Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Good, The Bad & The Pugly of Owning a Pug

Blake and I have had Delly, our black pug, for almost 4 years. We were approaching our 1st anniversary, and I really wanted a dog. Blake's family has a pug, Willy, who is now approaching 11 years old. (he is pictured below) I had only met Willy a few times before we got married, and wasn't a huge fan (sorry buddy.) So, when researching dogs - pugs were not at the top of my list. I thought they were cute, but like ugly cute. Willy was a little smelly, and seemed overweight to me. (really sorry Willy!) Right around the time I basically decided I wanted a Beagle or a hound dog like that, we found out a friend of a friend was a pug breeder, and her pug just had puppies. So, I decided to go a look at them...big mistake right?! How can anyone look at a puppy and not want to take it home. So, I did! Well 8 weeks later anyway. 

Delly got her name from my brother-in-law. Picking a name was so hard, and we were bouncing off ideas when Bryan said "What about Delicatessen?" Delicatessen is my favorite word, and I'm sure he meant it as a joke, but it stuck! Her paperwork says her official name is Delicatessen, but we've always called her Delly. 

Now, I am a full on pug person! I really would like to have 2, and I'm working on convincing Blake about that. I really can't imagine our life without Delly! If you are considering getting a pug, this post is for you. I have put together a list of great things about pugs, and a few things that are not so great. 

Delly at 8 weeks old!
Delly at 3 months old!


Delly at 3.5 years!
Our Family Portrait


The Good: 
-They make people smile. This has to be my favorite thing about pugs. Anytime we are on a walk or in a park and people see Delly they just start grinning. They are so cute, and bring joy to everyone. I love it when a pug does the head-tilt...heart melting! They are total clowns, and provide hours of entertainment. 

-Pugs are total lap dogs. Apparently pugs were bred to sit on the laps of emperors in China. They love people, and they love cuddling. They will be your constant companion, even if that means following you to the bathroom. If you want a buddy, pugs are for you.

-Great with kids. We don't have any kids yet, but when my niece and nephew poke Delly or pull her tail she just sits there calmly. She is incredibly patient with them! In fact, unless I intervene I think she would let them hurt her. Delly will even bring her toys to them to play with. My niece chases her around the house squealing, and Delly loves it. She does lick them though.

-Pugs are incredibly smart. We have found that pugs are pretty easy to train, and keep trained. It probably helps that they are very motivated by treats. Potty-training took about 6 months. When she did have an accident, most of the time it was our fault- like we were gone too long. She learned to sit, lie down, beg, kennel herself, and she also knows 'where's your bone?'. We are still working on rolling over-but I think it's true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Delly also likes to test our limits-just like a kid would! She wants to see if we will follow through on a 'NO'. Being consistent is key.

-Minimal activity required. Delly is super low maintenance when it comes to activity. She naps most of the day, and has quick bursts of energy to play. This is great if you don't have time for long walks or a yard for a dog to run around in.

The Bad:

-Pugs shed, a lot. We have a lint roller by the front door, just because inevitably we have dog hair on us. The shedding is very manageable. There are brushes that help remove the hair, and if you do that at least every other day, it really isn't a problem. We also vacuum regularly, and have even been complimented about the seeming absence of pet hair. 

-They are noisy. Pugs don't bark too much, but they make plenty of other noises! They have short noses which makes breathing difficult for them. Pugs have to use a harness (not a collar) for this reason. Delly snores, and breathes really loud when she gets excited. I do not enjoy car rides for this reason-until she gets calmed down I can't even hear myself think!

-They have weight issues. As I said before Pugs are so motivated by food. Delly scarfs down her breakfast, like she is never seen food before. You have to stay strict with their diet, and make sure they are getting exercised-or they will get overweight fast. Our vet wants Delly to be at 20lbs, right now she is about 22. We are working on it!

-Pugs can't take the heat. This is not so good as we live in Florida. This means pugs are not outside dogs! Nor should they be left out for long periods of time. It comes from that short neck and thick fur-they just can't get cool! Also, pugs hate the rain. Delly refuses to go outside when it is raining. This means that I have to follow her around with an umbrella. 

The Ugly (or Pugly):

-Anal Glads. Ok, going to get gross for a second. Every dog has 2 anal glands that leave a scent. This is why dogs love to smell other dogs poop, FYI. Most dogs have no problem with their glands-but pug's glands tend to get blocked. This can lead to at the very least a smelly odor, or the dog scooting on the carpet. Now, I've looked up on Youtube how to express the glands yourself-but lets be honest I'm not doing that. Bleh. So about every 2 months Delly goes to the vet and they help her out. 

-Cleaning the Wrinkles. One of the charming things about pugs are their face wrinkles and rolls! But, they can also get dirt and crud in their wrinkles which can make them super smelly! We use a baby wipe at least every other day to clean out Delly's wrinkles. This can be super gross if not kept up with! It is quite funny to tell the house sitter that he/she has to clean out the wrinkles. One of our sitters said "I didn't know they were so deep!!" Cracks me up everytime. 



Delly and Willy
Most pug owners would agree that while pugs do have a few maintenance issues, they are amazing dogs. They are your constant companion and snuggle buddy! We wouldn't trade Delly for the world. I even like Willy now too - I think my first impressions of him were wrong, like I caught him on a day his wrinkles hadn't been cleaned. Pug people are the best people too! I love finding out when a celebrity is a pug owner, it makes me like them so much more! 

Leave me a comment: Do you have a pug? Are you thinking of getting one? What are your favorite things about pugs? Least favorite?





29 comments:

  1. I have a pug! His name is Diesel and hes 8 months! He is definitely a cuddler and loves attention! He's 8 mos so were still working on potty training and getting a good routine. We've just gotten to the point where he goes to the door if he needs to go out. :)
    Thanks for all of your tips in your post! Loved it!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading!! I'm sure Diesel is adorable! Those little training treats worked great when we were training Delly. She is super food motivated, so she quickly learned to go outside if it meant getting a treat!

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  2. I own three pugs...um, rather, they own me. Got my first baby when she was an itty bitty pup a little over nine years ago. She has been my best friend and most faithful companion through it all. My other two pug kids were rescues that joined our little family about four years ago. Each one of them has such a unique personality, but all clowns in their own way. Aside from the shedding (save your sanity and invest in a good vacuum), nail trimmings are quite an ordeal! Does Delly despise it, too? Btw, I've always said the summertime pug wrinkle smell is a mix between Fritos and grape bubble gum. 😜

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    1. I would love to have 3!! I'm constantly checking pug rescues for a good fit, but so far my husband hasn't budged.
      Delly hates nail trimmings! Always has. She doesn't even like you to mess with her paws in the first place, much less with a trimmer. I always have the vet do it for that very reason. Plus she has those dark nails, so the quick is really hard to see and I just know I would mess up and hurt her. Now she hates the vet, but whatcha gonna' do?

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  3. How have I not found your blog yet?? I'm obsessed with your pugs!! We have two pugs also! Maddie and Belle. Maddie is fawn, belle is black. Xxxooo

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    1. All pug people are welcome here!! Thanks for reading! I try to post a lot of pug related things, without being annoying about it - it's quite a fine line haha!

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  4. My pug, Contessa von Pug or Tessa for short loves being outside!!! Like all the time .. She comes in at night to hang and watch tv , but when she is ready goes to the back door and waits to be put out for the night. She hates being inside. We keep fresh water and put frozen gallons of water to keep her cool !! She is a very unusually pug!!! Loves water and pools and being wet down by the hose.

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    1. Contessa von Pug is the best name!!
      That is very unusual! Our pug does love going outside and staring at the sun. But, most of the time it's only for a few minutes and she is ready to go back in the A/C! Tessa sounds awesome. I would love to see a swimming pug!
      Thanks so much for reading!

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  5. Hi! Our pug is called Alfie he is 13 months old, he is our world ... He is naughty, defiant, cheeky, cute, adorable and cuddly all rolled into one! He loves my 12 year old son like a brother, he is best friends with our youngest cat Izzy who is two years old, they charge around playing with each other but then snuggle together later on ... We all get on the sofa together including my 14 year old cat Tammy too ... Alfie is totally house trained but it took about 6 months of hard work. .. life without Alfie would be no life at all! We are incredibly lucky to have him, he is our best friend and my friends adore him, in fact he is walked by most of them when I go to work! If you want a true friend get a Pug! Louise, UK x

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    1. Aw! Alfie is a great pug name! And I would love to see a pug and cat duo, I bet it's so cute and hilarious!

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    2. It is very cute! First thing in the morning (as Alfie has slept in his bed and Izzy has been out overnight) they get back together and Izzy rubs the side of her face around him to add her scent to him. He in turn rubs his face around her, they are so affectionate with each other it is lovely to see. I will pin some pics of the two of them on my 'Pugaliscious' board for you to see. I will continue to follow you and your great stories and ideas! Louise Dickens x

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  6. My family just started fostering a pug. Never thought twice about them before but she is quite amazing. Makes everyone smile and seems to try and comfort even strangers. The odd thing about her and I don't know if it's a pug thing, but even if she has to go outside she won't unless I walk around with her? And if I stop moving she stands there staring at me.

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    1. Hehe, sounds like you have a fun pug on your hands!
      One thing that is definitely a pug thing is being particular. It may be one thing or another, but they have strong opinions! Delly doesn't mind going out by herself- but she does spend like 10 minutes picking the perfect spot! And, I have to follow her around with an umbrella if it's raining, otherwise she wouldn't even get off the porch!

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    2. My pug won't walk around without me either. He will just stand there, lol

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  7. We have a fawn rescue pug that we got when she was 9 months old. Her name is Bailee. Best dog ever. Potty trained, never had an accident in the house. Ever. Decided she was so awesome we got an 8 week old black pug this summer. Her name is Marlee. Wow, whole different experience. She's 4 1/2 months now and it's been challenging but she is finding her awesomeness. Love pugs and will always have one. Or two. They really are people dogs. So affectionate and loving. And by the way. Mine hate the rain also. ☺️

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    1. Awe! Sounds like you have a great pug family. I know from our experience it was several months, at least 6, before we really saw our hard work pay off with the potty training. Keep it up!!

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  8. I just stumbled across your blog from pinterest and already love it. I have an eight year old pug named PEARL! Pearl is also very food motivated and the vet also wanted Pearl to lose weight and suggested the "green bean diet" after I tried switching her to healthy dog food (she even gained more weight on the healthier food) She said other dogs she has seen have had great success with it. So I gave it a shot and it really worked. She was 25 and is now down to about 16. I started with low-sodium canned green beans but now I feed her regular ones because I can buy the big cans to save money. And bonus she loves them. If I put the green bean bowl down at the same time as the dog food she will eat the green beans first. I feed her about half the amount of dog food as before. We went from 1/2 twice a day to 1/4 but are now at 1/3 to keep the weight stable and the green beans help keep her full. Just a suggestion because I know how hard it can be for pugs to lose weight. I just subscribed to your blog and look forward to more pug posts!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. and for the record-I didn't realize my google picture would appear-this photo is pre-green-bean-diet Pearl. I also realized I didn't specify that it was 1/2, 1/4, and 1/3 referred to cups. I eyeball the green beans but its a small bowl full approx 1/3 of the can of a regular size can

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    3. Ah! I have never heard of the green bean diet before! I will for sure look into that. I know Delly would rather eat people food anyway-although she scarfs down her kibble too.
      Thanks so much for reading! All pug people are welcome here!!

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  9. Our Pug is named Watson. He'll be 3 y.o. this February. He exhibits all the traits you so clearly outlined. Lovely job. The only thing he will not eat is pretzels.

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  10. HI
    I AM ADVOCATING FOR PUGS, WE NEED TO BRING BACK THE SNOUT, THEY ARE BREED FOR LOOKS BUT BORN TO SUFFER...WHO'S WITH ME ON THIS...

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    1. Here is my Help the Pug Blog https://helpthepugs.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/bring-back-the-snout/

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  11. I too have a Black Pug, His name is Buddha. Everything you said is true, The thing that surprised me the most about Buddha was just how smart he was and he seemed to just learn tricks naturally. His two favoriyes are "Give me a circle" and he will spin, "and lets play pattyycake" he then jumps in my lap sits up and we play pattycake, sowierd but awesome. I wouldn't trade he for anyrhing. We live in Orlando so we always keep them out of the extreme heat, Keep his food intake down and daily walks. They are such great pets.

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  12. Kristen, love your book and especially the photos. Yes, I have a pug and have had a pug over forty years! Your description of the good and pugly is spot-on. If you want a devoted companion, pugs are your breed.

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  13. Hi all pug parents!
    I have two pugs Miya 5 and Olivia 3 we have a serious problem with trimming nails as I took her to a stupid vet who when clipping her nails at 100 mph! Cut everyone of her quicks and her little pad so now as Miya is so scared I bought an electric nail file for about £10.00 / $14.00 from Amazon you use the round file ( like the texture of sand paper ) tool which goes on the electric file and very lightly file your pugs nails. I alway treat after doing this I looked at human files and bought one of them as when they advertise for dog files it seems more expensive

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  14. My pug Jackie Chan is almost 5 and is my little buddy! He's a fawn pug and my daughter has a brindle pug named Daisy Mae. We adore our puggies!

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