Pugs are one of the most adorable dog breeds not only because of their appearance, but also because of their temperament. Charming, mischievous yet loving, this toy group breed that hails from the land of China has captivated the hearts of many dog owners with its small structure that averages one foot long and 15 pounds heavy. If you couldn’t get enough of their small demeanor, then a different breed of this fur baby called teacup pugs will delight you. However, teacup dogs in general have received criticism because of unethical issues in breeding techniques.
So, if you’re looking to adopt or buy a teacup pug, it’s important to first get to know its background and dos and don’ts to provide them a healthy and happy new home.
What Is A Teacup Pug?
While most people believe that teacup pugs are just a miniature version of a regular pug, it is not an actual pure breed but instead the offspring of a normal pug and a smaller one or a crossbreed between pugs and teacup chihuahuas. The latter is not to be confused with miniature pugs or chugs/pug huahuas, as this hybrid must be from the teacup version of chihuahuas.
The outcome of this breeding technique is seen to be as a genetic defect called dwarfism which is an undesirable trait that is encouraged to be eliminated. Teacup breeding has been the subject of controversy because of the many risks and complications of dwarfism.
The Appearance Of Teacup Pug
It’s easy to spot a teacup pug because of its compact, square-shaped, muscular feature. Similar to their pure-bred counterparts, its rounded head is larger than its body and its wrinkled face is matched with a snub-nosed snout and velvety soft ears. It has a small set of teeth that makes for the underbite trait they are commonly known for. Because of this breed’s brachycephalic nature or “shortened head”, they are fragile making them challenging to take care of.
Even for a full-grown adult, teacup pugs are expected to weigh less than 5 pounds small enough to fit in a teacup.
History Of Teacup Pug
Teacup pugs have become popular with dog lovers only recently. They bear many similarities with their pure breed counterpart. Pugs were already small enough to be categorized as toy breed dogs. Pugs are often linked to Holland but their origin spans back to their roles as lap dogs for Chinese emperors or companions in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. They are one of the oldest breeds of dogs, existing since 400 B.C. and bred from local mastiff dogs.
Interestingly, the etymology of “pug” comes from the word “pugnus” which is the Latin for fist, describing the round structure of their head.
The Lifespan of A Teacup Pug
Because this breed is prone to multiple illnesses, the life expectancy for this breed is 6 years, half the lifespan of an average pug. As with any other half-bred dogs, their lifespan will vary depending on the manner they were bred and taken care of. However, most teacup breeds don’t make it past 6 years.
Teacup Pug Price
As purebred dogs are already costly, you can expect to shell out more cash if you’re looking for teacup pugs which may go from $300 to as high as $4,000. The price varies depending on the pedigree, vaccination, and breeding. This breed is commonly seen as pets of higher-class people or celebrities.
The Temperament of A Teacup Pug
These dogs are very playful and friendly. They are the perfect lap dogs as they are affectionate and love cuddles and attention. Like the regular pugs, this breed is calm and observant. Clever and curious, these dogs are always in quest of exploring new things in your home. They are smart and can easily learn fun tricks.
The Best Exercise for Teacup Pug
Don’t be swayed if your pooch seems happier to lead the life of couch potato. Even with their fragile disposition, these dogs still need to get some physical exercise to avoid them from getting out of shape as it would be more difficult for them to support their own body. It is also best to keep an eye on your teacup pug and limit his active playtime to 30-minute moderate activity.
A little exercise is better than none at all as it helps give some mental stimulation and easier to train them. So, schedule your pooch’s morning walk and help him get to know other dogs in the neighborhood.
The Right Way To Groom Your Teacup Pug
Similar to their average counterpart, teacup pugs tend to shed very heavily, not just occasionally but throughout the year. These pets require extra care to lessen the amount of shedding and avoid allergy triggers. To groom teacup pugs, always keep in check that their hair is brushed 2-3 times a week. Brushing for 5 to 10 minutes can help you minimize the shedding from being scattered all over your house.
To give your pooch better skin and coat, it is important to limit the washing to once a month or every two months. This helps maintain the natural oils in their skin and fur. If it’s time for a wash, always use tearless products that would be gentle on their large, exposed eyes and nasal passages. In every after bath, see to it that the folds are properly dried to avoid the accumulation of moisture as this would be breeding grounds for dirt and bacteria.
How To Train Your Teacup Pug
As with the general rule, it’s always best to start training these dogs early. What’s impressive about this breed is that they are clever enough to respond to the tone of your voice, so avoid yelling. Veterinarians recommend positive reinforcement training by being patient until they learn to behave nicely.
Teacup pugs always want to catch your attention and will try to please you. They tend to bark excessively, so they should be trained not to be loud.
Teacup Pug Health issue
Both pugs and chihuahuas have health issues. Breeding them together will result in an increased risk of inheriting certain diseases. Dwarfism was associated with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Teacup pugs are also prone to diseases like hypoglycemia or low sugar, brittle bones, heart failure, and dental problems.
Their short muzzles and bulging eyes are also linked to Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome (BAOS) especially in a hot and humid environment. You might often hear them snore or breathe through their mouth. These congenital abnormalities, if left neglected, can eventually lead to collapse and death.
On rare occasions, these dogs can suffer from hyperthyroidism when their thyroid starts overproducing the hormone thyroxine and results in metabolic hyperactivity. Because of their bulging eyes, they can easily traumatized or injure their cornea. They can also suffer from entropion, a condition that affects the lower eyelid causing contact between eyelashes and cornea leading to irritation.
Other minor illnesses they are prone to include spinal abnormalities where the left and right vertebrae do not grow equally. Kneecap/patella dislocation or malformation is another hereditary problem. A rare yet aggressive disease called Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) affects the neurological system.
It may be terrifying to know all the illnesses this breed can suffer from but remember that with the right way of caring and a constant visit to the vet, your dog may have a long-lasting and healthy life.
The Good Diet for A Teacup Pug
For a small dog, it is necessary to formulate a feeding plan to ensure the balance between nutrients and protein. An adult dog has a recommended daily food consumption approximated from 600-1,400 calories a day. Puppies with a 1 lb weight should be fed 50 calories. The most important ingredient in their food is meat (chicken, beef, and fish) as this would be their primary source of protein.
A good ratio of their food is 40% meat, 30% starch, and 30% vegetable. Suitable vegetables include peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, broccoli, and spinach. Do not feed teacup pugs with foods that are for large breeds as the big kibbles can be difficult to chew for their teeth. Nuts, chocolates, seasonings, or butter to the food are also to be avoided.
Although not necessary, adding a dog supplement to your pooch’s dinner can also make a difference in their skin and coat.
Is The Teacup Pug A Good Family Dog?
With all this information, you might be asking the question if they are suitable for first-time pet owners? The number of possible complications stated can be quite challenging for first-time or busy owners. They are very adorable as pets but if you can’t give them the proper care and attention then this might not be the dog for you.
If you have children under the age of 8, it may not be a good idea to get this dog. If you’re looking for a pet that can provide security, a larger canine is a more suitable option.
Their adorable disposition makes teacup pugs popular and high in demand. Although they are delightful companions, it is important to make informed decisions if you can be a great owner of a teacup pug. They are high in maintenance so expect to make multiple trips to your vet than with a regular dog.
It is technically not illegal to own such dogs but because of their sickly nature, it is widely viewed as unethical to breed. In conclusion, it is highly recommended to search for other canine companions if you are a new dog owner. But if you are determined and loving, then you might be able to give teacup pugs a happy and healthy life.