What Do We Think Of Pugs And Their Supposed Problems?

saleri

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Never owned a dog, but I know that certain breeds have more problems then other. But with pugs it seems significantly worse? Lot of health issues like hard of breathing, eye popping out, etc?

Thoughts?
 

Willowy

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I think anybody who is breeding for traits that aren't in the animals' best interests is selfish and cruel and should not be doing that. Some Pug breeders are going for a more moderate Pug, and they should be supported. But show judges reward extremes and that's where the trouble comes in :/.
 

MeganLLB

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I agree that breeding animals to extremes is wrong. Brachycephalic dogs almost always need soft palate surgery in order to breathe correctly. Owners don't know this and don't do the surgery, but really all you have to do is slightly press up on their throats and you cut off their airway. That's why they where harnesses instead of collars because they gag them.

Bulldogs of all varieties, pugs, I think its just inhumane to breed dogs like that. German shepherds are being bred with an extremely sloped back for show and thats not right either.

If you can find a breeder (I know there are some groups in Europe) that works to truly improve the breed, like how it was originally before the KC and ACK got involved with their "breed standards", then I would support that.

Otherwise I think it is just wrong.
 

NewYork1303

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I personally don't like the way that pugs and similar are being bred with many problems, but mainly this is due to their extreme popularity and the "breeders" who produce them.

While many blame the show environment and the AKC, this is based on an over generalized assumption that these shows are looking for extremes. AKC is actually looking for very specific standards that generally do not change significantly over the years, yet we see a lot of breeds changing a lot and developing new health issues. The AKC is not awarding ribbons to dogs that cannot breathe or ones with dangerously slopped structure. They are not the ones at the center of problems in purebred dogs.

This typically comes from backyard breeders and puppy mills putting together dogs that actually should not be bred together. Educated breeders are not creating health issues in pugs or any other breeds. These breeders are working hard to preserve health, temperament, and structure with each breeding. This doesn't mean that sometimes things don't turn out as planned, but for the most part a quality breeder will be producing puppies that are genetically set up to be healthy.

So called "hybrid vigor" in dogs is actually a myth. Well bred purebred dogs are typically much more healthy than mixed breeds. This is because the variation in genes is much more minor so you can predict many problems and avoid them.

Those who are breeding without education are the ones that are creating many dogs with significant issues. They want bulldogs with more folds and wrinkles, pugs with the most smushed faces, or animals with different colors (Blue Merle) for the cuteness factor without thinking of what it does to the animal. No decent breeder will ever breed for a specific color pattern or look without first considering the health and temperament of the puppies they will produce.
 

Kate34x

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As the owner of several pugs (I've had four total) I have mixed views on this. I absolutely ADORE them. They are so quirky and funny and cute, and they have simply the best personalities. They are little velcro dogs that just want to snuggle all day and absolutely love their food and their owners. So on one hand, I support the continuation of the breed because of how special they are to me. On the other hand, health issues are definitely a thing to be considered. Only one of our four pugs was purchased from a breeder by us, the other three were adopted as adults but were all originally from a breeder (I don't think there are many "accidental" pug litters so really all pugs are going to be from a breeder of some kind). The one pug we purchased was from a breeder who didn't show his dogs and was simply producing pet quality pugs. From the very first day we brought him home, people thought he was a puggle because he was skinny, lanky, and had more of a snout than most pugs. As an adult he has filled out some, but is nowhere near the rotund fat pugs that are usually seen. He runs around and plays with big dogs and gets winded only the tiniest bit sooner than them, he really doesn't have breathing problems. The vet always says hes one of the healthiest (and skinniest) pugs they have seen.

One of the adopted ones lived to be 14 with only the types of medical issues that dogs get at old age, but she was definitely closer to show quality. Her face was much more smooshed and she could have benefitted from palate surgery but never did have it (had we known how much it would help it probably would have happened before she passed). My other two? Total messes. They must have come from some backyard breeder who probably inbred more than any ethical breeder would. They are only 3 (brothers from the same litter), one just had knee surgery to fix his incredible bad luxating patella and needs the same surgery done on the other one soon. He has arthritis in most of his joints as well. The one upside is he is also pretty thin and trim so he has no obesity problems, and his breathing is pretty good. The other one had bladder stones at 2, has a sensitive stomach, and is prone to being overweight. His breathing is terrible and his eyes are pretty huge so them popping out has always freaked me out.

Its bad breeding like this that makes the pugs so prone to disease. I think people need to start being a lot more ethical and careful with how they are breeding these dogs, and maybe moving back towards the original breed standard would be a good thing. Pugs used to be bigger, taller, lankier, with more of a snout. They didn't have entirely flat faces and tiny bodies. Dont get me wrong I think its adorable, but the health of the animal has to be considered first.
 
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saleri

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I personally don't like the way that pugs and similar are being bred with many problems, but mainly this is due to their extreme popularity and the "breeders" who produce them.

While many blame the show environment and the AKC, this is based on an over generalized assumption that these shows are looking for extremes. AKC is actually looking for very specific standards that generally do not change significantly over the years, yet we see a lot of breeds changing a lot and developing new health issues. The AKC is not awarding ribbons to dogs that cannot breathe or ones with dangerously slopped structure. They are not the ones at the center of problems in purebred dogs.

This typically comes from backyard breeders and puppy mills putting together dogs that actually should not be bred together. Educated breeders are not creating health issues in pugs or any other breeds. These breeders are working hard to preserve health, temperament, and structure with each breeding. This doesn't mean that sometimes things don't turn out as planned, but for the most part a quality breeder will be producing puppies that are genetically set up to be healthy.

So called "hybrid vigor" in dogs is actually a myth. Well bred purebred dogs are typically much more healthy than mixed breeds. This is because the variation in genes is much more minor so you can predict many problems and avoid them.

Those who are breeding without education are the ones that are creating many dogs with significant issues. They want bulldogs with more folds and wrinkles, pugs with the most smushed faces, or animals with different colors (Blue Merle) for the cuteness factor without thinking of what it does to the animal. No decent breeder will ever breed for a specific color pattern or look without first considering the health and temperament of the puppies they will produce.

Do you have a study on well bred purebred dogs that are shown to be healthier then mixed breeds? Also curious what would be classified as a "well bred" and what percent of the population are actually that.
 

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Do you have a study on well bred purebred dogs that are shown to be healthier then mixed breeds? Also curious what would be classified as a "well bred" and what percent of the population are actually that.
The situation gets sticky because a lot of people have dogs that "die of old age", when the actual cause of death was never known (heart failure, kidney disease, liver failure, cancers, etc.) Lots of good breeders do things like certify that hips and elbows are good, do cardiac and eye exams yearly, and keep track of litters and the pup's longevity and what they died of. Some breeders go a step further and use AI for pure bred dogs because the sire died 2-3 decades ago, and they know how old he was, what killed him (assuming no accidents, etc.), and the longevity of the pups he produced. Not many people with mixed breeds have this luxury and a very small percentage of mixed breeders or owners actually do the health testing so the results would be pretty skewed IMO.
If you breed a sickly Golden to a sickly Golden, odds are the pure bred pups won't be healthy. If nature takes over and a healthy Golden is bred to a healthy Husky, odds are the pups will be healthier. I don't know if "purebred" or "mix" has much to do with it anymore.
 
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saleri

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The situation gets sticky because a lot of people have dogs that "die of old age", when the actual cause of death was never known (heart failure, kidney disease, liver failure, cancers, etc.) Lots of good breeders do things like certify that hips and elbows are good, do cardiac and eye exams yearly, and keep track of litters and the pup's longevity and what they died of. Some breeders go a step further and use AI for pure bred dogs because the sire died 2-3 decades ago, and they know how old he was, what killed him (assuming no accidents, etc.), and the longevity of the pups he produced. Not many people with mixed breeds have this luxury and a very small percentage of mixed breeders or owners actually do the health testing so the results would be pretty skewed IMO.
If you breed a sickly Golden to a sickly Golden, odds are the pure bred pups won't be healthy. If nature takes over and a healthy Golden is bred to a healthy Husky, odds are the pups will be healthier. I don't know if "purebred" or "mix" has much to do with it anymore.
I'm more or less just curious what percent of breeders go to the extent as you described. Seems very interesting though.
 

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I'm more or less just curious what percent of breeders go to the extent as you described. Seems very interesting though.
Many do, but more don't which kind of sucks.
 

jen

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Personally I think it is wrong to breed dogs with breathing issues, pocket breeds, really anything that strays from natural. I have a ridiculous story though just for fun about Pugs. My friend is a veterinarian. She has kids and owns her house and loves pugs. Her family was ready to rescue one and EVERY SINGLE shelter turned her away because she did not have a fenced in yard, despite being a vet! So she ended up going to a breeder and getting a cute little black pug and named him Dwight. As soon as he was old enough he was neutered and had his soft palate surgery. Then his eye literally popped out of the socket while playing with a friends dog. Dwight was bopped on the head and pop! The vet popped it back in, and patched it up and he will always have a hard time seeing but its back in. Anyways, I always loved black pugs and would definitely have one one day, knowing very well it will need soft palate surgery and to not be over fed. Don't even get me started on all the obese pugs I have seen come into the clinic!!
 

NewYork1303

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Do you have a study on well bred purebred dogs that are shown to be healthier then mixed breeds? Also curious what would be classified as a "well bred" and what percent of the population are actually that.
I know my breeder posted one, but I don't remember where that was. This is one I managed to find that basically shows that mixed breed and purebred dogs are about equally as likely to develop genetic diseases: Veterinarians question validity of hybrid vigor in wake of study

I would say that all breeders test for genetic diseases that are relevant to their breeds to help you get a healthier pup. Of course, I define breeder as a person who actually is striving to create sound healthy dogs that are able to do what they were initially bred to do in addition to looking nice. Puppy mills and people who are irresponsibly throwing together two purebreds are not breeders. People who are in it for money aren't breeders. Real breeders don't usually make money on their puppies.

In the dog world, the breeders I describe are called "Conservation Breeders". What percentage of so called "breeders" are like this? My guess would be low. People will do anything to make a buck, including breeding cute dogs that won't make it to three years old due to genetic issues.
 

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I know my breeder posted one, but I don't remember where that was. This is one I managed to find that basically shows that mixed breed and purebred dogs are about equally as likely to develop genetic diseases: Veterinarians question validity of hybrid vigor in wake of study

I would say that all breeders test for genetic diseases that are relevant to their breeds to help you get a healthier pup. Of course, I define breeder as a person who actually is striving to create sound healthy dogs that are able to do what they were initially bred to do in addition to looking nice. Puppy mills and people who are irresponsibly throwing together two purebreds are not breeders. People who are in it for money aren't breeders. Real breeders don't usually make money on their puppies.

In the dog world, the breeders I describe are called "Conservation Breeders". What percentage of so called "breeders" are like this? My guess would be low. People will do anything to make a buck, including breeding cute dogs that won't make it to three years old due to genetic issues.
(Just going to add that the term "hybrid vigor" that promotes mixed breeds is a name only, as crossing two breeds of domestic dog or two breeds of domestic cat is not a hybrid!!)
 

Willowy

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With mixed breeds, the chance of inbreeding is much lower. This is probably what got the whole "mixes are healthier than purebreds" thing started. But a decent breeder should know their COIs so that shouldn't be a problem anymore.
 
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saleri

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I know my breeder posted one, but I don't remember where that was. This is one I managed to find that basically shows that mixed breed and purebred dogs are about equally as likely to develop genetic diseases: Veterinarians question validity of hybrid vigor in wake of study

I would say that all breeders test for genetic diseases that are relevant to their breeds to help you get a healthier pup. Of course, I define breeder as a person who actually is striving to create sound healthy dogs that are able to do what they were initially bred to do in addition to looking nice. Puppy mills and people who are irresponsibly throwing together two purebreds are not breeders. People who are in it for money aren't breeders. Real breeders don't usually make money on their puppies.

In the dog world, the breeders I describe are called "Conservation Breeders". What percentage of so called "breeders" are like this? My guess would be low. People will do anything to make a buck, including breeding cute dogs that won't make it to three years old due to genetic issues.
Study is okay, wish we got some more info, but I wouldn't say that alone would make one to think hybrid vigor is a myth at all.
 

lutece

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With mixed breeds, the chance of inbreeding is much lower.
Not necessarily. Random bred cats are often inbred and we hear about these stories all the time on TCS. Cats in feral colonies are often closely related; a neighborhood tom cat may breed his daughters and granddaughters; a mother cat can be bred by her son when the owner doesn't neuter the son quickly enough; siblings can breed if they are not neutered/spayed soon enough; etc.
 

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Even "good" breeders of pugs can't do anything without the books being opened and outcrossing allowed, look up ofa scores on pugs as a breed, there are no healthy ones to breed from or to. Their look at this point is too extreme and nothing but health issue after issue, from dental to skin to breathing and breeding.
 

Willowy

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Not necessarily. Random bred cats are often inbred and we hear about these stories all the time on TCS. Cats in feral colonies are often closely related; a neighborhood tom cat may breed his daughters and granddaughters; a mother cat can be bred by her son when the owner doesn't neuter the son quickly enough; siblings can breed if they are not neutered/spayed soon enough; etc.
Oh sure, with cats or random-bred dogs. I meant mixed-breeds. If a Yorkie and a Poodle are bred together, there's a pretty darn good chance that their family trees don't grow the same way for a number of generations at least.
 

MeganLLB

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I personally don't like the way that pugs and similar are being bred with many problems, but mainly this is due to their extreme popularity and the "breeders" who produce them.

While many blame the show environment and the AKC, this is based on an over generalized assumption that these shows are looking for extremes. AKC is actually looking for very specific standards that generally do not change significantly over the years, yet we see a lot of breeds changing a lot and developing new health issues. The AKC is not awarding ribbons to dogs that cannot breathe or ones with dangerously slopped structure. They are not the ones at the center of problems in purebred dogs.

This typically comes from backyard breeders and puppy mills putting together dogs that actually should not be bred together. Educated breeders are not creating health issues in pugs or any other breeds. These breeders are working hard to preserve health, temperament, and structure with each breeding. This doesn't mean that sometimes things don't turn out as planned, but for the most part a quality breeder will be producing puppies that are genetically set up to be healthy.

So called "hybrid vigor" in dogs is actually a myth. Well bred purebred dogs are typically much more healthy than mixed breeds. This is because the variation in genes is much more minor so you can predict many problems and avoid them.

Those who are breeding without education are the ones that are creating many dogs with significant issues. They want bulldogs with more folds and wrinkles, pugs with the most smushed faces, or animals with different colors (Blue Merle) for the cuteness factor without thinking of what it does to the animal. No decent breeder will ever breed for a specific color pattern or look without first considering the health and temperament of the puppies they will produce.
http://ottogsd.com/german-vs-american-german-shepherds.php
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the article and look at the difference between the show dogs and a working line. The slope in the back is drastic in the show line and not so in the working line. I've seen GSD with backs so low that their butts are almost dragging on the floor- and they are shoe dogs. I know we are talking about pugs, but that's the best physical example that I can show to see that ACK standards are not in the best interest of the breed. Working dogs cannot be bred to those standards because they can't physically do the work- they have ruined so many dogs.
 

NewYork1303

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German Shepherd German Show Lines vs German Working Lines vs American Lines
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the article and look at the difference between the show dogs and a working line. The slope in the back is drastic in the show line and not so in the working line. I've seen GSD with backs so low that their butts are almost dragging on the floor- and they are shoe dogs. I know we are talking about pugs, but that's the best physical example that I can show to see that ACK standards are not in the best interest of the breed. Working dogs cannot be bred to those standards because they can't physically do the work- they have ruined so many dogs.
This is interesting to me since in my breed there doesn't seem to be a "Working line" and a "Show line". My breeder breeds dogs that are champions in the show ring and have titles in herding as well (Cardigan Welsh Corgis). Most of the breeders I know in this breed are the same way.

I still don't think this could be an AKC problem. As there are many breeds that have dogs titled on both ends (when dog has letter in front of and after its name show titles before, performance titles after), this suggests show structure doesn't always ruin a dog for performance. (For example border collies and Australian shepherds capable of winning championships in confirmation and in agility, and herding).

Going back to pugs, who were originally bred to be the companions of royalty (something a dog cannot really be titled in), I'm not entirely sure how much healthy line is left, but I feel like their must be some out there. I don't know enough about the specific breed to say for sure. From the research I've done, it looks like buggy eyes in pugs is actually a disqualification in AKC so they at least aren't encouraging the bug eyed look that pugs from backyard breeders seem to have.
 

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This is interesting to me since in my breed there doesn't seem to be a "Working line" and a "Show line". My breeder breeds dogs that are champions in the show ring and have titles in herding as well (Cardigan Welsh Corgis). Most of the breeders I know in this breed are the same way.

I still don't think this could be an AKC problem. As there are many breeds that have dogs titled on both ends (when dog has letter in front of and after its name show titles before, performance titles after), this suggests show structure doesn't always ruin a dog for performance. (For example border collies and Australian shepherds capable of winning championships in confirmation and in agility, and herding).

Going back to pugs, who were originally bred to be the companions of royalty (something a dog cannot really be titled in), I'm not entirely sure how much healthy line is left, but I feel like their must be some out there. I don't know enough about the specific breed to say for sure. From the research I've done, it looks like buggy eyes in pugs is actually a disqualification in AKC so they at least aren't encouraging the bug eyed look that pugs from backyard breeders seem to have.
Border Collies that herd well and hard (not instinct test) are capable of winning conformation, but it doesn't happen a lot and not on a big scale. Hasn't for almost 20 years when the BC became AKC recognized and show breeders went one way, herding people the other. To me, ranch BC's and show BC's don't even look like the same breed anymore because (to me) the show dogs resemble large Shelties.
 
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