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Are Pugs Good Family Dogs? Trainability, Care & Things to Consider

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

pug puppy playing with a girl

If someone were to ask you what a wrinkly face, short snout, and loud snoring was, you’d know the answer right away. Pugs! These small dogs make great family pets because of their size but also their personality. Pugs are great dogs to have around kids for several reasons, but they are also great starter dogs for those who are getting their first dog.

Family dogs can be hard to find, mostly when you have little ones. Sure, there are the breeds that everyone goes to, like labs and goldens, but not every place is big enough for big breeds.

Let’s look at the reasons why pugs make great family pets, and why they could be the perfect breed for you and your family.Divider 1

Pugs are Easily Trained

With dogs that are easily trained, pugs are right up there with the best. They are small masterminds and love to get into mischief, though. Their big personalities can get them into trouble if you aren’t paying attention to them. Pugs are smart enough to be stubborn about when they want to train and when they want to nap. It will take some patience on your part to get your little dog trained, but once you do, they aren’t likely to forget what they learned.

Food is the way to a Pug’s heart. Since they are stubborn, they may take a little longer to get what you want them to do down. The biggest challenge most owners face is house breaking. Pugs, as a whole, hate the rain. Convincing your Pug that the rain will not harm them might just be the biggest hurdle you face with training.

However, pugs gain weight extremely easily. So be careful to not give them too many treats when training.

Image Credit: Jarun Ontakrai, Shutterstock

Are Pugs Good Family Dogs?

These small dogs are naturally affectionate. Once you bond with your pug, you have an extra shadow. The best part is these dogs bond with all their humans, including the children. It isn’t often you find a pug willing to sleep away from their humans, or even enjoy some time away from them. As a family pet, you can rest assured that they are going to be close.

Due to how their face is shaped, they often can’t deliver a bite that could be considered aggressive. It is what puts them on the list of kid-safe dogs. However, no matter what, your dog needs to be trained not to bite.

Pugs Maintenance

If you want a dog that doesn’t bark often, then consider a Pug. This makes them great apartment dogs, or even just living with roommates. However, a tradeoff to the barking is the snoring, snorting, and general pug sounds that come with the short snout. If you don’t mind that, then the pug could easily fit into your lifestyle if you have a smaller home.

Despite the myth out there that states pugs don’t shed often, they really do. The short hair needs to be groomed or you’ll have hair everywhere. A daily brush is a good start to taming the shedding and making it manageable. Plus, a good brushing feels good, and is a great bonding time for you and your dog. Since Pugs love physical contact, a good brushing makes them feel good and you tame their fur.

Image Credit: Krill Konstantinov, Shutterstock

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Exercise Goes a Long Way

Being a small dog, they don’t need to go on a four-mile run every day or have vast fields of running to roam. A pug needs about 20 minutes of brisk exercise a day to stay happy, healthy, and entertained. Considering these dogs nap about 14 hours a day, they really would rather sleep than move. That means that pugs are prone to obesity. You’ll have to watch your dog’s weight and limit treats as to not have a fat pug.

A healthy Pug will still make all the snorts, snoring, and pug sounds we all love. An obese pug will have more trouble breathing, and it can lead to complications in the long run.

Are Pugs Good With Kids?

This breed of dog is a lover, not a fighter. Most of the time, pugs will try to get along with just about anyone and anything. This means they are great with kids, but also any other pets you may own. You will have to do the introduction steps to get them acclimated to one another like any other pet. Once they know one another, you’ll find that your pug just wants to cuddle and be their friend.

Because of the sleeping habits of this dog, they do well with cats. Since they both would rather be sleeping than being active, they make great buddies. Always make sure your cat can tolerate another animal before bringing in a new one, though.

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Notable Things Before You Bring a Pug Home

With every dog, there are things that could make or break the breed for you. While a pug makes a great family pet, there are a few details that need to be thought out before bringing one home.

Health Problems

Pugs, unfortunately, have a slew of health problems. These dogs are bred to be deformed with their short snout and big eyes. They also have many breathing problems, eye issues, joint issues, and gastro issues. Those are just the start of the list. If you are able and willing to deal with any health issues that come your way, then a pug can still be the right dog for you.

To eliminate some of these health risks, go to a good breeder.


All short-faced breeds gulp in air when eating or playing. That air has to go somewhere, and that is as gas. With commercial diets the flatulence does get worse, but there is a way to combat it. Making sure your dog food has high-quality ingredients will help make the gas less. However, they are going to have gas no matter what.

Constant Shedding

Pugs simply just shed all year round. So daily brushing and trips to the groomer every few weeks is needed. If you are alright with this and are ready, then a pug could easily be right for you.Divider 4


Pugs can be an amazing family dog for anyone who wants a dog that loves to cuddle and nap the day away. This breed is sweet nature and loves to be around people, and is typically a goofball brining the laughs. A Pug could easily be right for you if you are looking for a small breed with a big personality.

Featured image credit: Aleksandr Ryzhov, Shutterstock

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