Are you thinking about getting a dog because you want a four-legged companion? Are you wondering whether adorable pugs are up for long walks or hiking around as much as you do? Look no further, we’ll share what you need to know so you can decide if this is the right fit for your lifestyle.
Are Pugs Good Walking Dogs?
The answer is that they are good walking dogs as long as the trek is relatively short and at a pace comfortable and safe for the little canine. A fast or running pace and/or long distance (say three miles) is too much for a pug to handle. Other factors should be considered before taking an outing with your Pug also.
Pugs love to trot alongside their owners on a nice day, but the stroll must be a calculated excursion to be sure the dog is safe. Several reasons explain why it is so vital for pug owners to pay close attention to certain factors when taking their furry friend for a walk outside.
But a basic understanding of their physical attributes will help you understand why that knowledge affects your decision before walking a Pug.
Good Walking Dogs vs. Bad Walking Dogs
The best walking dogs are dolichocephalic breed, and pugs do not fall into this category. Dolichocephalic dogs have long skulls and elongated snouts, making their breathing capabilities much better than their counterparts—the brachycephalic breeds with short heads and noses.
We all understand how breathing freely and deeply is part of rigorous exercise, so if Peanut’s or Princess’s breathing is difficult, this could lead to lightheadedness or heat exhaustion.
Examples of Dolichocephalic Dogs (good walkers)
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Italian Greyhounds
- Siberian Huskies
Examples of Brachycephalic Dogs (not-so-good walkers)
- Boston Terrier
- Shar Pei
- Lhasa Apso
IMPORTANT WARNING about our pug pals
This syndrome is when a dog has airway abnormalities. You can look for these symptoms. If any are present, see your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and care. Also, ask your Vet whether you can or should take your furry companion for walks.
- Breathing through an open mouth
- Excessive mucus
- Regular Snoring
- Noises and grunts when breathing normally
- Regurgitating food
- Lifting head to breathe better
NOTE: This not an exhaustive list of symptoms related to Brachycephalic Syndrome. See your Vet for more information.
Walking Your Healthy Pug
You’ve determined that you have a healthy pet and want to get started on a walking routine. Great! To make it fun for both of you, the best thing to do is begin when your Pug is a puppy.
This breed can be quite stubborn, so prepare yourself to be patient and disciplined.
I promise it will pay off. And don’t be surprised if your precious Pug refuses to move and even sits down in protest. They just don’t know what’s about to happen yet.
It All Starts With A Leash
First, though, get the right leash system: Pugs have small necks, and with their common breathing difficulties, a collar around the neck is not a good plan.
Plus, they will hate it and likely pull or yank in discontentment. Nobody wants to see that for our fur babies, and it will make the canine think walking is a negative activity. A chest harness with a leash is the best way to go.
Try to find either a walking harness or a no-pull harness. The walking type is the easiest to put on and take off your dog, and the no-pull’s front chest ring for the leash makes it easy for you to lead without your sweet pug pulling.
Implement A Daily Routine
Now, to the actual walking, A daily walking routine is best, as dogs are easy to put into routines just like eating in the morning and going out to pee and poop at certain times of the day.
If you don’t have time for a daily walk, you can try for an every-other-day routine, too. Even if once a week, your Pug will likely happily respond and remember, but be patient if it’s not as easy as you’d like. Your furry friend will get there.
The same goes for their interaction with other dogs. Pugs are not aggressive, so they tend to either shy away from others or try to play with them. You’ll see which way your cuddly canine is, but it’s best to avoid a busy dog park in your first few outings. Meeting more than one dog at a time could be overwhelming, especially if your pup hasn’t been socialized properly.
Aim for days or times of day when it’s not very hot. Mornings and evenings are best. Avoid the hottest part of the day—11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pugs are not made to perform well in the heat, which brings on breathing difficulties.
Keep It Short
Keep your walk under 30 minutes and stay at a walking pace. It’s okay to burst into a speed walk here and there, but don’t sustain it more than a few minutes, especially if you notice your Pug having trouble keeping up or experiencing overly labored breathing.
Bring water. It will give both you and your pet enjoyable refreshment and keep your little buddy properly hydrated for his physical exertions. If Spot’s not comfortable, he won’t be happy and may start fighting against walks with you. That’s not fun for anybody!
Speaking of water, pugs do not like rain. Many pug owners report that rain makes them want to stay inside. Can you blame them? I wouldn’t want to go for walk with raindrops pelting me in the face the whole time. It’s best to just respect their wishes and wait for the rain to stop.
Pugs Have Short Legs
The short-legged factor. Yes, that’s a thing. Our pug friends have adorable but relatively short legs to carry around their robust bodies.
This makes their strides significantly different than our own. Imagine going for a jog with the Green Giant. Could you keep up? Most probably not. But if you shorten your stride to one comfortable for your Pug, you’ll both enjoy a lovely stroll on a nice day. Happy human-pug time to you!
Pugs will never be a good walking dog as a dolichocephalic breed. However, implementing a daily routine of walking routine can help build up your dog’s endurance.
Remember to start out slowly to give your dog the chance to enjoy the walks. Eventually, your Pug will learn to enjoy the walks, and will be begging you to get up off the couch and go for a stroll!