All About the Puginese

The Puginese, a delightful and affectionate small breed dog, has captured the hearts of many with its unique combination of Pug and Pekingese traits.

This charming hybrid, also known as Peke-A-Pug, Pekeapug, Pug-A-Peke, and Pugapek, is well-loved for its distinct features, including a squashed face, large round eyes, flat hanging ears, and a curly tail. These little dogs make a big impression wherever they go!

Keep reading to learn more about this adorable breed and whether or not this is the right choice for your next pet!


History and Origin

In ancient China, both the Pekingese and Pug were highly regarded by royalty. Pekingese dogs, in particular, were considered sacred and were often found living in imperial palaces. They were favored companions due to their beauty and loyalty. Pugs, on the other hand, were known for their distinct physical appearance and friendly nature.

The Puginese breed’s history can be traced back to when these two purebred dogs interbred, possibly as a result of their popularity in Chinese culture. Over time, the Puginese gained recognition as a distinct breed, taking on the notable wrinkled face of the Pug and the long, flowing coat of the Pekingese.

The Puginese breed eventually made its way to Britain during the 19th century. Queen Victoria had an affinity for Pugs, and her influence likely contributed to the popularity of the Puginese in the country. The breed rose in fame as a companion dog for British royalty, and its favorable traits made it a sought-after pet for the upper class.


Size and Weight

The Puginese is a small dog with a sturdy build. Their weight typically ranges between 10-16 lbs depending on their individual size and genetics.


Growing to an average height of around 8-14 inches, these small dogs have a compact and muscular body, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a smaller companion.

Coat and Colors

The Puginese inherits its coat from both the Pekingese and the Pug. The coat is generally short to medium length, with a dense and tight texture. They come in a variety of colors, such as fawn, black, white, brindle, or combinations of these. Many Puginese dogs also have a black mask around their muzzle, giving them a distinctive appearance.


The ears of the Puginese are flat and hang down, adding to their endearing appearance. These ears can be influenced by either the Pekingese or the Pug parent but are generally smaller in size compared to their overall head size.


The Puginese has a curly tail, which it inherits from its Pug ancestry. This tail is often held high, adding a playful and energetic look to this small dog breed.


Puginese hair can vary from short to long based on their individual genetics. Longer-haired Puginese may require more frequent grooming to keep the hair clean and tangle-free, while those with shorter hair will need less grooming. Regardless, the hair of the Puginese is straight and smooth, adding to their overall charm and appeal.

Personality and Temperament


The Puginese is known for its social, sweet, playful, loving, stubborn, cheerful, friendly, and loyal character. It is affectionate, sensitive, and independent, inheriting some of the best traits from both parent breeds.

Energy Level

Having a moderate energy level, the Puginese enjoys being active but also appreciates downtime. Regular walks and playtime are important to keep them healthy and engaged. However, they adapt well to their owner’s lifestyle and living spaces, whether in a house or apartment.

Sensitivity Level

Puginese dogs have a higher sensitivity level, making them more tuned in to their owner’s emotions and needs. This trait contributes to their affectionate and loving nature. Be mindful of their sensitivity when training and use positive reinforcement to achieve the best results.


These dogs are quite playful, enjoying interactive games, toys, and activities with their family. Playtime is an essential part of their daily routine that helps strengthen the bond with their owner and provides mental stimulation.

Engaging activities for Puginese include:

  • Fetch games
  • Tug-of-war
  • Puzzle toys
  • Hide and seek with treats

Affection Level

The Puginese is known for its affectionate nature, often referred to as “lovey-dovey.” These dogs form strong bonds with their family and thrive on attention and close contact. Their loving demeanor makes them excellent companions for singles, seniors, and families with children.


While not primarily bred as watchdogs, Puginese dogs are naturally alert and attentive to their surroundings. Their awareness of their environment enables them to be vigilant without being overly aggressive. Keep in mind their smaller size isn’t ideal for a typical watchdog role, but they can still be reliable, alert family pets.

Grooming and Care

Coat Care & Brushing

The Puginese has a unique coat that requires special attention. It’s important to groom its coat regularly to keep it healthy and free of tangles. Weekly brushing is advisable to prevent matting and maintain the coat’s beautiful appearance. The Puginese’s dense fur benefits from the use of a detangling and de-matting spray-on conditioner when necessary.

A regular brushing routine keeps the Puginese’s coat in good condition. It is recommended to brush the coat for at least one hour each week. Using a slicker brush or comb specifically designed for long-haired dogs will ensure proper grooming. Consistent brushing prevents tangles and knots, which can lead to discomfort and skin issues for the dog.


Bathing should be done as needed for the Puginese. Overbathing can strip the coat of essential oils, causing it to become dry and brittle. On the other hand, underbathing can result in a dirty coat that may develop an unpleasant odor. It is important to use a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner to preserve the coat’s natural oils and maintain its overall health.

Training and Exercise

Obedience Training

Training a Puginese dog requires patience and consistency. As a mixture of Pug and Pekingese breeds, they may display sensitivity and stubbornness, making obedience training a bit more challenging. Start obedience training early in their life to achieve better results. Use positive reinforcement techniques and keep training sessions short and enjoyable. Reward them with treats, praise, and petting when they follow commands correctly.


Socialization is an essential aspect of raising a well-rounded Puginese dog. Early socialization helps them become confident and adaptable to different situations. Expose them to various people, animals, and environments from an early age to develop their social skills. Puppy socialization classes can also be beneficial, ensuring positive interactions with other dogs and people.

Exercise Needs

Although Puginese dogs do not require a significant amount of exercise, it’s essential to keep them moderately active for their overall well-being. A daily walk or two, paired with indoor playtime or interactive games, should suffice for their exercise needs. Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise according to their age and fitness level.

Keep in mind that Puginese dogs may have breathing difficulties due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature, so be sure to monitor their exercise levels and provide ample opportunity for rest in between activities. Additionally, avoid exercising them in extremely hot weather to prevent overheating.

Living Conditions and Compatibility

Apartment Living

The Puginese, being a small dog breed, is well-suited for apartment living. Their small size and low-energy nature make them excellent companions in smaller spaces. They can adapt well to various living situations as long as they receive enough attention and mental stimulation. Regular walks and playtime are essential for keeping them happy and healthy.

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

Puginese dogs are generally good with children, especially older kids who can properly interact with them. Due to their small size, they might not be the best choice for families with very young kids who might accidentally harm them. Nonetheless, with proper supervision and guidance, they can be a loving family dog.

When it comes to other pets, the Puginese can get along well with them if introduced and socialized properly from an early age. They are generally friendly and can coexist peacefully with other animals in the household. However, individual temperament and history can influence their compatibility, so it’s essential to monitor and manage their interactions with other pets.

Weather Tolerance

As a small breed dog with a squashed face and short coat, the Puginese has some limitations when it comes to weather tolerance. In hot weather, they can be prone to overheating due to their brachycephalic features. It is vital to provide them with ample shade, water, and cool resting spots during hot summer months. Avoid taking them for walks during the hottest parts of the day, and be watchful for signs of heat exhaustion.

In cold weather, their short coat offers limited insulation, so they might need some additional protection, like a dog sweater, when going outdoors. Just like in hot weather, it’s essential to monitor them closely and provide a warm and comfortable indoor environment during colder months.

Diet and Nutrition

Food Requirements

The Puginese, being a small breed, do not have high food requirements. This breed typically consumes around 1 cup of food per day. It is essential to provide a diet that meets their nutritional needs through natural, whole-food ingredients. Avoid low-quality brands that use poor ingredients or any allergenic or artificial ingredients.

Due to this breed’s potential for food allergies, it is recommended to consult with your veterinarian when deciding on an appropriate diet. Grain-free diets are preferred as they can help reduce digestive issues. Remember that even grain-free kibble often contains high levels of starchy carbs, such as rice, potato, legumes, and lentils, which can add unnecessary stress to the dog’s digestive system and lead to insulin, glucagon, and cortisol spikes throughout the day.


Treats can be an essential part of the Puginese’s diet, primarily when they’re used for reward-based training or to express affection. However, it’s vital to choose treats wisely. Opt for natural, high-quality treats without artificial ingredients or added sugars. You can also offer fruits and vegetables as a healthy treat option, but make sure to avoid any toxic foods for dogs, like grapes or onions.


Although a balanced diet should provide most of the essential nutrients a Puginese needs, in some cases, supplements may be recommended to address specific health concerns. For example, if your dog suffers from a joint issue, your veterinarian might recommend glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, can also be beneficial to maintain a healthy coat and skin.

When considering supplements, always consult your veterinarian to ensure the proper dosage and to avoid any potential adverse reactions with existing medications or health conditions.

Health and Potential Issues

Brachycephalic Syndrome

The Puginese may inherit brachycephalic traits from both parent breeds. This means they have short, flat faces that can cause breathing problems. Some common issues related to brachycephalic syndrome include small nostrils, elongated soft palate, and tracheal collapse. To help prevent breathing difficulties, it’s essential to keep your Puginese at a healthy weight and provide regular veterinary check-ups.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that can affect the Puginese breed, where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain. It is crucial to maintain a consistent exercise routine and monitor your dog’s weight to help reduce the risk of hip dysplasia. Regular vet visits and early detection of this disorder can lead to better management and treatment plans for your Puginese.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is another potential health issue for the Puginese breed. This condition occurs when the discs between the vertebrae in the spine bulge or rupture, causing pain or even paralysis in severe cases. Some symptoms to watch for include reluctance to jump, neck or back pain, and difficulty walking. If you suspect your Puginese is showing signs of IVDD, it is essential to consult your veterinarian to discuss appropriate treatment options.

Finding a Puginese


To find a reputable Puginese breeder, it is essential to conduct thorough research. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs, provide proper medical care, and maintain suitable living conditions. It is always a good idea to visit the breeder’s facility in person and ask questions about the parent dogs, health screenings, and a potential waiting list.

Keep in mind that responsible breeders will:

  • Offer a health guarantee for their puppies
  • Test parent dogs for common genetic issues
  • Provide socialization opportunities for their puppies

Rescue and Adoption

For those interested in rescuing or adopting a Puginese, numerous organizations specialize in rehoming mixed-breed dogs. Start by searching online for local rescues that focus on small breed dogs or specifically on Pug and Pekingese mixes. It is also helpful to visit your local animal shelter or rescue groups, as they often have small breed dogs available for adoption.

When adopting, consider the following:

  • Be prepared to provide a history of the dog’s health and temperament
  • Expect to complete an application process and potentially a home check
  • Be patient, as it may take time for the perfect Puginese to arrive in the rescue system

Finding a Puginese, whether through a breeder or adoption, requires patience and research. Keep in mind the importance of choosing a reputable breeder or rescue organization to ensure a healthy and happy Puginese companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of a Puginese?

The Puginese is known for its affectionate, sensitive, and independent personality. They make great family pets and companions, as they enjoy showing their love to their owners daily. These dogs do not require a lot of physical activity, which makes them suitable for families with a more relaxed lifestyle.

Are Puginese dogs hypoallergenic?

No, Puginese dogs are not hypoallergenic. Like their parent breeds, the Puginese may shed moderately. If you have allergies, it’s important to spend time with a Puginese before committing to owning one to ensure it doesn’t trigger any reactions.

How much grooming is needed for a Puginese?

Puginese dogs require regular grooming to maintain their coat and keep them healthy. Brushing their fur several times a week is recommended to prevent tangles and matting. Additionally, it’s essential to clean their eyes and facial wrinkles regularly, as both parent breeds are prone to developing infections in these areas.

What is the lifespan of a Puginese dog?

The average lifespan of a Puginese dog ranges from 12 to 15 years, which is relatively long for a small breed dog. To help your Puginese live a long, healthy life, make sure they receive regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and exercise.

Adopt a Puginese Today

The Puginese is known for its affectionate and sensitive nature. Its low exercise requirements and independent disposition make this mixed breed a perfect fit for families, seniors, and those living in urban environments.

While they may have a humorous appearance, their temperament, and adaptability make them well-suited to various living conditions and lifestyles. The Puginese’s intriguing history and multifaceted personality guarantee that there’s more to these small dogs than meets the eye!

For more information about other potential pets for your family, check out our Dog Breeds hub here on All Paws!

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