Sunday, 5 June 2011

Pugs and puffery

© The Onion 2011
One of the problems for puppy buyers is that the quality of health information on various websites is so incredibly patchy. So which ones can you trust?

Well, The Onions's spoof look at Pugs in 2007 (here) is obviously not entirely accurate. But at the other end of the extreme, the Kennel Club Guide to Dog Health, produced for vets, offers no health information at all on the breed - other than that the pug "usually lives to a ripe old age." (pdf downloadable here).

The Pug Club UK, which offers an "ABC of Keeping Your Pug Happy and Healthy" is a bit better. It warns that pugs' eyes (described as "unique" and responsible for the breed's "irresistible appearance") are prone to injury and ulcers. It also mentions that they should not be walked in the heat of the day or driven in a hot car because of their tendency to overheat. It also includes some rather vague info about joint problems - although does not mention by name one of the breed's biggest problems - hemivertebrae (abnormally-shaped vertebrae that result in a twisted spine) or Pug Dog Encephalitis (a seriously nasty neurological problem for which there is now a DNA test).  In summation, it's a rather fluffy, general guide which offers no in-depth information; no links to where one might find more information about breed-specific problems and no details of any current health research. Over at The Karlton Index,  where Philippa Robinson has embarked on an ambitious project to encourage breed clubs to do better, the Pug Club UK currently earns a poor rating for its health info.

No better, but a bit more specific, is Champdogs guide to the Pug:

"Pugs are generally a healthy breed and do shed the coat,but at times can suffer from certain health problems just like any other dog. Eyes are the main concern,since Pugs have such a short nose and such bulky eyes,they easily scratch their corneas of even punture there eyeballs,causing eye ulcers. Therefore try to keep them away from sharp objects at all times.
Others can be Hip Dysplasia; where there is a poor fit between the bones of the hip joint - the femur and the actabulum.

"Patellar Luxation;this is when the kneecap,slides in and out of it's groove.It is thought to be inherited although the exact mode of transmission has not been determined.
Hemivertabrae disease, a deformity of the spine,this can lead to acute pain,or even loss of movement coorination and paralysis."

But spot the glaring omission (other, that is, than of an education or a spell-checker). There is no mention of Bracycephalic Airway Obstructed Syndrome (BOAS), an extremely common problem in Pugs and one that very often necessitates surgery to allow them to breathe more freely. No mention of  Pug Dog Encephalitis either.

The Pug Club of Ameria deserves some praise, meanwhile. It is not the best laid-out website in the world, but there is quite a lot of health information there.  The PCA also recommends testing hips, patellas, eyes and DNA-testing for Pug Dog Encephalitis - in stark contrast to the Kennel Club or UK breed club which lists no health tests for pugs. This despite, in the US, pugs being the second-worst breed of all (next to bulldogs) in terms of hips - with 64 per cent of those tested rated as dysplastic.

There is one UK website that is, as yet, incomplete but promises to build into valuable resource for discerning readers looking for a comprehensive, well-researched source of objective data on the most serious problems in particular breeds: UFAW's guide to the Genetic Welfare Problems of Companion Animals.

Here's what it says about breathing problems in the Pug.

Even I was a bit surprised to see this, though: "The breathing problems caused by these abnormalities (BAOS) are so commonly recognised by breeders of bulldogs and other short-faced breeds that some carry oxygen cylinders with them to shows."

Please, tell me that ain't true.


  1. Someone needs to start a popular movement for Trump.

    Not the guy with the bad comb-over who pretended to be interested in running for president.

    But Hogarth's pug named Trump. This is the pug he famously included in his self portrait:

    This particular dog looks very much like a pug-- but it's not so exaggerated that it looks like it could die at any second.

    My guess is one could recreate it trough backcrossing puggles into the pug gene pool.

    1. It is now 2015 and we're all fingers crossed that bad comb-over Trump doesn't get in office.

      The irony. ;)

    2. I wish I was in the parallel universe where that dog is president instead of bad comb-over trump.

  2. 29/4/11 in response to the Kennel Club's Health report 2011, Dog World's Pug breed notes say
    The alleged ‘breathing’ problem of the breed was only mentioned by two judges. One comment was ‘a couple of dogs panting, but the dogs were overweight’. The second one stated ‘a small number were panting and breathing heavily after moving’. These comments are self-explanatory and clearly show that there is not a general problem with breathing in the breed.
    I was judging Pugs at East of England last year on the hottest day of the year and, believe me, the showground was like a furnace. Despite that I did not find any evidence of dogs being distressed and just with sensible measures all Pugs coped extremely well. Compared with the other Watch List breeds the Pug is graded between ‘excellent’ and ‘good’.”

    Then we have this Dog World Pug Breed notes 20/5/11

    "The KC was running a mini Discover Dogs with three breeds from each group and Pugs were invited to join Bichons and Yorkies. I gather that the glass roof made life uncomfortable for all animals as the hot sun relentlessly beat through. Representatives were running around with water sprays trying to keep the heat down and the eccentric public pressed with questions and then a woman started barking at the dogs to ‘communicate’ with them!

    The following day she returned with Jeff Sharpe and Gemma Moore and stayed until 2pm by which time the sun was strong and the air conditioning the authorities claimed to be switched on, was still not being very effective so, with the permission of the KC, who were of course only running the dog part of the event, they packed up and left.

    The crowds showed enormous interest in Pugs and asking lots of questions. Unless they change the venue next year the PDC would probably not be interested in taking part. "

    With regards to the London pet show mini discover dogs, a member of the club emailed me with
    " I don't think we will agree to do it next year. Pugs are overexposed anyway which is why we have refused to do the East of England Show on 10 July."

    I was there at the London Pet show with my pug having had corrective surgery for BOAS and has laryngeal collapse grade 3. Her breathing was better than the pugs on the discover dogs stand.

  3. Margaret Carter6 June 2011 at 00:23

    The Pug Club does not list any health tests despite the pug's eye, spine & breathing problems.
    The Kennel Club depends on breeders to flag up health concerns.
    It therefore follows that there are no required or recommended health tests listed by the Accredited Breeder Scheme.

    There are 177 Accredited Breeders for pugs.

    The appeal to volume breeders is evident. The joining fee is £15 & and the annual fee is £10. One pug breeder in 2010 registered eleven litters and would have had them promoted at the top of the KC ‘Find a Puppy Service’ for free, thereby avoiding an advertising fee of £20 a litter.

    Buyers reading the FAQ on the KC website are told that buying a KCAB Pug will “increase my chances of giving my puppy a happy healthy life” but KCAB pug breeders have not been asked to do anything more than a Kennel Club non-accredited breeder, or even a breeder of unregistered pugs.

    The lack of health testing in pugs and so many other breeds allows the scheme to be used as a ‘Puppy Farmer’s Charter’.
    Despite all the KCAB hype buyers may actually be buying from some of the least scrupulous breeders rather than the best.

  4. To add a little balance to the ongoing debate about pug health and breeding, which is almost always shown as being in a dire state, we do have a lot of happy, healthy pugs here in the UK. Last weekend a pug made agility grade 4 - he is a well bred, healthy dog who started a show career as a pup and qualified for Crufts before concentrating on agility. He is certainly not the only pug doing competitive agility, there is a Champion bitch who is also Grade 4, and a team of pugs in training in the North East. Obviously, to do agility, either competitively or just for fun, soundness and an ability to breathe are prime requisites.

  5. anon said;
    To add a little balance to the ongoing debate about pug health and breeding, which is almost always shown as being in a dire state.

    Show breeders are trying very hard to breed less exaggerated pugs. Eyes are less prominent, faces are clearly less wrinkly, and judges are not putting dogs forward showing signs of laboured breathing. I know of a club member and breeder in Lincolnshire that tests/screens for hemivertebra hips, patellas, eyes, thyroid, heart and Pug dog encephalitis and take DNA swabs. I applaud then for their dedication to pug health.
    The three things that bother me are (and NOT in reaction to any particular breeder but clearly widespread in the pug breeding community).
    1. Denial that an extremely flat muzzle causes potential breathing problems.
    2. That having "wide open nostrils" is enough to help with breathing problems.
    3. That there are no recommended KC health tests at all, not even for HV, or eye checks for PK, distichia, entropian. Yes they do not come under DNA tests but pugs with said conditions should not be used for breeding. For the scary level present in pugs please see OFA test results for pugs in the USA, where results are published.

    The scariest thing is the massive increase in registered pugs by byb's and probably Puppy farms.

  6. However we have to ask if these dogs put up for showing "some" of which show less exaggeration still have a conformation that is a welfare issue. In other words whether the 2009 amendment to the breed standard has gone far enough to produce pugs fit for function fit for life. And whether judges are placing dogs which are the nearest fit to this new standard.
    I do not think so on all aspects of the standard, especially with reference to muzzle length.
    Personally looking at Crufts photos, going to Crufts myself looking at show breeders photos on websites and visiting discover dogs, pugs are still being bred with extreme brachycephalic heads.
    Then we have to ask what happens to the non show quality puppies produced. We can stop them from being bred by putting endorsements on them, but it doesn't stop some of these dogs from going on to lead disabled and miserable lives.

  7. Kate Price I do understand that the health issues affecting your pug must be a major worry, and have lead you to what appears to be a crusade, but there are reasons why a lot of pug breeders don't seem to be going along with your lines of thinking. As I pointed out in my previous post, we have a team of pugs competing and and training for agility - bred by show breeders and most of whom have been successful in the ring, not over exagerated or extreme, but good examples of pugs to the current breed standard. They have flat faces, but wide open nostrils, there breathing functions perfectly at speed around agility courses.

    I have only ever had 1 pug with a longer muzzle - a home bred bitch who had several problems at birth, but overcame them to live for 9 very happy years. She is the only pug I have owned or bred who had breathing problems, even though she had the much longer muzzle, so please believe that some breeder do know what they are talking about with the open nostril position. Please also consider that a lot of veterinary advice given about pugs is coloured by media hype and lack of experience. Twice this year I have had to reassure pug owners whose pugs had coughs/colds not be forced into panic mode by vets diagnosing BOAS and recomending immediate surgery - both pups recovered quickly and easily with sensible home nursing (vapour inhaling and TLC) and after changing vets have been given clean bills of health - rather than bills for about £2000 for surgery which was not needed!

  8. Gwen Oake,
    we have personally discussed this before.

    Would you mind just answering a couple of questions for me?

    1. Do you believe that selecting for a slightly longer muzzle in the pug, along with wide open nostrils etc would improve the breeds respiration?

    2. At shows, have you noticed pugs with slightly longer muzzles winning over flatter ones?

    Thank you

  9. 1. I have no evidence to prove this, as my only longer nosed pug had breathing difficulties, none of my flat faced ones do. However I do believe that we need to steer clear of the very exagerated nose roll/pushed in face type of over exageration, and that big, wide open nostrils are necessary. I also believe that breeding from pugs who have good breathing systems and can demonstrate this is more important than picking a facial feature that may or may not improve breathing and then pinning hopes that it will bring a change.

    2. Can't comment on this as I have only attended 1 pug Ch show this year, arrived late due to a road diversion so missed all the dog judging, only in time for lunch and puppy bitch judging and then had to leave for home. Have been to a couple of local open shows but as the same bunch of pugs are showing, none of whom have longer muzzles so no difference in winning patterns.

    I am not sure how breeders who agree with your reasoning, or even just breeders attempting to adhere to the breed standard changes are meant to have had time to get a change in the head structure into the pugs and then got pups into the show ring? If a breeder decided to breed for any particular attribute - longer muzzles being one of them, you have to find dogs and bitches with that attribute, who are also suitable for breeding and good in all other respects, obviously they have to be pedigree compatible too, you then have to get them to an age for health testing (whichever tests the breeder does,usually at least 1) and then to an age to breed from, come into season, gestation period and then wait and see how the pups develop. OF course, that all depends on the pup you found with your chosen attribute growing on into the type of pug your were looking for as dogs change with developments. So probably two and a half years minimum before you could see pups from choosing this route, with no guarantee that the parents with longer muzzles are going to produce pups with them anyway, so could even be longer as you have to try different matings.

    Please remember that we have to look at the whole picture too, there is no point in just picking any pug with a bit of a snout if the rest of the construction is poor or bad.

  10. Gwen the scientific evidence is out there.
    the problem is that breeders are focussing on ONE thing.....nostril size. You have to look at the WHOLE head structure, bony and soft tissue.

  11. When I went looking for a, what I consider, reputable/responsible pug breeder here in the states I came up with nada. Yes they listed the health problems common in the breed on the national club site but none of the breeders I researched or contacted did ANY health testing to prevent any of them. So I found a pug through rescue instead. I am not the type to support breeders I don't believe in and aren't working to BETTER the breed. Interestingly she has a longer than average nose for a pug and uses it well. (We even do tracking work!!) I then subscribed to the breed magazine. What a waste of money. Not only are there NO breeders in there that do health testing (even though their ads/websites say "breeding healthy pugs" Hmm if you don't test for issues how do you know?) they print awful articles with outdated alpha myth training tips and one recent one that blamed cleft palate deformaties to the bitch having a "fright" during her pregnancy. If I were 20 years younger I'd consider trying to breed a healthier pug myself. And lets not get started on what they are now vs what they USED to look like. It is very sad.

  12. Katie, I have read several articles advocating longer muzzles, but am not convinced by the "science" instanced in them. I appreciate that my "Sample of 1" is not conclusive proof, but my long nosed pug had ahead shape which was pretty much the ideal to that advocated as being desirable, a longer foreface and muzzle, smaller eyes, smaller head - and she is the only 1 I have bred with a compromised breathing system. The rest of my pugs have the traditional flatter face and do not have any trouble breathing, either at rest, at speed etc. And there is a lot more to an overall healthy pug than a nose. So we test for HV, select only the fittest for breeding and try to breed the healthiest pugs we can listening carefully to all sorts of veterinary and health related information, carefully considering it, and implementing that which seems a) sensible and b)possible.

  13. Gwen, I know you love your pugs and breed as carefully as you do. Sadly with HV, two clear parents can still produce pups with HV. I understand the Pug Dog Club were looking into finding funding to find a genetic cause and ultimately a test for HV, but as I cannot join the club, I cannot find out how progress with the KC is going with regards to starting genetic screening for HV. I did hear on the grapevine that it is not going ahead due to lack of funds?
    Do many UK pug breeders eye test, hip score or check patellas? There is also a new DNA test for susceptibility to the awful Pug Dog Encephalitis which is known in lines in the UK. All sensible and possible tests.

    As for the "science", what is it you are not convinced by?

  14. As it is not universally agreed that HV is hereditary some breeders are unwilling to test. We have gone down the X ray route as being the best we can do at the moment. As far as I know funding is not the question at the moment, but sufficient evidence to make research viable.

    Why can't you join the breed club?

    The PDE test does not seem to impinge on breeding but on the dogs themselves, I am currently looking into it to see if it seems worthwhile, waiting for an opinion from my vet. Very few UK breeders hipscore or x ray for patellas - similarly not a lot X ray for HV either, as none of these tests are required by the KC there is no official registry for the results. Whilst these conditions are all noted as being present in pugs it would appear that the incidence has not appeared in sufficient numbers to make the vet. authorities recomend them to the KC.

    Most of the research papers I have read about pug breathing and changes in head structure are based on hypotheses - it is assumed that a longer foreface etc etc. It would appear that these papers are written by a segment of the Veterinary world who are anti Brachy breeds/anti pug/anti pedigree. Vets with this mind set are very apt to diagnose BOAS at the drop of a hat, or at least at the first snuffle and sneeze. IT makes little sense to me to search out a dog on the basis of head shape alone and keep my fingers crossed that a) that shape will be dominant in subsequent pups and b) that the head shape has actually made the Breathing system better than that on my flatter faced pug. I would rather pick a dog who I know breathes easily and well and who has a track record of producing pups who are similarly healthy. Additionally I would require this dog to be sound, free moving, have an excellent temperament and be a good example of the breed. IF I find a pug dog with all the attributes I look for to sire healthy pups and it happens to have the head shape you are seeking I will watch the progress of pups it sires with interest, and if they do appear to be better than those I have produced I may reconsider. However I am not willing to experiment.

    Have you given any thought as to how breeders are going to change the head shape, the time scale if any do decide to go ahead with it, should they scout for dogs with the desired skull and use them, regardless of the rest of the dog? Most pugs I see with longer muzzles are very much either puppy farm or BYB bred, with many faults - not just cosmetic faults like a poor tail set or lack of pigment, but faults such as poor fronts, weak hind quarters, lack of bone - all things which are highly undesirable in a dog, not just a show dog, as such poor construction impinges on movement, stamina etc.

  15. Gwen said;

    "As it is not universally agreed that HV is hereditary some breeders are unwilling to test. We have gone down the X ray route as being the best we can do at the moment. As far as I know funding is not the question at the moment, but sufficient evidence to make research viable. "

    Why then did I receive this email from the Pug Dog Club....

    " our Club has done an enormous and very successful pug health survey, collected masses of X-ray plates of pug spines and asked The Kennel Club several times for help in setting up a scheme for hemivertibrae."

    Why did the Pug Dog Club's own veterinary advisor Andreas Schemel, at the November Pug Health Conference say this to the representative from the AHT??....

    ..“We did a health survey a few years ago and.....the most major thought that the most pressing problems, the two main problems coming out of this were hemivertebra a polygenetic spinal disease and secondly problems with eye, mainly caused by corneal problems.
    Both these seem to be complex there a chance of getting a DNA test for these conditions.”

    Any condition that shows variation within a breed can be investigated at genetic level.

    I cannot join the club because I do not know two members that will recommend me.

    You say

    "Very few UK breeders hipscore or x ray for patellas - similarly not a lot X ray for HV either, as none of these tests are required by the KC there is no official registry for the results."

    Where are the Pug dog club HV results? Why are they not published?
    Does it equate that no recommended tests= no results= no problem within the breed?

    you then say

    "Most of the research papers I have read about pug breathing and changes in head structure are based on hypotheses - it is assumed that a longer foreface etc etc. It would appear that these papers are written by a segment of the Veterinary world who are anti Brachy breeds/anti pug/anti pedigree."

    Hypothesis? Anti brachy?

    It is scientific evidence.

    "Have you given any thought as to how breeders are going to change the head shape, the time scale if any do decide to go ahead with it, should they scout for dogs with the desired skull and use them, regardless of the rest of the dog?"

    Firstly, did breeders of past give any thought to breeding a flatter and flatter muzzle over the last 100 years?
    In Germany, there are breeders who in the last 10 years have selected for longer legs, longer muzzles, hip score, patella xray, spine xray, breeding for healthier more athletic pugs, and yes, taking the "whole" dog into account. The visible results have been clear to see for years.
    UK breeders could breed with these dogs couldn't they? Bringing in new blood as well.
    But if all UK pug breeders are in denial about the effects of extreme brachycephalia I am guessing this is never going to happen.

  16. Hey, you missed a big problem. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, ,
    Hip and elbow exam data show that 53% of pugs have elbow dysplasia, and 63% have hip dysplasia, putting them #1 of all breeds for bad elbows and #2 of all breeds for hips.
    Which is a shame. In my book they're top of the list for temperament in small breeds.

  17. Exactly Jennifer, because in the USA breeders screen their pugs and publish the results.

    Take a look at the pug CERF eye test results. Over 50% tested show conformation related problems and hereditary problems such as distichia, entropian, and pigmentary keratitis.

    Direct trauma to the eye is one of the main problems in pugs visiting opthamologists in the UK. Direct trauma is due to having no protection from a longer nose.

  18. So to conclude; A longer muzzle will NOT help with breathing, but WIDE OPEN NOSTRILS will.

    Can someone explain to me why this pug, who has wide open nostrils, is breathing like this other than the soft tissues within it's head are crushed into a short round head?

    Notice the breathing eases when the head is lowered and worse when the head is raised.

    The Pug Dog Club vets advice on dealing with a pug with heat stroke and respiratory swelling is to "extend the neck to open the airways". ????

  19. Anonymous said:

    ‘It would appear that these papers are written by a segment of the Veterinary world who are anti Brachy breeds/anti pug/anti pedigree.’

    I do love this line of reasoning. Of course, it is perfectly acceptable if you also dismiss any science that supports your position on the grounds that it is dubious because it is written by a segment of the veterinary world who are pro brachy breeds/anti pug/anti pedigree.

  20. Oops - the last line should have read '... pro brachy breeds/pro pug/pro pedigree'. But you probably got the point anyway.

  21. I am so sick of hearing so much garbage being told about pedigree dogs. Yes I will admit that alot of breeds have health problems.. but to be quite honest I feel that the pug should stay the same, as for any other breed. It has looked this way for almost two centuries. Not to mention this particular breed was bred for the purpose of just being a companion dog. Also its face was also supposed to have wrinkels, its supposed to be in the shape of the chinese
    symbol that means "Prince", Yes they have breathing problems, but newsflash!, all pushed in faced dogs have breathing problems, and you should never leave your pug or any other brachycephalic dog in the heat, I know alot of people who have pugs, and to be honest, they are pretty healthy and lively. And another thing people should get pet insurance, it makes a very huge big difference. Breeders need to start breeding their healthy pedigree dogs with other healthier pedigree dogs, and you should never insest your animals!. Which is probably why they are getting more health problems..

    1. You seem to think that a dog having breathing problems is perfectly acceptable.

      Have you never had a cold? Can you not remember how hard it was to have a restful night's sleep because you couldn't breathe properly? How relieved you were when your cold went and you could breathe properly again? Yet you seem happy to inflict lifelong misery on a dog.

      As for pet insurance, the reason why pet insurance is so costly is because responsible pet owners who buy healthy breeds/cross-breeds, are subbing the hundreds of thousands of irresponsible owners who buy health wrecks like the Pug! I think if insurance companies charged fairly - buy a health wreck, pay the premiums for a health wreck - then fewer people could afford health wreck breeds.

  22. I have a Pug. I love him dearly, but believe me I would never have another. It's like having a disabled child (and yes, I've got one of those too). I can't enjoy his life fully and neither can he for the constant breathing/eye problems that occur. And he was from a very good breeder, and seemed a very healthy puppy. Just wait till those wrinkles fully develop and they start to run around at full pelt and smash into things with their beautiful faces. What have we done?

  23. I really needed to write on here I brought I pug puppy in November 2011 I did everything right, kc registered etc. I brought her home and noticed that her eyes were a little weepy phoned breeder told its common no need for alarm, I mentioned afew times throughout the next week or so and was then told I was being paranoid and over worried and told just to enjoy her. I took her too my vet, who found a hernia and said her eyes were weepy and would keep an eye on them, well this went on some time, poppie had her hernia and spaying done, and was then told she had entropion in both eyes. Poppie had to have an operation, not good after just having anethisia four weeks before but if I didn't have it done was told that she would be blind within the year it was so bad. She had this and her eyes were healing well. But we noticed that her hind legs starting collapsing, she couldn't walk properly at all . It was heartbreaking to watch, she then eventually went for an MRI which showed she had severe and I mean severe hemivertbrae. We had to put her down at the age of 8 months it broke myself and families hearts. I had wanted a pug all my life and then this happened to me, how can breeders get away with this, it's terrible. And what about poor families like mine, costs a fortune too, and for the poor little puppy that went through all that,Nashe was gorgeous and funny and a brilliant dog, but I couldn't go through with getting another pug knowing what I know now, it's terrible.

    1. That's a very sad story about a much-loved pet. I think with certain breeds - such as Pugs - their conformation means that the odds of them leading happy, healthy lives are just too slim.

      What did the breeder say when you told her?

    2. got her from a breeder that was registered with the kennel club, i have since found out that the kennel also have a assured breeder list, my breeder wasnt on this, however was kc registered, i would not of brought a pug from a back street person because of problems that can occur, i thought i was doing everything right, my breeder had only bred one litter before from their other pet pug, so poppie was from a 1st time mum, she whelped herself and all was well. She was breed from a bigger time breeder stud dog, she sells pugs too. But she just provided poppies dad on this occassion. At the beginning she was quite helpful, she said none of the problems poppie had were shown in any of her dogs. I since found out Poppies mum was brought from her. Could this now mean the maybe some where along the line inbreeding is happening within their lines?? when I put this to both mum and dad breeder and stud, neither would comment, I wrote to them about everything that was going on and they didnt answer a single message. They also now know that poppie is no longer alive yet I havent had so much as a sorry! we were heartbroken yet they couldnt even just write and call back. awful! at the beginning when i felt poppies eyes werent right, i called and emailed breeder they kept saying I was paranoid and nothing was wrong! well if thats the case where is poppie now? I did at the time everything I felt was right, the puppy was vet checked etc, but when poppie got ill I asked for the vets they used and asked whether i could get that piece of vet history it never materialised! i now know I probably should of been more on the ball, but I asked all the questions and did what I was meant too, not quite sure how much more i needed to do?
      Its such a shame because I am a very trustful person however this has made me very distrusting of breeders, which is a shame because i am sure that to find people like them again would be very hard! well i hope

  24. I'm very sorry to hear about your pug. What a very sad story. I'd be interested in hearing a bit more about how you sourced her and what you did to ensure that you were buying from a good breeder. If you'd prefer to email me privately: jem[at]

  25. Seriously you people are loons. I have an awesome pug in San Francisco. Know hundred of others (most are from breeders in Northern California). They simply don't have the health issues you dramatically claim. And they are spunkier, healthier and live longer than all the other breeds represented around us. Plus, they are nicer to both dogs and people (and they are not abandoned or put down like so many other dogs). Some of the claims are downright absurd. I've never known of any pug that had its eyes pop out. Ever. Medical issues are, indeed, found in every dog. Every living thing, frankly. And the breathing problems? BULLSH*T. Most simply don't have this. You pick a couple of f-ed up dogs in the UK or (worse) give a dog the once over and determine you know its health and then babble on. Simply bull. If anything, dogs that DON'T come from pug breeders are the ones with issues...and those are the ones that become rescues.

  26. I had a pug once. When I got him from a KC breeder here in the UK, he was one of the last of the litter. When we bought him, he had a punctured cornea and needed eye ointment for several weeks after we took him home, the breeder said "oh don't worry, this happens all the time, it'll heal". The cornea appeared to heal but he pretty much couldn't see out of that eye. He also had mange, which the vet said he probably caught from his mother. More weeks of medicated baths and vet visits. And then, when he was about 8 months old, came the fits and seizures.
    This has destroyed my trust of KC breeders. I'm sure many breeders are great and have good breeding stock. But having to go through something like that has put me off of owning another pug forever. I don't care about the money I spent, it was just hell to go through watching that tiny dog suffer.

  27. I also have a pug from Northern California. He is very healthy and beautiful. I have had ones that weren't, so I know the difference. He came from an excellent breeder. He is silver - longer legs, longer snout - wide nostrils - very athletic - no breathing problems but he does snore a bit. My hope is that others would continue to breed pugs in this way. There personalities are amazing. Keep that, lose the pancake flat face. It's worth it and the right thing to do.