Buying a new pug puppy should follow several distinct stages:
Research the breed. Is the pug is the breed for you?
Visit a pug show and meet people that show and possibly breed pugs.
Contact the Club Secretary.
Always go to a reputable breeder.
Make sure that the paperwork for your new puppy is all correct.
Is This The Breed For You?
Before you decide to buy your first pug, be honest with yourself: Is this the breed for you? For many members of the Irish Pug Dog Club, there is no other breed! There are pugs and there are dogs! For us crazy pug-besotted people, the world revolves around pugs. BUT, it has to be said that this is not the breed for everyone. Do your research.
First, visit a dog show and meet pug owners. The Irish Pug Dog Club Show, usually held in May each year, is a great place to meet lots of pug lovers and lots of pugs. But any IKC All Breed Championship Show should have several pug exhibitors present. Visit the IKC website to view the list of shows for the year. If you know someone who keeps pugs, go and visit them. Discuss the breed with as many knowledgeable pug owners as you can find. Find out what it is like to live with a pug.
What About A Pug Cross?
The Irish Pug Dog Club does not deal with pug crosses. To find out why, click here.
What About a Rescue Pug?
If you would consider offering a home to an adult pug rather than a puppy, please contact your local rescue. Many get in pugs from time to time.
Finding A Pug Puppy
If you are looking for a pug puppy, please ring the Secretary. He may know of a litter. Do be aware that the Irish Pug Dog Club is not responsible for the health or quality of these puppies. Potential buyers must make all relevant checks. Please note that, for privacy reasons, the Irish Pug Dog Club cannot give you a list of breeders. Please note that the webmaster does not have details of puppies, so please do not contact us by email if you are looking for a puppy.
Many serious pug breeders have a waiting list. Be prepared to wait for a quality puppy. Remember that your pug will be a member of your family for many years, so a short wait for the right pup is a wise move. If you are impatient and decide to buy from a classified ad, do be aware that backyard breeders and puppy farmers often sell their pups in this way, so be very, very careful.
What Is A Reputable Breeder?
Breeders fall into several categories within a scale of 1 to 3:
1. Serious pug people have the best interest of both the pug breed and the individual pugs at heart. They breed to the breed standard, and they show their pugs. They have a huge knowledge and love for the breed.
2. Backyard breeders love their pet pug and wish to let her have a litter. They may or may not have the knowledge required to make correct genetic decisions.
3. Puppy farmers have little interest in the breed. They breed to make money. The welfare of their pugs is often of little concern to them.
The Irish Pug Dog Club recommends that you aim to buy from serious pug people. Never never buy from a puppy farmer.
How Can You Tell If A Breeder Is Reputable?
Ireland is a small place, and work of mouth is often useful. Does the breeder come with a personal recommendation from a friend?
Chat to the breeder, and ask about his/her interest in pugs. How long has the breeder been interested in pugs? Does he/she show pugs? (Although not all dedicated pug people show their pugs.) Does the breeder have any old pugs or any rescue pugs? People who only breed for money rarely keep old dogs.
Does the breeder keep any other breeds? Puppy farmers often have several breeds, but do be aware that many reputable people have more than one breed.
What is this breeder’s aim when breeding and why does he/she breed? Most reputable breeders only breed occasionally when they wish to breed a new puppy for themselves. Is he/she knowledgeable about the history of the breed? Does he/she know the breed standard? Does the breeder ever cross pugs with other breeds? Pugs crossed with other breeds are not ‘designer dogs’ – they are crossbreeds, also known as expensive mongrels. Do not be taken in by such breeders. Likewise, does the breeder ever breed ‘unusual’ colours? Pugs come in two colours – fawn (in various shades, including apricot) and black. Any other colours indicate that the breed has been crossed with other breeds at some point. Red, brown, chocolate, white – none are recognised colours of the breed.
Is the breeder happy to discuss any potential health issues within the breed and within their lines? Is he/she happy to supply references, especially from their local vet?
Most importantly, is the breeder questioning you? Reputable breeders will search for the best homes for their puppies and will want to know everything about you. A good breeder has put weeks of serious hard work, love and dedication into rearing these puppies. They will only want their puppies to go to five star homes.
When you visit the litter, take a good look at the surroundings. What conditions are the pugs kept in? Hopefully the pugs are kept in the house. Pugs are not a kennel breed. Is the place clean or dirty? Is the breeder happy to welcome you to the entire premises? Be wary of breeders that confine you to a room and bring the pug(s) to you. Ask yourself what they are hiding?
Always meet the mother and all the puppies in the litter. Be very wary of breeders that only show you ‘your’ puppy, or show you the litter but not the mother. Does the breeder let you meet all their other dogs? Do not be too concerned if you cannot meet the father of the litter. Many breeders either do not keep a stud dog, or have used another kennel’s dog. However, the breeder should be able to tell you about the stud dog, show you photos and pedigree, and discuss his history and other litters.
When you meet the mother and her pups, check that they are happy, friendly, out-going pugs. As a breed, pugs are friendly and lovable. Avoid poor temperaments. Ask the breeder how he/she socialises the puppies? If the pugs appear to be nervous of the breeder, be very wary.
Both mother and puppies (and any other dogs on the premises) should look healthy, with clean, bright eyes, a healthy coat and no nasal discharge or diarrhoea. Some pug mothers loose condition rearing their litter, but even so, they should look basically healthy. Never buy a sick, lethargic puppy. Check that the puppies have been vaccinated and wormed.
What age are the puppies being sent to their new homes? Opinion varies as to the best age to home a puppy, with most breeders aiming for somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks. Avoid breeders that try to move their puppies on when they are younger than 8 weeks. Some show kennels like to run a couple of pups on for six months or so while they assess their show potential. If you buy an older pup make sure that it has been well socialised and is housetrained, and that it has not been kept out in kennels during those crucial formative months.
Hopefully you and the breeder will like each other. You will have a relationship once you buy their puppy. Puppy owners often ring the breeder for advice, and breeders really like to keep in touch with their puppies.
IKC Registration Certificate. Pedigree puppies should come with a certain amount of paperwork. Check that both parents and puppies are registered with the Irish Kennel Club. The puppy will come with an IKC Registration Certificate.
Pedigree. The puppies should have a written pedigree, listing the parents, grandparents, etc, of the litter. Pedigrees may be hand-written or produced on the computer. They may show three, four or five generations. Three is a minimum, and five is preferred. Be aware that a pedigree is only as honest as the breeder, and some unscrupulous puppy farmers have been known to ‘invent’ pedigrees.
Microchip Registration Certificate. Dogs registered with the IKC must be microchipped. You should receive the microchip registration details with your puppy. Make sure that you register your contact details with the microchip data base. In the event of your pug going missing, it will not be traceable back to you unless you have registered your contact details. For more details on microchipping, please check the IKC website’s page on Microchipping.
Transfer of Ownership Form. The puppy must come with a Transfer of Ownership form, signed by the breeder. You must complete the form and post it back to the IKC with the required fee. Make sure that the microchip number on the form is the correct one for your puppy. The breeder must also inform you if there are any endorsements or restrictions on the dog. Some breeders choose to put endorsements on a dog, for example, to prevent it being bred from. Endorsements can only be lifted in the future with the signed agreement of the breeder.
Vaccination Certificate. When vets vaccinate a dog the details are recorded on a small certificate. Make sure that you receive your pup’s vaccination certificate. You will need it to calculate when future vaccines are due. Boarding kennels will also require proof of vaccination.
Contract. Many breeders draw up a contract of sale. Often the contract will lay down guidelines for the care of the pup. It may state that in the event of you being unable to keep your dog, it will be returned to the breeder. It may state that in the event of the puppy having a genetic illness, the breeder will take the puppy back and refund your money. All contracts are different, so read it carefully.
Care Notes. As a minimum, your puppy should come with a written diet sheet. Many breeders also include extensive notes for the care of your pug.
Avoid breeding contracts or shared ownerships.
Final Health Check
It is advisable to have your new puppy checked by a vet within 48 hours of buying it. In the event that the vet diagnoses an unhealthy pup, return it to the breeder and ask for your money back.