How to Tell if A Pug is Purebred

How to Tell if A Pug is Purebred

Ah, the Pug – a breed that’s captured our hearts with their squished faces, button-like eyes, and personalities larger than life. It’s no wonder we find ourselves entranced by these lovable canines. But in the dog-eat-dog world of breed purity, how can you ensure that your Pug is a genuine, purebred specimen?

Strap in, dog enthusiasts, because we’re about to embark on an intriguing journey that delves into the genes, historical lineages, and the discerning traits of these canine comedians.

Understanding the Pug Breed: A Historical Overview

The Pug’s lineage can be traced back to ancient China, where they were cherished pets of the emperors. Prized for their compact, muscular build, distinctive wrinkled face, and ‘button’ tail, they were a symbol of nobility.

How to Tell if A Pug is Purebred
How to Tell if A Pug is Purebred

Yet, to truly understand if your Pug is purebred, one must first familiarize oneself with these unique characteristics that set purebred Pugs apart.

The Traits of a Purebred Pug

There are a few traits we can check to see if a Pug is a purebred or not.

Physical Traits

  1. Size & Build: As earlier mentioned, size matters when determining if a Pug is purebred. Male Pugs usually tip the scales between 14-18 pounds, while their female counterparts weigh in at around 13-18 pounds. Their bodies are compact but muscular, resembling a stout little barrel. A square body, when viewed from the side or above, is another trademark of purebred Pugs. When you look at them, the distance from their shoulder to the rump should roughly equate the height from the ground to their shoulders.
  2. Eyes: The eyes of a purebred Pug are one of their most arresting features. They are dark, round, and large, but never bulging. Often, they exude an endearing look of surprise that’s hard to resist.
  3. Wrinkles: Distinctive wrinkles, particularly on their faces, are another hallmark of purebred Pugs. Their large forehead should exhibit a significant wrinkle known as the “prince mark”. This wrinkle is so called because it somewhat resembles the Chinese character for “prince”.
  4. Coat: A purebred Pug’s coat is a sight to behold – smooth, short, and glossy, laying snugly against their compact body. The breed standard recognizes four colors – fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn, and black. Any other color might indicate a mixed breed lineage.
  5. Ears: Purebred Pugs have two distinctive types of ears, referred to as “rose” and “button”. Button is the most common and preferred type, where the ear folds forward, with the front edge against the side of the head.
  6. Tail: Look at the Pug’s tail. Is it tightly curled over the hip, forming a neat little spiral? If the answer is yes, it could be another positive sign of a purebred Pug.

Behavioral Traits

  1. Sociability: Pugs are known for their sociable and charming personality. They thrive on human companionship, making them excellent family pets. They’re also friendly towards strangers and get along well with other animals. A purebred Pug is an extrovert in a small package.
  2. Stubbornness: Have you ever heard the phrase “Multum in Parvo”? It’s Latin for “a lot in a little” – a phrase that sums up the Pug’s occasionally headstrong nature. These dogs are known for their stubborn streak, but their charming antics generally make up for it.
  3. Affection: Pugs are exceptionally affectionate and thrive on attention. Often, you’ll find them following their owners from room to room, always wanting to be in the midst of the action.
  4. Noise: Snorting, wheezing, grunting – Pugs have a myriad of unique noises that become their language. They aren’t as yappy as some small breeds, but they aren’t entirely quiet either. These sounds are due to their shortened snouts, another distinguishing feature of the breed.

In short, the purebred Pug is a combination of distinctive physical traits and an unforgettable personality that sets it apart. Getting to know these traits can ensure that your Pug is the real deal, paving the way for a unique bond between you and your purebred Pug.

Genes, DNA Testing, and Purebred Pugs

Genetics offer a crystal-clear window into a dog’s breed composition. With advancements in canine genomics, DNA tests can now confirm the purity of a Pug’s lineage. They map out the genetic makeup, providing invaluable insights into your Pug’s ancestry, helping you to determine if it is purebred or mixed. While it might seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, it’s a practical tool for every curious Pug owner.

Importance of Pedigree Papers and Registration

You’ve probably heard of pedigree papers and kennel club registrations. Pedigree papers trace your Pug’s lineage back several generations and are proof of your pet’s ancestry. Kennel club registrations, like the American Kennel Club (AKC), certify the purity of the breed. However, note that while these documents are crucial, they aren’t entirely foolproof and should be considered alongside other factors like physical traits and genetic tests.

Expert Opinions: Veterinarian and Breeders’ Take

Veterinarians and breeders offer a wealth of knowledge. Their experience allows them to pick up on subtle signs that might escape an untrained eye. They can provide insights into a Pug’s health, which is often closely tied to its purity, and debunk common misconceptions. Remember, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to understanding our four-legged companions.

The Risks and Rewards of Owning a Purebred Pug

Like a double-edged sword, owning a purebred Pug comes with both joys and challenges. Purebred Pugs may be prone to specific health issues, like Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), hip dysplasia, or brachycephalic syndrome. On the flip side, their charisma, loyalty, and endearing quirks make them truly captivating pets.

There’s nothing quite like the companionship of a purebred Pug!


So, as we wrap up our canine expedition, remember that the purity of a Pug goes beyond its adorable face. It’s a mosaic of physical traits, behavior, genetic tests, pedigree papers, and expert opinions. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced trainer, it’s the joy these charming furballs bring into our lives that truly counts, isn’t it? After all, at the end of the day, it’s not just about owning a dog, it’s about the friendship, the companionship, and the unforgettable moments of joy that they bring.

A Pug, purebred or not, is sure to offer you a world full of delightful surprises and a lifetime of memories. Isn’t that what really matters?

In the grand scheme of things, our furry companions teach us the most about love – pure, unconditional, and incomparable to anything else. Now, isn’t that the purest thing of all?

Dennis & Becca
Authored by Dennis & Becca

Dennis and Becca, have always shared a passion for man’s best friend. As dog enthusiasts, they put together articles that inform, engage, and captivate fellow dog lovers.

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