Miniature Pug is a term used to describe a Pug that’s smaller than average, normally weighing less than 10lbs into adulthood. There are a few ways breed teacup sized Pugs. The Chihuahua Pug mix is often known as a Miniature Pug, but so are purebred dogs that were deliberately selected for smaller than average size. This dangerous game involves raising up runts of the litter as potential puppy parents, but they come with a range of serious health problems.
Standard vs Mini Pugs
The Pug already belongs to the toy group of dogs. This is largely due to their natural charm and loving temperament, which usually extends to children and other pets. Distinctive physical features include a large round head, big dark eyes, and a wrinkled brow.
An adult Pug stands between 10 and 13 inches and weighs between 14 and 18 pounds. To be classed as a Miniature Pug they simply need to fall below these parameters when full grown.
How Do You Get a Miniature Dog?
In some ways, a small dog seems like having a puppy forever. For those who want a dog but live in an apartment, or don’t want the extra work of a big dog, a pint-sized pup holds a big attraction.
There are three ways to miniaturize a dog breed. The first is to mix a standard breed with a smaller breed, as in the case of the miniature Pug. The second way is to introduce the gene for dwarfism, also known as achondroplasia. The final way is to repeatedly breed from the smallest, or runts, of litters.
Mixed Breed Minis
Chihuahua Pug mixes can look quite Puglike as puppies, albeit often with shorter muzzles. But their personality will be quite different to your average Pug. And combining two already small dogs has it’s share of potential health problems.
Both the Chihuahua and the Pug are already very small dogs. Each of these breeds has more than their share of inherited health problems.
The Chihuahua and the Pug have the same amount of teeth as any dog. The problem is that little dogs have little mouths, and their teeth crowd together. This puts the miniature Pug at a high risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Due to their small size, Chihuahuas have trouble giving birth and often require cesarian sections. If a Chihuahua is the dam and the Pug is the sire of a miniature Pug, the mother is very likely to have difficulty producing a litter. Serious complications for both the mother and the offspring are possible, due to the puppies’ large heads.
A popular method of shrinking a puppy down in size is introducing the gene for dwarfism, which shortens the legs and therefore their height.
However breeding for extreme conformational traits has been shown to result in an increased risk of certain diseases. And using the gene for dwarfism has been linked to intervertebral disc disease along with some other painful conditions.
Breeding From The Smallest Dogs
There are breeders who try to create even smaller dogs by breeding two runt Pugs together. These dogs are referred to as micro mini Pug puppies or pocket Pugs.
When dogs are way under the breed standard, they can already possess health issues like hypoglycemia and heart defects. Breeding two extremely small dogs together is very likely to cause even more health issues and is highly unscrupulous.
General Pug Problems
Any Pug or Pug mix is at risk of the two main health complications this breed is prone too. The endearing short muzzles, wrinkled facial skin, and bulging eyes are associated with brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome. This makes them prone to seriously compromised respiratory systems.
Their short flat faces make it very difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. This means they can overheat very quickly in warm weather.
Abnormally shallow eye sockets, which make the eyes protrude, are another issue for brachycephalic breeds. The mini Pug’s eyes are not only at a greater risk for being scratched, they’re also susceptible to corneal ulcers, an eye disease which also affects the Chihuahua.
Screw tail is another disease brachycephalic breeds are genetically predisposed to. The spiral formation of the tail is a result of misshapen bones that won’t allow it to lie flat. If the deformity occurs higher in the spine, it can be very painful and cause severe neurological problems.
How to Avoid Unscrupulous Breeders
Miniature Pug puppies, like many miniature breeds, are a hot commodity, and breeders are getting thousands of dollars for these pint-sized pups. Unfortunately, this is a huge incentive for disreputable breeders to create smaller and smaller dogs.
If you see advertisements for micro mini Pugs or teacup Pugs, this is definitely a breeder to avoid. Another red flag is if there is no waiting list and puppies are immediately available for purchase.
Ask questions about their breeding practices. Any reputable breeder should be informed about the health issues surrounding miniature breeds. They should also be happy to let you see the puppy’s parents and siblings.
Miniature breeds are usually prone to more health issues. Their unnaturally small size means they also become injured more easily. When you have two small breeds like the Chihuahua and the Pug, who already have many health problems, you can see that this is a dog who is greatly at risk. The only way to stop breeders from creating very small dogs is to not buy them. Perhaps this is a fad that will soon cease to be popular. But in the meantime, dogs specifically bred to be tiny and fragile are suffering.