- Average Height: Varies
- Average Weight: 10 to 20 pounds
- Coloring: Brown, cream, fawn, black, blue, gray, or white
- Coat Type: Short hair
- Dog Breed Group: Cross-breed
- Average Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Key Personality Traits:
AffectionateDeterminedGood with KidsIntelligentGoofyStubborn
This dog is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Pug. His personality and appearance can vary widely because the two breeds are very different.
Chugs can have a wide range of personalities, depending on whether he takes after his somewhat suspicious and imperious Chihuahua side or the sweetly comic Pug. At his best, he is friendly and affectionate. At weights ranging from 10 to 20 pounds, he is a comfortable size for most homes. But because he is a crossbreed, his traits are not fixed, so there is not a guarantee that the Chug you purchase will be the size predicted by a breeder.
Don’t forget that while a Chug may inherit the cute appearance of the Pug or Chihuahua, he may also inherit less-desirable traits, such as the Pug’s propensity for breathing problems or the Chihuahua’s tendency to yap. Both breeds tend to have an overload of self-esteem and may need to be protected from themselves. Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes, in particular, can be aggressive toward bigger dogs. Socialize a Chug extensively, and take him to puppy kindergarten to help prevent this problem.
Chugs have a low to moderate activity level that is adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They will enjoy a nice walk or active playtime each day, and if you’re talented at training (and the dog’s overall health is good enough – your vet can help determine that), they can participate dog sports such as obedience and rally. A well-behaved Chug can also make a great therapy dog.
If your Chug takes after his Pug ancestors, you can bet that he will enjoy his meals, perhaps a bit too much. Take care not to overfeed him. Excess weight can exacerbate some health problems—including joint problems and breathing difficulties—which are not unusual in Pugs and Pug mixes.
Chugs tend to be smart and can learn quickly, but they can also be stubborn or have a short attention span. Keep training sessions short and fun. If you begin socialization and training early and use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards, you can successfully train a Chug.
Other Quick Facts
- Chugs are companion dogs. They love their people.
- A Chug will most likely have a short, smooth coat that sheds moderately to heavily.
- Because of their small size, Chugs are best suited to homes with older children who know how to handle them carefully.
The History of Chugs
Crossbreeds are the result of people attempting to achieve a certain look, temperament, or working ability. We humans have been doing it for millennia.
However, crossbreeding over and over doesn’t necessarily lead to a new distinct breed. A breed is a group of animals related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most of their characteristics. Breeders have to select the puppies with the traits they want and breed them over several generations in order to achieve the consistency in appearance, size, and temperament that lead to a “purebred” dog.
Cross-breeds such as the Chug have become popular over the past ten or twenty years as people have begun to seek out dogs that are different from the everyday Yorkie or Poodle. For instance, it’s often claimed (falsely, by the way) that cross-breeds are hypoallergenic, have fewer health problems, or can carry the best traits of each breed.
Unfortunately, this is not quite how genes work. Genetic traits sort out randomly in each generation of dog. So, it’s only after many generations of selecting for certain characteristics that you can start to see some consistency. Regardless, there will always be some variation from generation to generation.
Chug Temperament and Personality
Temperament is affected partly by genes and partly by environment, so it can vary. A Chug’s temperament can depend on several things including the temperaments of his parents, especially the mother, who is more likely to influence a puppy’s behavior; the amount of socialization he receives; and the particular genes he inherits. He might be more independent if the Chihuahua side of his family dominates or more clownish if the Pug side prevails
Both breeds can be insistent about getting their way and stubborn when it comes to training. If you train a Chug with positive reinforcement techniques, showing him what you like by rewarding him with praise, play, and high-value treats, he’s likely to learn quickly. That doesn’t mean that he will always do what you want. Patience and a sense of humor are important when it comes to living with a Chug.
A Chug shouldn’t be overly shy or aggressive. Say no thanks if a puppy’s parents won’t let you approach them, shy away from you or growl at you, or if puppies do the same.
Training your puppy should start the first day you bring him home—wait too long and he will be much more headstrong to deal with. Many dog owners opt for puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, because socialization it critical. However, if you’re thinking about enrolling your Chug in any type of puppy training class, keep in mind that many require certain vaccines to be up to date. Also, many veterinarians recommended limiting exposure to other dogs until his puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper, and parvovirus) have been checked off. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to start informal training at home.
Know what you’re looking for in your Chug? Tell the breeder. Breeders spend ample time with their pups before passing them to their new homes and can make accurate recommendations on their temperaments and personalities. Whatever you want from a Chug, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.
What You Need to Know About Chug Health
For obvious reasons, Chugs may be susceptible to the health problems of both the Chihuahua and Pug. However, there may be a chance that the genetic diversity introduced by mixing two breeds can lower the probability of certain inherited diseases.
Still, crossbreed or not, all dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems. As a safeguard, you should always choose a breeder who offers a health guarantee on her puppies. Reputable breeders will always be open and honest about health problems in her lines and how often they tend to occur.
Because crossbreeds inherit genes from two different breeds, it can sometimes be difficult to predict how healthy and disease-free their offspring will be. If you decide to bring home a Chug from a breeder, ask about the ages of the dogs in her lines and common causes of death to get a better sense of what to expect.
Beyond genetic issues, beware of your Chug developing obesity. Research has shown that Pugs develop obesity at about twice the rate of the average dog, so Chugs may be at equally high of risk. Keeping your Chug at a healthy weight depends largely on you: Make sure he gets plenty of exercise and eats the right amount of food. Preventative measures like these are some of the easiest ways to give him a healthier, happier life.
The Basics of Chug Grooming
Chugs may have a short, smooth coat or a longer coat if there’s a longhaired Chihuahua in their family tree. It’s likely that a Chug will shed because of his Pug heritage. Pugs are one of the biggest shedders around, and short-haired Chihuahuas do their share of shedding, too. Brush the Chug coat daily to remove shedding hair, bring out shine, and reduce the amount of dog hair floating around your home.
If your Chug has facial wrinkles, it’s important to keep them clean and dry. Wipe them out with a damp washcloth or dog wipe, dry the folds thoroughly, and apply baby powder or corn starch to help them stay dry — be careful to avoid getting any in the eyes. Some Chugs require this wrinkle treatment daily, while others can get by with having it done once or twice a week or even every three to four weeks.
In addition, trim a Chug’s nails every few weeks, keep his ears clean and dry, and brush his teeth regularly—daily if you can—with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease.
Choosing a Breeder for Your Chug
Chug puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they’re so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Chug a favorite amongst puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. There’s no need to pay big bucks for a Chug. You may find a wonderful example of this cross-bred dog at your local shelter or through adoption organizations such as Petfinder.
Still interested in choosing a breeder for your Chug? Here are the good and bad signs to look for.
Green flags for choosing a breeder
When the breeder has done proper health testing. If you choose to purchase a Chug, select a breeder who has done health testing to help ensure that her puppies won’t carry genetic diseases common to Chihuahuas and Pugs. If you are going to pay several hundred dollars or even $1,000 or more for a dog, you should get your money’s worth. Buying from a breeder who is smart and caring enough to do health certifications, even for a cross-breed, is the best way to do that. And while there are no guarantees in life, it’s also a good way to minimize the possibility of big veterinary bills.
When the breeder answers your questions, and asks her own in return. Good breeders are open and honest. They are also more interested in getting pups into the right homes, rather than turning around a quick buck.
When the breeder socializes her pups in a healthy environment. Socializing puppies from an early age is critical for their proper development, and reputable breeders know this.
Red flags for choosing a breeder
When the breeder champions convenience over getting pups in the right homes. That could look like anything from feeling like the breeder only seems interested in how quickly she can unload a puppy, or seeing puppies on their website purchasable with a credit card, similar to how you would buy a pair of shoes.
When the breeder has multiple litters on the premises. If the breeder runs a factory-like operation with a high volume of puppies available, it’s likely you’ve found a puppy mill.
When the breeder offers to immediately ship a puppy to you sight unseen. While it may work out in some cases, it’s risky to purchase a puppy online and have it shipped to you without seeing it first in person. This option leaves you with no recourse if what you get isn’t what you expected.
Adopting a Chug From a Rescue or Shelter
Want to adopt a Chug? While it may be more difficult to find this specific crossbreed from a traditional rescue, you may find some luck with the following strategies.
Use Online Search Engines. The internet is the best way to cast a wide net for a specific search. Specifically for finding an adoptable Chug, Petfinder.com and AnimalShelter are your best bets. These search engines can help you find specific dogs for adoption and rescue groups nearby in no time flat.
Post on Social Media. Don’t count out social media! Within your network (or your network’s network), you may be able to reach someone who knows a dog looking for a home. Post on your social media channels about your intention to adopt a Chug, and you’ll have invited your entire community to be your eyes and ears.
Consult Local Pet Pros. What better way to find an adoptable dog than by asking the people who know dogs best? Pet pros like vets, dog walkers, and groomers often have connections the average person does not. Ask them if they know of anyone with a Chug available for adoption. Even if they say no, you’ll be the first person they think of if they ever eventually do.
What is a Chug Dog?
A Chug is a cross between a Pug and Chihuahua. Like any crossbreed, Chugs can vary widely in appearance and temperament depending on which traits it inherits from each of its parents.
How big do Chug dogs get?
On average, Chugs reach an adult weight of 10 and 20 pounds and stand between 6 and 12 inches tall.
What does a Chug dog look like?
Chugs can inherit traits from both their Pug and Chihuahua parents. The very nature of genetic mixing makes it impossible to predict what the resulting puppy will actually look like. However, Chugs tend to be less than 12 inches tall and weigh less than 20 pounds. They may inherit the sunken, wrinkly face of their pug parent, or may have a snout resembling more of a Chihuahua. Their coloring also varies between white, cream, dark tan, or black.