Finding the right Pug breeder that isn’t doing it just for financial gain is becoming more and more challenging. According to the AKC, the Pug dog breed is one of the most popular breeds today because people are looking for a loyal companion dog.
The downside is more and more people are breeding them, making it challenging to find a reputable one. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 15 things to consider to help you find the right one, be sure to check out our list of Pug breeders from around the United States to make it easier for you. (make sure you do your due diligence before buying as we can’t vouch for them)
Don’t forget about Pug adoption, as these dogs are usually already trained and well behaved.
Before Getting A Pug
Before you start looking for a Pug breeder, there are a few things you can do to help improve your puppy buying experience.
- Learn about the Pug Breed – These brachycephalic dogs are adorable and loving, but it’s essential to know as much in advance about caring for them.
- What Is Your Purpose – Are you buying a Pug as a family pet, do you want to do some shows, or maybe you’re buying one intending to become a breeder? Your reason for wanting a Pug will also be a determining factor in choosing a breeder.
- Pug Breed Standards – Not all Pugs are purebred, and most won’t be show quality. There may be more Pug mixes and others that may be off on a few aesthetic details. Here’s how to tell if a Pug is purebred.
- Get Your Questions Ready – Write down as many questions in advance, so when you do find a good breeder, you’ll know what to ask about the puppy. All breeders should know the breed they sell and be willing to answer all the questions you have. If they can’t answer very basic questions, then it’s not a good breeder. Make sure you ask them some questions you know the answers to, as it will let you know whether they are knowledgeable about Pugs. We’ll cover some more questions you’ll want to ask below.
- Be patient – We live in a society where we want things done today. However, finding a reputable breeder will take time. Be patient and wait till you find the right one, so you don’t end up buying from a puppy mill – trust me, pugs are worth the wait!
How Do You Find A Good Pug Breeder?
Once you know you want a Pug, the first step is finding a reputable breeder. There are several ways to find one, and below are just a few:
Veterinarian – A veterinarian is a great place to ask for a reputable breeder. If this is your first puppy, you can still contact a local veterinarian in your area.
Friends and Relatives – Asking someone who just got a puppy is one of the best ways to find a good breeder. People will be happy to recommend where they bought their Pug from, especially if they were happy with the experience.
Use Social Media – Ask people on Facebook groups you belong to. Ensure you do your due diligence and check the background of the breeder they recommend. You’ll want to browse the breeder’s Facebook page, and you should see several years of Pugs being sold.
If the breeder cares about the pups, you should see comments on the business page from previous buyers and comments from the breeder. A good breeder will ask their buyers how the pups are long after they have been sold, and you’ll be able to see this on their page.
Groomers – The next time you take your pet to the groomer, ask them if they know of a good breeder.
Boarding Kennels – Another great place to ask is your local dog boarding kennels.
Pug Club or Kennel Club – The best place to start is to find a breeder who belongs to a pug national breed club, such as the Pug Dog Club of America. Their mission statement is “selective ethical breeding.” The members of this group are committed to humane canine breeding and care for the Pug breed. You can ensure you are getting a good quality Pug from the members on the site.
Most breeders will offer pedigree KC registered dogs, although you’ll want to ask. If they are, they should provide you a pedigree certificate, which makes it easy to trace the dog’s ancestry.
What Not To Focus On
Don’t Make A Decision Based on Price – Pugs can be expensive, so it’s essential to know their cost. However, price alone should not be the main factor for choosing a breeder. Every breeder will have different costs, and just because one has higher costs doesn’t mean it’s a better quality Pug.
Vice versa, some people think it’s a bad quality dog if someone is asking too low of a price. But it could just be that the person doesn’t care about breeding dogs and wants to make sure the puppy goes to the right home.
The Reason for The Sale: People have different reasons for selling a dog. It could be their Pug accidentally got pregnant, and they didn’t want to keep the puppies? There are several reasons people sell puppies, and that doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with the puppy.
When it comes down to finding the right breeder, it boils down to the person who is selling the puppy.
Seeing the Puppies
The next step is to visit the breeder’s home. During the visit, pay attention to the premises. Does it smell good? Is it clean? Are the puppies kept in a kennel or run with other dogs? If so, it could be a puppy mill breeder trying to front as a responsible breeder.
During the visit, ask to see the entire litter and at least one of the parents. (I picked Mindy my Pug from the litter of 4) The animals should look healthy and well-fed, without any signs of runny eyes or noses.
A good breeder will want to do a background check on you because they will be concerned about who the puppy will be living with. This is a good thing, as it shows the breeder cares about the pups.
Questions You Should Ask A Pug Breeder
Are the Puppies Parents Certified?
Pugs are prone to several health problems, so it’s important to know what type of genetic issues you can expect. Breeders should have their dogs evaluated and tested for diseases and ultimately be certified as “disease-free.”
If I have certified the parents, they will have pedigree certificates.
Are Both Parents Pugs?
With the popularity of designer dogs, many people are crossbreeding Pugs and selling them as purebred. If you’re looking for a stand Pug, both the parents will be Pugs. Otherwise, you may end up with a hybrid Pug. (a mix between a Pug and another breed)
Have the Puppies Been Socialized?
Socialization is critical in puppies that are 6-16 weeks of age. Ask the breeder if the puppies have been exposed to other dogs and people.
Can You See the Parents?
Make sure you see one of the parents, at least the mother. The mother will be with the puppies until they are at least eight weeks old, so it shouldn’t be hard to see her. If you can’t see the stud, then ask to see the history of the dog.
If it was an accidental pregnancy, then it’s likely going to be a mixed Pug.
Have Any of the Puppies Been Sick?
If so, what were the symptoms, and did they get treatment from a veterinarian?
What Is Your Guarantee?
Most breeders will offer a guarantee that the puppy is healthy and doesn’t have any infectious diseases. Some will provide a health guarantee for 48-72 hours to give the buyer enough time to take the puppy to their veterinarian to get a full checkup.
Do You Have Any References?
Ask to see a list of references from previous buyers that have purchased a puppy from them. Be willing to call the clients to determine whether they like the breeder, how their puppy is doing, and if they had any problems.
What Are You Currently Feeding The Puppies?
Some breeders will supply you with a small bag of the food they are eating or tell you what they are eating. This ensures you keep feeding them the same food or wean them off of it slowly to prevent any gastrointestinal issues.
Do You Belong to A Breed Club?
If so, ask for the club name and references. It’s not the end of the world if the breeder doesn’t belong to a club. We purchased our Pug from a breeder that had no club affiliation.
Red Flags to Watch Out For!
Here are some red flags to be on the lookout for that can signal the breeder isn’t a good one to buy from.
Wanting Money Up Front
Most breeders will want a deposit. Then you can pay the rest when you pick up the puppy. If the breeder keeps talking about the money, and that’s all they care about it, it could be they only care about the money, not the puppy.
Avoid breeders that ask for payments via gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, etc. Always pay with a check or credit card, so you have proof of payment.
Willing to Ship Puppies
Avoid breeders that are willing to ship puppies. No responsible breeder will ever send a puppy like it’s a package.
Asks No Questions
The breeder asks you no questions about your home environment, background, or why you’re getting a Pug. They likely don’t care about the puppies. All good breeders care about the puppies as if they were their own children.
They’ll likely ask you questions and want to know everything about you to ensure the puppy is going to the right home and won’t be abused.
Not Willing to Communicate
A good breeder will care about their puppies and will be willing to share pictures through Facebook, email, etc., to let you know how their progressing. If a breeder is unwilling to communicate with you via phone, email, Facebook, etc., it’s not someone you should deal with.
No Website or Facebook Page
It’s virtually impossible in today’s day and age to have a business without some online presence. Avoid breeders who don’t have virtual real estate of some kind, especially those with fake stock photos.
Should I Buy A Pug Puppy At A Pet Store?
No, the pets that are sold through pet stores come from puppy mills. Responsible breeders want to meet the puppy buyers and would never sell them from a pet store.
The pet store companies’ suppliers get their puppies from commercial facilities that mass-produce puppies to earn as much money as possible.
Pet store puppies come from all over the country, and some breeders are known to have one to three Animal Welfare Act violations. You don’t know what you’re buying, and the pet store can’t even tell you where they came from or give you a health background.
How Do You Tell If A Breeder Is A Puppy Mill?
A reputable Pug breeder is one that raises Pugs and doesn’t deal with other breeds. The dogs are often living in inhumane conditions, such as dirty houses, small cages, etc.
According to the Humane Society, there are at least 10,000 puppy mills throughout the United States. Over 3,000 have no type of regulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Unfortunately, puppy breeding is such a huge business, because of the money people can make. Avoid buying a Pug puppy from one as it is likely to be underfed, sick, unsocialized, mistreated, and has likely received no veterinarian care throughout its lifetime.
Finding the right breeder takes time. However, so many sources, such as social media, craigslist, word of mouth, etc., make it easier to find the right one. Buying a Pug puppy requires a lot of patience.
You don’t want to buy from the first breeder you see. It’s essential to visit the breeder’s home to see the puppy’s environment, the whole litter, and the parents.
Talk to the breeder. It will give you a feel of whether they care about the puppies are just trying to make some quick cash. Use your instincts, and if you get a good feeling about the person, they are likely the right person to buy from.
You can still get a good Pug from a breeder regardless of whether they belong to a club. Just make sure you do your due diligence and ask a lot of questions!
If you’ve looked up and down, don’t forget to check out your local shelter. Many of have dogs you can adopt, even Pugs!