Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Chug
Average Cost to keep/care for a Chug
Chugs were developed by crossing a Pug with a Chihuahua and as such they are considered as "designer dogs" and not recognised as a breed in their own right by The Kennel Club and other international breed clubs (as of June 2016). With this said, the result of crossing these two pure breeds has seen Chugs becoming 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.
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.
For the moment, Chugs have not been recognised as a breed in their own right by The Kennel Club here in the UK (June 2016), 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.
Anyone hoping to share a home with an adorable Chug should always contact a reputable breeder who always gets their stud dogs checked for any of the health issues that all too often affect both the Pug and the Chihuahua.
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 do shed, a trait they have inherited from the Pug and this tends to be more profusely during the Spring and then again in the Autumn. Their tails are typically tightly curled over their backs - a trait inherited from the Pug too. Muzzles can be short or they can be longer depending on which of their parent breeds a Chug leans towards.
When it comes to their coats, Chugs come in a vast array of colour combinations and again, it depends on their parent breed's coat and their coat colours as to how a puppy might turn out. With this said, the most commonly seen coat colours for a Chug includes the following:
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 very 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 smart little dogs and in the right hands they are easy to train. However, their training and education has to 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.
Chugs are very small dogs 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 has to 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 has to be taken to ensure a dog does not overheat which they can do all too quickly and easily which could prove fatal.
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.
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, 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.
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 £17.79 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of June 2016). 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 or not 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 all 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 pedigree puppy.
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