease affects mostly Pugs, other breeds can get it too. Unfortunately, all dogs that inherit Pug encephalitis will die before their natural time.

13. Pugs’ eyes can easily pop out from the sockets.

(Melbourne Eye Vet)

This usually happens due to blunt trauma. However, in Pugs, it can also happen if you accidentally pull their facial skin too hard. Veterinarians can help, but it’s essential to look for help immediately.

Because their sockets are shallower and their eyes more sensitive, other Pug eye problems are also possible, some of which can even make them go blind.

14. Pugs can become partially paralyzed if they develop Pug Myelopathy.

(Pug Rear Leg Ataxia Paralysis)

This disease attacks Pugs’ spines, and it can significantly affect their life quality. They will have difficulty walking, urinate without control, and in the end, lose the function of their rear limbs.

It’s not possible to completely cure them, but there are treatments that can slow down the progression of the disease. It’s also important to know that it’s not painful.

15. Because of the shape of the Pugs’ skulls, they are unable to breathe properly.

(Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, The Spruce Pets)

The shape of their skull, which causes their flat faces, is due to selective breeding. This is why they belong to the brachycephalic group of dogs that are greatly susceptible to brachycephalic syndrome.

It comes with a number of breathing problems, from snoring to exercise inability.

16. The unique Pug tail shape is caused by spinal disease.

(Vet help direct)

Even though it’s cute to see a Pug with a curly tail, that curl is a result of a unique condition called Hemivertebrae. Basically, one half of a vertebra doesn’t form, making the tail curl. 

A problem appears when the same condition affects other parts of their spine, causing scoliosis, pain, pressure on the spinal cord, and in some cases, even paralysis. 

17. Pugs live up to 15 years.


Even though they have many diseases, Pug’s lifespan is not much shorter than that of other breeds. Pugs without serious health issues normally live from 12 to 15 years.

For them to reach that age, it’s important to take them to the vet regularly and feed them healthy food with vitamins and minerals.

18. Retro Pugs are bred specifically to reduce health problems.

(The Happy Puppy Site)

By breeding a Pug and a Jack Russell Terrier, a much healthier breed, the breeders wanted to create a Pug more similar to its original appearance. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, as crossbreeds can inherit the features of either parent. So, the puppies sometimes still have the same looks — and the problems that come with it — as their Pug parent.

Pugs in the 21st Century

Although they were always moderately popular, Pugs are the absolute stars of the 21st century. With the internet and social networks, their popularity is soaring.

(Bloomberg, Lucky Pug)

Pugs are some of the leaders on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Due to their laid-back nature, they can be dressed up, and they tend to stay calm for photo sessions, making them ideal Instagram dogs.

Many famous people own a Pug too, such as PewDiePie, Gerard Butler, Kelly Osbourne, and Hugh Laurie. Their Pugs are stars of both their photos and their lives.

20. Doug the Pug is the most famous Pug online.


This amazing puppy has over 12 million followers on social networks. His owner, Leslie Mosier, even published a book about their adventures and opened a merchandise store. 

He also appeared in some music videos and made some famous friends, such as Justin Bieber, Shakira, and many more. 


What is a group of Pugs called?

A group of Pugs is called a grumble. For a group to be called a grumble, there need to be at least three Pugs.


How big do Pugs get?

Fully-grown Pugs are only up to 13 inches tall, and they weigh no more than 18 lbs. If your dog is heavier, you should definitely consult with a veterinarian, as your dog could be overweight.

Teacup Pugs are a lot smaller than regular ones — they weigh only 3 lbs.

(Pawlicy Advisor, The Goody Pet)

Do Pugs shed?

Pugs do shed. If their fur is groomed regularly, they seem to shed less, but they are unfortunately among dogs that shed more than average.

(Embora Pets)

Are Pugs hypoallergenic?

Pugs are not hypoallergenic dogs. As said above, they shed, and since they are generally a wrinkly breed, this also means that they produce more dander. 

Moreover, allergies are often caused by saliva, not dander, and in that sense, they aren’t hypoallergenic either. In fact, no dog is completely allergy-free

(Embora Pets)

How much did Pugs change after selective breeding?

In the beginning, Pugs had faces that were less flat, legs that were longer, and eye sockets that were deeper. 

Now their faces are as flat as they can be, their eyes are too big for their shallow sockets, and their wrinkles cause health problems. 

The original Pugs were healthier and didn’t have as many health issues.

(Indiatimes, Vet Help Direct)

Final Thoughts

Even though many people dislike what selective breeding did to the health of Pugs, nobody can deny how great family companions they are. 

Even if you don’t wish to have a Pug, we hope that our Pug facts have at least helped you understand them a little bit more.


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