Breeding Pugs

Breeding PugsBreeding pugs is not for the inexperienced. The breed can be difficult at times, and an owner will need to be with their dog almost all the time as they go through pregnancy. There are lots of other things to consider when breeding pugs, too.

Choosing Healthy Pugs

In order to get a litter of healthy pugs with all the right features and characteristics, it’s essential that a breeder chooses a healthy dog to mate with. While pugs do have a generally flat face, it’s essential that two dogs with only an appropriately flat face are chosen to mate. Dogs with a face that is too flat will result in puppies that have breathing difficulties – and should those dogs ever mate, it will mean that more people go through the pain of living with an extremely ill dog.

So, a breeder will have to consider overall health of the dogs being used to produce the litter, and even have them checked over by veterinarians to ensure that their heart and lungs are healthy. Breeders should also check for an ‘overhang’ of the soft palate inside their mouth, which can block the dog’s airways. These are the kinds of things that regular owners may be unaware of, and should learn more about before considering breeding their pet.

Knowing the Right Characteristics

As well as choosing a healthy pug, a breeder should understand all the right characteristics. Two pugs that exhibit positive behaviour and are blessed with all the standard features as outlined by the American Kennel Club can produce healthy pugs.

One such characteristic is having broad nostrils. These wide nostrils help the dog breathe more easily, even with its short snout and flat face. The eyes must also not bulge too much – a dog that has bulging eyes may require surgery to ensure that their eye sockets can keep the eyeballs firmly in place.

The pug’s head should appear round from the side, and square from the front. The ears should also sit around the same level of his or her eyes.

In terms of the body, the toy breed should have a wide chest and shoulders – and the tail should be at the same height as those shoulders. There should be no angles or slopes – simply a horizontal line across the dogs back.

Supporting the body, a dog needs legs that are straight, solid and healthy. When the pug is walking, a breeder should look to see if any of the legs are swinging outwards. Legs should also never cross the path of other legs. Any signs of pain during walking are of course another bad sign. These are characteristics that should be bred out, to ensure that pugs can enjoy healthy, active lives.

Breeding Out Common Conditions

A common problem that pugs experience is Hemivertebra. This is a condition that is defined by a disruption in the spinal column. The severed or damaged connection in the spinal column means that pugs can appear healthy as young puppies, but begin losing their balance as they get older. In the most serious of cases, pugs will eventually begin collapsing and losing control of their legs altogether.

This condition sees the spine become pinched and curled, and while there is no cure, there are ways of making affected dogs more comfortable. However, breeders should be actively looking for ways to stop this problem from affecting future generations of pugs. It can’t be completely bred out, but breeders should look to the breeding history of each puppy to determine how likely it is that a litter will experience the problem.

Using a pedigree, a breeder can find out the names of a dog’s parents and grandparents, and learn more about their general health from there. Puppies that are born with Hemivertebra will usually have inherited it through one or both of the dog’s parents, showing just how important it is to perform health checks.

So with a full health check, a breeder can find two healthy pugs who will make a happy, healthy litter.

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