Are pugs smart? – The Pug Dog Mystique
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.
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.