Pug Training

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Pug Training

Pugs are as stubborn in training as they are sweet in your lap, but with enough patience and consistency, your Pug will know when to “sit” and when to “stay” in no time.

While the basics of training are pretty much the same across all breeds, some practices and short cuts are best for the willful little Pugs! Trying these tips will yield results leaving you and your Pug all the happier for it. The Pug is actually a biddable little fellow and his one goal in life is to please the most important person in his life and that’ you!

Positive Reinforcement

Your Pug is happy when you are happy. Whether you’re housebreaking or teaching commands, when they do something correctly, it’s best to act as if that just made your day! The Pug will respond to the tone of your voice, but body language and your pitch will be picked up on as well. Smile, give enthusiastic praise with your voice and pat them with love!


You can start house-training a Pug from as early as 8 to 10 weeks. A dog is only physically able to “hold on” for so long. To ensure that your dog understands that the only acceptable bathroom is outside, you have to take charge. Take your dog outside when they first wake up, and every hour or so to get them used to the fact that that is where they “go” and give praise as soon as they do! You should also take him out 10-20 minutes after each meal, and in the evening before bedtime

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One method is called the “tether method”, which involves you holding a leash which allows you to see your dog at all times. Each time they make a potty motion, bring them to the area you would like them to go. You may choose the broader area, but you must give your Pug the freedom of choosing the exact spot. Allow them to sniff and find the spot. If this is done consistently, your dog should be fully housebroken at 7-8 months of age.

Command Training

Training should ALWAYS be conducted in a calm environment with lots of patience and love.

Beginning at 8-10 weeks-old, you can teach your dog to sit, stay, come, and heel. By the time your Pug is 1-year-old, he or she should have a clear understanding of these basic commands. You can then add some advanced commands. Teaching your Pug tricks can be fun for both of you and the dog will love this on-on-one attention! Some dogs enjoy performing these amusing feats, as the praise, smiles, laughs, and treats make them happy.

Negative Reinforcement

It is 100% true that positive reinforcement works and that punishing a dog for doing something wrong works absolutely none of the time. It is okay to be frustrated some days, but yelling, acting upset, or even hitting the dog will do nothing, and hitting an animal is unacceptable. Puppies are NOT born housebroken or knowing to listen to commands. Making it clear to them that you are pleased when they do things correctly, and simply ignoring other unsavoury behaviors, is the quickest path to success.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!

When we learn something, we do not immediately retain it. You do not know how to ride a bike after getting on it for the first time. It is the same with your Pug, who needs to be told and shown what to do many times.

Being shown something once is random. Being shown the same thing 4-5 times incites interest, and being shown constantly and consistently for several weeks creates a routine, and communicates what is expected of them.


The other side of repetition is consistency. This is very important when it comes to house-breaking. Pugs are very intelligent and clever creatures, however, if an owner is giving mixed signals, they won’t know what to do. This is why, at bathroom time, ONE area should be chosen in which the Pug may choose just the right spot. Stand in the middle of the area with your dog on a harness or a leash, and allow them to walk the diameter until they are ready.

Consistency involves mindful planning. Will the spot be accessible in the winter, or does it flood in heavy rains? Think through all possible scenarios.

Understand Your Pug

Can you program a computer? Cook a gourmet meal? Juggle? Everyone has the things they can do and the things they can’t, and Pugs are no different. Just like you, a dog usually is not able to fetch, come, sit, or lay down until they are taught the basics. They cannot learn to heel until they understand the feel of the harness or leash and are old enough to walk out in public.

In house-breaking, puppies do not have fully developed bowl and bladder muscles until they are about 8-months-old. Until then, they can only hold it for so long. Every Pug of any age has to go first thing in the morning and the last thing before bed. If you don’t bring them outside, it’s not their fault if they go in the house.

You Are A Team!

When training, think of it as something that you and your Pug are doing together as a team. He is looking to you for instructions and guidance. He looks to you to see if he’s done the right thing the right way. He wants to please you and make you happy, and if you take the time, with consistency and patience, it will pay off and you will have a well-trained Pug.

Looking for a Pug?

If you are looking to buy or adopt a Pug, you can view our:
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