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

in , , by Kristen Woolsey, 8:30 AM
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 Glands. 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 let's 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?

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