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Puginese (Pekingese & Pug Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Puginese mixed breed dog

Height: 8–11 inches
Weight: 10–16 pounds
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Colors: Black, brown, sable, fawn, white, brindle
Suitable for: Owners looking for a low-energy companion breed
Temperament: Affectionate with their owners, can be wary of strangers, relaxed with low energy requirements, and sometimes stubborn to train

Are you looking for a cute and affectionate small-breed dog? Step forward the Puginese! You might not have heard that much about these little guys, but they’re a cross between two extremely charismatic breeds, the Pekingese and the Pug. The result is a sweet and affectionate pup with low energy requirements.

There’s no denying that these tiny dogs are incredibly cute and adorable, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to suit every single family. They actually prefer homes without young kids, as the Puginese simply doesn’t have the energy to keep up with the constant requests to play! They can also be wary of strangers and have a bit of a stubborn streak.

The Puginese isn’t as well-known as some of the other hybrid breeds out there, so if you don’t know all that much about them, don’t worry! Our guide goes over everything you need to know about these cute little dogs.

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Puginese Puppies


We know that all puppies are adorable. It’s hard to visit a litter of pups of any breed and not mentally pick out your favorite! Remember, though, that this is a decision that you’ll have to keep for many years to come.

The Puginese is a relatively low-energy breed, but that’s partly because they can suffer from breathing difficulties due to their short muzzles. Be prepared to keep an eye on your pup’s breathing in hot weather, and don’t over-exercise them in the summer months. For the same reason, these pups often prefer a quiet home where they won’t be expected to keep up with kids or other more energetic dogs.

They can be a bit stubborn, so you’ll need to be consistent with your training in order to enjoy a well-mannered dog. While it can be tempting to think that training doesn’t need to be a priority with smaller dogs, that’s definitely not the case!

The parent breeds of Puginese
The parent breeds of Puginese: Left – Pug (Erin Minuskin, Unsplash) | Right – Pekingese (Daniel Kondrashin, Pexels)

3 Little-Known Facts About the Puginese

1. Every Puginese puppy is a little different

With hybrid breeds that haven’t been around for a long time, like the Puginese, it’s more difficult to predict the characteristics and appearance of the pups. Unlike purebred dogs, we’re still working out exactly what a Puginese will be like. So, each pup, even those from the same litter, will be a little different!

Of course, this is part of the charm of choosing a hybrid pup. Your Puginese may end up with the longer coat of a Pekingese but the coloring of a Pug, or vice versa! They might also end up as a complete blend of both parent breeds. The only sensible way to prepare yourself is to make sure you like the appearance and characteristics of both the Pekingese and the Pug.

2. Pugs and Pekingese both hail from China

We can trace the Pug’s history back to China in 200 B.C., where they were the favored pets of Chinese emperors. Pugs were kept as a closely guarded secret from the rest of the world until the 16th century when Dutch traders started to return home with Pugs. From there, their popularity across Europe and the U.S. started to soar. The Pug was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and is currently the 28th most popular breed in the U.S.

The Pekingese also hails from China and was a prized pet. Legend states that this breed was created by Buddha when he shrank a lion. The Pekingese is still known as “Lion Dog” in some circles. The Chinese emperors managed to keep this breed hidden until well into the 19th century when British troops stormed the palaces and found Pekingese dogs there. Once these dogs were brought back as a present for Queen Victoria, they became a highly prized breed.

The Pekingese came to America in the 1890s and were accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1906. A Pekingese dog was one of only three pups to survive the shipwreck of the Titanic.

3. The Puginese’s short muzzle can lead to health problems

Both the Pug and Pekingese are known for their short muzzles, and their Puginese puppies will inherit this trait as well. While this is a cute look, it can also lead to health problems. The distinctive shape of flatter-faced breeds is known as “brachycephalic” and can lead to serious issues for these little pups.

They can suffer from eye problems due to the fact that their eyes protrude from their skulls. You need to look out for dry eye and corneal ulcers. These pups can also suffer from breathing problems in hotter weather or when they exercise excessively. Hot weather is not a friend of the Puginese, and they much prefer a colder environment. The low-energy requirements of this breed do stem in part from the fact that they simply can’t get enough oxygen into their lungs when they start to breathe more heavily.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Puginese 🧠

The Puginese is a sweet-tempered dog around people they know and love, but they are wary and distrustful of strangers. For this reason, they can make good little guard dogs, and while they will bark to warn you of visitors, they soon settle down. Proper socialization when they’re young is important in making sure your Puginese can tolerate both human and animal visitors into your home.

This hybrid breed can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training, so consistency and positive techniques are key here. While the Puginese is keen to please their owners during training sessions, they’re also not the quickest of dogs to pick up new commands.

Puginese isn’t the most active breed, so they work well for apartment living or if you don’t have time to dedicate to a long walk every day with an active breed.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

While the Puginese can work well as a family dog, they do prefer households with older or no kids. They simply can’t keep up with energetic children who want to play endless games of fetch or take them for many walks in the park.

They are a great choice for families with older kids who like the companionship of having a dog around the house but don’t expect them to be overly active. They’ll definitely curl up on the couch for a mammoth Netflix binge! The Puginese doesn’t much like loud noises or busy households, so they will prefer quiet households where there’s always somewhere for them to retreat to.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

While the Puginese can and will get along with other pets if they have to, they prefer to be the only dog in the household.

If you do want to keep your Puginese in a multi-pet household, then make sure to keep initial introductions brief. Your pup may not enjoy living in a house with an energetic dog that wants to play all the time, as your Puginese would probably rather just chill out!

Smaller pets like rabbits or hamsters certainly shouldn’t be an issue, as the Puginese doesn’t have a high prey drive.

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Things to Know When Owning a Puginese

Just because the Puginese is a small breed, don’t be fooled into thinking that they won’t need a large investment of time, energy, and money. Before you make your decision, here are more details to help you make up your mind.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Choosing a feed specifically formulated for a small breed is recommended for a Puginese. They can have tooth problems, so make sure to check their teeth regularly.

Given the Pekingese and Pug mix’s low energy and small size, they’re at risk of becoming overweight if fed too much. Table scraps should be avoided because it doesn’t take much for these slightly lazy pups to put on weight!

Exercise 🐕

A Puginese doesn’t need too much exercise, so a short walk around the block or even just time in the backyard exploring the flowers will be enough to keep them happy.

They don’t like the extreme cold or hot, so be sure not to take them out for too long in these conditions. Hot weather can be particularly stressful for Puginese dogs, as they can struggle to breathe. Many owners choose to use air conditioning and cooling pads during warmer weather.

Training 🦮

Your Puginese needs to be well socialized while still a pup, so they don’t become overly wary of strangers and other dogs. They can also be a little stubborn, so consistent and patient training is the key with this breed! With that said, they are also eager to please their owners. While they can pick up a new command, it might just take them a little longer than most!

They’re not well suited to energetic pursuits like agility or obedience, especially during the warmer summer months.

Grooming ✂️

The amount of grooming that your Puginese needs will depend on whether they inherit the shorter coat of their Pug parent, the long coat of the Pekingese, or something in the middle! Whichever they end up with, they will shed, so you’ll need to groom them once or twice a week to remove any dead hair and keep their coats tangle-free. If your pup has a longer coat, you may decide to have them clipped to reduce maintenance. This can also help them feel more comfortable over the summer.

You need to clean your Puginese’s face regularly to make sure no dirt or debris gets stuck in their facial folds. If this isn’t cleaned out, it can lead to infections. Using a pet wipe every few days to clean these areas is a good idea.

The Puginese has sensitive skin and can easily develop allergies or dermatitis. Make sure you bathe them only when absolutely necessary, and always choose hypoallergenic grooming products.

Health Conditions ❤️

The Puginese is, overall, a healthy breed, but the possibility of breathing and eye problems can put some potential owners off. Unlike some breeds, where the chance of them developing a certain condition is low, it’s almost a certainty that your Puginese will have breathing problems and possibly eye issues.

In addition to those, there are a few other conditions that can affect this breed. These are less likely to occur than breathing and eye problems, but it’s important to be aware of them nonetheless.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Luxating patella
  • Allergies
  • Dermatitis
Serious Conditions
  • Breathing problems
  • Eye problems
  • Heart issues
  • Epilepsy
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Encephalitis
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Male vs Female

If you’ve fallen in love with the idea of adding a cute Puginese to your family, the only thing left to decide is if you’re going to choose a boy or girl pup! This can be an exciting thing to think about, but we highly recommend leaving that decision until you meet the litter of puppies you’re interested in.

The personality of each pup isn’t going to be affected by their sex, so it’s a better idea to wait and see which puppy appeals to you most on a character level. You might find yourself falling for a female when you were sure you’d pick a male!

Most hormonal behaviors will be reduced or completely removed when you have your pup spayed or neutered at an appropriate age, so don’t let that overly affect your choice.

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Final Thoughts

The Puginese is a cute and sweet breed with plenty going for it. Their kind disposition and low energy needs make them an excellent choice for older owners who don’t have the time or energy for long walks with an active pup. You will need to make time for their training, though, as without correct socialization, these little dogs do run the risk of becoming a little spoiled and overly wary of strangers.

The high likelihood of them developing problems with their breathing and eyes is enough to put some potential owners off. But these issues can be successfully managed with careful management, as many owners of this breed will attest to. You just need to take extra care in hotter weather and remember that these pups don’t have the same stamina or energy as many other breeds.

Despite all that, the Puginese makes a wonderful companion for a more sedate lifestyle. They will always be by your side, ready to find that next nap spot!

Featured Image Credit: Joshua Minso, Shutterstock

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