6 Things You Need to Know Before Walking A Pug

Every pet owner loves taking their pet for a walk, but walking a Pug needs special attention. Unlike other dogs, these brachycephalic dogs.

Pugs love going for walks, but you don’t want to walk them 3 miles. It’s important to walk them at a comfortable pace where their small legs can keep up and when the weather isn’t so hot.

Do Pugs Love Going for A Walk?

While I can’t speak for all Pugs, but Mindy my all black Pug loved it. She would get all excited when I would get her harness and leash out of the closet.

walking a pug

She knew that we were going to go for a walk and when she was younger, I would take her on a daily 2-3 mile walk. However, it took a while to build up her endurance to be able to walk that much.

This breed is NOT built for rigorous exercise and should never go for long-distance runs. It’s important as a pet owner to know what you can and can’t do to ensure that you’re both enjoying the walks and time you spend together.

Related: How Much Exercise Does A Pug Need

6 Things You Need to Know Before Walking A Pug

Exercising your Pug is vital for them to live a healthy and active life. They are more active when they are young and become lazy as they become an adult. You can’t expect to bring your new pup home and just walk on a leash.

This breed is known for their stubborn temperament and it’s not unusual to get frustrated when you’re trying to walk your Pug for the first time. It’s not uncommon for them to flat out refuse to walk and may even pull on the leash, sit down and refuse to walk, or become excited and make it impossible to walk.

Here are some tips that you can use to help you make the most of your walks together.

Use A Harness: One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was first training Mindy was, I used a collar. Pugs have small necks and are known for their breathing problems.

It is not a natural feeling for a dog to be constrained by a leash and their first reaction is to pull. Using a collar can cause them to have breathing issues and this experience will just create a negative experience with walking.

Make sure that you find the best harness for your Pug before you attempt to walk them. This will protect their neck if they do start pulling and will also give you more control over them.

Walk Them Daily: Just like anything else you want to achieve, it takes time and practice. If you want Fido to enjoy and look forward to the walks, you have to get them into the daily routine.

You’ll find it a lot easier if you take them for a walk at the same time every day. Before you know it, they will look forward to the daily walks and you won’t even have to fight them when you’re putting on the harness.

Maintain A Good Pace: A Pug has short legs, this means they won’t be able to keep up with you if you’re walking fast or jogging. Mindy never had a problem when I walked a semi-fast pace.

Your dog should be able to walk beside you without having to jog. If you notice your dog jogging or starting to breathe hard, you’ll want to make sure that you slow the pace.

You want to maintain a pace that keeps them from stopping and sniffing everything in sight. They will let you know if they need to relieve themselves by pulling on the leash.

Walk Them In The Morning: Pugs do not perform well in the heat and can struggle with breathing issues. Make sure that you avoid strenuous exercise during the middle of the day when the temperatures can be too hot.

I always made it a point to walk Mindy early in the morning after she had her breakfast. At one point I tried walking her before breakfast, but she always woke up hungry. So instead of changing her feeding schedule, I would just feed her before our walks.

Pack Water for Both of You: If you’re walking your Pug in the morning, they should be fine for a quick morning walk. However, if you’re walking out in the middle of the day, make sure that you have plenty of water to help quench their thirst.

We had a portable bowl for Mindy when we took her on picnics or to the dog park.

Pugs have respiratory issues and should never be walked in extremely hot temperatures. Make sure you have plenty of fresh water on hand to help keep them cool when walking in hot temperatures.

Having some snacks or a baggie of their favorite food won’t hurt either. Just in case you need to take a little break.

Watch Out for Traffic: If you live in the city limits as I used to when Mindy was a puppy, it’s important to watch out for traffic. We walked Mindy on a sidewalk, we always made sure that Mindy walked out the inside further from the traffic.

If a big truck or loud vehicle passes, you don’t want your dog to get scared and bolt out in the traffic.

Pug First Walk Video

Here’s a cute puppy video that will show you how excited a Pug can get when walking on a leash. From my personal experience, it’s best to start walking them as a baby, so they can get accustomed to being walked.


Why A Pug Refuses to Walk

There are several reasons that your pet can refuse to walk. It’s important that you understand what they are trying to tell you so you can respect their wishes.

  • They are tired
  • It’s raining (Mindy hated being outside in the rain)
  • The weather is too hot
  • He/She is being capricious
  • They are not feeling well

A Tired Pug

If you have a young Pug, you won’t experience this too much. Young babies are active and love attention and look forward to playing and exercise.

However, as a Pug becomes older, you will notice that they will want to spend more time sleeping and lounging around the home. If your pet is tired from overexertion of playing or just not feeling up for a walk, make sure you respect their wishes.

Pugs Don’t Like Rain

Mindy hated the rain and it would take everything I had to get her to go potty in the rain. If your canine friend refuses to go for a walk in the rain, you should respect that.

Of course, you can use an umbrella to keep them dry while walking. I didn’t force Mindy to go for walks in the rain. There are plenty of warm sunny days that I could take her for morning walks.

It’s Too Hot

Hot weather is not good for a Pug, this is why it’s so important to make sure you’re walking them in the morning. Pugs are brachycephalic dogs, this means that they are prone to breathing problems that can be caused by hot temperatures.

Don’t try to take your Pug for a walk during the mid-day. If you do, make sure that you have plenty of water and try to choose a walking trail that is shaded.

Being Capricious

If it’s the first time being on a leash, you might find your Pug fighting you and even refusing to walk. I had this happen with Mindy when she was young.

I took her hiking because I thought she would enjoy it. When we were around 10 minutes into the hike, she refused to walk. She sat down and there was nothing that I could to get her to walk, except pick her up and carry her.

The best thing you can do is take some treats with you on your walks. If they refuse to walk, see if you can use the treats to get them moving again.

They Are Not Feeling Well

Just like humans, Pugs can wake up in the morning not feeling well. Unfortunately, they can’t tell you how they feel, that’s why it’s important to understand their body language.

Maybe your pup ate something outside that upset his/her belly? Maybe they woke up and are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting?

Here’s a great article you can use to help you determine if your pet is feeling well or not. It’s never fun when you find your best friend feeling down in the dumps.

If you have pet insurance for your Pug, you can take them to the vet to make sure that nothing is serious. Of course, if they are just having a bad day, make sure they get plenty of rest and skip their daily walk.

Avoid Over Exercising Your Pug

Walking your dog is a great way to bond with them and get physical exercise for both of you. However, a Pug is not a very active dog and only requires around 30 minutes of daily exercise, I’ve discussed how much exercise a Pug needs in this post.

Yes, you can get your dog accustomed to more exercise with proper training. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it and hurt your dog in the process.


Having a pet is a great way for both of you to get active. Not only will you have a walking buddy, but you’ll have a friend with unconditional love. Mindy was in my life for 16 years and we had a great time together.

Enjoy the time you have with your pet. Get off the couch and take them for walks, but make sure that you’re taking their overall health into consideration.

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