Last Updated on February 11, 2023
Lao Tzu once said, “Great acts are made up of small deeds,” and the Chug is one amazing little breed. Also called Pughuahua, Pugwawa, and Pugchi, no matter what name you use, there’s a lot to love about this little dog. There’s also a lot to learn.
Even with endearing names, what exactly is a Chug dog? And what makes this pooch so unique? You’re about to find out!
What’s a Chug, and where does it come from?
Chugs are the tiny offspring of Chihuahuas and Pugs. They have roots in the United States, coming on the scene sometime in the early 2000s. No specific breeder is credited with creating this hybrid, so we don’t know much about their origins.
Before we get to know this designer dog further, let’s start learning a bit about its parent breeds.
Chihuahuas: tiny breed, deep roots
Chihuahuas come in two varieties, long- and short-haired. They’re known for their fiery spirit and pointed upright ears. But the easily-recognizable Chihuahua has a more in-depth history than you may realize.
It’s theorized that this breed descended from the Techichi – a larger dog favored by the Toltec civilization in ancient Mexico. When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, they bred the Techichi to be smaller and smaller.
A few centuries later, in the 1800s, these tiny dogs captivated American tourists, and Chis eventually got recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908. It’s been a highly favored breed ever since.
An overview of the illustrious Pug
Another compact canine from antiquity, the Pug originated in ancient China around 2,000 years ago. Along with other small, short-nosed dog breeds, Pugs were coveted royal companions.
In the 1500s, as Dutch and Chinese traders intermingled, the Pug made its way to the Netherlands. The breed again gained traction as an aristocratic canine, and demand steadily rose.
Like most breeds that have been around for a while, the Pug doesn’t look like the way it did 2,000 years ago. By the 1860s, Pugs came to have the features we know and love today, like their smushed faces and floppy ears.
What does a Chihuahua-Pug mix look like?
You probably won’t be shocked to know that there’s no set breed standard for the Chug. Like many crossbreeds, there’s quite a bit of variation with these doggos, even within the same litter.
Your Pugchi could resemble its Pug parent, with a wrinkly face and small ears. It might have the pointed nose and large, upright ears of the Chihuahua.
Even the shape of their heads is uncertain! If your Chug comes from an apple head Chihuahua, it’s likely to have a more rounded forehead. Deer head Chihuahua genes could give your Chi-Pug cross smaller eyes, a longer snout, and a more muscular build.
How big will your Pug-Chihuahua get?
Did we mention that Chugs are small? With Chihuahuas and Pugs for parents, it’s no surprise that these hybrids stay petite as they mature. Full-grown Pugwawas weigh an average of 10 to 20 pounds (5 to 9 kg) and measure 7 to 14 inches (18 to 36 cm) tall – slightly bigger than a Chihuahua, somewhat smaller than a Pug.
Given their size, Pugchis won’t mind if you have a spacious yard or a studio apartment. If you have a yard, though, make sure there are no Chug-sized openings in your fence.
Tiny pups like these can squeeze right through!
Coat & Color: Do Chug dogs shed?
The answer to this one is a resounding no. Pughuahuas can be pretty heavy shedders. How much each one sheds varies from dog to dog, but it’s safe to say that allergy sufferers and Chugs don’t mix.
Most Chugs will be some combination of brown/chocolate, black, fawn, tan, cream, golden, brindle, or white.
Your Pug & Chihuahua mix’s fur will probably be short, but the exact length depends on their Chihuahua side. A long-haired Chihuahua parent could give your Chug pup an undercoat, a bushy tail, and feathered ears and legs.
Temperament: Are Chugs good dogs?
That will depend on how you’ll take the personality of this crossbreed. Far from shy, the Pugchi inherits a vibrant personality from each of its parent breeds. The brazen Chihuahua contributes a bold confidence, while the Pug adds its characteristic playfulness. Often described as “goofballs,” your Chug is sure to be feisty, full of life, and amusingly cheeky.
For the most part, Pugwawas are suitable family dogs. That being said, they generally prefer the company of adults and older (read: calmer) children.
Here’s a video compilation that shows what Chihuahua and Pug mixes are like:
Patience for overly-excited kids may be in short supply with your Chug. If you have tiny tots at home, supervise playtime diligently. The last thing you want is your dog getting hurt or hurting your child.
Do you have a multi-pet household? Introduce your Chug puppy to your other four-legged family members slowly and calmly. Chihuahuas have a reputation for dog aggression and territorial behavior, and they could pass these traits on to your Chug.
The good news is that even if your Chihuahua-Pug cross doesn’t care for other fidos, they’re likely to tolerate other animals, such as cats.
While their size isn’t exactly intimidating, Chugs are very protective. They’re naturally cautious around strangers and ready to act at a moment’s notice to defend their family. As you might guess, this has benefits as well as drawbacks.
Pugchis can be on the yappy side, too. It’s perfect for warning you when the scary mailman drops off your electric bill, not so great for sleeping in on Saturdays.
They also tend to attach themselves to one person and guard them carefully, which can backfire if the Chug’s attitude isn’t kept in check.
Your pup may interfere with regular, everyday interactions, like hugging a loved one. They could also develop separation anxiety if their person is away for too long.
Dealing with your Chug’s Napoleon Complex
Have you ever heard of Small Dog Syndrome? It’s very possible that your Chug will have it.
If your Pugwawa fancies herself a mighty beast who knows best, just like Chihuahuas, you’re going to have to be that much more consistent with her training. You’ll also need a healthy portion of patience and a good sense of humor.
Chug dogs are curious, nosy, and have short attention spans to prove it. Their busy body nature is one of those traits that can make training amusing or a nightmare, depending on how you react.
Challenge yourself to keep them engaged, and use training sessions as a chance to have fun while teaching your dog. Their lessons should be brief and fun, then follow-up with some playtime or a delicious treat.
Early, positive training is wise for all dog breeds, but it’s an absolute must with Chihuahua-Pug crosses. Training and establishing a relationship with your Chug is your best line of defense in preventing territorial behaviors, like resource guarding or snapping.
And don’t think the pack leader is the only one who should show your pup the ropes. Thewhole family should take part in training your Pugchi.
When your loved ones engage in Fido’s behavioral education, it teaches your pooch to obey everyone in the family. It’s also a perfect opportunity to teach your kids how to properly and safely interact with canines.
You could even take a pack field trip and sign up your Chug for obedience classes. Can you think of a better way to help your dog live their best life while they bond with their favorite people? We can’t either.
How to care for a Chug dog?
Without many special grooming or exercise requirements, Chihuahua-Pug crosses are a relatively low-maintenance breed.
Aside from healthy interaction, here’s how you can further nurture and care for your pup.
How often should you groom a Chug?
Your most significant grooming focus should be on your Chug’s mouth and ears. Tiny mouths lead to overlapping teeth. This crowding contributes to the buildup of plaque and tartar, both of which can cause tooth decay. Brush their chompers once a day to keep them healthy.
You’ll also want to do a daily check of your Pugwawa’s ears. Wipe them with a clean cloth as needed. While you’re at it, wipe in between their facial wrinkles. Keeping that cute, squished face clean and dry is the best way to prevent irritation and odor.
The rest of your Chug’s beauty routine can be done on a more infrequent basis.
Weekly brushing is wise – plan on using a pin brush three times a week to remove loose fur. Nail trims only need to happen once or twice a month. Since you won’t be doing this particular procedure too often, get your Pugchi used to the process while they’re young.
Bathing can also happen monthly. Be sure to use a good conditioner to keep your Chihuahua-Pug’s skin from drying out.
How much exercise will your Pugchi need?
Chugs tend to have a moderate to high energy level. They’ll need a 30-minute to an hour walk per day, combined with play sessions and a couple of shorter trips outdoors.
Despite this, Pugchis can still be a good fit for older owners or those with limited mobility. Because they’re so small, they don’t need much space to exercise. Simply letting them out in the safely-fenced backyard to satisfy their zoomies can sometimes be enough.
Look into getting a flirt pole that they can chase while you stay seated. Alternatively, you can hide a couple of doggy snacks and watch them burn off some steam sniffing them out.
Trust us. It won’t take much to wear out your Chug. You’ll actually need to take care not to overdo it.
These small designer pups are not built for strenuous exercise. They’re prone to breathing issues and don’t do well in extreme weather. Let your Pugchi rest when they need to, and avoid outdoor activities in extreme temperatures.
On days when the weather makes it challenging to get your walkies in, use training or indoor play sessions to work out your pup.
Certain forms of exercise, like agility or rally obedience, may not be appropriate for your Chug. It’s best to double-check with your vet before diving into more intense activities.
Diet: How much do Chugs eat?
You’ll be pleased to know that your Pugchi’s dietary needs won’t break the bank. They should get 1 cup of food each day, split into morning and evening portions. For a Chug puppy, divide their food into more frequent meals.
The amount and type of food you feed your dog should always be based on essential factors such as their age, size, activity level, and, if applicable, their health.
Pugwawas don’t necessarily have special dietary requirements, but you should feed them the highest-quality kibble that fits your budget and their life stage.
It’s worth mentioning that Chugs are prone to weight gain. Avoid overfeeding, as overweight pooches are at higher risk for health issues. Be strong and resist those big puppy dog eyes. That includes table scraps!
A feeding schedule may also be beneficial. This will help you track your dog’s food intake, which keeps them at an ideal weight and helps you spot when something’s off with their appetite.
Do Chugs have health problems?
Small pooches tend to live longer than larger ones, and the Chug certainly fits this trend. The average life expectancy for this crossbreed is 10 to 13 years. But it’s still possible for this mixed breed to inherit illnesses from their Pug and Chihuahua parents.
To help your Pugchi reach that 13-year mark, you and your vet will need to be on the lookout for a few common health conditions. Some of those illnesses include Brachycephalic airway syndrome, eye issues such as cataracts, cherry eye, dry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy, dental issues, and joint problems like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
There’s also hypoglycemia, heart conditions, collapsed trachea, and allergies.
Some of these health issues are more serious than others, but many can be treated or prevented altogether – as long as you catch them early. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy your Chug dog’s company well into old age.
Where can you buy a Chug dog?
Cute-as-a-button designer Pugwawas are still somewhat rare, so you may have to do some digging to find one for sale or adoption.
You’re probably also wondering how much these canines usually cost. Breeders and kennels typically price their Pugchi puppies between $500 to 800, which is way less than other designer breeds. If you wish to rescue or adopt, shelters and adoption centers generally charge up to $250, for comparison.
Whichever route you choose, take steps to ensure your new pup comes from a reputable place.
Chihuahua-Pug mix breeders
If you’re new to buying a pup from a kennel or breeder, don’t worry. As long as you do your research, you should be able to find a healthy Pugchi that meshes with your personality and lifestyle.
Tell breeders if you’re looking for a feisty Pugchi or a calmer one. It’s a good idea to tell them if you have kids or pets at home, too. Experienced breeders should be able to match you with the right pup.
You’ll also want to get health guarantees and proof of vet check-ups and vaccinations before committing to a Chug puppy.
Before you dive in, be prepared to do some digging. Pughuahuas are still relatively new, so it’s possible that you might not find a breeder right away.
Marketplaces like Keystone Puppies and My Dog Breeders are good places to start.
You can also check with breeders that usually have Chihuahua mixes and Pug mixes available:
- J n J Pugs n Paps (Abilene, Kansas)
- Hollywood Chis (Orlando, Florida)
- Canine Corral (Huntington Station, New York)
- Ridgewood Puppies (Kinzers, Pennsylvania)
Chihuahua-Pug mix rescues
Would you prefer to find a Chug dog for adoption rather than a puppy? You’ve got options, too. Chihuahuas, Pugs, and their hybrids can all be found at local shelters and larger rescue organizations.
As with purchasing from a breeder, you’ll want to visit adoption centers in person. Make a note of how the facility is maintained and how animals and visitors are treated.
Reputable shelters will usually require potential adopters to spend one-on-one time with their soon-to-be doggo before making a decision. Some even do short trial periods to make sure you and your dog are a good fit.
You should also expect to fill out an adoption application. Any place that doesn’t take these steps to find the ideal human for their canines is one you shouldn’t trust.
That being said, don’t be surprised if the rescue staff doesn’t have much info about your future Pugchi. Shelter fidos don’t come with manuals or biographies, a lot of your pup’s past may be a mystery.
Unafraid of the unknown? Ready for your own Pugwawa? Look at these rescues for an idea of what’s currently available:
- Chihuahua and Small Dog Rescue (Colorado Springs, CO)
- Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County (Escondido CA)
- Kentuckiana Pug Rescue (Indianapolis, IN)
- Pug Rescue of Austin (Austin, TX)
Puggles, Chuggles, and Chorkies, oh my!
Chug dogs are fantastic, but you might not be jumping at the chance to bring one home, and that’s okay. There are plenty of other Chihuahua mixes and Pug crosses to choose from. Check out these other hybrids and see if they match your lifestyle more than Chugs.
Frugs (Pug & French Bulldog mix)
Chorkies (Chihuahua & Yorkie mix)
Shorkie (Chihuahua & Shih Tzu mix)
Chipit (Chihuahua & Pitbull mix)
Has the Chug dog made a home in your heart?
Fiery, funny Pug-Chihuahua crosses are the life of the party. Assuming, that is, that the party’s at your house. And the only guests are family members.
What we’re trying to say is that the Chug breed combines the Chihuahua’s natural suspicion and alpha personality with the Pug’s personal brand of comedic entertainment.
Just be sure they know when it’s appropriate to take charge or ham it up and when it’s not.
What are your thoughts? Will this bold breed join your pack? Tell us in the comments!