Most people know about the Chihuahua and most people know about the pug, but have you ever heard of their unique and comedic offspring? Sometimes referred to as the Chug, this hybrid dog is full of personality, sass and lots of love.
The chug is certainly an interesting and entertaining dog, but is he the right dog for you? Let’s find out.
1. The Chug Dog Is Considered A Hybrid Dog
Controversy still surrounds the breeding and selling of first and second generation crossbreeds like the Chug.
Neither a mix nor a purebred, the Chug is still finding his place in the canine kingdom as far as critiques are concerned. Also known as designer dogs, hybrid dogs, or mixed breeds, crossbreed dogs like the Chug are riddled with controversy, with many strongly advocating for them as passionalty as others oppose.
Crossbreed dogs like the Chug are nothing new. In fact, crossbreeding has been an ongoing practice for centuries and is actually how we’ve gotten many of the purebred dogs we know and love today. But it takes generations of crossbreeding and perfecting before a dog can be considered a purebred, which is why it used to be that first, second and third generation cross breeds were considered nothing more than mutts.
A first generation crossbreed is a dog who is the direct descendant of two purebred parent breeds. A second generation crossbreed would be a dog who is the descendant of two first generation crossbreed parents, and so on.
Crossbreeding has become much more popular over the last two decades amongst breeders, who are selling first and second generation crossbreeds for top dollar. The enthusiasm for designer dogs from celebrities have made these dogs all the more sought after.
Of course, there are pros and cons to owning a crossbreed dog, who notoriously comes with many unpredictable traits. On the plus side, many people insist that mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds, as they have a less likely chance of inheriting certain genetic diseases.
Others disagree, pointing out that genetics cannot be predicted and that crossbreeds have just as much chance of suffering from genetic health issues as their purebred counterparts.
Still, even as the argument ensues, crossbreed dogs continue to grow in popularity. And that’s where the Chug comes in.
Keep reading to learn more.
2. The Chug Dog Is A Mix Between the Pug and The Chihuahua
While the Chug himself has yet to build his own history, his parent breeds come from incredible backstories. Learning about their specific origins and breed histories can help us learn more about the potential qualities and temperamental traits of their Chug offspring.
Let’s start with the Pug.
Pugs are friendly and mischievous companions
The Pug is one of several dogs who were bred and perfected in Imperial China nearly 2,000 years ago. This breed is famous for his unique flat face, furrowed brow, large dark eyes and curled tail.
Most Pug enthusiasts agree that this is the perfect house dog. He is highly adaptable, great with people of all ages, and enjoys other pets. His compact size makes him perfect for apartment living and his agreeable disposition means he is a delight to be around.
However, the flat-faced Pug can be prone to some serious health issues which could be possibly passed down to his Chug offspring.
Height: 10 – 13 inches
Weight: 14 – 18 lbs
Coat: Smooth, short, shedding
Life Span: 13 -15 years
Personality: Mischievous, affectionate, friendly and happy
Chihuahuas are small and full of personality.
The Chihuahua is the famed national symbol of Mexico and is beloved for his small size and huge ego. This little dog packs a big personality and is often considered almost human-like in many of his temperamental traits.
Chihuahuas can be demanding, and unlike the Pug, do not always do well in homes with young children. They prefer being the center of attention and don’t often like sharing their spotlight with others.
Still, Chihuahuas have a loyal fanbase and those who love this breed are incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about them. Chihuahuas are intelligent, affectionate, and wonderfully small. They do well in apartments and are excellent travel companions when properly trained and socialized.
However, Chihuahuas can be vocal and bossy, and training during puppyhood is very important to ensure they develop good manners and patience.
Height: 5 – 8 inches
Weight: 6 lbs
Coat: Smooth and short or long and glossy. Shedding.
Life Span: 14 – 16 years
Personality: Sassy, proud, charming, human-like
3. Chug Dogs Make Wonderful Travel Companions Due To Their Small Size
Chugs enjoy different adventures so long as they are by your side.
Due to their compact size, Chug dogs make wonderful travel companions and will enjoy traveling with you on road trips and even on airplanes, so long as they can ride in the cabin with you.
Chugs are also very affectionate and make great lap dogs for long adventures. However, when traveling with any dog, it’s important to make sure you have adequate food, water, and safety accessories like a dog seatbelt and a dog first aid kit.
We also suggest routine stops and plenty of breaks so your Chug (and you, of course), can get out and stretch your legs.
4. Chug Dogs Are Moderate Shedders and May Not Be Best For Allergy Sufferers
Chugs are moderate shedders, which could cause problems for those who suffer from allergies.
If you suffer from allergies, then a Chug may not be the right dog for you. Though small, these little dogs can shed quite sufficiently. Both the purebred Pug and the Chihuahua are shedders, and they shed most during shedding season.
Shedding season happens two times a year during spring and fall, and your Chug will need more extensive brushing and grooming during this time as well.
However, with a proper diet and routine grooming, most Chug parents agree that shedding is minimal and not a deal breaker. You just might want to invest in some lint rollers to help collect loose hair from time to time.
5. The Chug Dog’s Appearance Could Vary
Your Chug could look more like a Chihuahua or more like a Pug, or he could look like a perfect mix.
Because he is a mix between two very different looking purebred dogs, your Chug’s appearance will likely vary. This is especially true if you purchase a first or second generation chug crossbreed.
Both the Chihuahua and the Pug are small dogs, but other than that they look very different. The Chihuahua in particular even comes in two coat types including smooth hair and long hair, and has two head shapes including the Apple Headed Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua.
What your Chug will look like will depend on the traits of his particular parent breeds and whether he is a first, second or third generation crossbreed.
Let’s take a look below at the possible traits your Chug dog may inherit from his purebred counterparts.
Chug Dog Height: 5 – 13 Inches
Chug Dog Weight: 6 -18 Lbs
Chug Dog Coat Color: Black, apricot, fawn, silver, white, cream, gold, or a combination.
Chug Dog Coat Type: Long, short, smooth, shedding
Chug Dog Eye Color: Brown
6. The Chug Is Best Suited For Singles, Seniors, Or Families With Older Children
Chugs are small and could be prone to injury if handled too roughly.
While the purebred Pug is an agreeable little chum who gets along with most everyone, his Chihuahua counterpart is a bit more particular about his environment and prefers quieter and more mature family dynamics.
For this reason, it is likely the Chug crossbreed will do best in homes with singles, seniors, or families with older children who are respectful and gentle. When it comes to raising children with dogs, regardless of their breed or size, it’s always important to ensure children are taught how to respectfully and gently handle dogs.
We should also note that Chihuahuas are prone to snapping or nipping if they become fearful or are handled too roughly, so children should be supervised with the Chug to ensure they are all getting along safely.
Small dogs in particular like the Chug can also be prone to injury if they are handled too roughly by small children. They could also get accidentally injured by larger, more enthusiastic pets, so keep that in mind when considering adding a Chug to your family.
7. Chugs Need Plenty Of Socialization and Positive Reinforcement Training
Chugs should be introduced to lots of different stimuli in their youth to help them grow up well rounded and happy.
All dogs need plenty of socialization and training at an early age to ensure they grow up happy, healthy and well rounded. To properly socialize your Chug, make sure you introduce him to as many new people, places, things and experiences as possible and that these introductions and first impressions are positive.
Doing this will help reduce fear and anxiety as your Chug gets older, and reduce behavioral issues like fear-based aggression and barking.
Training is also important, especially with small dogs who may be prone to bossy tendencies. The Chug will respond best to positive reinforcement training that includes plenty of treats and praise.
Refrain from punishing your Chug during training sessions as he could shut down and will be less likely to learn the lessons you are trying to teach him.
8. The Chug Can Be Prone To A Number of Health Issues
Like most dogs, Chugs can be prone to some serious health issues.
Both the Chihuahua and the Pug have decent lifespans, and this translates to their Chug offspring. On average, a Chug can live between 10 and 13 years.
However, like all dogs, the Chug can be susceptible to some serious health issues that owners should be aware of. These health issues include:
- Pug Dog Encephalitis
- Hip Dysplasia
- Patellar Luxation
- Legg-Perthes Disease
- Stenotic Nares
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
- Dental Issues
- Tracheal Collapse
- Spinal Injuries
- Bladder and Kidney Stones
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
To ensure your Chug starts off on the right paw, it’s important that you get him from a reputable breeder or rescue. You can also keep him in ship shape by having him health screened to get a better idea of the potential health issues he may be susceptible to in the future.
We also recommend keeping up on routine vet visits with your Chug and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.
9. Chug Dogs Do Best In Homes Where Owners Are Around Often
Chugs can be prone to separation anxiety if left home alone for long periods of time.
Both the Chihuahua and the Pug were bred primarily for companionship, so their Chug offspring is going to bond naturally and quickly to his family. While this is a wonderful trait, it can also be problematic for families with unpredictable or busy schedules.
The Chug is prone to separation anxiety which can lead to destructive behaviors like potty accidents, chewing, barking and more.
This is a dog who will be a great companion for those who work from home or for those who can bring their Chug along with them on many of their adventures.
Of course, never scold or punish a Chug dog for anxiety-based behavioral issues such as potty accidents or chewed furniture. Doing so could make the situation worse. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement training and conditioning to help your dog learn how to be alone.
You can also help your Chug adjust to alone time by making sure he is properly exercised before you leave, and providing him with plenty to do while you are gone.
10. Chug Dogs Need Moderate Exercise To Stay Happy And Healthy
Chugs need proper exercise and playtime to maintain their weight and stay happy.
Though they are small, Chugs can be prone to obesity and spinal issues, so it’s very important to make sure they maintain a good exercise routine every day. The good news is that this exercise can be very moderate.
A good, brisk walk once or twice a day should suffice, and playtime in the backyard or even a quick game of fetch in the living room can keep them healthy and fit.
11. Chugs Need To Eat A Quality Dog Food Specified For Their Age, Weight and Activity Level
Chugs can be prone to obesity and need to eat a healthy diet to maintain their weight.
Along with ensuring your Chug is on a healthy exercise routine, it’s also extremely important that they eat a healthy diet. Whether you choose raw food, wet food, or dry dog food for your chug, the most important thing is that you are feeding them a diet based on their age, weight and activity level.
Small dogs like Chugs need a small breed dog food that is free of any additives, fillers, byproducts, and artificial flavors or dyes. Some Chugs may even do well on limited ingredient diets, as Chugs can be prone to skin issues, food sensitivities and allergies.
If you’re unsure of which type or brand of dog food would be best for your unique Chug, speak with your veterinarian.
12. The Chug Dog May Be Vocal, Which Can Be Problematic For Some
Chugs can be quite vocal.
Like most small dogs, Chugs can be a bit vocal from time to time. They enjoy barking and use their voices to alert of suspicious passerbys, which makes them wonderful guard dogs. However, that suspicious passerby could be as trivial as a blowing leaf, which could also be problematic for some dog owners.
While these little dogs do make good apartment dogs, they could cause issues in smaller spaces with thin walls.
Luckily, you can work with your Chug about the appropriate times to use his little voice and help him learn when and when not to speak up.
13. When Properly Socialized, Chug Dogs Can Get On Well With Other Pets
Chugs have the potential to get along well with other, smaller pets.
Chihuahuas may prefer to be in single dog households, but Pugs enjoy other dogs and are quite social. While their Chug offspring’s social preferences could swing either way, so long as your Chug is properly socialized and trained at an early age, he will likely be able to get on well with other pets.
Cats and smaller dogs would be ideal companions for a Chug, as larger, more playful dogs could accidentally injure him during rough play.
14. Chugs Will Need Moderate Grooming To Stay Happy and Healthy
Chug dogs are relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming.
If you’re looking for a low maintenance dog when it comes to grooming, the Chug is ideal. His smooth, moderately shedding coat equires bathing only once every few weeks and he requires quick, frequent brushes to help remove loose hair and keep his skin and coat healthy.
Along with brushing and bathing, your Chug should have his ears checked and cleaned routinely. His teeth will need to be brushed often with a quality doggy toothbrush and toothpaste, and his nails should be trimmed regularly to ensure they don’t crack, split or break.
15. It’s Important To Go Through Reputable Sources When Looking For A Chug Puppy
Make sure you get your chug puppy or rescue from a reputable source to avoid future health issues.
If you’re on the hunt for a Chug puppy, your best bet will likely be going through a breeder. The good news is that Chug puppies are relatively affordable in comparison to many other designer dogs, with most Chugs selling for around $400 to $800.
It’s very important to go through reputable sources when looking for a Chug dog, so make sure you do plenty of research and ask questions. Reputable breeders should be able to provide you with health certificates proving that their Chug puppies were health screened and cleared of any serious diseases.
You may also be able to get a better idea of what your Chug dog will grow up to look like by taking a peek at the parent dogs.
Avoid backyard breeders or unqualified online sellers who offer Chugs at a discounted price, otherwise you may end up accidently supporting a puppy mill or even wind up with a sick or dying puppy.
If you prefer to rescue your Chug, you may be able to find rescues or shelters that specialize in that particular mix. While adopting a Chug may take a bit more research and be more time consuming, there are always benefits to rescue.
Aside from providing a home to a dog in need, you may even be able to get your Chug at a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder. Plus, many shelters offer free initial vet exams.
Top 5 Products Every Chug Owner Needs
You can ensure your home is ready for a new shih poo with the below five products.
Are you planning on bringing a Chug into your family soon? The best way to make sure you and your Chug start off on the right foot is to prepare. But what exactly do Chug dogs need to thrive?
Don’t worry, we’ve done our research and we have listed five of the best products below that every Chug and Chug owner is going to need.
Take a look.
Wellness Complete Health Small Dog Food
Because the Chug is prone to obesity and can even be prone to some food sensitivities, it’s important to make sure you keep him on a healthy diet. We like the Wellness Complete Health dog food listed above because it is specifically designed for smaller dogs who need specific dog food that supports a healthy weight.
This dog food is specified for small breed adult dogs and also helps promote healthy digestion as well as skin and coat health.
Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Dog Chews
Chugs are particularly susceptible to tooth and gum disease, so while routine brushing is important, it is also a good idea to offer them healthy chews and treats that will further work to keep their mouths happy.
These chews from Ark are vet recommended and are for small dogs between 8 to 20 pounds. The abrasive sidings help to reduce plaque, tarater and bacteria buildup while the toothpaste center keeps your Chug’s breath fresh.
Gooby Dog Harness
Exercise is important for your Chug, but so is making sure you have the right dog harness for walks and outings. The Chug is a small dog who could be susceptible to tracheal collapse, so we advise against walking him on his leash and collar and instead purchasing a choke-free dog harness like the Gooby harness listed above.
This is a step in, choke free harness that is comfortable for dogs to wear and will not put pressure on their sensitive throats. This harness is also adjustable and can be ordered in different sizes to ensure you get the perfect fit.
Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toy
Chugs are highly food motivated and will do well with an interactive dog toy like the above Nina Ottosson treat dispenser ball. You can fill this dog toy with food kibbles or treats before you leave your Chug on his own to help ease separation anxiety and keep your Chug busy.
This is an interactive dog toy that is designed to reduce separation anxiety and keep your dog’s mind active. It is ideal for both inside and outside play and you can order it in two different sizes depending on your Chug’s needs.
Furhaven Pet Bed
All dogs love cuddly bedding and the Chug is no exception. The Furhaven Pet Bed is a plush lounging bed that is donut shaped to help reduce anxiety and support your Chug’s body and joints. It comes in different sizes and colors, and is easy to keep clean.
However, if your Chug is a heavy chewer you should get a bed that is designed for durability. This bed will not hold up to dogs who chew and dig excessively.
So, what do you think about the unique and adorable Chug dog? Would he make the right addition to your family and lifestyle? Tell us if the Chug is your ideal dog in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.