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Chug (Pug & Chihuahua Mix): Info, Pictures, Care & More

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

Chug dog in white background

Chug (Pug & Chihuahua Mix): Info, Pictures, Care & More

The Chug is a remarkable canine who is just as loving as their parents! They’re playful and loyal and love spending time with their favorite humans. Although they’re not as common as other hybrids, like the Cockapoo and Labradoodle, they’re adaptable pups that can live in an apartment or large home.

Breed Overview

Height:

10 – 14 inches

Weight:

10 – 20 pounds

Lifespan:

10 – 13 years

Colors:

Gold, brown, black, tan, fawn, white, brindle

Suitable for:

Individuals and families with older kids looking for a small dog with a big personality

Temperament:

Playful, affectionate, smart, often stubborn

This pint-sized mix of the Pug and Chihuahua breeds packs a lot of personality into a small package. But don’t try to tell the Chug they’re a small dog because they certainly don’t act like it! They’re playful and bold and make affectionate companions. Read on to learn all about the Chug and what it takes to make one part of your family!

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Chug Puppies

While it’s always important to make sure you work with a responsible breeder, it’s even more essential when purchasing a hybrid like a Chug. Both parents, especially the Pug, are prone to inherited health conditions. A responsible breeder will make sure their hybrid pups are healthy and free of any of these conditions. There is still no way to predict with certainty how a hybrid puppy will turn out, but starting with healthy parents will at least give you a solid starting point.

If you prefer to adopt your new Chug, you can visit a shelter or look for Chug rescue groups online. The cost to adopt varies by rescue group, shelter, and the dog’s age, but it’s much less than purchasing a Chug from a breeder.

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Image Credit: Left -liggraphy, Pixabay; Right – Toberoon, Pixabay

 

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Chug

Like all hybrid breeds, the Chug’s temperament isn’t consistent from dog to dog. They could take after either parent more strongly or be more like an even mix. Pugs are goofy, friendly, and sometimes stubborn dogs. Chihuahuas are usually friendly with their families but can be a little more reserved and suspicious of strangers if not properly trained and socialized.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Because they are small dogs, Chugs aren’t the best choice for families with young kids. Toddlers and other energetic kids who don’t know better could easily hurt a Chug, especially when they are puppies. Older kids who’ve learned how to handle and behave around small dogs make a better match for Chugs. Of course, all dog and kid interactions should be supervised to make sure everyone is on their best behavior.

Chugs are generally fairly low-maintenance pets. They don’t need a lot of space and can live in small homes, apartments, or houses with large yards. They’re usually loyal, affectionate, and playful, which them lovely family companions.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

When properly socialized, Chugs usually get along with other pets. As we mentioned, Chugs believe they’re much bigger dogs than they actually are. This can cause them to behave over-confidently and stir up trouble with other, larger, pets. Chug owners should be aware of this and take the time to train and socialize their dogs in how to behave with other pets.

Neither Pugs nor Chihuahuas are known for having a strong prey drive and may be able to live safely with birds or small pocket pets. Be aware, however, that many exotic pets can be stressed out just living in the same house as a predator, even one as small and adorable as a Chug!

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Things to Know When Owning a Chug:

Before you fall completely under the spell of these cuties, take the time to learn a little more about what it takes to keep them happy and healthy. Here are some things to know before you bring home a new Chug.

Food & Diet Requirements

As small dogs, Chugs don’t eat a lot compared to larger breeds. They should be fed a quality, nutritionally balanced diet, either commercial or home-cooked. If you choose to prepare homemade food for your Chug, work closely with your veterinarian to ensure your dog still gets all the right nutrients. Pugs and Chihuahuas love food and are prone to becoming overweight so it’s likely your Chug will be the same way. Monitor their weight carefully and adjust how much food they are eating as needed.

Exercise

Chugs are generally energetic dogs but because of their size, it takes a lot less effort to tire them out! Because can quickly gain weight, Chugs should stay active daily, whether it be a walk or a fun playtime with human or animal friends.

If your Chug inherits their Pug parent’s flatter nose and face, be very cautious exercising them outdoors in warm weather. Flat-faced dogs can become overheated easily, leading to a serious medical emergency.

Training

Training a Chug requires patience and creativity, but not because they aren’t smart enough to learn. Pugs are unfairly criticized as being unintelligent, but both they and Chihuahuas are intelligent and stubborn. This stubborn nature, combined with a short attention span, is what may make Chugs a challenge to train.

Short, fun training sessions with plenty of positive reinforcement will be most effective for a Chug. Many behavior problems with small dogs like Chugs are the result of a lack of training and socialization. Unfortunately, some owners might not feel the need to put as much effort into training smaller dogs who are, let’s face it, easier to control than larger, stronger breeds.

All dogs, no matter how small, need structure and boundaries and may act out without them. Help your Chug be the best family member by taking the time to train and socialize them.

Grooming ✂️

Regardless of whether their hair is long or short, Chugs don’t require a lot of grooming. They’re not considered hypoallergenic dogs, especially if they have more of a Pug coat. Pugs shed a lot for short-haired dogs. Regular brushing will keep the hair under control and keep your Chug’s coat healthy and shiny.

Many small dogs, including Chugs, are prone to dental disease. To keep their teeth healthy, brush them regularly or use other dental health products recommended by your veterinarian.

Health and Conditions

Because they are a mix of two breeds, Chugs are prone to the same health conditions that impact the parents. In some cases, a hybrid dog may have fewer health concerns than a purebred with several health conditions.

However, as with any other genetic trait, the health of a crossbreed dog like the Chug is hard to predict with certainty. Here are some of the health conditions that affect Chihuahuas and Pugs and possibly Chugs.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Dry eye
  • Allergies
  • Skin infections
Serious Conditions
  • Brachycephalic airway disease
  • Necrotizing meningoencephalitis
  • Heart disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorder
  • Luxating patellas

Serious Conditions

  • If your Chug is flat-faced like a Pug, they may suffer from brachycephalic airway disease, which can cause breathing problems and heat intolerance.
  • Pugs can also get an inherited brain disease called Pug dog encephalitis or necrotizing meningoencephalitis.
  • Chihuahuas are prone to serious health conditions like heart disease and epilepsy, a seizure disorder.
  • Pugs and Chihuahuas can have problems with their joints, especially a condition called luxating patellas, or loose kneecaps.

Minor Conditions

  • As mentioned, Pugs and Chihuahuas are vulnerable to obesity.
  • Both breeds can also suffer eye conditions like dry eye, and Pugs can get allergies and skin infections.

Male vs Female

After reading over all the information and deciding the Chug is the right dog for you, the only remaining question is whether to get a male or female dog. Other than the general differences between male and female dogs, there aren’t many temperamental differences between male and female Chugs. Males are usually a bit larger and sometimes more energetic.

If you don’t plan to breed your Chug, the best plan is to have them spayed or neutered. Spaying a female dog is usually more expensive than neutering a male. If you decide against having your female Chug spayed, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with her going into heat every 6 months.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Chug

1. Chug is an Amazing Name…but It’s Not Their Only One!

The Chug is also called the Pughuahua, Pugwawa, or the less exciting, but accurate, Pug-Chihuahua mix.


2. They’re Small Dogs but They Don’t Always Act Like It.

A Chug’s size will vary a little bit depending on which parent they most take after. Since Pugs and Chihuahuas are both toy breeds, all Chugs are going to be on the small side. However, many Chugs are gifted with strong self-esteem, leading them to act like much larger dogs. This tendency gets them into trouble if they feel the need to pick fights with large dogs.


3. Their Coats Can Be Short, Long, or Anything in Between.

All Pugs have short hair but Chihuahuas come in long and short-haired varieties. Depending on the kind of hair a Chug’s Chihuahua parent had, they might be fluffy, scruffy, or just plain short-haired.

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Summary

No matter which parent they take after, Chugs are cute dogs who can easily charm unsuspecting humans. Before you adopt a Chug, make sure you learn more about them. You can join online forums and contact rescues to learn more about their care needs. Not every breed is the right match for every family or living situation. Also, be sure you’re prepared for the cost and commitment of caring for a dog. Chugs can be a wonderful addition to your family and deserve all the love and treats (in moderation) that you can give them!

We have lots more Chihuahua Mixes and Pug Mixes for you to explore!


Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

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