My precious Pug

If you are looking for a cute and small dog, who will love and adore you, then Pug is the breed for you. Her dark melting eyes will make you forget your worries and her happy disposition will spread happiness all around.

Remember the popular Hutch advertisement, which had people gushing, of a small boy and his little four-legged buddy. The jingle ‘You and I, in this beautiful world…’ totally portrayed their love, adventure and the fun they were having in complete togetherness. The little dog and the boy stole a million hearts, the dog also was called, ‘The Hutch dog.’ That little sweet dog is a Pug, who follows everywhere with loyalty and love.

The Pug loves to please her master and is anxious to learn and love. All she needs is love and you will have a friend who will stay by your side even in your testing times.

The name comes from the Latin word ‘pugnus’, which means fist, a reference to the shape of the dog’s face. In order to communicate with humans, she makes a grunting nasal noise, similar to a pig. She will love to snuggle with you and will do anything to be close to you, thus loving you all the more.

Their charming looks, small manageable size, ease of care and their friendly and affectionate nature, make them a perfect family dog. Their square muscular body gives the impression of strength and Pug is the dog for all occasions.

General appearance

A Pug is decidedly square and cobby which means short bodied, thick and square. This muscular dog has a short, shiny coat. “Pug should give a strong impression of squareness when viewed from any angle. All the parts must fit together to form a harmonious unit. The most important concept to remember is square,” tells Mustafa Hussiani of Indane Kennels, Hyderabad.

The Pug head is one of their most important features. The head is large, massive, round and impressive. Her eyes are dark in colour, very large, bold and prominent, globular shape, soft and solicitous in expression. The ears are thin, small and soft like black velvet. The wrinkles on the Pug’s face around the eyes and nose contribute, along with its round deep brown eyes, to the Pug’s characteristic expression. And her tail is curled as tightly as possible over the hip. The tight and double curl tail is perfect.

They are available in a variety of colours such as black, apricot fawn or silver. The average height of these dogs is 12-14 inches while that of females is 10-12 inches. The average weight of dogs is 6-9 kg while that of females is 6-8 kg. Their life span is 12-15 years.

“They are ‘Multum in parvo,’ a lot of dog in a small space. They are the largest among the toy group. An ideal Pug must have a nice, round head with correct ear placement, good wrinkles on forehead, nice level topline, clear coat, tight double curbed tail, good front and hind angulations,” summarises Dr Ravi T of Aareltee Pugs, Karnataka.

Temperament

Pugs are happy go lucky, full of life and energy. They are little clowns with a terrific sense of humour. And by nature, Pugs love human company. They are loyal, affectionate and docile.

“They are little bundles of joy that fill your lives with immense amusement, fun, happiness and satisfaction,” says Dr. Ravi.

She is a very social dog and an excellent family pet. Though she will certainly become attached to her main caretaker, Pug is not a one-person dog and will befriend equally all the people in her family. She is playful and loving with children and gets along well with other pets in the family. “Pugs love being in the company of children as they are child like at heart themselves,” adds Dr. Ravi. But she requires a lot of love and attention and can become jealous if the owner ignores her. Since they are short-nosed dogs, they are prone to snoring. A Pug is not an outdoor dog. She doesn’t like dirty places.’“Pugs usually don’t like to sit or sleep in dirty place,” adds Hussiani. Also, they are very inquisitive and are wary of strangers.

Grooming

Brush your Pug regularly to remove shedding hair. One must clean the eyes and ears daily. Also, daily cleaning of facial wrinkles is a must. This breed is seasonally heavy shedder. “Fawn Pugs shed lot of hair because they have an undercoat of soft, downy hair, thus they tend to shed more than blacks. In addition to controlling shedding, regular brushing stimulates the dog’s skin to produce the natural oils that keep the Pug’s coat healthy and shiny,” says Hussiani.

Upkeep

She needs special care during hot humid weather due to the short nose. She should never be left out in the sun. Also, she cannot withstand hot or cold weather and should be kept indoors at comfortable temperatures. “Pugs need to be kept in a suitable temperature. They cannot tolerate extremes of temperature. The ideal temperature for them is between 20–25oC,” adds Dr. Ravi. One thing Pugs hate is to be put on a diet, food for her is the greatest pleasure in life, after being with her family. “But you must be careful to monitor your Pug’s diet, as she will generally eat whatever is in front of her and then go looking for more. For this reason, Pugs with indulgent owners can easily become obese — a condition that is not only unattractive but also extremely unhealthy,” tells Hussiani.

Bringing home a Pug puppy

“Before you bring home a Pug puppy, find a good veterinarian, who would help you take care of your pup. You will also need a few supplies: a crate and some soft bedding, food and water dishes and a supply of the food she was being fed in her previous home. Try to have these on hand before you bring your Pug puppy home so you can settle straight into enjoying her without having to run to the store. When you bring your Pug puppy home, she would want to wander and explore her new surroundings, and take frequent naps. The experience of moving to a new place with new people is stressful for your Pug puppy, so it is very important to let her have as much sleep as she needs and take her time adjusting. Keep visitors to a minimum first few days. Let your Pug puppy become secure in her relationship,” tells Hussiani. Hussiani further says that it is very important to follow her vaccination and deworming schedules. The puppy should not be given a bath or taken out for a walk before the vaccination schedule is complete. Body of the Pug puppy should be wiped and cleaned with a wet towel. “Puppies grow very rapidly and get hungry frequently. Hence, they should be properly fed,” he adds.

Exercise

A sensible exercise routine must be set for a Pug. “It is a good idea to walk your Pug 2-3 km daily,” says Dr. Ravi. Pugs like to play with children. “They also enjoy playing with other Pugs. And during that play, they want to catch the tail of front dog by chasing her,” tells Hussiani with a twinkle in his eyes. However, Dr. Ravi says that Pugs love to follow their owners. “Hence the Hutch ad is very apt (wherever you go our network follows),” he adds. Hussiani however gives a note of caution, “Since Pugs are short-nosed, you must be careful not to exercise them in the extreme heat as they can become overheated quickly. Set exercise time in the early morning.”

Health

Their major hereditary problems are eye, skin and hip related. They are prone to eye injuries and infections. They catch cold easily and are stressed by hot and cold weather. They are also prone to allergies and the short muzzle contributes to chronic breathing problems. Once you own a Pug, you can’t resist the temptation to have more. “My love for Pugs started as a passion and now they are my obsession,” says Dr. Ravi.

(With inputs from Dr. Ravi T, Ph?: 9845252010 and Mustafa Hussiani, Ph: 9849415894.)

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