How To Tell If a Pug is Purebred? (Body, Traits, Papers, DNA)

How To tell if a Pug is purebred

Whether you’re thinking of getting a Pug or already have your own cutie at home, you might be interested to learn more about their breed standard. 

Pugs come in all shapes and sizes. 

At the end of the day, whether your Pug is purebred or cross, it really doesn’t matter. 

But, just out of curiosity, we’re going to be answering the question: how can you identify a pure breed Pug puppy? 

What does pure breed actually mean?

A purebred puppy comes from a known lineage without out-breeding. In other words, a purebred dog has parents of the same type, grandparents of the same type, great-grandparents of the same type…. You see where I’m going with this. 

Because of this genetic stability, pure breed Pugs will have clear, recognizable characteristics. They will all adhere to a particular size, shape, and stature and share similar traits and dispositions. 

How can you tell if a Pug is purebred? 

The most reliable way to determine whether your Pug is purebred is to check their papers. Pedigree papers show a dog’s official bloodline and family tree. In some cases, you may not have access to these papers. If this is the case then you can also ask your veterinarian about DNA testing options. 

Look at their Papers

Every dog from a registered breeder is legally required to come with registration papers.

Registration papers detail your dog’s breed, parents, registration institution, health history, and any other relevant details. 

Most professional dog clubs will have a detailed history of generation pedigree, with information about your dog’s family history. If this information is accurate, you will be able to identify if your dog comes from a lineage of purebred or outcrossed dogs. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough to give you an accurate answer. A dog does not have to pass a test to acquire registered status.

Registration papers are therefore not a definitive indication of your Pug’s breed status.

Not all breeders provide their club with accurate information and some will even claim that their pups are full breed even if they are not. 

Ask your Vet 

Speaking to your veterinarian is one of the safest ways to identify your Pug’s breed status. Experienced vets are, most often than not, able to tell if a dog is full or crossbreed. 

They will be able to examine your Pug and identify anatomical and appearance-based features that point one way or the other. Your vet will also be able to detect any genetic health predispositions indicative of pure-bred status. 

This is because pure breed Pugs come from generations of inbreeding that typically results in inherited medical predispositions. 

Take a DNA test 

DNA testing won’t test for breed standards specifically, but it will shed light on your Pug’s family history.

You’ll be able to learn about your dog’s parentage, genetic identity, and inherited illness. It is also possible to compare your Pug’s DNA profile with any given breed.

 If you want to purchase a DNA test for your pet, ensure that you invest in a good one. Look for a company with as large a database as possible. This will ensure your results are more accurate. 

Compare them to an official pure breed standard

One of the best ways to identify a pure breed Pug is to compare them to an official pure breed standard, as issued by an accredited organization like The Kennel Club or AKC

An official breed standard is a document laying out all the essential characteristics that make up a purebred dog. A breed standard should include a list of features including general appearance, anatomy, temperament, size, color, and coat.

A purebred Pug will be small in stature (around 11-15 inches) and weigh approximately 13-14 pounds. The breed standard also stipulates a curled tail, flat face and muzzle, prominent eyes, small ears, stocky build, and fine fur. 

Size13–14 pounds (5.9–6.4 kg), standing 11–15 inches (28–38 cm) tall
Head Large, round, wrinkled with flat face and muzzle
EyesDark, round, prominent eyes 
EarsSmall, rose or button-shaped, ears 
BuildThick and stocky with short, sturdy legs
Coat Sleek, fine, fur 

Pure breed Pugs vs. mixed breed Pugs – what’s better?

When it comes to purebred versus mixed breed dogs, there’s really no superior option. I always love Sid no matter if he is a pure breed or not.

But your dog’s breed status does have bearing on health and temperament, which is why some owners are keen to know where they stand.

Purebred Pugs are bred from purebred Pugs and purebred Pugs alone. This is what gives them their world-famous squishy faces, and caring temperament. But this inbreeding is also, sadly, the cause of some serious health issues in purebred Pugs. 

Breathing problems are rife amongst Pugs and owners need to be aware of this and make accommodations with their care accordingly. 

Mixed breeds will have a genetic mix from Pugs and other dog breeds- and will therefore vary more widely in character and appearance. Here are some of our favorite examples. 

  1. The Puggle – Pug and Beagle cross 

Known for their inquisitive personalities and love for cuddles.

  1. The Jug – Pug and Jack Russel cross

Known for their intelligence and passion for exploration. 

  1. The Frug – Pug and French bulldog cross 

Known for their loving personalities and superintelligence. 

  1. The Bugg- Pug and Boston Terrier cross

Known for their companionship and playfulness. 

  1. The Chug – Pug and Chihuahua cross 

Known for their teeny-tiny size and supreme loyalty. 

The choice is yours. Whether your Pug is purebred or crossed with another adorable breed, the most important thing is all the quality time you get to spend together. 

Where to find a Purebred Pug

If you’ve come to the decision that you want to get a pure breed Pug, the next hurdle is knowing where to find one. 

The best way to source purebred dogs and puppies is through a reputable, experienced breeder. 

Now, that doesn’t mean any old breeder you stumble across on the internet. It’s important to find somebody who has an active interest in breed standards and welfare promotion. 

A good breeder will:

  • Carry out health tests 
  • Breed from quality dogs
  • Provide you with a pedigree certificate 
  • Show you the mother and father (if present) 
  • Provide you with a mating certificate 

Breeders who compete in competitions and shows are your best bet when it comes to sourcing pure breed puppies. So why not check out some AKC champions. Many also breed pups! 

In rarer cases, it might also be possible to adopt a pure breed Pug from a rescue. However, it will be harder to know for sure if that Pug is really of pure pedigree.

But hey if you’re not really that fussed this is a fantastic option. You’ll be given a much-needed home and gain a new pal.

Pug pedigree explained 

As we’ve found out, identifying the breed status of your Pug is rife with potential pitfalls. 

But by following these methods you’ll get a pretty good idea of whether your pooch is purebred or not. 

Remember, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. 

Whether you’ve got a pure breed Pug puppy or an adorable Puggle cross, each dog is deserving of our utmost love.