Crossing one breed with another was once considered a great way to obtain positive character traits of the two breeds, often resulting in a new dog breed. These days, crossing one dog breed with another results in what is now known as a “designer dog”. The Chug is such a breed.
Chugs result from crossing Pugs with Chihuahuas. These dogs are also sometimes called “Pugwawas”. This mix can make a good family dog as Pugs are great pets for people with children. However, depending on how the Chihuahua lineage takes shape in the dogs, a Chug could be more intolerant of small children. A Chug owner can expect to see a mixture of both the Pug and Chihuahua personalities, and of course, there is no guarantee what mix of each breed one will get. Although many chugs are generally good with people, including children, Chihuahuas can be somewhat reserved and protective of their environment. Pugs, on the other hand, are very friendly and laid-back dogs; however, they can also be stubborn whereas Chihuahuas tend to be obedient of their owners. So, with this mix, one may get a balance in a Chug’s personality or the dog may lean more one way or the other.
Even though Pug is in a Chug’s lineage, the Chug usually doesn’t exhibit the breathing and respiratory problems that a purebred Pug experiences. Some Chugs have longer snouts than purebred Pugs, and that helps them breathe better. However, the grunting one hears with Pugs can still exist with Chugs. Health issues to watch for in Chugs include patella subluxation (loose kneecaps), hypoglycemia, collapsing trachea, and molera (a small soft area in the top of the skull, common in Chihuahuas, but it often disappears with age).
Chugs tend to have the big, bulging eyes of the Pug, so keeping the eyes clean and clear of “gunk” is advised. Some Chugs also have the wrinkled face of a Pug; those wrinkles must be kept clean as well. Ear cleaning is necessary as Chugs can get ear mites fairly easily. Many have short coats, but that doesn’t mean they don’t shed, so brushing a Chug’s coat regularly is also recommended. The occasional bath is advised as well.
If a Chug takes primarily the personality of a Chihuahua, expect a more aggressive, possessive dog and ensure consistent, firm yet gentle training to nip that aggressiveness in the bud.
Chugs possess great eyesight and hearing, and they can make good watchdogs, especially those with more Chihuahua traits. They can be barkers and fairly wary of strangers. Chugs, however, are quite devoted to their owners.
Because of their small size, these dogs do well in apartments. Providing daily walks or excursions to the local dog park suffices for exercise. Having a nice-sized, fenced backyard to run and play in also offers good exercise for Chugs. Because of the Pug heritage, make sure a Chug is not overly exerted and ensure the dog is not overly fed; this breed can pack on pounds readily, especially if not sufficiently exercised. Chugs should weigh between 10 and 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kg), depending upon if they take on more of the Chihuahua lineage or the Pug heritage.
Crossbreeding Pugs and Chihuahuas began about 20 years ago. The result, the Chug, is gaining increased popularity and is considered a great companion animal. A Chug may take on the more stubborn, independent traits of the Chihuahua or the more friendly, comic personality of the Pug. This designer breed is adaptable to living in small residences, like city apartments, but still needs training and regular exercise to maintain its physical and emotional health.