From Influencers to Royalty, Everyone Loves Pugs


Pugs are easily one of the most popular dogs in recent history. It’s not hard to see their appeal. They’re sweet, loving, friendly, and their size makes them particularly apartment-friendly. Plus, come on, that face. No wonder they’re the second most photographed breed on social media. Only Frenchies inspire more #content.

But this fandom isn’t actually a new development. People were going crazy for pugs long before camera phones. Like their similarly sized pals pomeranians, they’ve been royal favourites for centuries.

No doubt those historic royals also couldn’t get enough of their adorable smooched faces and signature snuffling noises. Fittingly, a group of pugs isn’t called a pack but a grumble.

History of the Pug

With origins reaching back to Imperial China, pugs have been treated like royalty for centuries. Rather off-puttingly they were so favoured by Chinese emperors they sometimes ranked as more important than their wives.

After China and Europe began trading, pugs made the leap to the Continent. Confirmed tiny dog fan Queen Victoria led the trend of European royalty breeding them. It’s no wonder they love being waited on. They were bred for it.

Weight: 6-9 kg

Colour: Generally fawn or black.

Life Expectancy: 11 years on average, but can easily live to 15.


What You’ll Love about Pugs

  • Great babysitters: They generally love children, cats, and other small animals. This is not only due to their sweet temperament, but also because they’re pretty robust for a small dog.
  • Friendly: These chilled companions love attention and praise, but don’t need much else to be happy.
  • Playful: Yes, they might be lazy, but they still love to have fun.
  • Noisy: Pugs are famous for their endearing repertoire of snorts, snuffles, grunts, wheezes, and snores. Ok, and farts.

What You Might Find “Challenging”

  • Stubborn: They’re so wilful you could find yourself trained into giving them treats to get what you want.
  • Food obsessed: Most dogs love a nosh, but pugs live for it. This can lead to weight issues. Especially as their breathing problems can make exercise difficult.
  • Not summer fans: They don’t cope great in hot weather and are not natural swimmers.
  • Hard to house train: It’s not uncommon for them to flat out refuse to go outside in wet weather. Crate training is recommended.


Common Health Issues for Pugs

(Sadly, there are a lot.)

  • Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome: This is related to their breathing, which due to their distinctive noses they have trouble with. It can lead to over-heating and heat stroke. Many dogs end up having operations to try to improve their breathing.
  • Eye problems: Including eye trauma, eye ulcers, and eyelid entropion.
  • Skin infections: All the folds of skin around their face can cause problems, so make sure to keep them clean and dry, and check them frequently.

For more information on these issues check out the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association’s awareness campaign. They’re helping potential dog owners understand common health issues impacting breeds like frenchies, pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers.

There is a Victorian pug rescue and also a broader area pug rescue that you should check out if you think this is the right type of dog for you.

Instafamous Aussie Pugs

To learn more about the dogs you love, check out our other dog breed profiles. 

Written by on for Off The Leash

Article last updated on March 23, 2022

Doug never had a dog growing up but as soon as he stopped moving around knew he needed a dog in his life. Enter Snoop the Beagle. Doug worked for 7 years designing and making dog treats and food for some of Australia's best brands. Now a Co-Founder of Scratch Pet Food.
Next in Breeds
Dogs that Don't Shed

Dogs that Don’t Shed

No matter how much you love your pet, you don’t want to carry their fur on you all day. Luckily, there are many breeds that don’t shed.