If you’ve ever spent time looking at cute pug photos online, there’s a chance you’ve already come across a special gem: long haired pugs. These photos of fluffy pugs seem too adorable to be true—small, pudgy dogs with a wrinkly face hidden within a luxurious coat of fur.
While these long-haired pugs are attractive, there is still a big question about whether or not they’re real. Yes, many of the pictures of fluffy pugs are authentic, but whether or not they are pugs is a bit more complicated.
Read on to learn more about whether long-haired pugs are real, if they really count as pugs, and how to take care of them.
Are Long Haired Pugs Real?
Although the images you see of dogs with long hair and a resemblance to a pug are probably real, it is debatable whether these pups can be called pugs.
Officially, the pug dog breed standard describes a pug’s coat as fine, soft, and short. With that description, it sounds like it would be impossible for a pug to have the long, luscious, fluffy coat seen on a long-haired pug.
However, both historical accounts and current incidents have shown that two purebred pugs can breed together and produce a long-haired pug. This is likely the result of a recessive long-haired gene that was inherited from an earlier ancestor.
It’s also relatively common for a short-haired pug to have an unusually thick or fluffy coat, which can be misinterpreted as being a long-haired coat. Most pugs have two layers of hair, and when the top layer is extra thick, it will have a similar appearance to a long-haired coat, so this is an understandable misconception.
That being said, an actual long-haired pug will have extremely long hair, with a similar appearance to a pomeranian. If this sounds like your dog, you may be the owner of the rare long-haired pug.
Are Long Haired Pugs Purebred?
On a technical level, long-haired pugs are not purebreds. To understand why this is the case, you first need to understand what it means for a dog to be purebred.
Purebred dogs are dogs that have been bred for generations to favor certain combinations of traits. These combinations of traits become the definition of a breed. Dogs that are descended from other purebred dogs and meet the breed standard—an official description of the breed—are considered purebred.
This makes it tricky for a long-haired pug to be considered a purebred pug, as the American Kennel Club’s official breed standard describes pugs as having short hair. The phenomenon of long-haired pugs with short-haired pug parents demonstrates the fallacy of the purebred concept: no matter how much you breed for traits, there will always be recessive genes.
Some long-haired pugs are the result of recessive genes, while others are intentional mixes, such as a pug and pomeranian mix. Having a pug with a recessive gene or a pug mix is usually great news for a pug’s health and longevity.
Purebred pugs have many congenital health issues, including brachycephalic syndrome, which blocks the airway and gives dogs severe respiratory problems. A pug mix will have a more diverse genetic makeup and thus a greater chance of not having those inherited defects.
Long Haired Pugs: Appearance and Traits
Long-haired pugs have an attractive appearance and many of the endearing personality traits associated with traditional purebred pugs.
These fluffy sweethearts will have a similar body structure and facial appearance to a regular pug. The face will be wrinkly and flat with big round eyes, and the body will be short, stocky, and square-shaped.
Additionally, long-haired pugs typically have similar temperaments to their purebred cousins. They are often described as playful, goofy, lazy, and smart. Overall, an owner of a long-haired pug will be getting a classic pug experience.
The main visual difference is the long-haired pug’s fluffy fur coat. Not to be confused with a purebred pug with thick hair, the hair of a long-pug will not only be plentiful but will have a notably longer length than a typical pug.
Taking Care of Long Haired Pugs
Because of the similarities with purebred pugs, caring for a long-haired pug doesn’t require anything remarkably different from regular pug care. When it comes to the pug’s long hair, it is important to be mindful of grooming habits and ways to keep the pug cool.
Long-haired pugs require more time and attention on their fur. Caring for long-haired pugs includes buying a quality dog shampoo and hairbrush and setting aside plenty of time for cleaning, detangling, and styling. Depending on your budget and personal preferences, you may even want to spend money on professional dog grooming services.
These fluffy pugs also need help staying cool when it’s hot outside. Brachycephalic syndrome, common in pugs and pug mixes, makes it harder for dogs to maintain a healthy body temperature. Add in a long coat of hair, and your pug may struggle in hot weather.
If you notice your long-haired pug in distress when in the heat, you may want to mitigate the issue by buying them a cooling vest. A cooling vest can help your pug recover quicker when it gets overheated. Cooling mats and cooling bandanas can also serve as recovery tools for a hot pug.
Final Thoughts On Long Haired Pugs
Long-haired pugs might not earn the label of purebred, but they are pure of heart and have all the pug personality traits that make the breed so popular. Fluffy, long-haired pugs are most likely the result of a recessive gene or mixed breed, giving them a unique look and a decreased risk of genetic health problems.
These types of dogs are rare but are an absolute delight to have in your life, not to mention that long-haired pug ownership promotes genetic diversity and healthy breeding practices. If you get the chance to have a long-haired pug, you are in for a magical and beautiful puppy experience.