Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Pom-A-Pug
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No, the Pom-A-Pug is not a new Pokémon that has been released, it is in fact a delightful hybrid of the dainty little Pomeranian and the wrinkly, wacky Pug. A couple of incredibly popular purebred pets, it was an inevitability that these two would be cross bred at some stage. Small and robust with a puppy-like, fluffy coat, the Pom-A-Pug is utterly adorable.

Inheriting the bravery of both parent breeds, the Pom-A-Pug makes up for what they lack in stature with their unwavering confidence. Playful and loving, this designer dog is a sensible choice for those with young children in search of a furry friend.

About & History

The Pom-A-Pug is also known as the Pugpom and the Pugeranian and, unfortunately, little is known about its creation. As the peak of the designer dog movement occurred during the 1980s and 1990s, most assume that it was during these decades that the Pom-A-Pug first originated. As both of their parent breeds have royal connections, it’s little wonder that the Pom-A-Pug has such a high opinion of itself!

The Pug

The Pug has soared in popularity in recent years and many wrongly assume that they are a relatively new breed when in fact they are one of the most ancient dogs in existence. An oriental dog that is several thousand years old, Pugs are known to have been highly regarded by Chinese aristocracy who admired them for their appearance. At one time, it was only royalty that were allowed to own the sought-after breed.

Inevitably, they were exported around Asia throughout the years and, in the 1500s, were brought to mainland Europe by Dutch sailors. Impressively, their links to the upper society continued and they became the official breed of the House of Orange. Over the years, Pugs have been inbred to make their features more accentuated. This has resulted in a dog with an excessively squished face, prominent skinfolds and shortened limbs. Sadly, it is undeniable that the health of the Pug has suffered directly from our desire to make them look a certain way.

The Pomeranian

Pomeranians are delightful little Spitz dogs with a sparky personality and endless curiosity. Often referred to as ‘little foxes’, they have a slender muzzle, prick ears and a luxuriously thick coat. First established within Europe, this small dog is thought to come from the historical region of ‘Pomerania’, now occupied by Germany and Poland.

One of the most notable people in the history of the Pom is Queen Victoria of England who cherished the breed, and who particularly admired the smaller individuals. In fact, it is thought that over her lifetime, Queen Victoria was responsible for shrinking the Pomeranian to about half of its original size.


Pom-A-Pugs are the result of breeding two quite different dogs so it is little wonder that there will be a good deal of variation when it comes to the physical appearance of each individual. They are a small breed but far stockier than the Pomeranian and more proportionately built than the Pug. They have rounded skulls with wide foreheads and ears, which may stand erect or fold down in sweet triangles to the side of their face.

Most will have a muzzle that is longer than that of the Pug, meaning they are less prone to the associated breathing issues. They have a thick neck, wide chest and medium length limbs. Whether they inherit the curled Pug tail or the well-plumed, high-set tail of the Pomeranian is down to chance.

Standing between 20cm and 33cm and weighing between 3kg and 6kg, the Pom-A-Pug is a small dog but will be both taller and heavier than their Pomeranian parent. The fur of the Pom-A-Pug is medium in length and relatively dense, fluffy in appearance and giving the impression of a permanent ‘puppy coat’. Many will have longer fur on their ears and tail – a rather endearing feature indeed! Most will have fawn coats with a dark facial mask and black ears, though it is also possible for them to be entirely black and some will have patches of white fur.

Character & Temperament

A cheerful, self-assured dog, the Pom-A-Pug is born with a sense of entitlement and is rarely shy. This happy-go-lucky dog can integrate well with people of all ages and pets of all shapes and sizes, provided they are thoroughly socialised when young. They are known for their tolerance and rarely take a dislike to anyone. A degree of wariness around new people is not uncommon but this seldom lasts long.

Some individuals can be prone to yapping and this may become excessive if not dealt with from a young age. Another potential issue that can arise is ‘small dog syndrome’. This is especially likely to occur if they are mollycoddled and treated like babies rather than the dogs that they are. There is a temptation to do this due to their small size and cute appearance, but owners should be aware that this often results in an unhappy dog that can become aggressive. Consistent training and sensible ownership can usually prevent this issue from developing in the first place.


Some dogs are notoriously stubborn and may take some extra persuading when it comes to their training. However, they certainly have the brains and ability to master most that is asked of them, so patience and repetition are key. Some are more independent than others but will be happy to go along with what is asked of them as long as there is something in it for them!

Training sessions should be kept short and sweet as Pom-A-Pugs can quickly lose interest and become distracted with other things. Maintaining consistency and ensuring that the rules are applied by all family members will go a long way.


The health of the Pug has been put under the spotlight recently as they are known to suffer from a myriad of significant issues due to their conformation. In fact, Holland has recently ruled against breeding from those with the shortest of muzzles. One surefire way of improving their health is to crossbreed them sensibly, meaning hybrids, such as the Pom-A-Pug, are a welcome addition to the larger Pug family.

Mitral Valve Disease

Typically a slowly progressive disease, the first indication that a dog has Mitral Valve Disease is usually a low-grade heart murmur that the vet picks up on a routine health check. Any murmur classified as a grade 3 out of 6 or higher should be investigated.

Diagnostic tests, such as chest X-rays and echocardiograms, may be performed to determine if Mitral Valve Disease is present. Though not curable, the progression of the disease can be slowed down with daily medication.

Patellar Luxation

Small dogs are known for developing patellar luxation or kneecaps that pop in and out of place. Many will live with this condition without developing any degree of local pain or arthritis but some will be more seriously affected and may need medical or even surgical intervention.

Tracheal Collapse

A collapsing trachea (windpipe) is a progressive condition that results in a dry, honking cough which may initially be mistaken for a viral infection, such as Kennel Cough. As we know that being overweight adversely affects this condition, it is important that any diagnosed dogs be kept slim. Similarly, pressure should never be applied to their neck so harnesses are preferred to neck collars when being walked.

Dry Eye

The signs of dry eye can be hard for owners to spot so any breed that is predisposed to the condition should have their tear production checked on a regular basis. Those with dry eyes are prone to chronic infections and may even develop a dangerous corneal ulceration. Dry eye is managed with daily drops.

Exercise and Activity Levels

While a lively little character, the Pom-A-Pug does not have particularly high exercise requirements and though they will be active within their home they do not require hours of hiking or running every day. They enjoy playing in the back yard and will happily join in any game with the kids.

Be sure to keep the brain of your Pom-A-Pug ticking over with interactive toys and puzzles. Boredom can become an issue if their mental needs are neglected and this may result in a destructive dog who constantly seeks attention.


Once weekly brushing is sufficient to keep the Pom-A-Pug’s coat in good condition. Those with pendulous ears will require regular ear cleaning and all should have their teeth brushed several times a week.

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