Have you ever seen a pug that looks smaller than your average pug? Then, you’ve probably seen a mini pug. The question is: Do mini pugs exist? Is a miniature pug the same as your regular pug or is this tiny dog part of an entirely different dog breed?
If you’re among the many pug lovers who have an affinity for this loving yet mischievous dog – the miniature type, especially – you’ve come to the right page.
Dog Food Guide is here to answer all your questions about miniature pugs – what makes them so tiny, if these small dogs are any different from the average pugs, if they’re the ideal house dog, and more.
Must-Know Facts About Pugs
A part of the toy group, ever since their conception (around 400 B.C.), pugs have been bred to entertain and keep people company. From Chinese emperors and Buddhist monks to Europe’s known monarchs and historical figures, this charming, wrinkly, small dog has been used to living a life of luxury.
Fast forward to today, pugs remain the adorable, little clowns they are, but to a wider audience (including modern-day icons). They may not be as popular as the French bulldog or the toy poodle, but they are still loved by many worldwide. In fact, pugs are included in AKC’s top 30 list of popular dog breeds.
So what makes these pugs so lovable?
Besides their sparkling, dark-colored eyes, screw tails (which are a result of misshapen bones), deep facial folds, and wrinkled brows that let a pug show a variety of cute human expressions, pugs are also known for their love for food and trusting nature. They’re also playful, adaptable, and trainable.
Origin Of Pugs
Because of its large round heads, square and cobby build, and short muzzle, some might assume that the bulldog or mastiff blood runs through their veins.
But you know what? DNA testing proves otherwise. Interestingly, pugs don’t carry any bulldog or mastiff DNA. Instead, they’re related to the Pekingese.
Standard Pug Colors
Pugs come in different coat colors and markings, but only 2 coat colors are recognized by the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, and other major dog breed clubs. These are fawn and black.
Fawn can include various fawn shades like light apricot fawn, deep apricot, and reddish gold. The black markings in the muzzle and ears must be clearly defined. Other colors like blue and white and markings like brindle and merle are disqualified
What Is A Mini Pug?
On average, pugs weigh around 14-18 pounds and can grow up to 10-13 inches in height. A miniature pug, as the name suggests will be smaller than average and will weigh around 3-10 pounds.
How Mini Pugs Came To Be?
Pugs are already small in size, making them toy dogs. However, this isn’t enough for some. And so they come up with even smaller dogs like mini pugs or teacup pugs – dogs that seem to remain puppies forever.
Wondering how breeders produce a small pug breed? There are a few ways (two exactly) and each one produces a different type of miniature pug.
Hybrid Or Designer Miniature Pug
The preferred among the two, breeders may opt to breed a purebred Chihuahua and a pug to produce a miniature pug. Also known as “chug,” “pugwawa,” and “pughuahua,” this mixed breed would usually have a slightly longer snout compared to a typical pug or a teacup pug.
Since it’s a cross between a Chihuahua and a pug, this hybrid or designer miniature pug may exhibit the usual characteristics of a Chihuahua, including its sassy personality.
Like a Chihuahua, a chug dog may also “yap” and bark more than other small pugs. But don’t worry, this common Chihuahua behavior can be reduced with early training.
Teacup Pugs Or Pocket Pugs
When breeders breed together the “runts” of the litters, the result is a cute teacup or pocket pug.
Since they’re still pugs to the core, you won't find in these dogs the slightly longer snouts common among hybrid mini pugs. You can also expect these tiny dogs to showcase a personality and appearance typical of pugs.
Besides their small stature, teacup pugs or pocket pugs’ life expectancy is lower compared to a regular pug. Pugs that meet the breed standard usually live up to 13 to 15 years. On the other hand, a teacup pug is expected to live up to 6-10 years. On top of that, health issues are significantly higher for teacup dogs.
Are Mini Pugs AKC-Recognized?
Obviously, the hybrid type of mini pugs is not recognized. A teacup pug, on the other hand, is not considered a separate breed. They’re also not a recognized pug breed variation.
Advantages Of Owning A Miniature Pug
Compared to large dogs, small dog breeds like the pug are more popular because dog owners think that caring for these little dogs will cost less. And this is somewhat true since miniature pugs require smaller amounts of food.
Traveling with a mini pug is also easy since it can easily fit in any pet carrier. They are also perfect for city dwellers since miniature pugs don’t require a lot of space.
Common Health Issues Faced By Mini Pugs
A mini pug that is a cross between a Pug and a Chihuahua is generally healthy. However, like other dogs, chugs are prone to having health issues commonly experienced by the Pug breed and the Chihuahua breed. This includes the following:
- Excessive weight gain or obesity
- Pug myelopathy
- Respiratory problems
- Eye issues like cherry eye, corneal ulcers, and cataracts
- Heat stroke
- Intervertebral disc disease
On the other hand, miniature pugs bred from the runts of the litter face a higher risk of suffering from serious health problems. According to PetMD, a mini pug of this kind is prone to having the following health issues:
- Dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease
- Collapsing trachea
- Digestive problems
- Heart defects
- Epileptic seizures
- Birth defects like liver shunts
7 More Things To Expect From A Miniature Pug
Now that you know how mini pugs came about, the pros of having one as a pet, and the common health problems faced by these cuties, what else is there to know about these pint-sized doggos?
Chugs can be quite unpredictable since they’re a mix between two dogs. A teacup pug, on the other hand, is a lot like your typical pug. Regardless if it’s a chug or a pocket pug, you can expect the following traits from a miniature pug:
Miniature Pugs Are Affectionate & Friendly To A Fault
Being the lap dogs they are, a miniature pug will definitely enjoy cuddle time. However, leaving them alone for a long time is a bad idea. They can be destructive and may show signs of anxiety.
They Tend To Get Along With Children & Other Animals
Getting along with other pets and children is no problem for a mini pug. However, leaving them under the care of small children can result in great harm given the dog's small, fragile build.
You might also want to avoid letting your mini pug sleep beside you to avoid crushing or suffocating them in your sleep.
Mini Pugs Are Intelligent Yet Stubborn
Loads of patience are required when training a miniature pug since they can be pretty stubborn. It’s also worth noting that negative reinforcement rarely works for these dogs. If you plan to train them, do it while they’re puppies and only use positive reinforcement.
They Don’t Do Well In Extreme Weather
If you live in a place with cold weather, make sure to get your mini pug appropriately suited up. Since their coats are often short, they will need extra clothing (and even some rain gear) to keep them warm.
Exposing them to hot weather for a long time is also not a good idea. Pugs, in general, have a hard time regulating their body temperature because of their short, flat face. So, make sure to keep them hydrated when the warm weather kicks in.
Beware! They Shed A Lot
Despite having a short coat, most mini pugs shed. If you’re allergic, reducing the probability of having an allergic reaction is possible by brushing your dog’s coat weekly.
They’re Relatively Expensive
A typical pug already costs $500+. You can expect pint-sized pug puppies to cost more. The price of mini pugs also varies depending on the dog’s bloodline.
Besides that, caring for these can also be expensive. You might be able to save on dog food, but given their tiny build, caring for a pregnant or sick mini pug will usually cost more.
Regular Visits To The Vet Is A Must
This is especially true for miniature pug puppies born from the “runts” of the litter. Since they’re prone to various health problems like tooth decay and hypoglycemia, you’d want your mini pug to be checked regularly by a vet.
Food For Thought
Yes, having a miniature pug for a pet seems ideal since it’s like having a puppy that never grows old. And who doesn’t want that? But if you’re prioritizing cuteness over your dog’s health, then there’s something wrong.
If you’re planning to buy a mini pug, make sure to buy from a reputable breeder. This way, you know that the puppy is high-quality with zero to minimal health problems.
Lastly, if you need to choose between a teacup and a chug dog, consider getting the latter. Although not a pure breed, it’s still as adorable as any other pug out there.