Featured Breed : Pug
Litter Size: 3
Country of Origin: China
Size: The Pug has a shoulder height of 35 cm (14 in) and weighs about 7 kg (15 lbs). It has a large, spherical head with big eyes, small ‘rose’ (folded toward the muzzle) or ‘button’ (folded at ninety degrees) ears, slight underbite, deeply wrinkled forehead, and a distinctly short, square muzzle. Pugs have a compact, muscular body with arched neck, deep chest, and tail curled tightly over the back.
Coat: Their smooth, glossy coats can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver, brindle or black. There is also the rarer white pug which gets its coat via breeding or albinism. A silver coat is characterized by a very light coloured coat, absent of black guard hairs. A silver pug typically has a very dark head, with no clear delineation at the mask, and dark forelegs. The markings are clearly defined. The trace is a black line extending from the occiput to the tail. The tail normally curls tightly over the hip.
Health Issues: Since pugs lack longer snouts and prominent skeletal brow ridges, they are susceptible to eye injuries such as proptosis and scratched corneas and painful entropion. They also have compact breathing passageways, leaving many unable to breathe properly or efficiently regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue. A pug's normal body temperature is between 101 °F (38 °C) and 102 °F (39 °C). If the temperature rises to 105 °F (41 °C) they are no longer able to cope with cooling themselves and their oxygen demand is greatly increased, and requires cooling down immediately. Should the temperature reach 108 °F (42 °C), the internal organs begin to break down at a cellular level which can lead to severe long term health issues or even death.
Pugs living a mostly sedentary life can be prone to obesity, though this is avoidable with regular exercise and a healthy diet. A UK Kennel Club survey puts the average life span of Pugs at 10 years.
An investigative documentary carried out by the BBC found significant inbreeding between pedigree dogs, with a study by Imperial College, London, showing that the 10,000 pugs in the UK are so inbred that their gene pool is the equivalent of only 50 individuals.
Care: The Pug should have loose hairs removed periodically with a rubber brush. A special lotion must be applied to the facial creases. The shape of the Pug’s face makes it susceptible to eye injuries and scratched corneas, as well as breathing difficulties. Pugs are also susceptible to obesity, which makes exercise and a healthy diet important. The Pug has difficulty dissipating heat and should never be left outside in hot weather or locked in a car without air conditioning. The Pug is also prone to breed-specific Encephalitis known as (PDE). The Pug may ‘reverse sneeze’, which is a fit of gasping and snorting to remove fluid caught under the palate. This is not dangerous, but may frighten the Pug and its owner; it should be handled by talking to the Pug calmly and gently rubbing its throat. The Pug has a lifespan of 12-15 years.
Training: It is necessary to be gentle when training the Pug, as it is very sensitive to the tone of is master’s voice. Pugs are sometimes stubborn but do well with obedience training.
Activity: Pugs love to romp and play outdoors, provided the weather is good. Always make sure they have a cool place to spend the day if it is hot outside. The Pug is well suited to apartment life.