Whether you’d consider yourself a dog lover or not, most people can recognize the pug breed at first glance. Not only do their unique looks make them easy to identify, but according to the American Dog Kennel Club (AKC), this breed has ranked as the 29th most popular dog breed.
But why are pugs so popular now, and why do people love pugs? Keep reading for an in-depth look at why pugs have become so popular for dog owners.
A Brief History of the Pug’s Popularity
While plenty of dogs started out as hunting or guard dogs before they became family pets, pugs aren’t one of them – these tiny pups have always been companions for people.
Historically, pugs are an ancient breed with evidence of their existence dating all the way back to 400 BC. They originated in China, where the wealthy began breeding pugs as companions. These dogs were also bred for their characteristic wrinkles, which sometimes formed a pattern that resembled the Chinese character for “prince.”
From Tibetan monks to Chinese emperors, many people considered pugs to be the ideal lapdog, and eventually, their popularity spread to other parts of the world. Japan, Russia, and Europe eventually all caught pug mania too, and these animals have been popular companion pets ever since.
Why Do People Like Pugs?
Pugs have been popular throughout history, but how do they continue to capture people’s hearts? Are pugs cute? Are they good companions? Here’s why so many dog owners love pugs and why these flat-faced pets are still so popular, and the reasons why pug owners maintain “I love pugs.”
One of the biggest reasons pugs are so popular stems from their adaptability as pets. As a toy breed, they’re small enough to fit in most apartments or homes without an issue, but they still possess some of the great qualities of having a larger dog.
Like many larger dogs, most pugs don’t mind a great car ride or traveling, but they don’t need large fenced-in yards or constant stimulation like a German Shepherd or Border Collie might.
One thing that’s true for many pugs is that they don’t enjoy (or need) negative reinforcement training or harsh tones just to understand what you’re saying. These toy dogs can be sensitive to sounds and tones, but they’re also incredibly intelligent.
Some people might argue that pugs are stubborn or might be “hard to train,” but this isn’t usually the case. As intelligent as they are, pugs are quick learners, and they may get bored with repetitive tasks. These dogs are also easily distracted, which can make it harder for them to train for more extended periods.
As long as you can start your pug’s training early and you are aware of how easily distracted they get, training an intelligent pug may be easier than you think.
As mentioned before, pugs have been bred as companion dogs, so they’re usually more affectionate and loving than some breeds are. Don’t be surprised if your pug’s favorite spot to sleep is your lap or if you catch them following you from one room to the next.
Pugs tend to create close bonds with certain people, which is why they’re excellent for both families and single people living alone. But why are Pugs so cute? Once they’ve decided you are their person, pugs will shower you with all the attention in the world – but keep in mind: if you let them sleep in your bed, they’re the loudest snorers you’ll ever meet.
They Make Good Family Dogs
While pugs may bond more closely with one or two people in their family, they generally do well with children, which is why they’re sought-after as family dogs. They are known to be playful and affectionate with even the smallest of children, and you won’t generally come across an aggressive pug. Those that are aggressive will typically be agitated due to a lack of socialization.
In addition to their small size, the shape of a pug’s mouth makes it difficult for them to bite aggressively, although they rarely try. Pugs are typically at the top of the list for people who want dogs that can behave gently with smaller children or toddlers.
Like any dog breed, there may be some variation from pug to pug, but if you socialize these dogs with children early, there’s an even greater chance they’ll make a great family companion.
Because they’ve been bred as companions and to please their owners, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that pugs are also quite loyal. Once you’ve bonded with a pug, you’ve bonded for life, and that’s not a small commitment to pugs.
These toy dogs won’t want to leave your side, even if it’s just to run to the bathroom or complete a couple of small errands.
They Don’t Require Tons of Exercise
Border Collies, German Shepherds, and even huskies may be itching to exercise for a couple of hours a day, and not all dog owners have the time or energy to provide that. This point is another reason why pugs have been so popular – they’re low-energy.
Like any dog, most pugs still need 15 to 20 minutes of exercise per day, but you shouldn’t expect your pug to walk for miles. Regular exercise is vital for pugs to release any pent-up energy they’ve got, strengthen their muscles, and prevent them from becoming overweight.
Not all dog owners may be able to walk or play with their dogs for hours, but thirty minutes outside and a little extra playtime is usually doable for even the busiest of people.
So, Why Are Pugs So Popular?
While pugs do come with their fair share of health issues and have even been a controversial breed in recent years, there are plenty of reasons why this breed has been and continues to be so popular amongst dog owners. Their adaptability, intelligence, low-exercise requirements, and affectionate nature all contribute to why pugs are so popular now – and why so many people continue to own them.