Pugs are known to shed quite a lot, but the shedding problem seems to be more extreme in fawn pugs than in black pugs.
The shedding is particularly acute in some lines of fawn pugs that are double-coated, i.e. those which have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
The undercoat is a soft, fluffly underfur, usually lighter in color than the Pug's outer hairs. These short, protective hairs are also known as secondary hairs and act as insulation against cold and humidity. The undercoat is not really typical of the Pug and is not usually found in more ancient, traditional Pug lines. Indeed, Pugs were meant to live exclusively indoors as lapdogs, a function for which they needed no undercoat.
The guard hairs or primary hairs are the short, smooth, silky outercoat covering the pug's body. Dogs also have a third type of hair, namely the whiskers or tactile hairs, which help the dog sense his surroundings.
Pugs shed the guard hairs throughout the year, but the volume of hair shedded seems less important because it is constant over time. The undercoat, on the contrary, is lost twice a year, and seems to fall in handfulls. As a consequence, double-coated Pugs shed considerably more than their single-coated cousins. Female pugs seem to shed more than male pugs (unless they are spayed), probably due to the hormonal fluctuations. The climate or a sudden change in temperature may also affect the amount of shedded hair. Other factors such as age, allergies, nutrition, etc. also seem to influence the extent or rapidity to which an individual sheds.
Some Pug owners have found that feeding their Pug hypoallergenic food or natural organic dog food (such as Natural Balance special allergy formula) improve the skin and hair condition, thus reducing the shedding considerably. Adding a daily spoon of olive or flaxseed oil to your Pug's food may also help in the same way.
Brushing your pug regularly, a monthly bath, using a furminator and shed-preventing shampoo, and/or getting a good vacuum cleaner are just some of the solutions you may try to keep the shedding under control, but the point is, if you cannot stand any shedding, don't get a Pug. Pugs deserve owners who love them unconditionally, no matter if or how much they shed !
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