Understanding the Retro Pug: A Guide to This Unique Breed

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Retro Pug

As the name suggests, the Retro Pug is a breed of dog that harks back to the classic Pug with a modern twist. This lovable breed has been gaining popularity for its distinctive appearance, quirky personality, and smaller size. This guide will help you understand the Retro Pug and what sets it apart from the traditional Pug breed.

History of the Retro Pug


The Retro Pug is a relatively new breed, developed in Germany in the early 2000s. The breed’s originator, a Pug enthusiast named Tanja Lange, wanted to create a healthier version of the Pug by breeding them with other small breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier. The goal was to create a breed with a more elongated snout to help alleviate some of the health issues commonly associated with traditional Pugs, such as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).


Currently, the Retro Pug is not yet recognized as a separate breed by major kennel clubs. However, efforts are underway to gain official recognition, and the breed is becoming increasingly popular among dog enthusiasts worldwide.

Characteristics of the Retro Pug


The Retro Pug is similar in appearance to the traditional Pug, but with a few key differences. They have a more elongated snout, which helps them breathe more easily than their brachycephalic counterparts. Retro Pugs also have a slightly longer body, a more muscular build, and a more prominent tuck-up (the upward curve of the abdomen). They typically weigh between 15 and 20 pounds, making them slightly smaller than the traditional Pug.

Coat and Colors

The Retro Pug’s coat is short, smooth, and glossy, just like the traditional Pug. They come in a variety of colors, including fawn, black, silver, and apricot. Some Retro Pugs may also have white markings on their chest or paws.


Retro Pugs are known for their friendly, outgoing, and affectionate nature. They are social animals that thrive on human interaction and love being the center of attention. They are intelligent, eager to please, and can be trained relatively easily, making them a great choice for first-time dog owners. Like traditional Pugs, they can be stubborn at times, but their love for their owners and desire to please often outweighs any stubborn tendencies.

Health and Care

Health Considerations

One of the primary motivations for creating the Retro Pug was to develop a healthier alternative to the traditional Pug. Thanks to their longer snouts, Retro Pugs are less prone to respiratory issues like BOAS. However, they can still suffer from other health issues common to Pugs, such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and obesity. Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, and exercise are essential to maintaining the overall health of your Retro Pug.


Retro Pugs have a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. A weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt will help remove loose hair and keep their coat looking its best. Bathing should be done as needed, but not too frequently, as over-bathing can strip the natural oils from their skin and coat. Regular nail trims, ear cleanings, and dental care are also important for maintaining good health.

Exercise and Training

Retro Pugs are energetic and playful, but they do not require an excessive amount of exercise. A couple of short to moderate-length walks per day, along with some playtime, is typically sufficient. Because of their brachycephalic nature, it’s essential to avoid strenuous exercise during hot weather to prevent overheating.

Retro Pugs are intelligent and eager to please, which can make training a relatively smooth process. However, their stubborn streak might sometimes pose a challenge. Positive reinforcement methods work best, as they respond well to rewards and praise. Early socialization and puppy training classes can be beneficial to ensure a well-rounded dog.

Living with a Retro Pug

Retro Pug Playing

Home Environment

Retro Pugs are very adaptable and can thrive in a variety of living situations, from apartments to large homes with yards. They are an indoor breed and should not be kept outside for extended periods, especially in extreme temperatures. Retro Pugs love to be with their families and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

Family and Other Pets

Retro Pugs make excellent family pets and generally get along well with children and other animals. They’re sociable and enjoy being part of the family’s activities. Due to their small size, interactions with very young children should always be supervised to prevent accidental injuries. With proper introductions and socialization, Retro Pugs can also coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.


The lifespan of a Retro Pug typically ranges from 12 to 15 years, which is on par with the traditional Pug. This can vary based on factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care.

Is a Retro Pug Right for You?

Deciding whether a Retro Pug is right for you depends on various factors. They are low-maintenance, adaptable, and sociable dogs that make great companions. However, they also require a fair amount of attention and can suffer from separation anxiety. They’re best suited to individuals or families who can devote time and attention to them.

Costs and Commitment

Like any dog, Retro Pugs come with financial commitments for food, grooming, regular vet check-ups, and potential health issues. As a breed in development, they may be more expensive to purchase from a breeder than other more established breeds.


The Retro Pug is a delightful blend of classic Pug charm and a healthier design. These dogs make wonderful companions for those who can devote time to their care and socialization. With their friendly personalities and unique looks, Retro Pugs are sure to continue gaining popularity among dog enthusiasts worldwide.

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