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Buying a healthy dog is important these days - so many people talk about "back yard breeders" and those people who "inbreed" their dogs. You'll find that being an informed purchaser will help you find caring, conscientious breeders. Breeders who "inbreed" are not necessarily bad breeders - after all, inbreeding is what created the Pug breed to start wtih. But a breeder should be able to tell you what their reasons are for the inbreeding that they do, what they expect to get from the inbreeding, and what problems may also occur from the breeding.

Responsible breeders will have some sort of health agreement with you, they'll want you to take your new puppy or dog to your own vet shortly after you get it home, so that you know it's doing okay. Don't be afraid to ask a breeder questions-good ones will share knowledge with you so that you understand what the advantages of buying from them is, but also the risks.

NO BREEDER can ever produce 100% healthy-for-life dogs. Just as in humans we cannot "breed out" certain problems in our own genetic makeup, dog breeders can only do their best to work towards limiting problems in a line of dogs. Line breeding and inbreeding are two of the tools that, when used properly, can help in identifying and reducing the health problems in a breed. A good breeder has a purpose for breeding a particular male and female together.

Health concerns in Pugs center primarily on two areas: their head, and their legs, although other problems do exist. Pug heads cause problems because of the smooshed in faces instead of having the normal elongated face of most dogs. Head problems that are fairly common include:

  • Cataracts
  • Corneal Ulcers
  • Elongated Soft Palatte
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis
  • Generalized Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Pinched or Undersized Nostrils
There are also high incidences of skin and inhalent allergies, seizure activity, and recently we've begun to see more cases of spinal problems in Pugs as well.

Not every Pug will have any of these problems, while others may have more than one. And there are other health problems than can and do occur within the breed, but not often enough to go onto this list.

(Reprinted with special permission from MRC Enterprises and Marcy B. Heathman from http://www.pugs.com)

Copyright © 2007 May Hegarty. All Rights Reserved.
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Leg problems that occur in Pugs include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease
  • Slipped Stifles