Adding a sweet little pug to your family will be one of the greatest joys and incredible adventures that you could have. Those head tilts with melt your heart everyday, and their clownish personalities will be a source of endless entertainment. Delly has been such a fun addition to our family, and we've learned a lot along the way! It's hard to remember when she looked like this! (In true pug fashion, she is snoring at my feet right now.)
Because Pugs & Pearls is a little haven for pug people, I have received many, many questions about adding a pug to the family! Pug people are the best people, by the way. Welcome all of you! (Find more Pug Posts here!) So, you're getting a pug! Now what?!
Here's What You'll Need:
A Harness// Pugs cannot use regular collars. A harness is the way to go! I wrote an entire post on my favorite brand of harness. Not only is it better for their necks, but you get better control when going for walks. I don't have any preferences on leashes-we just use your standard non retractable one. Don't forget an ID tag! Those jingles will help you keep track of your little guy.
Baby Wipes// Pugs have some crazy deep wrinkles that get all kinds of crud in there. Unscented baby wipes really help keep their faces clean and stench-free.
Deshedding Brush// Pugs are also big time shedders. In fact, we keep a lint roller right by the door, #puglife. A deshedding brush is awesome for keeping the dog hair at bay. You can use it as often as you'd like, but we find that brushing about every 2-3 days makes a huge difference.
Something to Chew On// Those puppy teeth are no joke! Delly likes Nylabones, but I've read mixed opinions about their safety. Either way give them something to chew on that isn't your shoe. We lost a keyboard at work because of her! I brought little Delly with me to the office, thought she was sleeping and instead she was chewing on the USB cord...whoops! We've also had great success with stuffingless toys that you can find at any pet shop.
Bowls// A puppy needs short and shallow bowls, so keep that in mind when you are shopping. We've had the best success with glass bowls. We did use metal bowls for awhile but we found that Delly's chin would break out a lot because of them. The vet suggested switching to glass and we haven't had a problem since.
*Ask your vet about food and medicines! They'll be able to recommend your best options.
Notes on Training:
Crate// Crate training was the best choice for us. If you are getting a puppy make sure to get a small crate or one that can be sectioned off. When potty training the crate will be your best friend. Put them in there when you can't watch them like a hawk. Don't punish them by putting them in their crate either. You want them to feel at home in there, not like it's puppy jail.
Tricks// Teaching tricks on your own just takes a lot of patience and treats! Give them command words and just repeatedly practice. Pugs are very food motivated, so treats and praise are a great incentive. Delly knows: sit, stay, lay down, 'up', get in your kennel, and 'where's your bone?' (toy). Pugs are so smart, and they'll pick it up pretty quick. But, they also won't obey if they don't feel like it!
Potty Training// There are a lot of methods out there. Here's what we did: We started taking Delly out every hour on the hour for a week. We came up with a command, in her case "Go Pee!". We'd stay outside as long as possible and reward her as soon as she went. Training treats are perfect for this, and we would keep a couple in our pocket. It's important to take them out pretty soon after meals, drinking or vigorous play. After a week we'd change it to every two hours, and then 3...etc. It was incredibly time consuming! Especially at night. Ugh, I don't miss those days! But it worked! It probably took about 6 months to be accident free. I think it would have been sooner but we slipped up a few times and waited to long to take her out. If we couldn't watch her, she was in her crate. Oh, if you catch them starting to go inside-startle them so they stop, and immediately take them outside. It's all about a routine and reinforcement.
Attention// That sweet baby is going to miss their mommies and littermates, so make sure you give them tons of love and attention. This part is easy to do because you will be obsessed with them anyway. Our breeder gave us a towel that had the scent of Delly's litter on it, and we made sure she got to cuddle with that a lot at first. You will quickly become their family, so don't worry too much about that.
Leave me a comment: Are you getting a pug?! Tell me all about them! What questions do you have about pugs or pug puppies?