Are Pugs Easy to Train?

When it comes to small toy dog breeds, one of the most sought after breeds are the pug, pugs make for great pets, and can get along with almost all family members. These dogs make fantastic companions, and they are also fun to be around.

No matter how old they are, pugs never let go of their puppy-like aura. A few hours of playing in the yard with their human master and some warm snuggles are two things that keep a pug happy.

As far as training is concerned, some pug owners are concerned about training their small four-legged friend. For most people, the cute gestures and the in-built chubbiness is all they look for in a pug.

Many pug owners like to communicate with their pugs and want them to perform particular desirable behavior. Hence, one of the most frequently asked questions about pugs is “are pugs easy to train?”

You can understand how stubborn these little mongrels can be if you have been a Pug enthusiast for a long time.

In the upcoming paragraphs, we will try to answer the question, “are pugs easy to train?”  and discuss the different training methods for training dogs.

Is It Easy to Train Pugs?

Without a shadow of a doubt, Pugs can be trained, and they will learn everything that you want them to learn. However, unlike other dog breeds, it is challenging to teach a pug to follow specific commands. But it doesn’t mean that it is not worth the effort.

If you are thinking of petting a pug and are wondering, “are pugs easy to train?” then you must remember that you need a lot of patience to train any dog or pet.

Moreover, you might even need to bribe your dog into following your commands. This is where dog treats come in handy.

It may sound a little funny, but pugs are couch potatoes of the very highest order. They would like to stay home and sleep on the couch unless you excite them and motivate them to engage in physical activity.

However, when they get too excited, they tend to lose focus completely, which can be problematic when you try to train them.

All in all, conveying your message to your pugs and making them respond to your commands requires regular reinforcement and a lot of patience on your part.

But the good news is that after all the effort, your pug will be potty trained and will understand obedience commands such as “stay,” “sit,” “fetch,” and “drop.”

What You Must Know about a Pug’s Attitude before Training?  

Many people ask why pugs are not easy to train. For this, we need to understand a pug’s attitude and personality. Here are some characteristics of a pug.

The Negative Side

If you are wondering, “why are pugs not easy to train?” you must remember that they have a negative side to their personality. They are incredibly stubborn creatures, and although they understand what you are trying to teach them, they take longer than necessary to learn and change their behavior.

The Positive Side

On the bright side, pugs are big people pleasers. They will go to any extent to grab your attention and make you happy if they are in the mood. If you act smartly, with the right attitude, you can get the desired behavior out of a pug, even if it is incredibly stubborn. 

Motivation

If the question “are pugs easy to train?” pops up in your mind, you must know that pugs aren’t entirely different from us humans, and it’s straightforward to motivate them. If you know how to motivate your pug, it can achieve a lot more than you can imagine.

Whether it is a simple command or a fancy trick that you want your pug to learn, you should remember that with the right kind of motivation/reward, you can make them do anything at any time. There are two big motivators for a pug. The first motivator is food, and the second motivator is your love and affection.

How to Apply Positive and Negative Reinforcement on Your Pug?

Now that we have answered the questions, “are pugs easy to train,” let’s talk about different methods that you can use to train your dog.

Before you set out to train a pug, you must understand that just like humans, one pug is different from the rest. Something that may work for one dog might not work for the other.

Furthermore, training techniques tend to vary with age and breed. Here are some methods of training:

Positive Reinforcement

Everything, from a pat on the head to a kind word like “good boy” and a treat falls into positive reinforcement. One of the best ways to train your pug is to reward them whenever they perform a desired task or exhibit a certain kind of behavior.

This way, your pug learns to form a connection between a behavior and its reward and continues to perform the desired behavior.

You must remember that affection combined with treats will always be met with a positive response from your pug. However, the reward should be given in close proximity to what you expect from your dog.

Otherwise, it will be completely pointless. If you fail to connect the reward with the expected behavior, your dog will take it as a gesture of kindness, and all of your efforts will go in vain.

Negative Reinforcement

If you have had experience with pugs, you can understand how frustrating it can be to make them do something when they aren’t willing to do it. Therefore, out of sheer frustration, some of the pug owners resort to punishment, verbal or physical. This is called negative reinforcement.

Dog owners resort to punishment to prevent their dog from misbehaving. As negative reinforcement, some owners scold their dog, while others use tools like shock collars. Punishment may be useful in the short run, but it will prove utterly futile as time passes.

Because of the pain inflicted, a dog may behave differently, but it will never understand why it was treated in such a manner in the first place. After some time, the dog will get used to physical and verbal punishments as learned behavior, and it will refrain from doing anything you ask of it.

Moreover, just like other dog breeds, pugs, too, are relatively sensitive, and the slightest mistreatment on your part may just backfire. In the end, your dog may lose trust in you.

So, to answer your question, “are pugs easy to train?” they are if you stick to positive reinforcement and don’t try negative reinforcement.

How to Train Your Pug?

Now that we have discussed, “are pugs easy to train?” in detail, let’s move forth and touch upon other aspects of training. Contrary to popular belief, pugs aren’t always stubborn, and they can be quite playful.

However, when they are playful, it can be quite difficult to grab their attention. If you can manage to engage your pug, it becomes fairly easy to move forth with; however, you want to train them. 

When training your dog, try to do so in a quiet place, where there are fewer distractions. While doing so, make sure to keep a bag of dog treats nearby. Here are a few tips that you need to take care of as you train your pug.

  • Make sure you touch the tip of their nose while training.
  • After you touch their nose, give the command that you want to give. Some of the most common commands include “sit,” “stay,” “watch me,” and “fetch.”
  • Then, bring your finger closer to your nose and make sure their eyes follow your finger.
  • The moment your eyes meet give a positive comment.
  • You can even add a clicker to this training process.

Try to repeat the process from time to time, until it becomes your pug’s second behavior. By repeating the process from time to time, you will elongate your four-legged friend’s attention span.

After a couple of training sessions, you won’t need to give anymore treats to your dog. After some time, the dog will learn to respond to a specific command. When that happens, let it be known that your job is half done.

However, you will still have to repeat the process repeatedly if you don’t want your dog to forget.

What Accessories Are Needed for Training a Pug?

Besides asking, “are pugs easy to train?” many people inquire, “what accessories are needed to expedite the training process?”

Some of the training accessories are mentioned below.

Clicker

The first training accessory for your pug is the clicker. A clicker is just like Pavlov’s Bell. The dogs can easily relate to it, and it can also be used as positive reinforcement. A clicker is incredibly useful if you want to command your dog from afar. Also, it is far more effective and consistent than a human’s voice.

Treats

One of the most readily available training accessories is dog treats. They are easy and delicious to eat, and they are also easily accessible in the marketplace. The treat shouldn’t be too big to distract your dog, thus affecting the training process. In the beginning, use treats only for training purposes. Otherwise, your dog will misinterpret them for mere affection and love.

E-Collar

Another popular training tool for disgruntled canines these days is an E-collar. However, such collars are strictly for training purposes and have nothing to do with the collars used for punishment. This collar is a gentle training tool, which only vibrates when you want to convey a command.

According to professional dog trainers, it is better to try and test the e-collar on yourself before using it on your dog. Although the vibration is mild, it can still make your dog feel uneasy or frightened.

Training Harness

This unlikely training harness doesn’t wrap around your dog’s back. Instead, it is placed on the dog’s chest. In case the dog tries to pull too hard, it might lose balance. This harness is just as good for bigger dogs, which is a bonus of investing in this training harness. 

What Are Different Types of Training for Pugs?

The answer to the question, “are pugs easy to train?” can vary depending on the type of training. There are different types of training, which we have discussed below.

While it is easier to teach your basic dog commands, you need to remember that all training types take time, and you need to be patient. If you become impatient, while training your pug, they can retaliate.

In the following paragraphs, we will talk about all the different pieces of training a pug must receive.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Potty Training

Just like any other breed of canines, pug puppies can be incredible pooping machines. Therefore, you need to potty train them.

If your dog likes to take a potty break outside the house, you should take them out after every few hours until they are potty trained. When you take them out, associate verbal cues like “potty” to the act.After they are done with their business, you can appreciate them with a pat on the neck, and a delicious dog treat.

Always take them to a designated dumping spot, until they learn where they need to go whenever they feel the urge to poop. You can even use a potty-bell to reinforce the behavior.

However, if you live in an apartment complex and taking your dog outside is not convenient, you can use disposable pads. Dogs usually don’t take a dump in the same area they sleep in. Therefore, the balcony can be the best place to keep your dog’s litter tray.

Obedience Commands

Teaching pugs basic commands are super important if you want them to perform complex actions. These commands will help your dog in basic day-to-day activities and help your dog learn more and become more obedient. More complex obedience commands will take some time to master. Therefore, it is your job to be persistent and make your dog practice these regularly daily. 

Training Your Pug to Sit

As discussed earlier, one of the most crucial things to teach your dog is to make them sit with a single command. The exciting part here is that you need to make your dog sit, without resorting to any force or punishment.

However, if your dog learns to sit, you should reward them with verbal praise or a treat. Make sure there is a link between the action and its reward. Here are a few things that you need to do.

  • Grab a treat in your hand and hold it right in front of your dog’s face
  • While holding the treat in its face, say “sit.”
  • Move the hand back and forth with the treat in it. Continue to move your hand until your dog’s bum is on the floor.
  • A few seconds after your dog’s butt touches the floor, make sure you praise your dog and treat him as reinforcement.
  • Repeat the process a couple of times.

Training Your Pug for Separation Anxiety

Just like other dogs, pugs also like to live in a pack. If you have adopted a pug from a shelter house, the chances are that it will suffer from separation anxiety. Luckily, there is a lot that you can do to battle your pug’s separation anxiety. You can begin by following these steps.

  • Before you leave them home alone, make sure you and your dog spend some quality time together.
  • Designate a part of your house as your dog’s happy place. There you can place a toy for your dog to play with while you are away.
  • Try to limit some of the stimulations, such as the view of the street outside your house.
  • Mask external noise by leaving the TV or the radio on.
  • Try not to leave your dog home alone for extended periods.

Parting Thoughts On Are Pugs Easy to Train

We hope this guide has answered your question, “are pugs easy to train?” Since pugs are stubborn, training them may be a little challenging, but it is still possible. Pugs are motivated pets, so with some patience and effort, you can train them.

While you are training them, make sure to use positive reinforcement and show affection instead of using force or negative reinforcement. This way, you will end up with well-behaved pugs that trust and love you!

References

  • Binyamini, Yoav. “Are Pugs Easy to Train? Good Luck.” Pug Insider- Pug Tips and Practical Information, Publisher Name PugInsuder.com Publisher Logo, 27 Mar. 2019, puginsider.com/are-pugs-easy-to-train-good-luck/.
  • Day, Susan. “Are Pugs As Hard To Train As People Think?” My Puppy Club, 18 Aug. 2017, www.mypuppyclub.net/pugs-hard-train-people-think/.
  • PetCareRx., Team. “Obedience and House Training for Your Pug.” PetCareRx, Published by: PetCareRx, 20 Sept. 2012, www.petcarerx.com/article/obedience-and-house-training-for-your-pug/435.
  • Susan. “How To Potty Train A Pug Using The Best Method.” Black Pug Site, 16 June 2020, blackpugsite.com/pug-house-training/.