Are Pugs Lazy?

By John Martin - March 26, 2022

Lazy Pug on the couch

People who have a pug know that they aren’t the most enthusiastic when it comes to physical activity. But does this mean that they are lazy?

Pugs have certainly developed a reputation for being lazy, but things aren’t always so black and white. The pug’s behavior differs based on age, nature and even genetic characteristics.

Let’s take a look at what makes this adorable breed seem lazy.

Why Do Pugs Seem So Lazy?

Pugs are not a working breed and thus do not have high energy levels. However, some pugs may be more enthusiastic, especially younger ones.

All dogs have different personalities, so some pugs might just be lazier or more energetic based on their natural disposition.

Since they never needed to have high energy levels because they didn’t work, they evolved to suit a life of less activity. So you can say that pugs are pretty lazy.

But this doesn’t mean that they are not good pets. They make great watchdogs and are very affectionate and loving towards their family members.

Don’t be fooled, just because pugs are lazy doesn’t mean that they don’t require any effort. They can be very stubborn and need to be trained consistently from puppyhood to ensure that they make a good pet for the family.

They can be couch potatoes, but you still need to take them on walks and train them well. If you dislike too much activity, a pug will make a good pet for you because they dislike too much activity too.

Here are the main reasons why pugs are lazy:

The Nature of the Breed

As we mentioned, pugs are not a working breed. They have never needed to be active or energetic, so they simply move through life at a slower pace.

Pugs are native to China and have been around for thousands of years. They used to be royal pets to Chinese kings and lived a life of luxury.

Royal servants took care of their needs and soldiers guarded them from harm. As they became popular around the world, they also became the choice of breed for European aristocrats in the 15th century.

Since all they had to do was sit around and give company to their owners, that is what they tend to do now too.

They also love being lap dogs, so if you want a pet who doesn’t need too much activity and loves to cuddle with you, a pug might be the perfect choice for you.

The Dog’s Age

Pugs have different energy levels at different stages of their lives. Newborn puppies need a lot of sleep and pretty much snooze all day whereas puppies have more energy as they are developing.

Adult pugs will sleep 12-14 hours a day. The rest of the time, they are fine with low levels of activity.

They are loving and affectionate towards their family but not very motivated to jump around or cause mischief. They like curling up next to their owners on the sofa or just being near them.

Pugs are at their laziest during their golden years. You can sit next to them reading a book and they won’t even mind staying in the same spot for hours.

The Dog’s Diet

Since pugs have a very sedentary lifestyle, you need to be careful with their diet. They don’t burn a lot of calories throughout the day as they don’t engage in a lot of physical activity.

If you are feeding your pug too much, he will get overweight very quickly. This makes it more difficult to move, making it even harder to lose weight.

If your pug starts looking a little pudgy and is acting even lazier than usual, it might be time to consult a vet.

The doctor will give you a suitable diet and exercise plan to help get your pug back on track. It is best to catch these things early as they become harder to manage as time passes.

Low Energy Dogs vs High Energy Dogs

Dogs can be divided into 2 categories based on their energy levels—high energy dogs and low energy dogs.

Low energy dogs are considered lazy and are happy sleeping through most of the day. These dogs only require half an hour of activity every day to stay healthy.

High energy dogs can be very hyper and need a lot of physical activity and mental exercises to stay engaged and occupied. They need 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day and a lot of attention to stay healthy.

As you’ve probably guessed, pugs are low-energy dogs. Some pugs might have medium levels of energy, but they are the exceptions and not the norm.

They aren’t very good at hunting and won’t make good running or jogging companions. If you like to mostly stay home and are willing to go on short walks every day, a pug might make a good pet for you.

How to Energize Your Pug

Pugs are low-energy dogs, but they still need some amount of activity to stay healthy. You need to watch out for obesity and heart disease. Regular physical activity will help prevent both.

Here are a few activities to energize your pug:

  • Small Walks: Pugs do not have a lot of stamina, so short walks are good for them. You can go around the neighborhood to let them stretch their legs and get some fresh air. Pay attention to make sure that you aren’t going too fast. Pugs move slowly and you need to match their pace to keep them comfortable.
  • Games: Playing games is a great way to give your pug some exercise without overexerting them. You can play the following games with your pug:
  • Tug Of War: Pugs love chewing on things. They are very active that way and will try to chew on anything they can get their paws on. You don’t even need to get a toy to play this, just grab a towel or a rope and let them get hold of one end while you pull from the other. Play as long as your pup enjoys it but ensure that he doesn’t get too tired.
  • Fetch: Almost every dog loves to play fetch and pugs are no exception. Make sure you don’t throw too far, especially if you are playing outdoors. Pugs won’t be able to play fetch for as long as other dogs, so keep an eye out for exhaustion and take breaks if you need to. You want to energize him, not exhaust him.
  • Treasure Hunt: Pugs are very motivated whenever food is involved. You can put some food in a toy and let your pug look for it. This provided mental stimulation as well as physical activity. You can also get a puzzle dog bowl if your pug enjoys this activity. Do not do this during mealtimes. Treasure hunts should be done with treats and at playtime, it is not a good way to feed your dog.

How Much Sleep Do Pugs Need?

Pugs sleep more than the average dog. This is true at any age, but it is important to know the average so that you know if your pug is getting enough sleep.

Newborn pugs will sleep up to 20 hours a day. This continues till they are about 5 months old. They are still growing and sleep is very important at this stage.

Fully grown pugs sleep about 14 hours a day whereas most dogs sleep 12 hours a day. They will sleep through the night like their owners and take small naps during the day.

As they start getting old, pugs need more sleep. Their metabolism gets even slower and they get lazier too. Pugs might even stop getting up to greet you as they age.

Pugs can also sleep just out of boredom. It is normal for pugs to sleep more, but if they are sleeping more than usual you should consult your vet.

How Much Exercise Do Pugs Need?

Pugs don’t need too much activity nor can they handle it. 20 minutes to half an hour of light activity is enough for them.

Take small walks and play with them around the house. If your pug can handle it, you can also go on a short, slow run with him.

It is good for their health and provides mental stimulation too. Playing games like hide and seek or doing obedience training will also keep their mind sharp.

Since their lifestyle is very laid back, getting them some exercise and keeping a close eye on their diet is good as they are vulnerable to heart disease and obesity.

Parting Thoughts

Pugs are adorable pets. They have interesting personalities and are very warm and affectionate.

They can be a bit lazy as they aren’t exactly built for hard work or intense physical activity. A small amount of regular activity is enough to keep them healthy and happy.

If you are considering getting a pug, make sure that you are suited to their energy levels. If you want a very active companion, it might be wiser to go with a different breed.