If you’re a fan of tiny dogs (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), pugs and Chihuahuas are both real winners of the toy breed. They’re both so charming that it can be nearly impossible to choose between the species. Lucky for you, you don’t have to choose at all. The Chug—a mix between a Chihuahua and a pug—is the best of both worlds.
Whether you’re looking to add a Chug to your family or are just interested in learning more about the breed, this is everything you need to know about the Chug (Chihuahua Pug Mix.
- Origin: United States
- Size: very small/small
- Lifespan: 10-13 years
- Energy level: medium
- Breed group: toy dog/designer dog
Much like other mixed-breed dogs, it’s not easy to predict precisely what a Chug dog will look like. It may take more after the Chihuahua, or it may resemble the pug more closely—and there’s a good chance it’ll be an interesting (and lovable) mix of both.
As far as size goes, you can bet it’s going to be a small dog—but how small depends on which parent breed it most closely follows in that department. According to the American Kennel Club, the pug usually grows about 10-13 inches tall and weighs 14-18 pounds.
The Chihuahua is even more miniature—nearly half that size—growing to an average of just 5-8 inches in height and weighing no more than six pounds.
You can expect your Chug to fall between the sizes of their two parent breeds.
There’s a lot less room to guess when it comes to the coat of the Chug. Since both parent breeds have short, soft coats, the Chug will have the same. The color of that coat, however, is less predictable.
Pugs are almost always fawn and black, but Chihuahuas can be any color and may even be multi-colored. For this reason, Chugs can be nearly any color.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog, you’ve found it in the Chug.
Thanks to their short hair, trims are not a requirement for this easy-going breed. Your Chug will need bathing about once a month, and that bath should also include a skin conditioner to keep their skin from drying out, which could cause itching.
The Chihuahua and the pug have similar personalities—they’re loving, spirited, and full of charm—so it’s easy to guess the Chug will inherit many of those same qualities.
The rest of your Chug’s personality is a little more undecided, thanks to their mixed breed status.
While we know pugs have an even, stable, and laid-back temperament, Chihuahuas may be a little more difficult to handle. While Chihuahuas are very intelligent and loyal, they can be wary of strangers and are known for being yappy. This is good when you need to be alerted of a stranger’s presence… but not so much when you’re looking for a bit of peace.
Your Chug may take completely after one parent breed or may take on facets of each breed’s personality.
The Chug will thrive nearly anywhere it lands—the city or the country, a house with a large yard or a small apartment. Thanks to their small size and moderate exercise requirements, they don’t require a lot of space.
If you have a yard, keep a close eye on your Chug, even if you have a fence. Their small size makes them efficiently function as talented escape artists, wiggling through or under many barriers.
The Chug is an excellent pet for nearly everyone and can thrive with a single person and a family.
Because they don’t require a lot of exercises, Chugs are great for the elderly and anyone with limited mobility.
The only caveat is that they may not be the best match for families with tiny children, as their tiny size (significantly if they’re sized more like their Chihuahua counterparts) makes them fragile, and small children aren’t always able to handle care.
Since both the Chihuahua and the pug are intelligent dogs eager to please, Chugs tend to be highly trainable dogs.
They respond best to positive reinforcement, so you’ll get the best results when using treats or praise to reward a job well done. If you’re using treats, ensure they’re only given in small amounts to keep your dog from overindulging during training time.
Keep the training sessions short and lively to prevent your Chug from getting bored, and you can expect to see results quickly.
The Institute of Canine Biology explains that a recent study suggests mixed breed dogs are less likely to develop genetic disorders than their purebred counterparts. This means that while there can’t be a guarantee your Chug will be perfectly healthy, it does have a better chance of not running into significant health issues as it ages.
Of course, Chugs are still at risk for health issues their parent breeds are predisposed to. To find out more about those, we have to look at the Chihuahua and pugs for clues about what health issues owners might expect to run into with Chug dogs.
Because of their flat faces, pugs sometimes have issues with breathing, especially in hot weather. If your Chug displays the flat face of a pug, this is something you should look out for, too.
Chihuahuas sometimes experience heart problems and develop loose kneecaps.
Both the Chihuahua and the pug tend to develop issues with their eyes. Meaning Chugs are definitely at risk for this, too.
The best way to ensure your dog doesn’t fall victim to these common ailments is to use a reputable breeder who uses genetic testing to avoid significant issues with their pups.
Finally, the pug and the Chihuahua are known for over-eating and are susceptible to weight gain. While they don’t usually require special diets, talk with your veterinarian about how much food your dog should eat and limit them to that amount while also being careful not to hand out too many treats—no matter how much they beg.