These wrinkly-faced dogs are great pets to have around due to their social skills they can make prove of. Nevertheless, they can also manifest certain behavioural problems which any pug parent should take into account and find a way to ward off.
Behavioural problems are manifestations or unwanted reactions in certain situations. They do not necessarily have a direct connection with pets being or not being trained.
The causes of behavioural problems in pugs can be multiple: genetic, medical, psychological, trauma, training or educational errors, (caress and excessive permissiveness of owners, which lead to non-recognition of their authority), etc..
Just like other dog breeds, pugs have a simple social system, based on a hierarchical pyramid, at the top of which can stand only one leader.
This article is a detailed presentation of the 8 most common behaviour problems that some pugs can present.
Pug Aggression Issues
It is not the case of every pug, but under certain circumstances, pugs can show signs of aggression and this is one thing that should worry their owners and dig into why it does happen and what they can do so as to prevent it from becoming much worse.
There is a fairly great number of incidents where people get into the hospital because of dog bites each year and even though pugs seem little and inoffensive, they can create real issues when they become violent with humans.
Although it is commonly agreed that several behaviour disorders are genetically inherited, not all pugs are born to be bullies.
They can indicate aggression by suddenly attacking someone, barking on people or rushing into anyone disturbing them or entering their home and even snarling at those they’ve never seen before. If you notice all these signs, you should not ignore and condone them and rather find effective ways to fix them immediately.
Another factor that is of great importance and can signal why pugs can be aggressive is the environment in which they grow up and the training that’s being done to them, as there are cases when there’s only a negative vibe around them or they are being mistreated through physical abuse, drastically punished during training, which makes them adopt this offensive personality.
On the other hand, if trained to be compliant and docile from their first days and months, there shouldn’t be any aggressive manifestations later on.
Pug Barking Issues
Barking is just a normal sound that all dogs make when they want to communicate something, especially at someone they don’t know.
When pugs make a habit out of it and bark for no reason, this is no longer considered regular behaviour, but rather an issue and may be bothering the neighbours and even yourself.
If your pug barks excessively, there can be various causes behind, which include the following:
- Sense of protecting the surroundings
They are not considered the most reliable watchdog breed, but they can prove a strong sense of guarding their family and home and bark even when there’s no threat around.
- Unease or pain
If they get injured while doing something or are in pain, they’ll make you aware that something’s wrong with them by barking a lot.
- Boredom or monotony
When they lack activities or anything interesting that can easily divert their attention or make them busy, they can bark out of instinct.
- Looking for attention
Pugs love when they know all the attention is on them, but when they feel ignored and left out from what happens around, they may show their inconvenience through barking.
- Spending too much time alone
Barking issues can be corrected in most pugs, but first you’ll need to understand what they want to communicate and not tolerate this kind of behaviour when it’s for no specific reason.
Pug Biting Issues
Every owner enjoys spending time with their quadrupedal pet, but it can be very unpleasant when their little buddy starts biting them, even if simply playing. They do not realise the strength they exert when nipping something or someone.
Statistics reveal that even dogs with owners bite as much as stray dogs do and around 700,000 people in the USA get into the hospital annually requiring medical care after being bitten by their own dogs. All dogs, big or small are capable of biting, so no wonder that even owned dogs can manifest such an attitude towards humans.
Almost half of the reported cases are amongst kids as they are the most vulnerable victims.
Pug biting is an extremely important issue and you need to understand what factors determine this behaviour.
These are the most known factors of pug biting behaviour:
- Apprehension or fear of someone being in their area
- Irritation, especially when someone’s trying to steal their toys or food
- Dominant position – they have a tendency of protecting their home
- Maternal instincts
- Prey instincts
Pug Chewing and Ripping Stuff Issues
Chewing is an innate pug behaviour and there isn’t too much to do about it – that’s how they are born like many other animals.
While we use our hands for almost all activities, pugs will use their mouth to the same extent. It is part of them learning and exploring their home, surroundings and also their owners.
A problem that most owners experience with their pets and this is why chewing can become destructive is when pugs tear up stuff around them such as rugs, furniture, cable wires, pillows or any other object that looks weird to them. They can also chew your hair when sitting down or holding them in your lap.
Why do they like chewing stuff? Well, this can be partly related to the teething process when they are puppies, but they can also manifest such behaviour when they are left alone for too long and get bored or when they want to relieve pain and frustration.
What you can do here in order to avoid it from becoming a permanent issue is to give them enough toys, particularly new toys every now and then and to make sure there are no items at their disposal to chew and rip.
Pug Growling Issues
Despite that not many view it as such, pug growling is a manifestation of aggressive behaviour and can be frightening as it predicts a potential bite or attack. It is also a way of communicating a specific message.
As we don’t have the ability to talk with our pugs in order to understand why they growl, we therefore only assume the reason and some include:
Fear: Dogs growl when they feel in danger. A good example may be dogs that are afraid of strangers. When a stranger approaches, a frightened dog will start growling to convey the idea of not approaching.
Protection of Goods: Some dogs snarl when trying to defend their possessions, such as food or a toy. If a pug starts growling when a human or another being approaches while he eats or playing with a toy, that snarl is the dog’s way of saying “This is mine!”
Territoriality: A pug may feel the need to defend its territory. If, for example, anyone approaches the door, and the pug considers him an intruder, then the growl will mean “do not approach, you are not living in this place!”
Pain: Pugs growl when suffering from pain or illness. Things are more complicated in this case. First, a pug feels an inexplicable pain in his body. He is then taken to a veterinarian, who examines his body. This means that, in addition to pain, the pug also goes through moments of confusion. He may associate people around him, who are actually trying to cure his medical problems, with the source of the pain. In this case, the pug’s growl means “don’t hurt me anymore.”
Pug Jumping On People
Pugs have been bred to be a great companionship to humans and, as they’ve been used to spending most of the time with their owners, they feel like the entire attention should revolve around them.
They love attention and enjoy being caressed all the time. They get so excited when someone’s around that they jump on them, but in some cases this can be classified as a behavioural issue.
If your pug is not properly trained, particularly on how to behave when someone’s getting closer or enters the door, they jump on that person and tear up clothing or other belongings, which doesn’t create a pleasant situation, neither for you nor for the victim.
Apart from being a sign of excitement, pug jumping can be also a sign of territorial dominance, alerting others to stay away. Another reason may be boredom and spending a lot of time on their own and simply someone getting in the house can trigger this response.
One aspect that you should take into account is that you can allow this kind of attitude, without being aware of it of course, by petting him or giving food and treats after they jumped on you when you got back home.
By doing that, pugs will consider jumping on people as a good thing because they’ve been rewarded for that.
If you notice they’re constantly doing it and others don’t quite accept this or don’t like dogs as much as you do, you should retrain your pug into behaving properly.
Also, as they grow older, this issue will get much harder to be corrected.
Separation Anxiety with Pugs
If you separate your pug from you or from his social group, it is very possible to develop separation anxiety, and this is usually caused by dependence on the owner.
It can be the result of too early or sudden weaning, abandonment or just because the dog is too attached to you.
Let’s say that you leave your pug alone for not too long and when you return you notice that he’s tearing stuff up, empties the trash on the kitchen floor, rips a pillow and even urinates elsewhere in the house.
If this is not something he’s doing when you’re around then it clearly indicates that he may suffer from separation anxiety.
They will manifest this disorder by becoming more aggressive with anyone in their area, they’ll start barking uncontrollably, whining, snarling and chewing certain objects.
Pug Uncontrollable Whining Issues
As they are overly dependent on humans and expect full attention from them, pugs may begin to whine uncontrollably when they notice a change in this aspect, just to have your attention on them back.
This is considered to be a normal thing, as they act like babies, but it transforms into a serious problem when they do it more often than usual and even at night, when everyone’s sleeping.
This behaviour should not be encouraged and whenever they do that just because they’re bored and seek your care and interest, you should rather ignore them and let them get used to the idea. Otherwise, if you show him attention, they’ll take this attitude for granted and won’t stop doing it.
This is more common in young pugs, but it can be the case for older ones as well, depending on how they were trained or when you took them in your household.
As a conclusion, what you should keep in mind is that any pug behaviour problems can be corrected and it is easier with young pugs that need retraining than with older ones, so it is better to know in advance what kind of issues they can manifest and consider correcting them as early as possible.