Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Pugshire
Marise Caetano / Flickr.com

A small and handsome dog, the Pugshire has inherited the lively nature of the Pug and the affectionate temperament of the Yorkie. With individuals never reaching more than 10kg, this is a diminutive breed that has moderate exercise requirements and can adapt well to apartment life. A few short play sessions and a walk or two a day will be more than enough to wear this little one out.

Even pups from the same litter can look very different and, as the Pug and the Yorkie have such dissimilar appearances, it is no surprise that there is such a degree of variation in their offspring. Most have a short to medium length coat and while black and fawn is the more prevalent fur colour, there are many other possibilities.

About & History

Two of the most popular dog breeds around today, it only made sense to cross the playful Pug and the sweet-natured Yorkshire Terrier. The Pugshire, or Pugshire Terrier, was developed in the early 21st century within America and has been growing steadily in popularity within the United States and further afield since.

The Yorkshire Terrier

There are no prizes for guessing where the Yorkshire Terrier was developed, as the clue is in the name! Yorkshire is a county in the north of England where the Yorkie was first bred sometime in the 1800s. Several different Terrier breeds were used in their creation, including the Skye Terrier and the now extinct Paisley Terrier.

Some may be surprised to learn that they were not always kept as lap dogs and that the original purpose of the Yorkie was as a feisty ratter. Employed by local factories and coal mines, their purpose was to keep vermin levels low. One of the smallest dog breeds in existence today, the Yorkie is a well-loved companion animal that is kept worldwide.

The Pug

A truly ancient breed of dog that has existed for hundreds and hundreds of years in the far east, the Pug has recently peaked in popularity. In the last few decades, there has been a real surge of interest in everything Pug related; a trend that has been helped along by a number of celebrities who favour the breed, such as Gerard Butler and Tori Spelling.

They were even owned by famous people several centuries ago with Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife owning a pug called Fortune and Prince William III of Holland owning one named Pompey.


Pugshire Large Photo
Marise Caetano / Flickr.com

The Pugshire can vary widely in appearance with some resembling long-haired pugs and others looking like short-haired Yorkies! As time passes, the breed will go on to develop a more uniform appearance but, for now, there is a lot of variation when it comes to this cross-breed’s appearance. Most will have a rounded skull and flat forehead with small ears that stand semi-erect and flop forwards. A small amount of skin wrinkling may be seen at the top of the skull and in between the eyes.

Their eyes are deep brown and lend them a serious and calm expression. Most tend to be less brachycephalic than their Pug parent but their muzzle is often more squished than that of the Yorkie. Their small body is neat and compact, supported by short limbs. Their tail is typically curled over their back.

A toy-sized breed, the Pugshire reaches heights of between 30cm and 38cm and weights of 3kg to 9kg. Most individuals will have a medium length coat that is straight and silky. Though the classic fur colour is fawn with a black facial mask, breed members can be a number of colours, including brindle, grey and black.

Character & Temperament

A wonderful companion animal, the Pugshire is tolerant and fun loving. They relish time spent with family members and are especially fond of children. Always happy to be the centre of attention, the Pugshire is happiest when in a full house and surrounded by those it loves. Equally good with other dogs, the Pugshire is sociable and will usually be the life and soul of the party in any dog park or doggy daycare.

Dogs that become devoted to their family, it is best to place this breed in a home where there is someone there most of the time, as they can become lonely otherwise. They will follow their master from room to room and are rarely content in their own company. Owners should be aware of the potential for separation anxiety to develop and should ensure dogs are not overly babied or fussed over.

Always the first to know if someone has arrived, the Pugshire will be up and barking at the first sign of a new household guest. This makes them superb watchdogs, as nothing gets by them! Due to their short stature and good nature, they would not make a good guard dog.


Though smart and capable, many Pugshires possess a stubborn streak and can take some convincing to join in wholeheartedly to training sessions. Owners often have to use some cunning to keep them on side and to avoid them become bored or willful.

Basic obedience cues should be easy for the Pugshire to master but they can take a little longer than others to learn good recall. With enough time and patience, they do have the ability to master most tasks.


The Pug in particular is well-known for the health issues it can face, many of which are due to its extreme conformation. While it is true that breeding them with other breeds can dramatically improve things, Pugshire dogs can still be afflicted with the same health issues – though often to a lesser degree.


BOAS, or Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, is directly linked to the shape of the dog’s skull and is seen in those with snub noses, such as the Pug. These dogs have shortened facial bones but regular soft tissue structures, which struggle to fit inside as they should, causing resistance to airflow and impaired breathing.

As this is a major welfare problem, there is a call to move away from breeding dogs to have a ‘squished’ face and breeders are encouraged to use those with less exaggerated features and to cross-breed.

Patellar Luxation

Patella is another word for knee cap and knee caps that do not sit in position at all times are said to luxate (or pop out). Conservative management, which may include rest and anti-inflammatories, will help some. Those that are more severely affected mat benefit from a corrective surgery.

Dry Eye

Eyes that do not produce enough tears can lead to chronic eye infections and even ulceration. A ‘Schirmer Tear Test’ is an easy way to diagnose the condition. In most cases, eye drops can help to control the disease. Uncontrolled cases cause chronic pain and are a real welfare issue.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Though the exercise requirements of the small Pugshire are modest, they should not be ignored. A minimum of two thirty-minute walks a day are suggested and anything else could result in a dog that becomes bored, frustrated and even destructive. Another concern is that these dogs can be prone to obesity and only need to over-eat by a small amount each day to put on a significant amount of weight over time. As obesity can lead to breathing and mobility issues, it is essential to provide the Pugshire with enough exercise.

Don’t let the small size of this breed fool you, the Pugshire is more than capable of running, jumping, hiking and even swimming and can be quite the athlete if given the opportunity. Caution is advised in warm weather, however, particularly for those with a brachycephalic conformation, as they can be prone to breathing issues and overheating.


The short to medium length coat of the Pugshire needs to be brushed twice a week or so to help spread the natural oils and remove any dead fur. Despite the short fur length, this breed can shed a substantial amount.

As the ears of the Pugshire flop forward, there is limited airflow to the ear canals and they can become humid and overly moist. This leads to an environment where yeast and bacteria can proliferate, meaning ear infections can be a real issue. Cleaning ears once a week and always drying ears after they have become wet will help to limit the number of ear infections.

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