Pugs as a Good Watch Dog or a Guard Dog

A common question pondering all Pug owners, which is if Pugs as a Good Watch Dog or a Guard Dog? But before we check this, lets read a little about Pugs as a dog breed. There is one famous saying about pugs that every pug lover knows, it’s “multum in parvo”, “much in little”. One of the oldest breeds of dogs, the Pugs have its origins in Asia and are closely related to the Pekingese. Today, the Pug ranks 33rd in breed popularity in the US and 14th most popular breed in the UK.

An adult pug generally weighs around 14-18 pounds and stand between 10-15 inches in height. They are brachycephalic (short-nosed) breed just like Bulldogs, which also means they need special care during hot, humid weather. They are quite famous for their adorable wrinkles and a cute short curled tail.

Pugs can be characterized by deep wrinkles around their eyes and head, prominent dark eyes and flat round face. And this wrinkled look resembles a range of human expressions – happiness, curiosity, surprise, gloomy.

Purebred pugs generally have three colour variations namely the Fawn, the black pug and Bridle coloured. These dogs were originally bred by the Chinese emperors for serving as lapdogs. Therefore, if you expect them to hunt or guard, you are completely mistaken. These furry companions are more into providing you company by sitting on your lap rather than retrieving. However, they aren’t shy and not afraid to bark when they sense danger. So, with good training Pugs can make good watch dogs.

General Temperament of Pugs

Pugs are generally loyal with a good temperament and have a kind personality, are calm, quiet, clever, and good at making friends. Pugs are known to be quite playful and friendly and they love to be with family and will find ways to please them.

They adapt well to almost all living conditions and can fit well to flat or apartment living as well. They make wonderful companions to people of all ages. While on one hand they like the company of children and sturdy enough to be with small kids on the other they are great for seniors as they don’t need a lot of exercise or grooming. A pug will be happily curled up beside you while you read or watched TV. They comply well with other dogs or pets in the world.

They have strong personalities and are hungry for attention. However, the temperament of this breed can be influenced by several factors including heredity, training and socialization.

Difference Between a Guard Dog and Watch Dog? 

pug dog breed

Since both the names are often used interchangeably, many people are unsure of the distinction between guard dogs and watchdogs.

When the question comes to the fact of whether watchdogs or guard dogs are best to protect your place, they both do it perfectly but with their specialties. Using the terms synonymously is almost like saying that your receptionist in your doorkeeper works the same as your security guard.

Therefore, to make the understanding easier, watchdogs are not ferocious. Their only function is to alert their owner about an impending unusual threat detected. Hyper reactive dogs are not good as a watchdog but suit guard dogs or attack dogs. The perfect breed of watchdog should be intelligent and capable enough to determine whether the threat is real or fake. It should not harm the innocence but alert the people about the incoming risks. Irrespective of their size, watchdogs generally have a loud barking capacity and they continuously monitor the movement of the suspicious person while circling their owner to ensure their safety.

On the contrary, a guard dog is also capable of barking to alert its owner but is also quite capable of attacking and restraining the intruder from getting into the house. They initially try to restrain the threat from entering the house by only barking and scaring them. However, in case, it does not work, they move to plan B, which is, at times, attacking. 

Since watchdogs do not bite, they do not need excessive training. However, guard dogs have strong senses and, therefore, they need proper training to be able to determine whether it is a friend or a foe. If otherwise, the damage caused can be really serious. 

Why do Pugs make a better watch dog than a guard dog? 

Pug as a good watch dog

Yes, Pugs do make reasonably good watch dogs. However, if you are looking for a dog that can protect your area and attack an incoming intruder like German Shepherd or Rottweiler or Doberman, Pugs are not the ideal choice for you. Having said this, they can alarm you if they see someone at the door or sense any sign of incoming danger. They are not shy to bark if there is something wrong. Also, pugs have proved their capability as watch dog in the past.

In the 16th century, Prince William’s life was saved by Pompey the pug, a renowned example of a pug defending its master. Pompey overheard the noise of the assassins attempt to creep into his tent and alerted his mater by a loud barking and scratching and thus thwarted an assassination attempt. While all dogs have more or less guarding abilities it is important for owners to understand the level of guarding, they want their dogs to be. In most cases the intimidation factor combined with their watchful nature and barking ability is a good option to deter any threats.

Whilst they are persistent barkers, they will bark to alert you till they perceive something as threat to you or your family. They will also not leave the stranger and continuously monitor their movements unless they get a signal from their owners. They are gentle animals on home and mostly spend time sleeping or resting but the sight of stranger will certainly make them aware. They are most likely to confront an incoming threat and will let you know about them by their barking skills

Also, lets see what owners have to say about their Pug:

Personally, mine is very protective of me. Everyone who lives around me, maintenance men, etc. say so. If it were a real danger, I’d have no doubts he would attack full force. Even his accidental nip hurts. – Brittany S

My little guy tries fiercely to protect me. He’s very loyal & he’s very intuitive to when I don’t feel safe. – Kristen Kramlich

Unfortunately, not every Pug will make an excellent watchdog. You may need to train some of them, but you can get them to sound an alarm when someone enters your yard or knocks on your door if you are consistent.

How can you train Pugs to be a good watch/guard dog? 

Many people perceive pugs to be pleasant and outgoing. In spite of this, you may still teach your pet dog to become a watchdog. The ultimate idea is to get them to bark anytime they see anything strange going on around your property so that you can monitor their behaviour. Whether you can’t figure out why your pug is barking, you’ll never know if he’s responding to danger.

1. How to Handle a Barking Pug

Developing a watchdog in your pug is simply a matter of training and conditioning. As an example, let’s imagine you just purchased a pug from a breeder and saw it barking. To begin, show respect for their barks (means of communication) by rushing to their side as swiftly as possible. To get to the bottom of why they were barking, you’ll need to investigate. Praise, pat, and reward your pug for barking at a stranger who was approaching your house. This demonstrates to your pug that they performed a nice deed and reinforces this behaviour, making them more inclined to do it again.

2. Training Goals and Expectations

Some pug owners will have no problem turning their pup into a watchdog, while others may struggle mightily. It all relies on how close you are to your pug and how well you understand each other’s feelings and needs. When it comes to personality, all pugs are unique despite the fact that they are all members of the same breed. As a result, you shouldn’t expect your dog to obey your every instruction without any question or hesitation.

3. Motivation

As previously said, pugs are known for their stubbornness, thus training them may be a challenge. If you’re struggling with bad habits, concentrate on the positive aspects of your relationship with your loved ones. If you provide your pug with the correct kind of encouragement, he or she is more likely to succeed. It makes no difference what kind of instruction you get. In order to get your dog to follow your directions, you’ll need to show him or her that you care. Once again, you may take advantage of their love of food and reward them with goodies while teaching them to be watchdogs.

4. Reinforcement: Positive vs. Negative

When it comes to training their pets, some individuals like to use negative reinforcement, while others prefer to use positive rewards. Since you can train your dog by rewarding them correctly, we encourage positive reinforcement. If you use scolding as a kind of negative reinforcement with your pug, you may be doing more damage than good. Fear and worry are the last things you want to happen to your child.


  • They come with strong emotional intelligence and the ability to adapt, they seem to be more protective and proactive.
  • They can be easily trained since they easily familiarize themselves with the new rules and commands.
  • The effectiveness of watchdogs is not dependent on their physical intimidatingness. Hence pug is the perfect option if you are looking for a smaller watchdog.
  • Pugs are affectionate, loyal, and loving animals that would do everything to get their owners’ attention.
  • They are also very loyal and will do anything to protect their owners at any cost. Watchdogs benefit greatly from this quality since it compels them to be vigilant and on the lookout for anything that might threaten their family members.


Q. Is it true that a pug has a degree to its name?

In 2009, a pug named Chester Ludlow from Vermont completed its online degree from Rochville University. Well, sources say that the owner of this pug submitted his dog’s resume along with $499 to Rochville University. A week later, he received a box consisting of the dog’s MBA certificate for distinction, two sets of college transcripts and membership for student council.

Do pugs snore?

Unlike other breeds, pugs snore. The flat faces of this breed cause them to snore as loud as a human being. Further, this breed also deals with sleeping problems. As owners, you can see your dog sleeping in awkward positions (mouth open or chin raised) throughout the house.

Who is Cheeka?

Cheeka is a popular Pug who featured as a mascot for the Hutch company named Vodafone. It was from then that the breed started getting famous, not only in India; but throughout Asia. Later, it also turned out to be the highest used dog in commercials.

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