Pugs are the epitome of the happy, comical, and always the smiley little dog. But they, like every other dog breed, have their ups and downs. So how do you know if your Pug is happy and entertained, so he gets the physical and mental stimulation he needs?
How Can You Tell If A Pug Is Happy?
Well, he certainly can’t tell you, but being a Pug parent, after a while, you will know your Pug’s personality inside out. You might not know for sure the reason why he’s unhappy if he is, but you will soon see if he’s miserable.
The ASPCA suggests if a dog is relaxed, you can tell by their eyes being normal and calm. We’re not sure how that relates to a Pug because their eyes never look like most other dog’s eyes. If you only assess a Pug’s state of mind by looking at their eyes, they mostly look pretty unhappy or sad.
So, you will need to find other ways of making sure your Pug is happy.
1. A Pug’s Facial Expression
The Pug’s face can always tell you a lot about what he’s feeling. There’s conjecture that suggests dogs have over one hundred facial expressions. Whether it’s true or not, it’s doubtful a Pug can contort his face into that many.
He’s a brachycephalic breed, and that does hamper how many facial expressions he can pull. Maybe, at a push, you’ll get to see three, or at most, four distinct facial expressions. The main ones being smiley, sad, and curious.
2. Pugs Do Smile
Pugs often look like they’re smiling; some dogs smile by baring their teeth, but not the Pug. They can relax their mouth and move their lips into what looks precisely like a smile. Put that with eyes that seem to go a darker shade all add up to a smile.
3. Pug Tail Wag
Pugs have a small tail in a half curl, so it’s not easy to wag. But they do manage to do so when happy. But mostly, what you’re going to see with a happy Pug is the whole bottom wiggling.
4. A Pug With A Relaxed Body
An unhappy Pug will not appear relaxed. The dog’s muscles will be tense and ready to spring up into some kind of action at any moment.
On the other hand, when he is relaxed, his body will seem more floppy there will be no apparent stiffness in how he holds himself.
Next time he’s laying down, just check his body or even feel along his back and legs; you’ll soon tell if he’s not relaxing.
5. Your Pug Enjoys Play
Happy Pugs love to play, and they will let you know with their body language. When they want to play, they will have their back legs straight and front legs lying on the floor, so their butt is sticking up in the air.
They’re a bit like young children and get excited when it’s playtime. So, if they don’t have any inclination to play with anybody, then he might not be well. We’re not talking about if he’s getting on and he’s a senior Pug; naturally, their energy levels will drop.
Pugs might look and sound like they’re struggling for breath but don’t underestimate their enjoyment of a robust play and exercise session.
6. Pug Destructive Behavior
If your Pug is happy, relaxed, and well-exercised, he will not exhibit a destructive nature. However, if he’s none of those things, then Pugs can become very destructive in the home. They will chew and attempt to destroy anything they can get into their mouths.
Because Pugs are people lovers and must be close to their family, separation anxiety is something you might need to deal with, which can also bring on destructive tendencies.
Everyone has to leave home at some point, and it’s not convenient to take your Pug with you all the time. You definitely, don’t want to return home to destruction scenes either, so what can you do?
By far, the best way is to focus his mind on something else while you’re out. There are dog cameras that you can hook up to your smartphone where you can talk to your Pug, toss him treats, even video him; they’re great for entertaining your Pug. Take a look at the Furbo dog camera if you think it might help you and your Pug.
7. Pugs Love To Eat
Pugs have a natural tendency to be greedy. They will eat and eat and then eat some more. They will more than likely become super excitable when they know a meal is coming.
If they change from this, for what seems like no reason, then there’s something wrong with your Pug. It might be a temporary bug, or it might be something more serious. But you should take it up with your vet.
8. Pugs Crave Attention
We touched on this a little earlier but make no mistake; a Pug is an attention hog. No matter the amount of attention you show, a Pug is always ready for more.
He’ll likely follow you always wherever you go in the home; your little shadow will not be far behind. Pugs are so conscious of you moving out of his vision he’ll forego his sleep to keep you near.
Anytime and place, he’s ready to drop on the floor and roll over for a belly rub.
9. Your Pug Is Happy To See You
Pugs will always be happy to see you. Even if you left your Pug for only 5 minutes, he’ll likely behave as though you’ve been gone hours. When you’re walking around the home, cleaning, or whatever, you’ll feel his eyes on you. In the morning, when you first come downstairs, you’ll be greeted by the happiest dog on earth.
As a responsible Pug Parent, it’s in your hands to make sure your Pug is happy. They aren’t a dog that takes a lot of serious effort. His motivation in life is to please you and make you happy. So the least you can do is return the favor.
But if he’s been a happy soul and enjoying his life and something changes, then speak to your vet as soon as possible because something is not right.
As a kid, I grew up with lots of dogs in my family. My earliest recollection was a Labrador mix called Bruce, and I must have only been about three years old.
When I was around seven, we began to move around frequently, so having a dog was very difficult until we adopted a baby long-haired Dachshund. I was thirteen by then. We called him Pepe; I have no idea why; all I can say was it wasn’t my idea. But he did seem to grow into the name.
I’ve personally been the parent of a Great Dane called Lady, a French Bulldog we called Spike. I have also had the privilege of being the parent of one of the gorgeous cats on the planet; a British Blue Shorthair called Ellie. Right now, we have an amazing little Havanese in our family; we call Biscuit; he’s four years old.
I pride myself on being the very best dog-parent I can be. I refuse to bring a dog into my life without investing as much time as possible to understand that dog’s particular needs. Every dog I have parented has been an experience, and they are all different with incredible personalities.
To understand dogs as much as possible, I have taken several courses regarding dog care and training. The most recent course is The Truth About Cats And Dogs, offered by The University Of Edinburgh.
My dogs and cat have been the funniest and most unique animals I have ever been privileged to spend my life with. They can teach human beings so much if we take the time to watch and listen to them. My ambition is to share what I have learned with other passionate dog lovers.
I am obsessed with writing and researching everything I can about dog health, care, psychology, and finding the best dog products available to help ensure a dog’s life is as happy and contented as possible.