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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Chug
Average Cost to keep/care for a Chug
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Chugs were developed by crossing a Pug with a Chihuahua and they are not recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club and other international breed clubs (as of October 2017), but are classed as "designer or hybrid" dogs. With this said, the result of crossing two pure breeds has seen Chugs become an extremely popular little dog both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world and for good reason. Chugs are not only adorable looking having inherited many of the physical traits of their parent breeds, but they also boast very kind, affectionate and loyal natures.
They are not the best choice for families with toddlers or very young children because of their small size, but they make wonder pets where the children are older as well as for first time dog owners. They are also a great choice for older people who would like to share a home with a canine companion that does not need too much daily exercise. For their size, Chugs make wonderful watchdogs and are always quick off the mark to let their owners know when something they don't like is going on around them.
Chugs are the result of crossing two pedigree dogs, namely the Chihuahua and the Pug and these charming little "designer dogs" have only been on the scene for the last 10 to 15 years or so. However, they soon made an impact with people both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world, thanks to their adorable looks and their kind, sweet natures. Although new to the dog world, the actual origins of the Chug are a bit of a mystery with no one actually knowing who first started crossing Pugs with Chihuahuas to produce them.
For the moment, Chugs have not been recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club here in the UK (October 2017), nor have they been accepted by other international breed associations. However, many breed clubs have been set up with their end goal being to make sure these little dogs are bred responsibly so the chances of them inheriting the many hereditary health disorders their parent breeds are known to suffer from, are kept to the minimum. As such, anyone hoping to share a home with an adorable Chug should always contact a reputable breeder who always has their stud dogs checked for any of the health issues that can affect both the Pug and the Chihuahua. Anyone wanting to share a home with a Chug puppy should also ask to see the test results of a puppy's parents more especially the Pug.
Height at the withers: Males 15.5 - 30 5 cm, Females 15.5 - 30.5 cm
Average weight: Males 3.6 - 9.0 kg, Females 3.6 - 9.0 kg
Chugs, as previously mentioned can inherit different physical traits from both their parent breeds and this includes the good and the not so good. Some will look more like their Pug parents whereas others might inherit more of a Chihuahua look. With this said, their coats tend to be fine and straight with dog's having shorter hair, but if there was a long-haired Chihuahua in their ancestry, a Chug might end up with longer hair too.
They have large round eyes and their heads are well domed with their ears being set high and well apart. Chugs have nicely furrowed brows which is a physical trait they inherit from the Pug and the Chihuahua. Muzzles can be broad and wide or shorter and slimmer depending on which parent they throw to. Jaw lines are distinctly Pug-like with Chugs often having slightly over-shot jaws. Muzzles can be short or they can be longer depending on which of their parent breeds a Chug leans towards as such they can be more brachycephalic than dogs with longer muzzles which means they often have trouble breathing.
Chugs have sturdy, well-muscled bodies with their legs being on the short side. They have well developed necks that blend in well with a dog's shoulders which are nicely muscled. Chests are broad and deep with a Chug having a nice level back and well developed and well-muscled loins and rumps. Their tails curve over a dog's back when at rest and when on the move too which is a trait they inherit from the Pug. Feet are small and compact with Chugs having firm paw pads and strong nails.
When it comes to their coats, Chugs come in a vast array of colour combinations and coat textures. It is also worth noting that it depends on a parent breed's coat, their coat colours and textures as to how a puppy might turn out. With this said, the most commonly seen coat colours for a Chug can include the following:
When a Chug moves, they do so with great drive and purpose covering a lot of ground when they do. Their gait can be quite bouncy and dogs are always on the alert and give the impression of being happy and gay when they move.
Prospective Chug owners should be wary of any puppies or dogs that show any sort of exaggeration whether in their looks or conformation and that extra-small Chugs often come with many health issues so they are best avoided. A responsible breeder would always ensure that puppies they produce are of a good size and conformation and would avoid breeding extra small dogs for these reasons. Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums.
A Chug's temperament really does depend on several things which includes what their parent dogs are like. They might take after the Chihuahua and be a little aloof or they might be real comics, a trait Pugs are renowned for. With this said, Chugs are known to be affectionate and friendly characters by nature, more especially if they are carefully bred and then socialised correctly from a young enough age which includes when they are still with the breeder. The one consistent is that every Chug tends to be a little different whether it's in obvious or very subtle ways which is what makes these little dogs so unique and so adorable to live with.
Because of the Chihuahua in them, however, Chugs can be a little aggressive towards other dogs no matter how big they are which is why early socialisation is so essential. They often inherit the "barking" trait that both parent breeds are known for which is something that needs to be gently nipped in the bud from the word go before it turns into a real problem. Chugs do not like being left alone for long periods of time and if they are, it could lead to a dog suffering from separation anxiety and becoming destructive around the home.
Another thing to bear in mind is that Chugs feel the cold during the chillier winter months so it's important for them to be kept warm which in short means investing in a few winter dog coats for them when they are out on a walk or playing in a garden.
Chugs are the perfect choice for first time dog owners because they are so amenable and people-oriented, loving nothing more than to please and to entertain their families. They are good with older children and the elderly too which is why they make such great companions.
Chugs are very social by nature, but they will happily chase any smaller animals that attempts to run away just for the fun of it. As such care should be taken as to where and when a dog is let off the lead and introductions to other animals should be well supervised to avoid any incidents.
Chugs have a very playful and mischievous side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained. They remain very puppy-like well into their senior years and thoroughly enjoy playing interactive games with their families.
Chugs are highly adaptable dogs providing they are given enough daily physical exercise combined with as much mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in they are just as happy living in an apartment in town as they are living in a house in the country although like other breeds, they enjoy being able to romp around a secure back garden whenever they can.
Chugs form strong ties with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained.
Some Chugs like the sound of their own voices a little too much which is something that needs to be gently nipped in the bud when a dog is still young being careful not to frighten them. Others will only bark when there are strangers about although many will bark incessantly for no reason too.
Some Chugs like swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot, but care should be taken because many of them have shorter muzzles which makes it harder for them to breath at the best of times which is especially true when they are swimming. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a Chug off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing.
Chugs are good watchdogs considering their small size and will quickly let their owners know when they are strangers and when something they don't like is going on around them.
Chugs are smart little dogs and in the right hands they are easy to train. However, their training and education must start early and it has to be consistent so these small dogs understand what is expected of them. Just because a Chug is cute and small, does not mean they should be allowed to get away with things that larger dogs would not be allowed to do. If a Chug gets their own way a little too often, it can lead to all sorts of behavioural issues and this includes them developing "small dog syndrome" which can result in dogs becoming neurotic and harder to handle.
They are known to have a bit of a stubborn streak in them, but with patience and perseverance, Chugs can be taught new things. However, they are also known to have a short attention span so it's important to keep their training sessions short and to always make sure they are fun so that a Chug stays focussed. Rewarding a Chug with high value treats will work wonders and it's best to keep the treats to a minimum or you may find a dog puts on too much weight. It is far better to offer a dog good fewer quality treats a reward than to give them lots of lower value ones which could result in a Chug putting on far too much weight.
It is all too easy to spoil a Chug puppy because they are so adorable looking. However, new owners should start out as they mean to go by setting out ground rules, limits and boundaries for puppies as soon as they arrive in their new homes. All dogs like to know what is expected of them and it helps establish who is the alpha dog in a household. Without rules and boundaries, Chugs could quickly take on a more dominant role making them harder to handle and live with. The first commands a Chug puppy should be taught are as follows:
Chugs are small dogs with some being smaller than others and as such they are not the best choice for families where the children in the house are very young. They are a good choice for people with older children who know how to behave around such small dogs and most importantly who have learnt how to handle them so they don't hurt or injure their dog. With this said, any interaction between children and dogs should always be supervised by an adult to make sure any playtime does not get too boisterous.
Chugs are quite social little dogs, especially if they have been well socialised from an early enough stage in their lives and therefore they generally get on well with other dogs. However, because of their small size, care must be taken when they meet any dogs just in case playtime gets too boisterous which could end up injuring them. It would be a mistake to trust a Chug around any small animals and pets although if they have grown up with a family cat in the home, they generally get on well together. This is not to say a Chug would not chase the neighbour’s cat if they ever get the chance to.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Chug is between 10 and 13 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other designer dogs, the Chug is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues commonly seen in both their parent breeds which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these charming little dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
Chugs have short muzzles and as such they are extremely sensitive to heat so during the hotter summer months, care should be taken to ensure a dog does not overheat which they can do all too quickly and easily which could prove fatal.
Chug puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
A lot of Chugs gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given, bearing in mind that Chugs are very fond of their food and therefore more at risk of putting on too much weight. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart.
Some Chugs are prone to suffering from allergies and it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Chug breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
Chugs are not a recognised Kennel Club breed as such there are no breed specific breeding restrictions in place for them. However, prospective owners should always make sure that breeders they contact have had stud dogs health tested for all hereditary and congenital health issues that are known to affect Pugs and Chihuahuas.
There are no Kennel Club Assured breeder requirements in place because the Chug is not a recognised KC breed.
As with any other breed, Chugs need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Chug puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a Chug puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Chug puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, Chug puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be
Older Chugs need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Older dogs change mentally too which means their response time tends to be slower as such they develop the following:
Living with a Chug in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include taking a look at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Chugs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Chugs don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
A Chug can have a smooth, short coat whereas another dog might boast having a longer one if there was a longhaired Chihuahua in their ancestry. Having a Pug as a parent breed means they do shed quite a bit throughout the year, although more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn. This means they need regular brushing to keep their coats tidy and any loose and dead hair off the furniture. Some Chugs have a lot of wrinkles and folds around their faces which is another physical trait inherited from the Pug and it's important for these to be kept clean which can be done using a baby wipe. Once clean, it's essential for the folds to be thoroughly dried because if any moisture remains in a fold it provides the perfect environment for a bacterial infection to take hold which could lead to a nasty and sore infection.
Their nails need to checked every few weeks and carefully trimmed when necessary. Their teeth have to be brushed regularly to avoid any dental issues from flaring up which Chugs are prone to suffer from, much like both of their parent breeds. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Chugs are not high energy little dogs, but they do need to be given the right amount of daily exercise combined with a good amount of mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, healthy and well-rounded dogs. This means a good 30 minutes exercise a day and lots of interactive games to keep them occupied.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these charming little dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Chug puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.
If you get a Chug puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters in fact, most Chugs like their food a little too much, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Chug puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 10 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Chug must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Chug can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Chug, you would need to pay anything from £400 to over £650 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Chug in northern England would be £18.21 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £42.43 a month (quote as of October 2017). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £15 - £25 a month. On top of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Chug and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £700 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Chug would be between £35 to £70 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a healthy, well-bred puppy from health tested parents.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Chugs are one of the more popular crossbreeds/designer dogs both in the UK and elsewhere in the world which means that well-bred puppies can command a lot of money. As such, with Chugs there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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