Friday, January 16, 2015

Liam demonstrates the pug temperament with photos

Liam the pug sitting in his chair

Last week, I wrote up a post about the Boston terrier temperament, using Sinead as a model. This week, it's Liam's turn to demonstrate what's awesome about his breed. For those of you who just adore the pug temperament, this should be a fun one.

It's worth repeating that dogs are individuals, and that dogs of the same breed can be radically different from one another. As a result, the behaviors Liam demonstrates might not be the same as the kooky bits other pugs throw around. But, Liam is a pretty typical pug, and I'd like to think he's a good ambassador for the breed.

And these are the traits he displays most often.

Extreme loyalty 

Liam the pug sitting at my feet

Liam is a true Velcro pug. He feels most comfortable when he's about 6 inches away from my feet. If I move farther away, he'll move too. If I go somewhere, he wants to go, too. And if I leave to go somewhere, my husband tells me that Liam will wait by the door until I come back.

The American Kennel Club says pugs live to be close to their people, and that's a trait that's been bred into them. These guys have never been given a job, like chasing down prey or guarding the home. They've been shaped to please people, and that's a job in which they excel.

That's why I think it's vital for people who want to adopt pugs to plan on having small shadows, 100 percent of the time. These guys lurk.

Persistent laziness 

Liam the pug yawning

Liam goes on two walks per day, and it's not at all unusual for him to get a case of the pug zoomies at night. He can be surprisingly agile and athletic, when he chooses to be.

But unless there's something interesting happening, Liam would prefer to be either sitting or lying down. Where Sinead will run after a ball for hours, explore the yard on her own for hours and otherwise stay on her feet for the majority of the day, Liam expends his energy in little bursts and rests between bouts.

It's possible that this inherent laziness stands behind the high rates of obesity in these cobby little dogs. Other blogs suggest that this is the top health concern among pugs, and from what I've seen, I believe it. If left alone, the average pug simply won't expend any energy on blowing calories. They'd rather sleep. 

Fondness for food 

Liam the pug lives to eat

Which leads me to my next point: Pugs love to eat.

I have yet to find a treat that Liam won't eat. The same goes for dog chow, dead things in the yard, crumbs dropped on the floor.... If it seems like something that could be eaten, he's all too happy to eat it. And when he spots food, he's very hard to redirect. He will keep pointing at that food and trying to get that food, no matter what I might say.

Working on the "drop it" command is a vital part of having a pug, and that's work I continue with to this day. But it also means that no animals Liam live with can be free-range feeders, and neither can he. It also means that serving food on low coffee tables, even at parties, is forbidden. If given the option, Liam will eat it. Every time.

Fondness for others 

Liam the pug meeting a friendly pug

Liam is, by far, the friendliest dog I've ever come across. He loves other dogs (even if those dogs are angry and are barking at him with fury), he loves all cats, he adores kids and he'll do anything to meet strange people. He is certain that everyone will love him, and he is desperate to prove it.

That should mean taking him anywhere would be a pleasure. After all, everyone loves a friendly dog. But, it's the depth of that love that gets Liam in trouble. He can simply overwhelm others with his need for love and affection, and some of the people he meets aren't really excited about being covered in pug hair.

Taking Liam to pug meetups is an ideal solution, as most of the other pugs there feel the same way he does. And most of the humans there love him, too. But sometimes, he simply must stay home for other outings, because it's hard to keep his enthusiasm under control.

The bottom line

Liam the pug and Sinead the Boston terrier

Pugs and Boston terriers are very different, in terms of their temperament and habits. But I have a hard time picking a favorite. I think they both have so much to offer, and their gifts are just really different.

Do you agree? Write me a comment, or visit my Facebook fan page and tell me more!

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