Housebreaking your pug dog

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Complete instructions on how to housebreaking a pug dog puppy.

The origin of the pug dog is mired in mystery.

  There seems to be a general consensus that pug dog ancestry dates back to China 400 BCE*.   The Chinese bred short-nosed dogs to acquire a more human-like countenance.   Chinese trade with Europe began during the Han Dynasty in 200 BCE, but the earliest record of a dog fitting the description of a pug being brought into Europe comes from Holland in the 1500s.  The modern name of the dog most likely originated in England where the word ‘pug’ was often used as a term of endearment.

Pugs are short square dogs, the males rarely weighing over twenty-two pounds.  They were bred strictly for companionship and their even temperament certainly testifies to that fact.  Although friendly they may


Understanding a dog’s behavior is the first step required in any type of training.  Humans have been selectively breeding for temperament, size, and shape for thousands of years, but the basic behaviors of a dog remain the same – they are a predatory animal and there are rules of instinct controlling a lot of their actions.  The trick is for the trainer to adjust to the dog’s behavior, not the other way around.

Most animals, by instinct, will not foul their beds.  Dogs are no different. From birth up to four weeks of age, the mother dog will keep the ‘den’ clean – or the box under the bed.  When old enough, she quickly teaches the puppies – by example – to use the area away from their bed as the bathroom.

This is, obviously, an impractical solution for dog owners. There is another way to successfully housebreak a pug or any puppy.

A house is a big place for a pug puppy; it will not understand the word “No” means the whole house and not just the one room. So, instead of trying to teach the puppy where not to use the bathroom, instead teach the puppy where it can go.

This is fairly simple to do.  First, train the puppy to use a newspaper as the bathroom. Confine the puppy in a small room or barricade a small section of a large room.  Cover the entire floor area with newspaper; the puppy will have no choice but to do its business on the paper.  Over about three weeks gradually reduce the covered area.  When the pup is consistently using the paper and not the floor, it can be moved to a larger room.   If there is a mistake, go back to square one.  Pugs can be unbelievably hardheaded; a trainer will need vast amounts of patience.

(Warning - the pug puppy will mistake everything on the floor as newspaper during this training phase, including magazines and clothing.)

Now that a few weeks have gone by and the puppy is faithfully going to the bathroom on the paper, it’s time to move the training outside.  This step requires discipline and consistency on the part of the owner. The puppy should be taken outside often – in the morning, a couple times during the day, and before bed at night. Placing newspaper outside can help make the transition easier.  Wait until the puppy uses the paper or the ground, then praise it. After a couple of weeks, stop putting the paper outside.  

A pug dog may never learn to ‘tell’ the owner it needs to be let outside.  Chances are the dog will attempt telepathy instead, by sitting in front of and staring at the door.  The owner will have to learn to interpret this behavior.

Puppies do have accidents and paper should still be used in the house for awhile, but diligence and lots of patience will eventually be rewarded with a reasonably well-trained pug dog.

*Before the Common Era.  Before Christ (BC) is no longer considered politically correct.