Pugs are not normally known to be aggressive dogs, so pug aggression is not normally a problem. However, they might exhibit this kind of behavior on occasion because they are, after all, dogs and dogs are instinctual animals with primitive natures.
Stopping pug aggression involves understanding the sometimes complex pack nature of the animal and acting accordingly.
Signs of Pug Aggression
These signals will alert you to aggressive behavior:
- Raised hackles
- Raised tail
- Raised ears high on head
- Growling, snarling and snapping
- Unwillingness to part with toys
Pug Aggression towards Other Dogs
If you have several dogs or several pugs in your household, it is natural for there to be a certain amount of infighting among them to establish the natural pecking order. Careful attention to your pack will soon reveal who is the top dog. This takes many forms:
- Territorial aggression. Just like humans, pugs need their space. They need to know that a certain territory is theirs and will defend it with aggression towards the other dogs that threaten to trespass.
- Dominance. Pugs might show aggression towards other dogs in an attempt to establish authority. This is quite natural and owners should allow this to happen.
- Confusion. If pug owners do not respect the natural hierarchy of their dogs, then the leader will have to constantly reassert his position, leading to continued aggression. the
- Lack of socialization. A pug that is taken away from its litter too early may not have learnt the necessary social skills that would allow it to peacefully co-exist with other dogs. Your job would be to make your pug feel safe and secure whilst enforcing your role as pack leader.
Pug Aggression towards Humans
As pugs are usually easy-going and amiable creatures, any form of aggression beyond the norm should be investigated for possible causes.
- Injury or pain. Make sure that your pug has not been hurt in some way. An undetected injury may be making him irritable and snappy.
- Illness. If your typically docile pug suddenly starts acting with hostility, assume that something is wrong and get him checked out at the vet for a medical assessment. An underactive thyroid or neurological disorder may be the cause of his atypical behavior.
- Possessiveness. Pugs love their food and may become aggressive when they feel their food is threatened in some way, like when a small child approaches. You have two choices here. Either avoid the circumstances where your pug might feel threatened, which is not always possible or practical, or apply training techniques. This will take some time while your pug unlearns the behaviour, but will be the better route to take in the long run.
- Trauma. Your pug might be reacting badly because of fear or insecurity.
- Hormones. Aggression can be limited by spaying or neutering your dog, as peaks in hormones tend to aggravate hostile behaviour.
Overall, pugs are peaceable dogs, so hostile reactions are fairly rare. Pug aggression, therefore, should be taken seriously any time it occurs and dealt with.