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Retro Pug – What Is The Healthier Pug Version?

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As most people know, Pugs are not really famous for their health. As a brachycephalic dog breed, Pugs are known to suffer from breathing problems and heart issues. Well, this is where the Retro Pug comes to play.

In the past several years, breeders have been looking for ways to improve the health of purebred dog breeds. And one such puppy is the Pug.

This canine is a Jack Russell Pug mix. Designed to be a healthier and happier family pet, this small dog weighs around 15 lbs. They have inherited the best parts of both parents. They have the clownish personality of the Pug, with the energy, stamina, and health of the Jack Russell.

History And Original Purpose

When you think of the Pug Jack Russell mix, you think of a small dog that is somewhere in the middle between a hyper-active battery-charged dog, and a couch potato.

The original Pug was a small dog with a substantial muzzle. Yet, over the years, these puppies have been selectively bred to achieve the flat-faced look they have now. Yes, Pugs didn’t always have a flat face. Show guidelines for the Pug breed suggested a flatter face as the more desirable. But things have gotten out of control.

As a result, the Pug became a heavily brachycephalic breed, and breathing problems reduced the life quality and life expectancy.

The Jack Russell, on the other hand, was bred for fitness, exercise, and hunting. As an expert ratter, the JRT was a household name on most farms.

In recent years, the JRT has become a family pet due to its loving and loyal personality. But their energy persisted.

Because the Jack is one of the healthiest dog breeds, with a life expectancy between 14 and 16 years, breeders wanted to cross it with the Pug.

Why Is Retro Pug So Popular?

In the past several years, Retro Pug puppies have exploded in popularity. They are one of the most sought-after designer dog breed.

The big appeal is their unique appearance, combining the traditional Pug features with the more muscular and athletic body of the terrier. These puppies have a broader chest and a more defined snout. It gives them a distinctive adorable appearance.

And then you have to consider their charming personality. Similar to other Pugs, they are friendly and affectionate. They love to play and cuddle, making them a perfect companion dog for people looking for a loyal and loving pooch.


Difference Between Retro Pug And Pug

Let’s take a general look at the main differences between the Retro Pug and the standard Pug.

  • Retro Pugs grow between 9 and 16 inches, and weigh between 15-25 pounds, compared to classic Pugs that weigh between 13 and 20 pounds and grow between 12 and 15 inches
  • Retro Pugs have a long snout, fewer wrinkles, and longer ears compared to the original Pug
  • The original Pug breed standard accepts only fawn and black colors, a squished face, and ample wrinkles
  • On the other hand, a Jack Russell Pug mix can come in more colors, including apricot and silver
  • Their temperament is loving and loyal, more energetic than the calm and mellow standard Pug

Retro Pug Appearance

Let’s take a closer look at the appearance of Retro Pugs. People love their cute and cuddly faces, but there is more to love there.

These puppies have a compact physique, with an average weight between 15 and 20 pounds. They grow between 10 and 13 inches. And their physical stature, although diminutive, is a robust and solid constitution. That is all thanks to their muscular build, courtesy of the Jack Russell parent.

These dogs are no longer chunky as conventional Pugs. Instead, they present a strong and athletic appearance.

Another difference, as we said before, is the coat color. Pug’s breed standard allows only two colors. Yet, Retro Pugs come in a variety of colors, including black, silver, apricot, and fawn. They have a short coat, making them easy to groom and maintain. The only downside is they shed quite a lot since both parents are heavy shedders.

The most distinctive feature is the facial structure. These dogs have retained some wrinkly skin and a flat nose, but their snout is longer and more defined. It is that feature that gives them a more athletic look and makes them less prone to the breathing issues that plague Pugs.

They also have a more prominent brow and a broader chest, giving them a different and unique appearance.

Retro Pug Temperament

As we said before, there is more to like about this puppy than its new body. Both Pugs and Jack Russell terriers are known for their affectionate personality, but the Retro Pug is even friendlier than Jacks. They do retain some of the stubborn streak that plagues all terriers, not just the Jack Russell.

As family pets, they enjoy attention and thrive on human interaction. They love being around people, and if left alone for longer periods, can be prone to separation anxiety. Despite their small size, Retro Pugs are an amazing option for children.

Out of the home, they showcase their high energy and love of play. You can play with them all day long. They will happily chase toys or run around. But at the same time, they are equally happy to cuddle with you on the couch.

All in all, they have a lively personality that makes them a perfect pet for owners who want an entertaining and loving furry friend.



The good news is that the Retro Pug puppy is easier to train than the traditional Pug. Courtesy of the high intelligence of Jack Russell, these dogs pick up commands quite fast and easily.

And they do love to train and work. You can use toys or food as motivation. But they are more toy-driven.

The big challenge is handling their stubborn streak. But there is a solution. They often get fixated on things like balls, so you can use it to your advantage in training.

Exercise Needs

If you have ever seen a regular Pug walking, you know it is an activity that can wear him out. But things are different with Retro Pugs. While they are not sporting aces, they can walk and even run a few miles per day.

Courtesy of the motor and agility of the Jack Russell terrier, Retro Pugs are more active. That makes them a better option for families that love the clownish personality and unique look of the Pug but want a bit more active dog.

Why Are They Healthier Than Regular Pugs?

Modern Pugs are the result of hundreds of years of selective breeding that has compacted their body, shortened their legs, increased their wrinkles, and given them that squashed face.

But that breeding did quite a lot of damage. Because of their “unique” look, they have a higher risk of ear, eye, and skinfold diseases.

They are 54 times more likely than other canines to have a brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. It is a life-threatening condition that can cause serious breathing issues.

So, breeders wanted to retain the unique and adorable look but make them healthier. Enter Jack Russell, one of the healthiest dogs around.

Yes, Retro pugs still have some health problems like eye issues, but they heal much faster compared to purebred Pug. And dry eye is less likely to affect them.

Retro Pug Diet Needs

When it comes to diet, the same principle applies to original Pugs and Retro pugs. They are prone to obesity, which is why you should be careful how much you feed them.

And always go for high-quality dry food instead of fatty snacks. I would even suggest using dog food for training, not treats to manage their weight better.

Retro Pug Price

All of the advantages of Retro Pugs come with a price. Retro Pug price might vary, but it is in the range of $800 to $1,500.

At the same time, you have to be ready for the medical costs. While they are cheaper than for regular Pug, they are still high.

Why Should You Get One?

Simple, if you want a Pug that is healthier and more active, the retro version is the way to go. In the past several years, thanks to its distinctive appearance and charming personality, the Retro Pug has become one of the most popular designer dog breeds.

I hope you found enough information and learned everything you need to know about this puppy.

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