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Pug Facts

Origin: China
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Breed Group: Toy
Coat Type: Smooth and short
Coat Colours: Fawn or black
Temperament: Charming, Mischievous, Loving
Height: 25-28 cm (10-11 inches)
Weight: 6-8 kg (13-18 lbs)


Pug for Sale Ireland

The Pug, known for its wrinkled face, short floppy ears, and curly tail, traces its lineage to 16th-century imports from China to Europe. This beloved breed also goes by names like “Chinese Pug,” “Dutch Bulldog,” “Dutch Pug,” and “Mops.” The Pug’s friendly disposition, large, expressive eyes, and inquisitive look have earned it the reputation of being the “comic” of the dog world. However, behind those innocent eyes lies a master manipulator that can effortlessly melt hearts to its advantage.

Pugs, characterized by their distinctive sounds, including snorts, wheezes, and grunts, are known for their gassy nature and susceptibility to overheating in hot or humid weather. As a result, they thrive in air-conditioned environments. Despite their occasionally stubborn demeanour, Pugs get along harmoniously with people, other dogs, and pets.

While not needing excessive exercise, Pugs require diligent weight management to prevent obesity, as they are often highly food-motivated. These toy-sized dogs measure 10 to 14 inches (25 to 36 centimetres) and typically weigh between 13 and 20 pounds (6 and 9 kilograms). Their lifespan averages 12 to 15 years.

Pugs have made a special place for themselves in Irish households. From the streets of Dublin to the serene landscapes of County Clare, these compact canines often become the beloved centrepiece of a family.

A Detailed History

Ancient Chinese Origins

The Pug breed is believed to have developed in China but the exact origins are unknown as Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, destroyed all records, scrolls and art related to the Pug during his reign. According to the London Zoological Society, the Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Ancient Chinese documents state that short-nosed dogs with a description matching that of the Pug existed in China at around 600 BC. These dogs would have looked very different to the Pug that we know today.

Imperial Companions

Originally bred to be a stationary pet and sit on the lap of the Emperor of China, it is believed that the Chinese enjoyed the breed because they could make out Chinese characters in their unique facial wrinkles.

Treasures, like pearls, jade, rare animals or dogs were considered imperial property. One emperor, Ling To (168‒190 AD), liked them so much, that he gave these small dogs rank, the females received the same rank as his wives. He ordered that these small dogs were to be guarded by soldiers and fed only the best meat and rice, evidence that Pugs have always been pampered! If anyone attempted to steal one of these dogs, he or she would be sentenced to death.

Journey to Europe

Pugs began making their way into Europe during the late 1500s; initially by Dutch merchants, and then by the 1700s, Portuguese, Spanish, and English ships were also carrying Pugs as cargo. The growing popularity of the Pug during the 1700s is due in part to the dog’s size, portability, and temperament and its relative scarcity compared to native breeds. Pugs frequently appeared in paintings from this era.

Spread to Europe

As the Pug’s popularity spread throughout Europe, it became known by different names: In France, the Carlin; in Spain, the Dogullo; and in Italy, Caganlino.

Pugs in Ireland

Their journey to Ireland is as storied as the country itself. Brought over by traders and travellers, the Pug’s popularity grew, and they became an integral part of Irish canine history.

Pug: Did You Know?

  • The name “Pug” for the breed was coined in 1749, prior to which it was used affectionately for humans.
  • The term “Pug” may have been inspired by the resemblance of the breed’s face to a popular 18th-century pet, the Pug monkey.
  • Some attribute the name “Pug” to the Greek word “pugnus,” meaning “fist,” as a closed fist’s shadow resembles a Pug’s profile.
  • In Latin, Pugs are described as “multum in parvo,” meaning “much in little.”
  • French calls them “Carlin,” Dutch terms them “Mopshond,” and in Germany, they’re “Mopshund,” where “mops” translates to “roly-poly.”
  • In Irish Gaelic, Pugs are known as “Smutmhadra,” which means “stubby dog.”
  • Notable Pug owners include Rob Zombie, Kelly Brook, Gerard Butler, Ted Danson, Paris Hilton, Jonathan Ross, Robin Williams, Billy Joel, Donna Tartt, William Hogarth, Winston Churchill’s daughter Mary, and Lena Horne.

Size & Weight

Pugs are small but robustly built:

  1. Weight & Height: A typical adult Pug weighs between 6-9 kg and stands around 25-28 cm tall.
  2. Distinct Features: Their wrinkled foreheads, large eyes, and curly tails are their defining features, often leading to their description as “a lot of dog in a small space.”

Pug Colours

Fawn Pug

Fawn stands out as a prevalent colour shade in Pugs:

  • Apricot Fawn: This variation showcases a soft golden coat touched with a hint of red. Observers often liken its shade to a creamy, warm tone.
  • Silver Fawn: These Pugs sport a paler coat, which might remind one of a silver-grey or even a light beige hue. Their fur might exhibit a gentle shine.
  • Standard Fawn: Falling between the apricot and silver shades, the standard fawn Pugs display a deep, mid-toned hue.

Black Pug

Black is yet another dominant colour theme found in Pugs:

  • Jet Black: Pugs of this shade boast a consistent black coat, devoid of other markings. Their fur’s glossy finish gives them a distinctive look.
  • Black Brindled: A few black Pugs come adorned with brindle patterns. Brindle involves a blend of black and brown streaks, resulting in an exquisite appearance.

Alternate Colour Variations

Beyond fawn and black, Pugs can be seen in a couple more shades:

  • Silver: These Pugs wear a pale silver hue, possibly with a touch of blue. Although rarer, they are quite popular among Pug aficionados.
  • White: Pugs of this shade mainly have a white coat. But it’s crucial to recognize that genuinely pure white Pugs are an extreme rarity. Often, white Pugs will carry spots or patches of a different shade.


One can hardly find a breed as jovial and affable as the Pug. Their lively nature ensures they are always up for play, yet they’re equally content curling up on a couch. Pugs are also known for their innate comedic sense, often earning chuckles from their antics.

Pugs pack a massive amount of personality in a very small package. They are not aggressive by nature, but they can be strong-willed to the point of stubbornness. The Pug seems to have the endearing ability to read his owner’s mood and act accordingly, either being quiet and calm or vivacious and funny.

Even though a Pug can be a real live wire, the breed has a tendency toward laziness, which accounts for the Pug’s often epic struggles with weight gain. Pugs are definitely premier nap and lapdogs, but they will also follow their people around and stay as close to the centre of whatever happens to be going on as possible.

With Other Pets Pugs

Pugs get along exceptionally well with other pets, although you may see flashes of jealousy if your very companionable little dog doesn’t think he’s getting enough of your time.

With Children

Pugs get along extremely well with children. The dogs don’t just tolerate kids. They seem to truly love them. Pugs are sturdy little animals that are up for a lot of playtime.

An advantage that the Pug has over many of the other breeds of dog is his medium size and short coat. The Pug is a perfect size to fit on your lap and isn’t too big for most children to safely play with.

Pugs in Urban Ireland

With city living becoming increasingly popular in places like Cork and Limerick, Pugs, due to their manageable size and adaptable nature, have become a top choice for apartment dwellers. They don’t require extensive exercise, making them perfect for city life, though regular short walks are essential for their health.

Pug Puppies

The charm of a Pug puppy is almost irresistible. Their boundless energy, combined with their curious nature, means they require consistent training from a young age. However, the effort invested in training is often rewarded tenfold with loyalty and affection.

Health and Care

While Pugs are generally sturdy, they do have specific health considerations due to their unique physiology.

Pugs are an extremely brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed and can suffer from breathing difficulties, eye problems and skin problems. Brachycephalic means ”shortened” head and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Chow Chows, Pekingese, Bull Mastiffs and English Toy Spaniels.

  1. Breathing Issues: Their flat faces can lead to breathing problems. It’s crucial to ensure they don’t overexert and always have a cool resting place during warmer months.
  2. Eye Concerns: Their prominent eyes can be susceptible to injuries and certain conditions. Regular check-ups are advised.
  3. Grooming: Despite their short coat, Pugs shed quite a bit. Regular grooming helps manage this and keeps their coat shiny.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Pug

Every breed of dog has its own list of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking about buying a Pug, you would do well to consider both, although it’s a very subjective business since what one person may love in a breed another person will not like at all.

People who love Pugs should be ready to talk about their good qualities, as well as the challenges they pose, for one overriding reason—a desire to see these very special animals go to the best home possible where they will be loved and appreciated. I would rather “put someone off” than see a Pug bought and then slowly neglected over time by a less-than-committed owner.


  • Small, sturdy dogs. They don’t feel like “little” dogs
  • Compact and strong
  • Expressive face that conveys personality
  • A short coat that is both soft and easy to groom
  • Good manners around all types of people
  • Excellent with other pets
  • Low exercise requirements
  • Aren’t troublemakers
  • Don’t get into things
  • Adults like to sleep much of the day (but they do often snore)


  • Due to their flat faces, these dogs snort, snuffle, wheeze, snore, and slobber
  • The breed is “gassy,” and can really smell up a room
  • They take to housebreaking slowly
  • They only shed once a year, but it is for 365 days!
  • Obesity is a problem
  • Challenging to train
  • Can be demanding if allowed to become spoiled
  • A number of potential health problems

Pugs for Sale in Ireland

When considering bringing a Pug into your Irish home, due diligence is key:

  1. Reputable Breeders: Always opt for breeders who prioritize health and temperament. Ensure they follow ethical breeding practices, given the breed’s specific health concerns.
  2. Adoption: There are Pug-specific rescue organizations in Ireland, offering these delightful dogs another chance at a loving home.