Pugs are surprisingly active dogs, and it can sometimes be hard to know how to keep them entertained. The bored Pug will come up with the most unexpected silly stunts; like climbing up on tables, risky balancing acts (the Pug is a lot more agile than they look), peeing on your favorite rug just because they can, barking at what appears to be nothing and much more, and it is enough to drive even the most patient dog owner crazy.
It is a dog that loves attention, and they will make sure they get it, one way or the other. The best thing you can do – both for yourself and for your Pug – is to find safe and suitable activities where your fur friend can burn off some steam.
The breed is very prone to weight gain, which means they need physical exercise to stay healthy and in good shape. Daily walks, however, is also a great way to tire out an over-energetic Pug and to expose them to fun experiences in your neighborhood and elsewhere. Pugs love to walk and keeping them at a healthy weight will allow them to live longer than they might otherwise, which is, of course, something every dog owner should want for their furry friend.
When walking a Pug, you need to pay special attention to the weather circumstances, as Pugs are sensitive to heat. It is believed they run a greater risk when it is over 85 degrees (F) outside, but even a lower temperature can cause problems depending on how active your Pug is being, on the humidity levels and more, so always take precaution.
Avoid walking during the hottest hours of the day and restrict long walks to mornings and evenings in the summer months. Bring water, and always keep an eye on your Pug to make sure he doesn’t seem overheated or too tired.
Pugs are peculiar dogs because while they are incredibly fun-loving and generally easy-going around other dogs, they can become anxious and fearful if not socialized properly as puppies. All dogs need to be taken out to see the world once they have all their shots, and they should receive continuous socializing as they grow older. Take your Pug out for playdates with other suitably sized dogs or consider taking your Pugs to the dog park if you think they are ready for it.
Socializing can also mean to go sit on a bench for a few minutes to watch other people and dogs walk by because if there is one thing the Pug needs to work on, it’s its patients. Having to sit still and behave for a few minutes might be a lot harder for a Pug than for some other breeds, so make sure you bring treats to reward your furry friend for being a good boy (or girl).
Tug of War
Most people who attempt to play tug of war with a Pug is surprised by their strength; despite their small size they are incredibly stubborn, and their E.T-shaped mouths and tiny teeth can bite down on a toy like few other dogs. Perhaps it isn’t their strength that makes them masters of Tug of War, but instead their obstinacy, and it is a game that your Pug is unlikely to ever get tired of.
To play Tug you will need a high-quality dog toy that will hold for some rough play, so take some time to find the best toys for Tug of War before getting started. You could choose a rope toy, a stuffed animal or a rubber toy, depending on what you think your Pug would like best.
Physical exercise is not the only way to tire out a Pug, and they can get just as tired and satisfied with mental games and activities. Why not let your Pug try a food puzzle or an activation toy? Pugs are stubborn and not always willing to learn; they are more than capable due to being intelligent dogs, but they don’t always want to.
Throw some dog food for your pug into the mix, though, and he or she is likely to feel a lot more motivated. There are several different types of food puzzles you can try, and you might even want to start feeding one of your Pug’s meals that way to activate their brains.
Consider getting a ball toy with a hole to distribute food, and let your Pug roll it across the floor while trying to get the dog food out. This will also serve to slow down their eating, which – as many of you know – helps prevent bloat and other conditions related to consuming food too fast. There are many different activity toys to choose from, and if you pick the right one – they will stay entertained for hours!
Sometimes the best option is a good old game of fetch! Grab your Pug’s favorite toy or ball, head to the nearest park and start throwing! The Pug might not seem like the ultimate fetching dog, but only if you have never seen one in action! Pugs run until you stop them or put away the ball, and they are surprisingly fast for their small size! They can also jump (provided they are in good physical shape), and it is likely that you will get tired of the game long before they do.
When playing Fetch, it is important to provide fresh water when it is warm outside, and to avoid playing in direct sunlight. Taking precaution will allow your Pug to play longer, and it will make the game safe also for flat-faced breeds. Also, be responsible by obligating your Pug to take a break every so often, as they might not be capable of knowing themselves when it is time to take a rest.
What to Think About
If you are only just considering getting yourself a Pug, you should start preparing yourself already for a dog that will put your patience to the test! It is important to find suitable activities to keep them physically fit and mentally satisfied, but you also need to consider their physical limitations when choosing what to engage them in.
Pugs suffer from several health issues such as breathing problems and joint abnormalities, so pick wisely and pay attention to how your Pug is reacting to the game.
For hot days, pick an inside activity like a food-dispensing toy, teach them a new trick (by bribing them with treats, of course) or play fetch in a cool room with AC. When the sun goes down or when the weather is more suitable for a dog like the Pug – head outside to explore, play and enjoy your time together.
Pugs can participate in most activities but be careful with water as not all flat-nosed dogs know how to swim well due to having such a short snout.
A Pug can be a wonderful companion (they have so much love to give!) when fed a quality dog food suitable for the breed, and when exercised and activated to prevent obesity and boredom. A bored Pug can become a destructive Pug, and a destructive Pug is a tiny force of nature you don’t want to have to deal with!
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