Out and About
Walking your pug is important for his physical health, but did you know that it provides emotional benefits as well? Your daily walk is a great way to introduce your pug to everything he'll encounter in your neighborhood: other animals, birds at a nearby lake or park, children on bicycles and skateboards, and more. During walks, your pug can sniff out where other dogs lift their legs, what paths the local cats take, and whether a strange dog has entered the area. You might not be able to tell any of these things, but your pug's nose, flat as it is, smells all and knows all. A walk is also a good opportunity to practice obedience skills and manners, such as sitting, waiting at curbs before crossing the street, not pulling on the leash, and not jumping up on people.
Meeting People and Dogs
As you meet people along the way, give your pug an opportunity to greet them. This is a great way to practice walking up to people and greeting them politely by sitting instead of jumping up. If a person you encounter also has a dog, that's another opportunity for socialization. Keep leashes slack so the two dogs can sniff each other without feeling tension at the end of the lead. When owners pull leads tight, it transmits their own anxiety to the dog at the other end. Your pug should look forward to meeting other people and dogs.
Be patient and persistent, and give lots of praise when your pug greets people happily, shows curiosity, or remains calm in a new situation. Don't expose him to a bunch of different things all at once. Any dog would be overwhelmed if confronted by a vacuum cleaner, blender, popcorn popper, and electric saw all going at once!
City-dwelling pugs will experience traffic noise and crowds of people on a daily basis. Accustom them to these sounds early on. A dog that's startled by sudden noises or the approach of a stranger might bolt and be lost or hit by a car. As soon as your veterinarian says it's okay for your pup to go out in public, start taking him on walks that will expose him to the sights and sounds of the city. You can do this as early as eight to ten weeks of age as long as he doesn't come in contact with other dogs and his paws don't touch the ground: carry him in your arms or in one of the many designer bags, backpacks, or front packs made for carrying small dogs. One way to carry your pug pup is in a large straw shoulder bag. He can ride anywhere in comfort and can pop his head out to say hello or see what's going on. Carrying your pug this way is a great bonding and socialization opportunity.
Different Folks, Different Strokes
Introduce your pug to people of different ethnicities. Let him see people doing different activities, such as walking, running, bicycling, skateboarding, hopping, crawling, or swimming in a pool. He should see people using walkers, wheelchairs, or crutches, and people carrying packages or pulling suitcases or wagons. Take him to outdoor shopping centers, pet supply stores, parks, and beaches.