"; ?>

Pug Breed Standard

If you ever consider enrolling your Pug in a competition, you will find that there are thousands of American Kennel Club affiliates from which to choose. Each of these clubs will have their own set of rules, but some rules are pretty universal. Besides being a purebred, following are examples of some standard requirements:

  • You will be asked to fill out an application.
  • Typically your dog must be six months or older.
  • You must provide photos of your Pug.
  • Your Pug must be registered with the AKC.

AKC Papers are required to register for competitions. The breeder from which you purchased your Pug will have papers, as should individuals who are selling pure bred Pugs. If you rescued your Pug from a shelter, he or she may not have AKC recognizable papers. You can still compete if you obtain a Purebred Alternative Listing.

There are several Pug breed standards on which a purebred pup will be judged.

General Appearance

The general appearance of the Pug should be square, with his or her length being equal to or less than its height. The Pug should not have a leggy appearance, nor should it appear to have squatty short legs.

Size, Proportion, Substance

The term multum in parvo, is often used in describing a Pug. This can be loosely translated to mean, “a lot of dog in a little space.” A Pug is compact, with firm, well developed muscles, and ideally ranges in weight from 14 to 18 pounds. This applies to both the male and female.


The head is significant and round with no skull indentation, and is comprised of the following features:

  • Eyes are dark in color, quite large, prominent, and globular in shape. They will appear soft and caring when relaxed, and fully animated when excited.
  • Ears are black, small, thin, velvety and supple.
  • Wrinkles should be generous and deep.
  • The muzzle is stunted and square, but not upfaced.
  • The bite should be somewhat undershot.

Neck, Topline, Body

The neck is sturdy, solid, and slightly arched to carry the head proudly. The Pugs short back is level from its highest point to its tail set. He or she is broad in the chest and well ribbed up. The tail is curled as tautly as possible over the hip, and a double tail curl is preferred.


The Pugs legs are set well under the body, and are very powerfully built, straight, and of medium length. When viewed from the side, the elbows should appear straight below the withers. The shoulders are fairly laid back. The pasterns are strong, with a gentle slope. The feet consist of spread out toes, with black nails, and are not quite as long as the foot of a hair, and a bit less rounded than that of a feline. Dewclaw removal is preferred.


Powerful hindquarters have a moderate bend of stifle, and the hind lower leg joint creates a right angle to the ground. The Pugs legs are parallel when viewed from behind. The hindquarters and forequarters should project the appearance of balance. The thighs and buttocks are brawny and full.


The Pug sports a short coat that is fine, smooth, silky, and glossy, as opposed to, stiff or woolly.


Recognized by the AKC are four colors:

  • Fawn
  • Silver Fawn
  • Apricot Fawn
  • Black

A puppy’s coat color can change over time as the adult coat grows in. From time to time it happens that an owner will have an adult Pug who is registered as a color that that dog is not. Some clubs will permit an owner to amend the color on the registration, as many as three 3 times.


A black, and clearly defined, back trace is most desired, (the back trace being the darker line that extends from the back of the skull to the tail.) The more intensely dark and defined the Pugs mask, ears, moles on cheeks, and forehead diamond, the better.


When observed from the front, the Pugs forelegs must bear well forward, indicating no frailty in the pasterns. His or her paws should land solidly, with the central toes pointing straight ahead. The hind quarters should not show a twist or turn, and the hind legs must follow in line with the front. The limbs may naturally meet in both front and rear. The gait should appear free, confident, and jaunty.


The Pug is playful, charismatic, and mild tempered, often exuding a sense of dignity.

The standards outlined above closely follow those of the AKC Pug Breed Standards. Whether you choose to compete or not, why not take a few moments to see how your own Pug stands up to the standards!

3 Responses to “Pug Breed Standard”

  1. Abbie says:

    My pug has a white area on his belly, that looks like 2 diamonds on top of each other about 3 inches long is that okay for an akc dog?

  2. curtis says:

    Do purebred pugs have webbed paws?

  3. D.Son says:

    From what I understand; breeds that are meant to swim are the ones that should have webbed paws. Since the pug breed can’t really swim, I would think that it’s not part of the pug breed standard.

    Looking at the American Kennel Club’s breed standard for the pug I don’t see any standards for paws.

    This Yahoo! answers question may provide better insight, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110602141100AAPWGmN

    Thanks for stopping by and for the question.

Leave a Reply

Input your about us text here.

Powered by Yahoo! Answers