Are Retro Pugs The Dog Breed For You?

Are you thinking about buying or adopting a Retro Pug? You must know if you can support a Retro Pug and if they’re the type of dog that is suitable for you. That’s why we’ve written this helpful guide to teach you everything you need to know about Retro Pugs. 

In this article, we’ll explain how the Retro Pug was born, their temperament, health issues to look out for, how to train them, and how to groom and exercise with your pup. Now, let’s dive in to discover whether you and Retro Pugs are compatible.

What Is A Retro Pug?

Everyone loves Pugs and their smushed faces, but these faces are the result of years of breeding. The average Pug has a series of health issues caused by brachycephaly, which is what causes their distinct appearance.

However, a Retro Pug is a Pug with a longer snout, so it’s able to breathe easier. They are born this way: originally bred from a purebred Pug and a Jack Russell Terrier.

The Retro Pugs appear to have a closer resemblance to how Pugs looked before breeders started selecting them for their brachycephaly. One day, after noticing the breathing difficulties and body temperature regulation issues, some breeders in Germany decided to take a stand.

To help correct the Pug’s health problems, they bred their Pugs with Jack Russell Terriers. By combining these two breeds, they were able to reduce some of the hereditary health problems that the Pug would normally have. 

Due to this, you’ll find Retro Pugs look incredibly similar to your average Pug, but they have longer snouts, are taller, thinner, and have larger ears.

They also have a little bit darker fur than their ancestors. So, if you want a Pug without worrying about the health issues that come with them, then a Retro Pug may be a more humane option. 

What Temperament Does A Retro Pug Have?

Retro Pugs have the perfect combination of qualities from Pugs and Jack Russells. They have the same affectionate behaviour as a Pug, loyal, loving, and happy disposition.

They’re praised for their intelligence, having inherited the quality from both their parent breeds. However, they can be stubborn and demand to be the centre of attention, making them fun characters to have in the house. 

However, unlike Pugs, they don’t sleep as much and have a more active disposition due to the Jack Russel inside of them. Despite their more active nature, it doesn’t mean they’re destructive.

In fact, they are loyal and love to have affection and exercise, so as long as their needs are met, you don’t need to worry about your Retro Pug destroying your furniture. 

How Do You Train Your Retro Pug?

Naturally, Retro Pugs are in the middle when it comes to sleeping and playing. While Jack Russells are known for their energy, Pugs are known for enjoying their naps. So, your Retro Pug will need to have its needs met when it comes to exercise.

Before you start exercising your Retro Pug, you need to know how to train it. Retro Pugs are intelligent, so you should start training them as soon as they come to live with you.

By training your Retro Pug, you can keep its mind occupied, and it won’t find different outlets for its boredom. One of the best ways to train your Retro Pug is to remember to use positive reinforcement, as punishing your dog will only lead it to be afraid of you in the future.

Instead, reward it when it does something right; when it does something wrong, try again, and when it gets it right, give it a treat. That’s the best way to get your Retro Pug to obey you.

First, Housetrain Your Retro Pug

Small dogs aren’t the easiest to housetrain, but it isn’t impossible. The most important part of housetraining your Retro Pug is by getting you and your dog to stick to a routine.

Then your Retro Pug will know when they go for a walk and go outside to do their business. It’s best to train your dog so it knows when you want it to go to the bathroom.

If you want an idea for a schedule, we recommend taking your Retro Pug out after you wake up in the morning. Then, take it out again when it’s finished eating, after you play with it and before you both go to bed.

When you take your Retro Pug for a walk, you should ensure you go to the same patch of the yard so it knows where to do its business. However, don’t play with it in this area until it’s gone to the bathroom. 

When your Retro Pug doesn’t need to go to the bathroom, don’t punish it. Instead, bring it to its crate, wait for ten minutes, and try to go to the yard again. Ideally, you should keep your Retro Pug in the same room so it doesn’t have an accident on the floor.

Once your Retro Pug has a routine and knows when to go to the bathroom, you’ll find that it will benefit both you and your dog.

Consider Crate Training

Not everyone is a fan of crate training, but it’s also a way to offer a safe haven for your Retro Pug. When it’s tired of playing or socialising, it can go into its crate and rest. It will also ensure that your Retro Pug won’t cause damage to your home, and you can also bring it with you to places when you go away with your dog.

When you crate train your dog, we recommend feeding your dog in it and ensuring there’s always fresh water available. You can always close the door for a few minutes and let your dog out of the crate again so it knows it’s not being punished.

A great way to ensure your Retro Pug knows it isn’t being punished is by leaving a treat in the crate with it so it knows it will get a reward when it goes in. 

Crate training is only cruel if you don’t have the right size crate for your Retro Pug to lie down in. When you get a crate, make sure that it’s big enough for your Retro Pug to turn around and lie down as an adult. Of course, you don’t want one that’s too big either, or you may find it doing its business there as well. 

As a note, we should also mention that a wire crate can stress your Retro Pug out, so try and get one with solid sides and window vents. You don’t want to associate the crate with anything negative.

Socialise At A Puppy Class

Puppy classes are perfect for teaching your Retro Pug how to socialise with other dogs. Not only does it help teach manners when interacting with other puppies, but it’s also a great place to start teaching your puppy how to sit.

You’ll be able to teach your Retro Pug how to sit, stay, and even how to walk on a loose lead. If your dog ever gets loose on a lead, this will ensure your Retro Pug knows how to behave so it won’t run anywhere dangerous. 

How Much Should You Exercise Your Retro Pug?

Are Retro Pugs The Dog Breed For You

Retro Pugs have more energy than regular Pugs, which is why it’s essential that you ensure they get plenty of exercise. You should ideally walk your Retro Pug twice a day at least so they can use up all their energy. 

However, as Retro Pugs are a crossbreed, it can’t be certain that they will all have the same level of energy. Some may take more after Pugs than Jack Russells, so you should enquire with your vet to get an idea of how much you should exercise your dog. After all, you don’t want to over-exhaust your pet. 

Even if you have a Retro Pug, you might not be able to exercise it as much if the weather is too hot or too cold. Instead, you can play with your dog inside your home. You can play fetch or even play any kind of action game to ensure they’re still using up their energy.

How To Groom Your Retro Pug

When you have a dog, you need to groom it regularly. This will keep your Retro Pug happier, and it will help you bond with your pet. Most importantly, a well-groomed dog is a healthy one. Many people assume that grooming means brushing and bathing your pet, but it’s actually more than that.

If you regularly groom your Retro Pug, you can keep an eye on whether they have any new lumps or bumps and contact your vet to contact them. Here are our grooming recommendations to look after your Retro Pug.

You should bathe your Retro Pug once or twice a month with a sensitive skin shampoo for dogs and brush it every one to three days. Gently clean its wrinkles every day and its eyes too. You should clean its ear flaps a few times a week and clean its paws each day.

Every six weeks, you should clean your Retro Pug’s ear canals and clip its nails. You should also clean its nostrils every two to three weeks. Retro Pugs do require some maintenance, but it’s not impossible to look after one. 

What Health Conditions Might A Retro Pug Have?

Even though Retro Pugs are healthier than the average Pug, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have health problems. All dogs have health problems at some point in their lives, so you should keep an eye on the issues they may face.

You’ll notice there are five distinct health problems that Retro Pugs may have. These include allergies, epilepsy, dental problems, hip and shoulder dysplasia, and skin cancer. Now, let’s find out how you can keep an eye on these issues before they get worse.


Retro Pugs can experience significant itchiness and may suffer from skin lesions. If you take your dog on a walk through the grass, it may have an allergic reaction. This is because it may inhale pollen, and the same can happen if they’re around dust mites. 

Likewise, some dogs are allergic to certain food products. Gluten and dairy are common allergies for dogs, and you might find that it’s allergic to a certain animal protein. Keep an eye on what your dog is eating and how it responds to dust and pollen, and you should find out what your pup is allergic to.


Jack Russells often have issues with epilepsy, and it can be passed down to Retro Pugs. You’ll notice if your Retro Pug has epilepsy, as the seizures will typically start when they’re young.

The good news about epilepsy is that you can control and monitor it, but it needs to be done carefully, and you’ll need to ensure they have the correct medication. 

Dental Problems

Not all Retro Pugs have a longer snout, and even if they do, they’re not long enough to prevent dental problems. Their jaws are too short to hold all of their teeth, so you’ll need to brush your Retro Pug’s teeth regularly. You don’t want to see a buildup of cavities, tartar, or gum disease.

When you brush your dog’s teeth, you should check if its breath smells bad, and if it does, contact your veterinarian. 


Retro Pugs may struggle with hip or shoulder dysplasia, with dysplasia referring to an abnormal joint. This can lead to your Retro Pug having issues with arthritis in the future.

Dysplasia is a genetic issue for dogs, and you may find that it runs in their family. This is why dogs with dysplasia shouldn’t be bred, or it will be passed on to another generation. 

Skin Cancer

Humans and dogs can suffer from skin cancer, so you should always look for moles or lumps on your Retro Pug. Retro Pugs are at significant risk of mast cell tumours and squamous cell carcinomas.

If you notice any changes in your Retro Pug’s skin, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Skin cancer can become a much bigger issue as your dog gets older. 

These are the five significant health issues your Retro Pug may have. However, there are other issues it may face, so you should ensure your dog visits the vet regularly for check-ups to ensure it remains healthy.

Is A Retro Pug The Right Dog Breed For You?

Retro Pugs can live up to sixteen years of age, so when getting one, you need to remember it’s a long commitment.

The best thing about them is that they have a wonderful temperament and get along well with children, especially when trained correctly. You can keep them in large or small houses, and once socialised, they get along well with other dogs as well as humans. 

When you buy a Retro Pug, you need to remember the time and effort that goes into training them and maintaining their health. While they have fewer issues than your average Pug, they still struggle with health issues that may require expensive treatment.

So, you should ensure you can afford your pet if any health issues arise. You should consider medical treatment and the time spent maintaining their health. 

Suppose you have the time available to train and look after your dog and the funds to look after it. In that case, a Retro Pug may be the perfect companion to add to your household. 

Final Thoughts

When you’re looking for a pet dog, you should always consider that you have the time and energy to spend on its care. The great news about Retro Pugs is that they have a friendly temperament and get along well with others. However, you need to consider whether you can look after it to ensure no health issues arise in the future. 

If you have more questions about Retro Pugs or any other breeds, please check out some of our other articles. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Retro Pugs Live?

A healthy Retro Pug can live for fifteen years of age or older, depending on how it is raised.

Do Retro Pugs Have Health Problems?

Retro Pugs have fewer health issues when compared to purebred pugs, but they may still struggle with some. 


  • Jonathan Spaeth

    I'm a professional business person who loves dogs. I'm motivated by a passion for dogs and a deep understanding of pet care and behavior. I have more than 10 years of experience in animal healthcare—my lifelong passion for helping dogs.

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