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Retro Pugs vs. Pugs

What is a Retro Pug?

The Retro Pug is a new breed of dog, a crossbreed between a Pug and a Jack Russel Terrier.

While you might think the “Retro” part of its name implies that it’s an older breed, they’ve only been around since 2006.

Being so new, Retro Pugs aren’t all that common…

Haven’t seen one? Now’s your chance!

A Retro Pug – Pug and Jack Russel Terrier mix
The Retro Pug

A healthier Pug

The Pug has a bit of a reputation for being an unhealthy dog… breathing issues, eye problems, joint troubles, and obesity are just a few of the Pug’s common health complains.

What about the Retro Pug?!

The Retro Pug is considered to be a “healthier pug”.

In fact, that’s the exact reason why the Retro Pug was created — to make a healthier version of the Pug.

Mixing the Pug with a Jack Russel Terrier results in a dog with a longer snout, which greatly helps their breathing issues.

Longer lifespans

While Pugs have an already-above-average lifespan of 13–15 years (average dog is 10–13)…

The Retro Pug is said to have a lifespan of 13–16 years, a slight bump in their average over the normal Pug.

Even though Pugs have a long lifespan, they still have a bunch of health issues that can reduce their quality of life… so don’t just take the number at face-value — there’s more to the story!

The new old-school Pug

While the Retro Pug may be a new breed, it’s trying to be what the old-fashioned pug was… the Pug that wasn’t as notorious for its health issues.

Pugs looked different back in the day

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Pug used to look more like a Pekingese before selective breeding turned them into the Pug we know and love today (nobody loves their health problems, though!).

The Pug has certainly changed a lot over the years… just take a look at this painting of a Pug in 1802.

What Pugs used to look like

A pug depicted in 1802, by Henry Bernard Chalon – Bonhams London 17 March 2013

As you can see in the picture above, the old-school Pug had a longer snout, longer legs, and a longer neck.

Breeding for looks caused the Pug lots of health issues

Pugs have changed a lot over the years — they have been selectively bred for flatter faces in an attempt to make them cuter.

Unfortunately, these breeding practices have caused many health problems — especially breathing issues — for the Pug.

The modern day pug laying outside
The Pug today is known for having a very flat face

The Retro Pug is trying to change that

By crossing a Pug with a Jack Russel Terrier, breeders were able to create a version of the pug with longer legs & snouts

This means they’re less likely to experience the breathing & joint issues that are common in Pugs.

Read on to learn…

  • Cost — How much Retro Pugs cost
  • Comparison — How Retro Pugs compare to Pugs
  • Personality — What the Retro Pug’s personality is like
  • Health — The most common Retro Pug Health Problems
  • History — The history of Retro Pugs, when they were first created and why

Retro Pug at a Glance

There’s lots to know about the Retro Pug — but these are the most important things to know about this new Pug.

What to know about the Retro pug

  • It’s a mix of a Pug & Jack Russell Terrier
  • They’re a bit bigger & taller than the Pug
  • Retro Pugs live longer than the Pug on average
  • The Retro Pug suffers from fewer health issues than the Pug
  • They usually cost anywhere from $800 to $1500less than a Purebred Pug
  • They have longer snouts –– breathing issues aren’t as common in Retro Pugs

Retro Pug & Pug Comparison

 Retro PugPug
Price Range$600–$1,500$800–$2,500
Weight17lbs to 26lbs (8kg–12kg)14lbs to 18lbs (6.3kg–8.16kg)
Size12.5–15 inches in height (32cm–38cm)10–13inches in height (25cm–33cm)
Lifespan13–16 years12–15 years
Exercise needsModerateLow
TrainingEasy to train & eager to pleaseProne to stubbornness
SheddingModerateModerate to heavy
ColorsVarious colors such as black, fawn, apricot, and silverFawn or black

What are the differences between Pugs & Retro Pugs?

The most evident difference is that Retro Pugs have a longer snout than the Pug.

Pug & Retro Pug Differences

PugRetro Pug
TailShorter tailsLonger tails that curve up
EarsShorter earsLonger & floppier ears
ColorsFawn or BlackMany colors — more than Pug
WrinklesVery wrinklyLess wrinkly
Health IssuesHighModerate (less than Pugs)

Retro Pugs come in more colors

While Pugs are only either fawn or black, Retro Pugs come in a variety of colors including but not limited to black, apricot, and silver.

Note: You might see Pugs in other colors than fawn or black, but the AKC only recognizes these two colors as “official” Pug colors — if they aren’t one of these two colors, then they aren’t a Purebred Pug.

Retro Pugs have longer ears & tails

Retro Pugs have longer and flappy ears that droop down the side of their head and a longer tail that is slightly curved up.

Retro Pugs are less wrinkly

They also look less wrinkly than Pugs, which might disappoint some potential Pug owners that love the iconic squishy & wrinkly appearance of the Pug.

Making the Retro Pug

By taking both a Pug & a Jack Russel Terrier, you’re able to create a new breed that has the best of both worlds.

The result of these two breeds

The result is a healthy & happy dog with a longer snout that does not suffer from the same breathing issues that are common in Purebred Pugs.

How much is a Retro Pug?

Generally, the price of a Retro Pug puppy ranges between $800 and $1500.

The price of this doggy depends on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, your location, whether it’s male/female, and the specific features of the dog.

Retro Pug price will vary based on…

  • Your location: Retro Pugs may be more expensive in certain areas or regions, depending on supply and demand, as well as other factors.
  • The color and pattern: Retro Pugs come in a variety of colors and patterns, and certain colors or patterns may be more rare or desirable than others, which can impact the price.
  • The breeder you choose: The reputation and experience of the breeder can impact the price of a Retro Pug, as well as the level of care and attention the dog has received before being sold.
  • The history/pedigree of the dog: Retro Pugs with a strong pedigree or lineage may be more expensive than those without a known history or lineage.

What is the motivation behind creating the Retro Pug?

Pugs are notorious for having lots of health issues –– especially breathing problems.

This leads us to why the Retro Pug was created…

A healthier version of the Pug

The Retro Pug was bred to create a healthier version of the Pug that does not suffer from as many health issues as Purebred Pugs.

Jack Russel Terriers have longer snouts (and better breathing)

By mixing the Pug with a Jack Russel Terrier, the resulting dog is one looks like the Pug but has the longer snout of the Jack Russel.

A Jack Russell Terrier outside with its tongue out
A Jack Russell Terrier

The Retro Pug has been around since 2006 and continues to grow in popularity as more and more people are becoming aware of the health problems that many flat faced dogs face.

Retro Pugs were bred to have fewer…

  • Breathing issues — Pugs are notorious for their breathing issues; the Retro Pug doesn’t have as flat of a face which makes their breathing problems less severe (though they are still considered a flat-faced breed).
  • Back issues — spinal issues such as intervertebral disc disease and hemivertebrae are less common in Retro Pugs.
  • Eye issues — Pugs are prone to eye issues such as corneal ulcers, dry eye, and cherry eye; the Retro Pug is believed to be less prone to these issues.
  • Misc. genetic health conditions — the Jack Russell is generally healthier than the Pug; by mixing the two breeds, the Jack Russell is able to share some of its good health with the Retro Pug

Retro Pug Health Problems

While the Retro Pug is a healthier Pug, they’re not free from health issues.

And sure, they’ve got longer snouts, but they’re still considered flat-faced dogs and will have some degree of breathing issues.

A Pug puppy wearing a stethoscope.

Common Retro Pug Health Issues

  • Breathing issues — They’re still flat-faced dogs, so their breathing will be worse than a non-flat-faced dog.
  • Joint problems — Pugs and Retro Pugs are at risk for Hip Dysplasia, though the risk may be a bit lower in Retro Pugs due to their longer legs and Jack Russells not being a high-risk breed.
  • Eye problems — Just like Pugs and other flat-faced dogs, Retro Pugs have prominent eyes that are prone to irritation and injury.
  • Dental issues — Their smaller-than-normal jaws lead to dental crowding, which can increase their risk of periodontal disease; good dental care and regular checkups are a must.

Retro Pug Personality

When mixing two breeds together, you generally get the traits from both breeds into one.

This goes for physical appearance as well as their personality & disposition.

Retro Pug Personality Traits

  • Friendly and Playful: Retro Pugs are known to be friendly and playful dogs. They enjoy interacting with their owners and other people or pets.
  • Loyal and Affectionate: They are very loyal to their owners and love to show their affection through snuggling and cuddling.
  • Moderate Energy Level: Retro Pugs have a moderate energy level and will enjoy regular exercise and playtime. They are happy to go on walks and play fetch in the backyard but will also enjoy snuggling up on the couch to walk TV with you.
  • Easy to Train: Retro Pugs are generally easy to train and eager to please. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. They tend not to be as stubborn
  • Sociable: Retro Pugs are sociable dogs and love to be around their family and friends. They may be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
  • Alert and Protective: They can be alert and protective of their owners, especially if they sense any danger or unfamiliar people or animals in their environment.
  • Curious and Inquisitive: Retro Pugs are naturally curious and inquisitive, and they love to explore their surroundings.

Retro Pug History

While the name might fool you, the Retro Pug hasn’t been around for all too long.

They started to be purposely bred in 2006 (though it wasn’t the first time a Pug was mixed with a Jack Russell).

Retro Pugs have quickly grown in popularity, and their demand continues to rise every year.

Retro Pug History Timeline

2006 — The Retro Pug is Born

The Retro Pug breed was first developed by crossing a Pug with a Jack Russell Terrier.

Breeders aimed to create a healthier version of the Pug with fewer health issues, particularly breathing issues and joint problems.

2008 — Recognized by the DBR

The Retro Pug breed gained recognition from the Designer Breed Registry (DBR) as an official crossbreed.

This helped promote the breed’s existence to a wider audience.

2010 — Starting to Become Popular

Retro Pugs became more popular among dog enthusiasts and breeders due to their unique appearance, fewer health issues, and longer lifespan compared to their purebred Pug counterparts.

2015 — Recognized by the IDCR

Retro Pugs were recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR), further increasing their recognition as a distinct breed.

2020–Present — Retro Pugs Popularity Continues

The demand for Retro Pugs continued to grow, with more breeders offering them for sale.

However, it’s essential to ensure that breeders follow ethical breeding practices and prioritize the health and well-being of the dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are Retro Pugs?

The price of a Retro Pug puppy ranges between $800 and $1500.

Price will vary based on various factors such as the breeder’s reputation and your location.

Why was the Retro Pug created?

The Retro Pug was created to make a “healthier pug” — and this goal was certainly met!

With longer snouts & legs, the Retro Pug has less breathing & joint issues compared to the normal Pug.

What is a Retro Pug mixed with?

The Retro Pug was created by mixing a Pug with a Jack Russell Terrier.

What are the health benefits of a Retro Pug?

Retro Pugs are generally less prone to breathing and back issues than traditional Pugs due to their longer snout and more muscular build.

They may also be less prone to certain eye problems, such as corneal ulcers, thanks to their moderate eye shape.

Are Retro Pugs recognized by the AKC?

No, Retro Pugs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a distinct breed. They are considered a variant of the Pug.