Are Pugs Easy to Train?

By John Martin - November 17, 2023

Pug getting trained

Pugs are one of the loveliest dogs out there. People across the globe love to get pugs home because of the love and affection they shower on their parents.

But do they integrate into a new family easily or there are certain issues that one needs to be mindful of? To begin with, there is no doubt that pugs are lovable. However, they are not easy to train.

Why Are Pugs Not Easy to Train?

There are a host of reasons that explain why pugs find training unpleasant. Pugs are charming beings that are easily distracted and hence, the repetitive nature of training bores them tremendously.

They love the attention you give them and just want to cuddle and enjoy being the center of attention. Though they don’t mind work, this has to be made palatable for them in innovative ways.

If you simply start training them in a bland and obvious way, chances are your pug will not take very nicely to it. Hence, the process will become tiresome for you.

You need to understand that though people find pugs endearing and charming, they do have a stubborn streak in them that makes them fussy and difficult to be with. They aren’t aggressive though they can be clingy and possessive.

They are also lazy beings. They love to nap, they love to eat and they love to just be. This also contributes to the difficulty in training. They just want to be happy, spread cheer and love and feel loved. Anything above and over is just too much for them.

In conclusion, it can be safely concluded that pugs have a certain temperament that makes them averse to training and particularly training in a very conventional sense of the term.

Why Train Your ‘Not So Easy to Train’ Pug?

Once you have brought home a pug who loves to cuddle, is affectionate and very sharp, why go through the bothersome and tricky work of training your pug when they clearly don’t like it?

Firstly, it is necessary so that they know appropriate sanitary behavior and they don’t go around peeing all across the home. It is important so that they don’t chew your lovely and expensive furniture or your favorite pair of shoes.

It is also necessary to train your pug so that they don’t jump on you suddenly to show love and don’t do the same with guests when they are visiting. In a nutshell, pug training is important to teach your pug to behave appropriately socially.

There is another reason that makes pug training enjoyable, albeit difficult. Firstly, pugs love the mental and physical stimulation, though they may show otherwise on multiple occasions.

Secondly, training a pug demands a lot of time, which means you would have to take time out of your schedule at all costs. This makes them feel special and loved. It makes for a great bonding session and pugs come closer to their owners as a result of the training.

What Should You Teach Your Pug?

Though it is a matter of personal preference, here are a few things you should train your pug for:

  • Teach them how to sit and stay in one place and the command they should respond to.
  • They should know where they need to pee and poop and what areas (such as carpets) are off-limits.
  • They should know they can’t chew on things.
  • They should definitely know that they can’t jump on strangers or visitors.

Also Read: Why Do Pugs Fart So Much?

How to Train Your Pug

Now that you know that pugs don’t like training the traditional way and that they need to be trained, how do you reconcile these two things? And how do you train them in a manner that doesn’t bore them?

Spare the Rod and You Will Spoil the Child

Sometimes you have to be stern to get a truant child to come to the right ways. Well, there may be arguments for and against this, but it certainly works while you are training a pug.

This is because they respond well to authority and that induces in them a sense to be sincere with the training. Some people find it difficult, but you have to be the dominant person in the equation so that they know they have to please you and it is you who is going to give them treats for good behavior. The sooner you set the rules, the better your training will be.

If you don’t do it and deal with your pug in a gentle manner, chances are they won’t listen to you. They won’t come to you on your command and continue to make a mockery of the training.

So, how do you do this? Here are a few tips and tricks you can follow to establish yourself as the master-in-charge of the situation:

  • Make sure you are the first to enter and exit the training ground. This may sound strange to you but for your pug, this would be the visual rule setting that would set equations straight right from the outset.
  • It is a common method for trainers to reward their pug after the session is over. However, you need to eat something first. This again is a good way to establish visual authority and rules to abide by. Besides, if you eat first the pug will get excited because they will get to eat soon too.
  • You should always make your pug move around on your commands. Do not circle them and pamper them too much. You are the master and you need to be respected. You can leave the pampering for later.
  • You should also control the curb to shower love on your pug at every whim of theirs. This needs to be followed meticulously till the training is over.
  • You should never allow your pug to sleep with you in your bed. If you are the master, you cannot share space with the pug at least till the training is over.

Though these tips may seem brutal, you need to understand that doing these things does not make you cruel and heartless and you are doing this in the best interest of your pug.

Sometimes, people get guilt ridden and stop being strict, resulting in the training being counterproductive. If you don’t do this or leave it in the middle, your pug may turn rebellious and never listen to you. This is a bad thing and you will find this out eventually.

The most important thing to be kept in mind is that the rules need to be followed by both parties. You need to lead by example and not change tracks in the middle of it.

Set a Routine and Stick to It

The second thing to do is to make a routine and stick to it. If you turn up for training at different times each day, your pug will not be convinced of the seriousness of the exercise. If you are potty training your pug, walk them out at set times in the day.

The moment you see them responding to the training, reward them with small treats. You will be surprised to know how well they take to it.

While you are at it, you should also train them to use a litter box or puppy pad for times when you aren’t around and they need to do their business.

Give Your Pug a Name

This may seem silly but it truly makes a huge difference to the result of the training. Pugs are intelligent beings and respond quickly to such things and when they know their name, they also know when they hear it they have to obey your command.

In many ways, this makes your job easier and also makes the pug feel loved and wanted. Occasionally, you should call out your pug’s name and see how they respond and if you have been successful in setting the rules of the training.

Praise Makes Pugs Very Happy and Obedient

Believe in the power of praise and trust us, it is not manipulation. Pugs are programmed to respond to praise and that makes them truly happy. This makes them more receptive to good behavior.

Training is all about using the traits of your pug to their best advantage. Pugs have this innate tendency to please their master and this is something that weighs over their stubborn tendencies.

When you see them performing well or responding well to your commands, praise them, cuddle them, love them and reward them. This will work wonders!

Never Lose Focus

Pugs are, by nature, very distracted. They may get bored with an exercise or feel compelled to not follow a command.

You need to be focused at times such as these and not lose confidence. At the same time, you have to teach the importance of focus to your pug.

A good way to do this is by touching the tip of your pug’s nose and saying words like ‘focus’ and ‘listen’ to them. This way they would start associating these words with authority and take them as a sign to get back to business, putting laziness aside.

Believe in the Power of Patience

Pug training is not an easy task. This can be especially daunting if you have a full-time job and do this after work or on weekends sneaking in time from some much-needed me time. However, remember a pug is your responsibility and if you don’t train them, they will not listen.

It will take time to get to the final lap. You will feel irritated and dissatisfied. But it is all a part of a very rewarding journey even if you don’t feel that at the time.

Be Aware of Their Limitations

Though you have to be strict with your pug, you should also be aware of any physical limitations or diseases. You might also be careful on days your pug is strict and not be very strict on those days.

This is likely to happen with older pugs also who get tired easily. If there are limitations, don’t hesitate in taking help from a professional, or best, take your pug to a collective training class. You never know they may enjoy it with other pugs and dogs.

Also Read: Can Pugs Swim?

The Final Word

Pugs are lovely dogs who are spoiled, stubborn and endearing. They won’t ever make you feel alone. Just invest in their training so that they remain well behaved. It may seem daunting at times but the training, if done right, will lead to great results eventually.