Husky Pug Mix: Why You Should Rescue This Breed

Husky Pug Mix Breed Overview
Photo Credit: Reddit

The Siberian Husky and Pug are two of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. With the Husky being the 15th most popular dog breed and the Pug being the 31st, it is no wonder many people think about combining the two into one designer breed.

Like any responsible potential dog adopter, you are probably here to check if there are any health and/or ethical concerns around getting yourself a Husky Pug Mix. Read on to learn about the background of this breed and whether you should pull the trigger on searching for a Pugsky.

Overview of Pugs

Pugs are physically characterized by their adorable flat, wrinkled face. These charming little dogs have captured the hearts of many due to their affectionate disposition and small size.

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Temperament: Affectionate, social, quiet, playful, and stubborn

Coat colors: Black, apricot, fawn, silver fawn

Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

Height: 10 to 14 inches

History of the Pug

Understandably so, Pugs have become very popular in recent history. You will see many Pug owners, from social media influencers posing in photos with their cute little Pugs to neighbors walking their little buddy.

You may have wondered, though, exactly how long have Pugs been around for? Surprising to many, Pugs have been historically pampered in luxuries and loved immensely by Chinese culture.

The roots of the Pug dog breed go back to the Han dynasty. Pugs consist of three subtypes including the Pekingese, Lion dog, and Lo-sze. Many believe the Pug got its name from the Latin word pugnus, which means ‘fist’, referencing the smooshed appearance of a Pug’s face.

A Pug’s main purpose during the Han dynasty was to provide companionship to the wealthy. Due to their lovable nature and flexible disposition, Pug dogs were cherished in this culture. Owners went as far as to keep guards and servants to look after their beloved dogs.

Fast forward to the 1500s; Pugs made their way into Europe via Chinese-Dutch trades. They were embraced by European culture and managed to enjoy lives of luxury just as they had in China.

By the end of the Civil War, they had entered the United States. Although they are not considered royalty here in the USA, we love our Pugs just as much as the rest of the world!

Finally, in 1885, the Pug dog breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Overview of Siberian Huskies

The Siberian Husky is the 15th most popular dog breed in the United States and is widely known worldwide. Huskies are a working breed with a thick double-coat meant to thrive in colder climates.

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Temperament: Intelligent, independent, strong-willed, and alert

Coat Colors: White, black, sable, gray, gray and white, red and white, sable and white, silver-gray, black and white, black and tan

Weight: Females range from 35-50 lbs and males range from 45-60 lbs

Height: Females range from 20-22 inches and males range from 21-24 inches

History of the Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky breed originates from a group of dogs that resided around the Anadyr River and Eastern Siberia region. In 1908, Huskies were imported into Alaska to be used as sled dogs during the gold rush.

In addition, Huskies were entered in a 408-mile dog sled race (“All-Alaska Sweepstakes”) that consisted of traveling from Nome to Candle and back to Nome. Due to their more agile and athletic body type, Siberian Huskies dominated the competition.

These dangerous endurance competitions continued until around 1925 and have been portrayed in well-recognized films such as Balto and Togo. Earning admiration from many due to these races, a bronze statue has since been built in Central Park, NYC.

In the year 1930, the Siberian Husky was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. Huskies gained recognition in Canada in 1939 and then in the United Kingdom in 1938 (although referred to as the Arctic Husky).

The attention the Siberian Husky breed has gained due to their striking looks and incredible endurance is deserved but tragic. Since the first All-Alaska Sweepstakes competition in the early 1900s, more grueling dog sledding competitions have been created.

One of these races, known as the Iditarod, has resulted in the death of more than 150 dogs, with up to half of the dogs not finishing due to illness, exhaustion, or injury. Unfortunately, the consequences of this breed’s popularity do not end there.

Today, many Siberian Huskies are purchased from breeders and adopted from dog shelters by inexperienced owners who do not grasp their high physical and mental stimulation requirements. As result, they are returned and abandoned by owners at an alarming rate.

Ethical Concerns of the Husky Pug Mix

Husky Pug Mix

Although the potential for inheriting health risks comes from both parent breeds, many Husky-Pug crossbreeds experience health issues from the Pug side. By nature, Pugs have many health problems that have raised concern. Many believe it to be unethical to breed Pugs due to their genetics.

Here are some potential (and serious) health issues you should consider before getting a Husky Pug mix.

Pug Breed Health Risks

Here are some of the health risks which Pugs are of high risk.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

A hip deformity, common to small dogs, that reduces blood supply to the head of the rear leg bone and results in leg shrinkage.

Portosystemic Shunts

Liver shunts are extremely serious and over half of the dogs diagnosed are euthanized within 10 months. Although some dogs are able to survive with special diets and medication, surgery is the number one treatment for this condition.

Proptosis

Dogs breeds with bulging eyes and shallow sockets, such as the Pug, are prone to proptosis. Proptosis is when the eye comes out of the socket and occurs post-trauma.

Arachnoid Cysts

Arachnoid cysts is a central nervous system disorder that is genetically inherited.

Fold Dermatitis

Pugs can develop skin fold dermatitis due to their short, twisted tails.

Entropion

Entropion is an eyelid abnormality which occurs when the eyelid rolls inwards. This results in surface eyelid hair rubbing against the cornea.

Necrotizing Meningo-Encephalitis

This condition is a rapidly progressive and fatal inflammatory brain disorder. Dog breeds at high risk of Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis include toy breeds such as the Pug.

Siberian Husky Health Risks

These are some of the heritable risks Siberian Huskies are subject to.

Cataracts

Cataracts affects about ten percent of the Siberian Husky breed and will usually develop before they are one-year-old. Be sure to have your dog regularly check with a veterinarian to avoid blindness.

Corneal Dystrophy

An inherited condition that causes cloudiness to a dog’s eyes.

Uveodermatologic Syndrome

This condition is mostly cosmetic but has the potential to cause blindness in extreme cases.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

PRA causes the retina of a dog’s eye to deteriorate and leads to canine blindness.

Follicular Dysplasia

Follicular dysplasia has no treatment and causes abnormal hair growth, hair loss, and infectious skin.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a very painful condition that requires surgery.

Zinc Deficiency

Check with your veterinarian often to combat potential zinc deficiency in your Siberian Husky.

Hypothyroidism

This condition involves an abnormal secretion of the thyroid gland.

Want to learn about one of our favorite Siberian Husky mixes? Check out the German Shepherd Husky Mix.

Why You May Still Want a Husky Pug

Health concerns aside, there are many reasons to love and want to adopt a Pugsky. Not only are they adorable, but they are also a wonderful companion. Here are some common Hug traits you may find endearing:

  • Very friendly, especially to family members and children
  • Attentive and alert
  • Lower exercise requirements than a purebred Siberian Husky
  • Generally cost less to care for due to size (less food, water, boarding costs, etc)
  • Easy to transport due to their small size

Husky Pug Mix Overview

Husky Pug Mix Breed Overview

What is a Husky Pug Mix Called?

Husky Pug mixes are often referred to by several names. You will often hear this breed called a Hug, Siberian Husky Pug, Pug Siberian Husky, or a Pugsky.

Physical Traits and Appearance

The overall appearance of a Hug dog is very difficult to predict. There is a lot of range in Pugsky puppies and adult dogs. To get an idea of what your dog will grow up to look like, check out some example photos of the Hug dog.

Height

Husky Pugs are the offspring of a small/toy-sized dog and a medium-sized dog. This means there is going to be a lot of variability in terms of size. You can expect your Pugsky to have an adult height of anywhere from 10-23 inches.

Weight

Just like height, there will be a lot of variability in weight. Be prepared for your Hug to be anywhere in between 30-60 pounds as an adult.

Color and Coat

Colors will vary within the range of the Siberian Husky and Pug parent breeds. Coats can be short like the Pug breed or fluffy and coarse like the Siberian Husky.

What Husky Pugs Can Look Like

Here is a cute little video featuring some young Pugsky puppies.

Personality and Temperament

Personality and temperament is hard to predict but you can get an idea of the possibilities through the parent breeds.

Pugs are often described as being docile, loving, attentive, mischievous, affectionate, playful, charming, calm, social, stubborn, and clever.

Siberian Huskies are known for being very smart, gentle, outgoing, nonterritorial, alert, extraverted, and alert.

Barking

Although Pugs and Huskies generally do not bark very much, Huskies are still very vocal dogs. Many people describe the noises Huskies make as howling, yelling, or yodeling – and they do it often.

As for Pugs, rather than barking, they do sometimes scream. See this video below for an example. Sorry, I couldn’t help but add this. Enjoy.

Other Pets and Families

When it comes to children and families, both the Pug and Husky are considered excellent pets. This means Husky Pugs tend to get the green light as well.

If you straight-up prefer a dog that has difficulty when it comes to biting friends and children, take note that Pugs struggle to be aggressive. Their facial anatomy simply won’t permit it.

Huskies are known for being gentle with children; however, they are very active and high-energy dogs. Kids could get accidentally knocked down, so be sure to socialize and train your dog correctly.

Grooming a Husky Pug Mix

Shedding

Contrary to what you may think logical, Pugs shed year round-and they shed a lot. While most dogs shed seasonally, you can expect a Pug to lose its hair all year long.

Huskies, on the other hand, shed seasonally. They do what is described as “blowing” their coat once or twice a year before a seasonal change. Keep in mind, your Siberian Husky will shed more if you live in a warmer climate.

Pugsky shedding can go either way, depending on the genetics they inherit. There isn’t a way of predicting this if you get your Husky Pug mix as a puppy.

Regardless, be sure to properly groom your baby on a regular basis.

Hypoallergenic?

Neither the Siberian Husky nor Pug are hypoallergenic dogs. As result, the Husky Pug mix is also not hypoallergenic.

Exercise Requirements of a Husky Pug Mix

Just like the temperament, grooming, and appearance expectations, you should play exercise needs by ear. Depending on whether your Hug’s Siberian Husky genes or Pug genes are dominant, you will need to adjust how much you exercise them.

Let’s break down the general exercise requirements of each parent breed to give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that your Hug’s exercise needs may change throughout their lives. What they will need as a puppy is likely to be different from when they become an adult dog.

Siberian Husky Exercise Needs

Huskies are probably one of the most active dog breeds you will ever encounter. Since these dogs were bred to run for miles, hours at a time, they are going to have an extremely athletic disposition.

To keep your Husky happy, be prepared to provide intense exercise for at least two hours per day. Unless you take your Husky out often, it is not recommended to own one if you are living in a home without a yard.

Huskies are bursting at the seams with energy, and if they are unable to get it out the healthy way, they will get it out in the form of misbehaving. This is in no way their fault.

If you are planning on getting a Siberian Husky or a Husky mixed breed, your best bet is to give them the exercise they need. You will also want to make sure you want to do it too!

Your dog wants to enjoy themselves with you and if you are noticeably unhappy going out with them, they will take notice. See this as an opportunity to connect with your Husky and get some fresh air.

However, if you are not realistically the type who wants to go out often with their dog, that’s okay! There are plenty of other dog breeds that will float your boat. There are so many different kinds of dogs, and you will definitely find the perfect one if you keep looking.

Pug Exercise Needs

Pugs have loads of energy, but it is much easier for them to expend it than it is for a Husky. There is no need for you to have the largest backyard ever or to go out for 2 hour walks a day.

The beauty of having small and toy breed dogs is they will entertain themselves by running around your home on their own accord. Since they are so small in size you do not have to worry much about their playtime becoming destructive to your property.

Aside from letting your Pug run around your home, you can keep them happy by going for a shorter 30 minute walk once or twice a day. If you want to give your Pug some extra stimulation, you can take them around on errands as they are easy to transport.

Check out these dog backpack carriers for some great options to carry your Pug around in. There are awesome backpacks for hiking trips, but also for travel and grocery store visits.

Exercise Takeaway

If you are flexible in the amount of exercise you are willing to provide your Hug, then this could be a great dog breed for you to own. Overall, be ready to go out anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. Your dog will love you for it and so will your waistline!

Dietary Needs of a Husky Pug Mix

When it comes to the diet of any dog, you will want to check with a professional. Seek advice from your local veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Hug dog.

In general, the diets owners will ultimately choose to give their dog will be exclusively or a combination of raw dog food, kibble, freeze-dried dog food, or canned wet food.

Certain dog breeds will tend to have specific allergies at higher rates than others, but there is no guarantee of which allergy your dog will have, if any at all. Play it by ear and work closely with your vet to help your dog live their best life.

Husky Pug Mix

Training a Husky Pug Mix

Siberian Husky dogs are generally seen as intelligent and have a large capacity to learn. Pugs, on the other hand, are a bit more average when it comes to dog intelligence.

An important trait (and arguably the most crucial) is willingness to learn. You can have the smartest dog in the world, but if they refuse to listen to you and are fiercely independent, you are going to have a hard time.

Both the Siberian Husky and Pug are known to be a bit stubborn. Because of this, you will need to have a patient personality. When it comes to the Husky, even as a puppy, you will notice you are being tested.

Huskies are very independent dogs and not as willing to please their owners as some may expect. However, by strengthening your bond and earning the respect of your dog, you will notice much more cooperation on their end.

As long as you are consistent, use positive reinforcement, and have your dog’s respect as the leader of your household, you will do just fine.

Training Tips for a Hug Pusky

Begin Training While They Are Young/ First day Home

Although it is tempting to sit back and try to reap the benefits of dog ownership, it simply won’t happen without putting the work in first. Chances are, you are bringing home a puppy that has never experienced training or a rescue dog who wasn’t trained properly or may have even been abused.

Training your dog from the first day they are brought home will help set the tone for the rest of your dog ownership experience. Do not be afraid of your dog resenting you for teaching them how to behave. Just like teaching children to become proper adults, training them will help them enjoy life much more in the long run.

Be Consistent in Your Training

If your dog knows what is expected from them, they will have much better behavior overall. Inconsistencies with training tells your dog that they do not have to do certain things, because the outcome is uncertain.

You will notice a dog that has had consistent training will obey commands every single time. By training your dog on a regular basis, you will also provide them with the necessary mental stimulation to be happy.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Dogs respond the best to positive reinforcement. Punishing your dog for not understanding commands will deteriorate your bond with them, and even give them anxiety.

Anxious dogs tend to lash out at owners and strangers, so avoid this situation at all costs. Instead, use training as an opportunity to connect with your dog and have fun!

Every time your dog does something correctly, give them lots of praise or even a small treat. This will help them look forward to training sessions and listening to you in general.

Earn Your Dog’s Respect as Their Leader

Dogs are pack animals, so there is a hierarchy that needs to be established. Whether or not your attempt to create a hierarchy, your dog will decide in their head who is boss.

It is best for your dog to see you as their leader and respect you. They will listen more to you and value you more as well.

Cost of a Husky Pug Mix

Just like other purebred dogs and designer breeds, the cost of your Husky Pug mix will vary a lot. If you are purchasing from a store or breeder, you can expect your Hug to cost a couple thousand dollars.

However, the best deal overall is to find your Hug at a rescue. Not only will your Hug cost no more than a few hundred bucks, but you will also be promoting the rescue of abandoned and/or abused dogs.

This is especially important in the case of the Husky Pug mix. It may not be the most ethical option to search for a breeder of this type of dog as they are prone to many health complications.

If you must have a dog that is purebred or a designer mix, consider a type that has minimal health issues. It will save you money, and more importantly, improve the quality of life for your dog.

Husky Pug Mix Rescues

Are you ready to search for your new Husky Pug mix? I bet you are!

Since Hug rescues do not exist at the moment, your best bet will be to look for one in one of the parent breed’s shelters. Here is a list of shelters for the Siberian Husky and Pug breeds by area.

Siberian Husky Rescues

Midwest and Pacific Northwest – United States

Adopt a Husky

New Jersey

Husky House

Delaware

Siberian Husky Rescue

North Carolina

Southern Siberian Rescue

Illinois

Free Spirit Siberian Rescue

Pug Rescues

California

Tiny Paws Pug Rescue

Alabama

Alabama Pug Rescue

New York

Buffalo Pugs

Florida

Central Florida Pug Rescue

References

American Kennel Club

Peta Coverage on Iditarod

Pug Pros on Liver Shunts

VCA Hospitals on Eyelid Entropion

NCBI on Necrotizing meningoencephalitis

ASPCA on proptosis

PetMD on corneal dystrophy

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