Introducing Your Rescue Pug to Training Part 1 |

Hi guys, welcome back! This month’s subject is rescue pugs! Firstly if you have adopted a rescue pug Congratulations!!!! I whole heartedly support adoptions and offer 20% off my services to all adoptions. Adopted pugs can be the most loving, sweet, caring dogs you will ever meet. But they can also possess some interesting quirks. As with most adoptions their history is either completely unknown or only segments known at best. Many adopted dogs have a lack of basic training and poor listening skills which leads to a poorly behaved pug.
Over the next two articles I will give you hints and tips on how to bond with your new pug, figure out their personality and give your new pug a good grounding for basic good behaviour starting here with introducing your rescue pug to training part 1.


The most common mistake I see when it comes to adoptions is assumption. Every dog is different and every dog will express itself in its own way. Get to know your pug, their strengths and weaknesses and work from there. If you do this you will build a healthy relationship with your pug based on mutual trust and respect.

One of the first steps of observation is where your pug likes to be handled… we all know that meme:

Introducing Your Rescue Pug to Training Part 1 | Source:[/caption%5D

Take your time, sit next to your pug whilst watching a movie and when it is cuddled up test your pug’s comfort lightly by providing gentle pats over its body. If your pug pulls away at any point stop probing and note the not so comfortable area. Gently stroke their ears and feet, remember we are not training at this moment we are merely testing the waters for sensitive spots.

Watching the World

Take your pug out the front of your home. Place a picnic blanket down on the ground and have your treats at the ready or a pigs ear for them to chew on. Note what your pug perks up to, other dogs, people, birds, cars. Reward calm behaviour but note down anything distressing or over exciting for your new pug. Never force interactions, allow your pug to choose to approach someone, if they decline or with draw allow them. Progress this to a quiet park as your pugs confidence becomes more evident but note and be aware of your pugs signs of discomfort

Dog Park

Dog parks are a common hurdle for any dog. You do not like everyone you meet and neither does your dog. Unfortunately pugs are at a bit of a disadvantage to other dogs. Dogs communicate via body language and due to a pugs body structure their expressions are limited. Their snorting excitement and strong body posture can be interpreted as intimidating to another dog so you need to keep a healthy eye on your pug as well as other dogs.

Do not just throw your pug in to the dog park. Wait for a quiet time and choose a fenced off park to start with. If you can walk around the outside of the park without your pug showing signs of distress, allow them inside. If you can remove yourself to a separate fenced section of the park do so and let your pug first interact with the dogs through a fence off lead. When your pug feels threatened they generally have two main basic responses, fight or flight. As your pug is tethered on lead it feels like it cannot retreat and therefore only has fight as an option.

Note down all of your notices of discomfort and during the next article we will tackle some of the more common problems that occur with rescue pugs when we continue with introducing your rescue pug to training.

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Bec Heaton

Bec Heaton

Dog Trainer at Dog Manners
Bec is a certified dog trainer and registered vet nurse. She believes all dogs are good dogs, they just need to learn some manners. Bec runs regular dog training sessions through her business Dog Manners across Sydney.