Are pugs smart?

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Are pugs smart? – The Pug Dog Mystique

Are pugs smart?

YES, pugs are smart dogs. They will do just about anything for food. The bigger question is perhaps are the people who are trying to train pugs smart or not. If they are, they would motivate them rather than try to punish them or label them as stupid. Pugs are smart enough to have figured out that if I can get food for working then why on earth am I working for free? Treat them and be patient with them and you will see how smart they are!

Pugs are often erroneously tagged as dumb dogs. Just because they are the laughing stock of the Internet world – because of their smooched in face, concerned faces and bulging eyes- does not mean that they are dumb! Most pugs are not dumb. In fact, most are smart enough and stubborn enough to figure out how to get their way or how to outlast you. Positive training, setting rules and boundaries are crucial with this breed if you don’t want to end up with a thug. Since they are often very food driven, treats are very effective in training pugs.

Pugs are dogs and so they cannot be treated like humans and their IQ cannot be tested that way. They aren’t little people, much as we like to think of them that way. That being said, the pug is going to be just as smart as you want it to be. As a smart owner, you will have to put in the work to train your pug and teach him what you want him to know. They need to do dog things—go to parks, meet other dogs, play and have fun. Just as you wouldn’t raise a human child in isolation with no rules, it isn’t good for a pug to be raised in isolation where there are no rules or boundaries. Pugs are very adept at figuring out what you will and will not tolerate and will test the limits. You don’t need to be a dictator, but all dogs like to know what the routine is and like a predictable world.

Skydiving pug

Some people question whether pugs are smart because they cannot be easily housebroken. Pugs will not be house trained in a month or two months or even six months. Some pick it up quickly, but most take a year or longer and may still not be 100% reliable. And most pugs won’t ask to go out. You might be able to train them to ask (ring a bell), but in my experience, most pugs don’t learn this or if they do learn it, they figure out that ring the bell equals a treat (assuming you treat your dog after doing his business outside). You may end up with a pug that rings for food as opposed to letting you know they want to go out. Pugs are known to be stubborn, so it will take some patience but I promise with the correct amount of work and care, he or she will learn. They love to please and you are the reason for their existence. As their shadow, they will follow your lead.

Pugs generally will not just go outside and do their business while you sit nice and warm in the kitchen and have a coffee. If they are outside, you’d better be outside, too. Most will not excrete outside without your company and encouragement. Many will also try to fake you out by pretending to pee. Maddening? You bet, but these quirks are part of the charm of the breed.

While some pugs can last all day while you’re at work, most can’t and none should be expected to. When was the last time you had to hold your bowels or bladder for eight to ten hours at a stretch? So if you are contemplating a pug (or small breed dog) then be sure that you can afford to have someone come in and let the dog out or make arrangements for the dog to excrete in an ‘approved’ spot.

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  1. We have had four pugs, all girls. I concur with just about everything you said in this post…. we had one wonderful little girl who died on Christmas Eve of a burst aneurysm, who could NOT be housetrained, no matter how hard we tried. But we love our pugs, and think they are the best little dogs in the world!

    • I have a girl pug that is so weird about wanting to potty on fabric !!!! I am so sorry to have heard about your girl ! They are one of the sweetest dogs I have ever owned and I have a boy pug I am wanting to train as a therapy dog , but curious if he could get past the training ! Ha ! We shall see ! I have an older Airedale mix who completely has the temperament and kindness for a therapy dog but she’s getting more arthritis and don’t know if she’s a good candidate ????

    • I love my pug as much as anybody else,however I wouldn’t put one in a unatural situation,like skydiving with it.yeah they like food and you got to watch their weight as they age.

  2. I have two rottys a boy thats 16 months old and a female thats 2 yrs old the female will always bark and not want anyone to leave its quite annoying I need help please !!!!!!!!!! My son is going nuts lol

  3. My female will not let someone leave when they come here she is a 2 yr old rotty and she has alot of anxiety im not sure if she has anxiety because of my male rotty

  4. I can only speak for the one pug I’ve met, who is my dad and step mom’s dog. And that dog is most certainly a dumb dog. Its not about the way it looks, its the way it acts and the fact that it just generally looks idiotic. And I don’t mean physically, I don’t mean that it has buldging eyes or anything, I just mean the “look” in its eyes. it shows very little intelligence compared to other breeds I’ve lived with (including two German Shepard’s, a long haired Dachshund, a Long haired German Shepard, and a mix, of what we’re not sure), so I’m not just some random non-dog owner, or someone with limited dog experience. I’ve lived most of my life with dogs and love them to death! I also believe I sort of “understand” dogs and know how to treat them better than most, if that makes sense (though I’m sure every long time dog owner who really treats them like a member of the family feels the same way).

    That said, I’m sure there are other pugs that are more intelligent, but it does seem to be more common to come across a dumb pug. I have at least one other relative that says the same thing about his pug.

  5. We got our pug from a professional breeder (papers and all). We started CAGE TRAINING him right away. Within two weeks he had it figured out. Now he is 6 years old. He has…not one time..had a accident in the house. As we were training him, he slowly (over a few weeks) got more and more run of the house when we were not there. At the time we were both working full-time. Now he has complete run of house all day. Does not mess or chew anything. Just kind of lays around and waits for one of us to return (wife retired now and he likes that a lot). We have had a few dogs over the years but none better than our pug SARGE. if you let him out to go he prefers to walk down into woods to do his business..instead of his own yard..just a great dog.

  6. Cynthia Hagemann on

    Short cute story; PUGS ARE smart . Im not just saying so because I have one but ,yes they are smart, I have 13 teen year old twins and a silly pug whom knows when its time to go outside . Dont dare say the word “out side” one of the twins replies to the other ,”take him out side “, KNOOKIE the pug hears the word and makes it clear hes not going ! He snarls and circles ,and barks and whimpers out loud a second later runs after the twin (my daughter) and sends her to her room! So now the twin boy is laughing while knookie the pug is barricadingng the door for the twin that usually sends him out. Hence , he understands and there for is very smart and only he himself will let him self out . Well unless my husband takes him out! Not to worry he get revenge and goes bath room on husbands pillows! Now that is a diffrent . Does he know what he is doing? Most definite yes !

  7. I have had two pugs and both have been rather in shape. Max (the first of the two) was very muscular, lazy, stubborn, and flat out rude. If you were to ask him how to do anything, he would look at you, snort, and continue on with his day. Toby (the second of the two and currently owned by me) is very skinny, tall, long legged, stubborn, playful, active, and childish. Caring for Toby is almost like caring for a toddler. He’s very loyal, but he knows his place. He’s extremely friendly. Sometimes I’ve had to run down the street after him, because he ran towards some people in the neighborhood. Also, he loves to cuddle at night and even during his daily naps. He’s utterly and almost imaginarily smart. He has gotten out of our back yard by going OVER the back wall (roughly 6 feet tall, 5 feet in the corners). He has broken out of a kennel–yes, that’s right. He somehow managed to break out of his kennel. We left in Thanksgiving Day to a relative’s home and when we came back, he was in my parents bedroom napping. The kennels plastic surface for the bottom was slid out of the object entirely and the brats that connected the four walls together were broken. To this day, I’m not sure how he did it. I love my pugs and I’d arguably say they’re my favorite breed of dog.

  8. I cannot agree more with Jason, maybe because I consider myself a “dog person” with lots of dog and dog training experience.
    I also agree what the article states, namely “They love to please and you are the reason for their existence. As their shadow, they will follow your lead.” Maybe with the exception of “they love to please”. If they did, they would try to learn not to soil their nest – which would please their owners. Birdies with small brains can, why can’t pugs? My baby picked up something at the neighbors house, which turned out to be pug poop. Five year old dogs and retired couple that walks them often.
    We are the reason for their existence – true, because we created that weird breed.
    If they follow the lead, why my other neighbor, a veterinarian, complains, that this breed is famous for abandoning their humans for no reason other than exploring. Which is a good reason, I think, most dogs however decide to recognize the fact, that there is a relationship, and return. The vet chases her dog all over the neighborhood. The couple built a special deck not to do the same thing.
    In an attempt to answer a friend’s question about pugs (she has never had a dog) I was reading thru articles in order to see what are the chances to find a smart pug – and now I know.

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