Purebreds are noble creatures with stunning features and consistent traits. Unfortunately, the long inbreeding of dogs has left them also with a few health issues. Nothing is perfect in this world!
The idea of cross-breeding came up to infuse the various dog species with stronger genes. It soon led to the concept of designer dogs. From there, numerous possibilities came about, and dog owners now keep hybrid dogs of all shapes and sizes.
The German Shepherd and Pug mix is a lovely combination. In the next sections, we’ll talk some more about the Shugs’ appearance, traits, and the best ways to care for them.
Meet the Parents
This is actually among the interesting aspects of crossbred dogs. While you can tell what a purebred would be like, you can only speculate with mixes. However, you can narrow down the possibilities by looking at the prominent traits of each parent.
German Shepherd Dogs
German Shepherds are mostly friendly, but they take their time before trusting others. This goes for people and dogs. Once they feel that they are in good company, they often show a playful side. Rough play of course.
They also have a pronounced protective streak. That’s what makes them dependable watch dogs. It’s no surprise that they work in the police force, offer their service as therapy dogs, and assist people with disabilities to lead better lives.
Cross-breeding German Shepherds with many other dog types is seen a lot recently. The results of these mixes are often quite interesting, and end up with the best of both worlds.
In a word; Pugs are cute. They’ll come and great you like an old friend even if you’d just met. And they’d never seem to have enough of playing. Only when they feel exhausted or if it’s nap time.
They have a very distinctive appearance and you’d never find yourself wondering if this is a Pug or anything else. Pugs are crossbred with other dogs for their unique looks, mannerisms, and attitude.
What Is a Shug?
A Shug is a medium-sized dog, that takes the sweet inquisitive demeanor of a Pug, and the smart active nature of a German Shepherd.
It often has the general features of Pugs, starting with the tiny cuboid snout, all the way to the curly little tail. That’s not always the case though, some have the typical pointy ears and conical snout of the GSD.
Shugs have a healthy and happy disposition. They’ll keep you company for quite a while, as they have a relatively long lifespan of about 15 years.
Most Shugs have the short snout and curly tail of their Pug side. Their ears, colors, and paw sizes differ widely. Sometimes they pick the pointy ears and thin snouts of their German Shepherd parent, and that gives them the most unique look.
An adult male Shug is usually of medium built. Reaching a height of 10-15 inches, and sporting a wide chest. They weigh around 40 pounds but carry their mass in a chubby manner.
The coat of a Shug is usually short and velvety. The exception is a dark and generous furry mane. They get their german Shepherd trademark pattern sometimes, or they could have a white little belly.
Crossbreeding is a direct outcome of the traits of both parents. The hybrid puppies will look and act like their parents, but never in a predictable manner.
Shugs often take after their Pug parent a bit more than their German Shepherd side. They’re playful, inquisitive, sociable, and notoriously stubborn!
These are all typical Pug traits, as the german Shepherds are more of the haughty introverts. Think about an alpha who keeps everyone at arm’s length, except for a few close friends.
A Shug would play with people of all sorts: young, grown-ups, strangers, neighbors, or even passers-by in the street. It would alert you when a stranger is around, but it’s more like ‘let’s play with the new guy!’ than ‘watch out there’s someone in the backyard!’.
Shugs really like toys! This comes from both parents. Toys satisfy their need for activity, without exhausting them too much. They also like digging holes in the garden, that trait is very German Shepherd! You might want to check out your fences and keep them away from the flower beds.
German Shepherds are among the most energetic dogs. They need around two hours per day of intense activity. That’s why they fit best with athletes who like jogging or long walks. This outdoorsy lifestyle is at odds with the Pug’s tendency to take frequent rests.
Shugs seem to prefer sporty ways, but they get tired easily. Mainly because of their brachycephalic snout. The optimal solution for that is providing them with lots of toys. Especially if they’re apartment dogs.
If you have a backyard, then you can install obstacle race games. Avoid the high jumping hoops though, they don’t have the necessary stamina, so it could frustrate them. A hide and seek arrangement would be great too. And if you have kids, even better!.
This depends largely on which parent side has the major influence on your Shug. Your little German Shepherd Pug mix could respond well to training if it has the GSD credo. Then again, you might have to get inventive if it takes after its stubborn Pug ancestry.
Either way, you need to repeat your commands and be clear with what you want from your dog. Keep some treats handy, and let your dog see that you are satisfied when it does something right. Prompt rewarding is essential.
Dogs might seem to respond to penalizing, but it has adverse long term effects. So we strongly recommend using positive reinforcement of good behavior. When your dog misbehaves show your dissatisfaction with a simple firm word like ‘NO’.
Some breeds are wary of strangers, and when you invite guests over, you need to lock them up in a back room. That’s so not a Shug!
They take to people easily. So if you like having a crowd of friends and family at your house, your Shug will be on cloud nine.
They might take a few minutes to get chummy with other pets. Start early on with exposing your Shug to different peers. Some dogs prefer to meet new buddies in their own turf, while others are more comfortable in public spots.
Your Shug might be territorial at your house, and even show little signs of hostility towards visiting dogs. This might be a clear sign that it’s better to take these group activities to the park.
Overall, Shugs are sweet pups that steal everybody’s heart.
Your Shug would normally have a short-cropped coat. Again, leaning more towards the Pug side. In that case, it wouldn’t shed heavily the way German Shepherds do.
However, if it does take after its German Shepherd parent, then you need to take care of its mane. Getting a sleeking brush could be quite practical for that dog.
Shugs perspire a lot, so you need to give them nice showers every other week or so. Use a mild shampoo to make sure they become clean without drying out their skin.
Active dogs usually wear out their nails while playing and running. Shugs often tend to show less mobility, so their nails could overgrow. A nail clipping set would come in handy for that.
You should always tend to their paws and make sure that their nails don’t carry dirt, crack, or split. This process could be a bit difficult and you might need some assistance from a vet.
Shugs, generally, have good health. They might suffer a little from joint discomfort, but all-in-all, you wouldn’t have to make special arrangements for their nutrition. Household food is often acceptable too. They would gladly take part in your barbeque.
A good quality dry food is usually the optimal food for a Shug. You can offer your dog one to two scoops twice a day. It’s a medium-sized dog, but a gluttonous one. If it eats too quickly, put a little ball in its bowl. That would make it slow down and keep its digestion in good condition.
Shug dogs aren’t too energetic. They don’t need the excessive calories that German Shepherds, Labrador retrievers, or Huskies need. Choose a low-calorie type of food, and make sure it’s also age and size-appropriate.
These dogs are pretty smart. To enhance their mental capabilities, pick a brand that includes Omega-3 oils, vitamins, minerals, and plenty of antioxidants. We usually find Avoderm Natural Weight Control Dry Dog Food a good choice. Change the flavor for your Shug from time to time, most of them appreciate variety.
A Few More Things
Designer dogs are most comfortable when both their parents have the same size and temperament. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the crossbreed would otherwise face existential problems. They’d just need you to understand them a bit more.
Luckily, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. And the mix puppies show a lovely and usually unpredictable cocktail of both parents.
Shugs are often the best parts of the German Shepherd and Pug mix. Enjoy their companionship, unbounded love, and often witty behavior!