A German Shepherd Pug mix simply refers to a cross between a German Shepherd and a pug. Dogs obtained by crossing German Shepherds and pugs are technically known as shugs.
To understand how this cross comes about, it’s important to begin easy by introducing each dog breed independently.
Now, the German Shepherd is a dog breed that’s known for his strength, obedience, intelligence, curiosity, and iconic wolf-like appearance. As the name suggests, German Shepherds trace their origin in Germany, where they were mostly bred for herding sheep.
Over time, however, these dogs have acquired additional utility, including being used for search-and-rescue missions and as disability assistance dogs. German Shepherds have also found their way into the literary and cinematic worlds, featuring in numerous acclaimed comic books and Hollywood blockbusters.
Pugs may be smaller than German Shepherds, but they’re remarkably strong for their size. Originally bred in China as royal dogs, pugs are famous for their calm, charming, and affectionateness nature, traits that made them ideal for living in royal palaces.
Their highly sociable nature makes pugs excellent for families with children, whereas their intelligence and attentiveness makes them relatively trainable.
So what does the Pug German Shepherd Mix look and behave like? Does he take more after the Pug or the German Shepherd?
In this article, we’ll try and answer these and more questions. So keep reading to view pictures, and learn more about the Pug German Shepherd Mix.
Why Would You Want A German Shepherd Pug Mix?
The most common reason you would go for a German Shepherd Pug mix is that you end up with a dog that carries the physical and emotional attributes of both of his purebred parents.
Now, German Shepherds are known for their relatively huge size and athletic body. Pugs, on the other hand, are shorter and smaller. If you’re looking for a dog that’s not as huge as a German Shepherd yet not as small as a pug but carries all the other traits of both breeds, your best bet is to choose a shug.
As far as emotional characteristics go, German Shepherds are highly aggressive, especially with strangers. Although pugs also tend to be a bit protective of their owners, they’re not as aggressive as German Shepherds. Theoretically, a mix between these breeds should produce a dog that’s moderately aggressive.
Another reason you would want a shug is that the dog will sport a completely unique appearance from that of his purebred parents. While a shug may get certain dominant features from one of his parents, it’s usually not immediately clear whether he is a German Shepherd or a pug. Isn’t it awesome to have the most unique dog in the neighborhood?
Last but not least, a shug is likely to be more adaptable than either of his parents. According to reproductive health experts, when crossing animals, the crossbreeds tend to inherit the dominant genes of both parents.
So, if a German Shepherd has a susceptibility to a medical condition which pugs usually don’t suffer from, the disease-causing gene will be suppressed in the resultant shug. Therefore, crossing a German Shepherd and pug over time might completely eliminate susceptibility to that particular illness.
But that’s not all, researchers also observe that crossbreeds tend to have additional characteristics that make them more resilient than their purebred parents. In fact, many veterinary experts now believe that mixed breeds dogs are hardier, more disease-resistant, and generally live longer than purebred dogs.
Some Basic Facts About the Pug German Shepherd Mix
|Purpose:||Companionship and Watchdog|
|Good Guard Dog:||No|
|Average Weight:||10 to 50 Pounds|
|Average Height:||10 to 16 Inches|
|Suitable for first time owners:||Yes|
|Lifespan:||12 to 15 Years|
|Suitable for apartment living:||Yes|
|Coat:||Short and straight, but can also be wiry|
|Coat colors:||Black, brown, tan, and cream|
|Common Eye Colors:||Hazel and brown|
|Trainability:||Highly intelligent, hence relatively trainable|
|Ideal For:||Apartment living, families with small children and/or pets, as well as first-time dog owners|
|Temperament:||Intelligent, cheerful, happy, friendly, stubborn|
|Energy Levels:||Playful, hence requires adequate exercise|
|Health:||Generally healthier than his parents; common health concerns include Allergies, Brachycephalic Syndrome, Hip And Elbow Dysplasia, and Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)|
|Good with Cats and Other Dogs:||Moderate (Early Socialization Is a Must)|
|Kids friendly:||Yes (If trained and socialized)|
|Price:||Anywhere from $500 to $2000|
German Shepherd Pug History
As a shug is a cross between a German Shepherd and a pug, the best way to understand the dog’s history is to study the history of his parents separately.
German Shepherd Dog History
According to a 2018 genetic study, the German Shepherd may have descended from the French Berger Picard, which was more widely spread prior to the 19th century.
Besides the German Shepherd, the French Berger Picard is also believed to have given rise to five popular Italian herding dogs. They include the Bergamasco Shepherd, Pastore d’Oropa, Lupino del Gigante, Cane Paratore, and the Pastore della Lessinia e del Lagorai.
To prevent dog breeds from losing their defining characteristics, attempts were made in the 1850s to control breeding.
In Germany, shepherds were allowed to select the dogs to be breed for sheep herding. But to qualify, the dog had to possess specific core attributes, including intelligence, strength, speed, as well as a keen senses of smell.
Most importantly, local communities in Germany desired sheep herding dogs that had further distinguishing traits from herding dogs from other regions. They were eventually able to develop a dog breed that would later be known as the German Shepherd.
After developing the German Shepherd, measures were put in place to promote inbreeding as a method of fixing the dog’s traits further.
So what about the Pug?
While German Shepherds originated in Germany, Pugs trace their origin in China. Pugs were originally bred to offer companionship to Chinese royal families.
To earn a place in the royal palaces, the dog had to be calm and affectionate, while also inquisitive enough to check out whatever doesn’t belong. The popularity of pugs later spread to neighboring regions, such as Tibet.
In Tibet, these dogs were mostly kept in monasteries, where they would offer companionship and affection to monks.
Between the 16th and the 17th centuries, pugs became popular across Europe. And just like their Chinese ancestors, European pugs were also associated with royalty. In 1572, the breed was declared the official dog of the House of Orange.
According to reports, that decision was arrived at after a pug dog known as Pompey alerted the Prince of Orange to approaching Spaniard assassins, thereby saving his life. In the 19th century, pugs arrived in the US. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885 and in 1931, the Pug Dog Club of America was established.
While the history of German Shepherds and pugs is clear, there are no documented reports indicating when the first shug was developed.
In fact, there are currently no breeding standards for a shug. But if you can get a cute, healthy, and well-socialized shug dog, his history will be the least of your concerns.
How Are Shugs Bred?
Breeding of shugs usually involves the crossing of a pug father and a German Shepherd mother. Well, this may sound counterintuitive, considering that the German Shepherd is the stronger and larger parent, hence should naturally be the father.
However, a female pug is considered too small to carry the larger shug puppies. The situation gets even more complicated when it comes to giving birth to the puppies. If a female pug is chosen for crossbreeding, there are higher risks of birth complications.
But as we’ve just mentioned in the previous section, there are currently no breeding standards for shugs.
That should come as good news, as it means breeders can develop shugs without having to meet the often restrictive AKC requirements. You can easily develop a dog that contains specific traits inherited from either of his parents.
On the flipside, the apparent absence of regulations means that any breeder can offer a puppy as a shug to unsuspecting buyers. Therefore, it’s always advisable to check the background of a breeder before purchasing a shug puppy from them.
The easiest way to do that is to ensure the breeder is duly licensed to operate, as well as accredited by and affiliated with reputable canine organizations like the AKC. You can also rely on word-of-mouth referrals or online recommendations before purchasing a shug puppy from a breeder. And while you’re at it, check for any negative reviews.
Most importantly, never send someone else to acquire a German shepherd pug mix puppy for you. Instead, visit the breeding location in person and inquire further about the shug’s parents.
While you’re there, check the dog’s health certificates and establish that they’re not currently suffering from any disease that might affect their overall quality of life.
German Shepherd pug mixes are medium-sized dogs. Although not always the case, a typical shug will resemble a larger pug.
Males generally measure 11-15 inches and weigh 45-50 pounds, whereas females measure 10-15 inches and weigh 45-50 pounds.
Coat texture and color:
The fur on the coats of most shugs is usually short and straight. In some cases, it may also be wiry, resembling that of his German Shepherd parent.
In terms of color, most shugs sport a tan or cream coat. If the dog was born to all-black parents, he might also be dark. Brindle is also a common shug coat color.
Many shug dogs appear stocky and chubby, with deep and broad chests. Also, shugs usually have white markings on their stomach and chest area.
Most shugs have the brachycephalic snout that’s characteristic of their pug parent. And just like their pug parent, most shugs also have a black muzzle and nose.
Generally, shugs tend to inherit the tails of their pug parents. Which means that a typical shug will have a curly tail. The tail is usually curved over the dog’s back.
Temperament and personality
The German Shepherd is naturally aggressive, particularly among strangers. Pugs also tend to demonstrate mild aggression, especially while being protective of their owners.
So, a pug and German Shepherd mix is likely to exhibit mild-to-moderate aggression.
Compared to their German Shepherd parents, shugs get along better with strangers as well as with other dogs.
Shugs are also friendly and cheerful, which makes them ideal for homes with kids. The fact that these dogs are smaller than their German Shepherd parents yet cheerful like their pug parents makes them all the more suitable for young kids.
You can comfortably allow your children to play with your shug without worrying about the dog trampling over the kids and causing physical injuries.
Still on personality, shugs don’t bark a lot. Their low barking tendencies make them ineffective as guard dogs.
Intelligence and trainability
Shugs are highly intelligent dogs. Again, this is a trait that the dogs have inherited from their purebred parents.
As German Shepherds were bred for sheepherding, the dogs had to be intelligent enough to know when a sheep strayed from the flock.
Similarly, pugs possessed enough intelligence to know when a palace was under threat. Remember the case of Pompey who saved the life of The Prince of Orange by alerting him to approaching assassins?
Since shugs are highly intelligent dogs, they also have retentive memories and can remember faces and commands from months back. That makes them reasonably trainable.
However, remember that like any dog breed, it will require some time and a bit of patience to successfully impart useful skills and desirable behaviors in your shug. You’ll also need plenty of dog treats, especially for positive reinforcement training.
And if it comes down to it, hire a professional dog trainer to help train your shug. The trainer should preferably be one with a background in training shugs.
As shugs are remarkably intelligent and trainable, they’re therefore excellent for apartment living. Even first-time dog owners will find it incredibly easy to housetrain their shug.
Of course, the general training rules also apply for housetraining. Which means that you’ll need to be patient enough to help your shug learn new commands and habits, while also reinforcing positive training with relevant treats.
It’s also important to know the items you’ll need to make your dog’s life as comfortable as possible in your apartment.
One of those items is this classic Furhaven Orthopedic dog bed, which is designed with three-sided bolsters to enhance your dog’s security.
The bed also comes with additional plush cushion support for an extra layer of comfort.
Shugs with weight problems will particularly find the Furhaven Orthopedic dog bed highly useful, thanks to the inclusion of orthopedic foam that helps to cushion pressure points while also ensuring weight distribution. And as far as cleaning and maintenance is concerned, the dog bed is designed with a removable and machine-washable cover.
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MidWest Folding Crate is another crucial item that you may need to make your dog’s apartment living easy and comfortable, especially whenever you’re away. Some of the defining features of this single-door folding crate is its ease of setting up.
The crate sets up in seconds and requires no tools for assembly or disassembly. The crate is also designed with heavy-duty slide-bolt latch that securely locks the door, keeping your shug safe from hostility by other household pets.
Other noteworthy features of MidWest Folding Crate include a divider panel in case you have to house two dogs and a carrying handle for enhanced portability. There are also roller feet to protect your floor from undue staining and scratching.
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The sociability of a dog largely depends on his temperament and intelligence. And as we’ve already pointed out, shugs are cheerful in nature and highly intelligent. Therefore, these dogs also tend to be sociable.
Although a shug may display some hostility towards strangers at first, he will likely get along with the stranger sooner than his German Shepherd and pug parents would. So, once again, shugs are relatively easier to incorporate into a family with kids, as well as a family with cats and other pets.
However, note that early training is required to make the dog sociable. Generally, you should start training your German Shepherd pug mix puppies when they’re about six weeks.
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Feeding and diet
Shugs, like all dogs, deserve high-quality dog food. But the good thing about shugs is that these dogs are generally more resilient than their parents. As such, they don’t require special diets.
Your shug will do just fine with homemade dog food. Even most people foods are acceptable for them. However, beware of feeding your dog human foods containing potentially toxic ingredients, such as onions and garlic.
Although onions and garlic are safe and healthy for humans, exposure to these spices might trigger a life-threatening medical condition known as Heinz body anemia. Also, avoid feeding your dog foods that are significantly high in fats, salt, and sugar.
If you’re unsure about the right kinds of food to give your shug, insist on good-quality dry food or any supplement offered by reputable pet brands, such as this Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil. The product contains powerful omega-3 fatty acids which will go a long way in supporting your shug’s health.
Supplementing with this product will help to keep your shug’s coat and skin conditioned, while also promoting the health of his heart as well as hips and joints. Owners of skittish shugs will find this product particularly useful, as you can seamlessly integrate it into your dog’s regular food without raising any suspicion.
And as you take care of the safety and health of the foods that you feed your shug, also be watchful of the water that he drinks. Always offer fresh water to your shug to prevent the risks of gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
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Exercise plays a crucial role in the health of dogs. So, regardless of size or breed, every dog should have a regular exercise routine.
Exercise offers physical and mental stimulation to dogs, thereby helping to keep issues like boredom, loneliness, misplaced aggression, and separation anxiety at bay.
Shugs are generally playful, hence require regular exercise. But unlike their German Shepherd parents, shugs aren’t too energetic. So, while you’ll need to exercise your shug from time to time, remember that these dogs get tired easily. That’s primarily because of their brachycephalic snouts.
And if you happen to be away from home most of the time, you may need a dog trainer to help keep your shug stimulated in your absence.
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Grooming and shedding
Most shugs have short and straight fur, which shed less often. Therefore, grooming them isn’t a daily activity. Brushing your shug every week is enough to clear his hair of dander and other debris.
When it comes to oral hygiene, consider brushing your shug’s teeth 2 – 3 times a week to prevent bad breath and plaque buildup.
Other common grooming tips to implement include;
- Wiping out your shug’s ears using a damp cotton ball at least once a week to remove debris,
- Trimming his nails on a weekly basis, unless the dog wears down his nails naturally, and
- Cleaning his crate, bed, and feeding bowl at least once a day. For feeding bowls, cleaning should be done after every use.
Now, pet grooming usually comes with risks of allergy. So, you could be wondering if shugs are hypoallergenic or not.
Well, veterinary professionals observe that there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, and shugs are no exception. So, if you’re already allergic to pet saliva or dander, you can expect some adverse reactions whenever you’re grooming your shug.
The saving grace, however, is that shugs are mildly hypoallergenic, which means they have far reduced risks of triggering allergic reactions.
Even better, there are numerous products you can use to clean your dog, such as Pogi’s Plant-Based Deodorizing Dog Wipes.
These deodorizing wipes for dogs are formulated with all-natural, biodegradable compounds like Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, which will clean and rejuvenate your dog’s coats. You can use the product to wipe down virtually any part of your shug’s body, from his belly to the paws, muzzle, and even his bums.
The wipes are completely free of artificial chemicals, parabens, alcohol, and other common irritants. And the fact that the product is unscented reduces the risks of your shug sniffing, licking, or chewing on it.
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Health Issues and Life Expectancy
Shugs are fairly disease-resistant compared to their German shepherd and pug parents. However, these dogs are not entirely immune from diseases.
Some of the common shug diseases include;
- Breathing problems,
- Brachycephalic Syndrome,
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, and
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)
Although they’re quite rare, some of these diseases are debilitating and might shorten your shug’s lifespan dramatically. In the absence of disease, a shug can comfortably live for between 12 and 15 years.
You can boost your shug’s health through regular administration of probiotics, feeding the dog healthy food, and supplementing with some of the products we’ve highlighted in this post.
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How Much Do Shugs Cost?
There are hundreds of German Shepherd pug mix dogs for sale out there. Generally, German Shepherd pug mix puppies cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
Remember that this is a relatively new breed. So there’s still a lot of craze surrounding his ownership, hence the exorbitant costs.
However, your primary concern shouldn’t be the initial price of purchasing a shug pup, but the cost of maintenance. After factoring in feeding expenses, medical costs, and convenience items like toys, the average cost of maintaining a shug is $480 per year.
ALSO READ: Everything You Need About The Husky Pug Mix
So, Is A Shug Ideal For Me?
Although there are many shugs that are eligible for adoption, experts strongly advise against acquiring this dog on a whim. You should familiarize yourself with a shug’s physical and personality attributes, as well as his care and maintenance needs before bringing the dog home.
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