How to Train a Pug Puppy

The Pug, the cutest breed of them all, many would claim. And surely this little bundle of fun can’t be that difficult to train?

Well let’s just say that it is best to be prepared!

Are Pugs easy to train?

The big question right? You want to get a precious Pug puppy, but want to make sure that those first weeks are not a nightmare!

We have to be frank, the Pug is far from the easiest breed to train. It can be a long, difficult process, and sometimes people just give up. 

But there is a big misconception about why this is…

First off, Pugs are not stupid, so it is untrue that Pug puppies are tough to train because of stupidity. In fact it comes down one big thing; stubbornness! A Pug wants to do what it wants, when it wants. And in fact it is rather smart about it’s stubbornness.

But this can actually be put to good use. Stubborness is easier to overcome than stupidity, and with determination, persistence, and a few key techniques, you can have an effectively trained Pug in your home. 

How to Train a Pug: The Facts

Step 1 – Socialisation  

The Pug as we know is a very friendly breed and can be very loyal to their owner. But this means they could be standoffish to others, so early introduction to other people and dogs is extra necessary. 

Step 2 – The Crate

One of the first things when coming home with a Pug puppy is to show them to their crate. Crate training is very effective with Pugs, and is a good way for them to learn; not as a punishment, but as a training tool, esp with potty training. And it is true that dogs actually enjoy spending time in their crate, and it often becomes their favourite place. As long as they are not locked in their all day!

Using a crate is also perfect when you are not at home. This is important when your Pug is still a young puppy as they don’t know what is good and bad yet. By keeping your Pug puppy in a crate when you are out, (for a couple of hours) it prevents them making a mess, or injuring themselves in any way. 

Step 3 – The Commands

Training a Pug puppy to obey simple commands isn’t simple, but it may not be as difficult as you think.

Seven simple commands are all you need, at least to start with: YES, NO, SIT, DOWN, STAY, COME, and QUIET. 

These are clear commands that your Pug can start to learn easily. And these commands can be taught with the same, easy, technique…

Calmly and quietly speak the word in a clear, loud voice while physically guiding your Pug towards the behavior desired, such as a gentle nudge on the booty to get them to sit. Then reward your puppy generously when they obey correctly.

It’s important to limit your lessons to short, five – ten minute periods. Pugs don’t have much attention span, or patience, so longer lessons will only bore them. Then patiently repeat the lessons 3-5 times a day when your puppy is relaxed, fed, and calm.

And once again, be prepared for stubborness; when they just don’t want to listen at all. Patience and regular repetition is the only way to progress. 

How to Potty Train a Pug

This is where it can get extra tricky. The Pug is renownedly notorious at being difficult to toilet train, and many owners see their Pugs enter adulthood, still doing their business in the home.

It is important to remember that toilet training is not easy and obvious for a puppy, and it will not happen overnight. It can take many weeks for effort to see results, or even longer. 

Be patient, and don’t get stressed after just a few days, as a Pug in a new home may not be sure where to go. Even Pugs that have been brought up mostly outsides at their breeders may think your rug or doormat equals an outside poopy place!

Rule 1 – Consistency 

When toilet training your Pug, stick to a schedule, and at the start – go often. And by often, we are talking about every hour or two at the minimum! And at least in the first few months, every couple of hours does mean at night too, as there can be accidents then. So prepare for some interruptions to your sleep patterns.

Rule 2 – When you take your Pug puppy outside, you want to take them to an area of your garden, or the street, that you would like to designate as the toilet area, and then wait for the moment to happen.

Rule 3 – Always give encouragement. If your Pug is still a puppy, they will probably go shortly after you put them in the toilet area. When they finally squat and go, you must immediately give them huge praise. Make a fuss, big pats on the head, lots of cuddles. And immediately take them back inside.

Important point – Don’t get frustrated by accidents – or punish your pup, it will only make learning harder.

Time to Leash Train a Pug

Telling all dogs they can’t have the freedom to run around wherever they want is hard, and even though a relaxed breed, the Pug doesn’t tend to love the leash at first. Pugs though, are often good-natured, so training them to walk on a leash can be much easier than with some other breeds.

Pug puppies are very often faster learners with the leash than with other training areas, so you could see results in just a couple of weeks. If your Pug is particularly stubborn then you may need to devote around six weeks to training, before you have a smooth leash regime.

A short, training leash is ideal. And because Pugs have a sensitive throat, you may also want to use a little body harness. This will also increase your control while reducing strain around the pups neck.

Top tip – Start indoors and make it a fun game in short bursts. Always give treats when walking well. Then move outdoors, starting right outside your home, and going further, and further afield as your Pug gets more confident. 

So before you go out and find your perfect Pug – be ready for the worst! Only joking, you can now start your searching knowing that which a little effort and persistence the Pug can be a fairly smooth and quick to learn pup that will bring a lot of future happiness to your home.  

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