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Choosing A Pug Puppy

Choosing a Pug Puppy

Question: I found a good Pug breeder and his litter of Pug puppies are ready to go to new homes. Now, I have to decide which Pug puppy to bring home. I'm so nervous that I'll choose the wrong dog. 

How can I possibly know I am choosing a Pug puppy that is the best one for me? They're all going to be so cute! ~ Ashley J.

Answer: Hi Ashley. We agree that all of the puppies are going to be adorable and cute! However, there are definitely some guidelines that you can follow when you are trying to pick out the perfect Pug pup.

We are not sure if it matters to you if you have a male or female. There are not that many differences, despite what others may say. However there are a few and you can read more about Male VS Female Pugs.
While potential health problems may not be visible, there are 3 things that everyone should do: Check the eyes, breathing and gait.
The Eyes: The eyes are not only the window to the soul, they can also give you a clue about the health of the dog. Watering, squinting or a glazed film on the eyes is a sign of health issues.

Breathing: Hold the puppy close to your ear and listen carefully. Do you hear rattling and rasping? This is a sign of a breathing problem. Does the puppy have to breath through his or her mouth? If the puppy is at rest, they should be able to breath fine with their mouth closed this can be a stenotic nare issue, which often needs to be corrected with a surgical procedure.

Watch the puppy walk: While young pups under the age of 6 weeks may still be gaining their footing, take note of any limping or odd gait issues. If you do notice an odd gait, listen for any clicking noises coming from the hip area. This sort of issue may be caused by underdeveloped hip bones (joint and socket), a health problem not uncommon with the Pug breed.
Interaction and Activity

Some people will tell you that you should pick the puppy that comes right over to you first. This is not the best advice. Puppies that are very bold like that may be harder to train. Their enthusiasm may be great fun for a while, but keeping up with and trying to train such a puppy may turn out to be stressful.

When you are choosing a Pug puppy, it is usually best to choose one who is quiet and calm. However, you most certainly need to make sure that the pug is not too quite due to an illness or extreme shyness.

You don't want to bring home an ill pup and choosing a dog that is overly shy may make for a pet that is afraid of everything and will be in need of extensive of socialization training.
Cute little Pug puppy
It is recommended to have a close look at several puppies that stay in the background. If a Pug puppy is laying listless without any energy at all, this is a warning sign that the dog may be unhealthy.
A calm Pug that does respond to you when picked up is what you should be looking for. Listen to the breathing for any signs of labored breathing or rasps. If the breathing is clear, take a look at the eyes. They should be bright and clear without an excessive discharge.

With 2 or 3 puppies now left for you to decide on, take a look at how each one responds to you and how they respond to each other.

Wiggle a toy in front of a puppy or whistle to him or her and see if the pup shows natural curiosity. The one for you should come over to you to investigate. The pup should sniff around your hand, perhaps lick your hand and even nibble a bit (although this will have to be dealt with once you bring him/her home with teething training).

Allow the whole litter to play with a toy. Take notice of the ones that seem to be bossy and the ones that seem to play fair. Take note of the ones who cower in the corner if the others fight for the toys.

You will want to choose a Pug puppy who falls somewhere in the middle. This will ensure you have one that has a calm, yet curious personality.

Finally, when you have it narrowed down to 2, do not feel rushed. Take time to sit down with each and talk to them. Does the pup look at you when you talk? Does he or she keep their tail high or wag the tail (to express happiness)?

At this point, you should get a good feeling about which puppy is the one that is meant for you. Please remember, that just because you have an appointment to pick up a dog does not mean that you must go home with one.
If the litter seems ill, all of the dogs seem aggressive or you do not feel a bond with any of the puppies it is absolutely acceptable to relay this to the breeder. While you may be very disappointed at first, in the long run you will be happy that you waited.

When you are holding the Pug puppy that is right for you, you will know it. And what a lucky guy (or girl) that will be! Ready to begin his or her new journey as part of your family!
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