There is a thriving Pug community in London.
Head to most big parks at the weekend, you’ll almost certainly come across a pug.
Pangpang is a London pug with a growing following on Instagram.
He provides a happy space for pug and dog lovers on his social media profile.
We spoke to Pangpang’s dad Dan to learn more about this cute fawn Pug, the breed in general and life in London as a dog owner.
You can check out Pangpang’s latest adventures on Instagram by heading over to @pangpangthepug.
Pangpang the Pug interview
1) When were you first introduced to the Pug breed?
When I was a kid, we didn’t have many pugs in the UK so the first time I remember seeing one was in Men In Black! I thought they looked so cute and liked their funny personality. Whilst living in China, I met many pugs and knew I wanted to get one when I had my own place.
2) What attracted you to owning a Pug?
I love their eyes, face and energy. It was really important to me that the breed I chose was good with children as I had a young niece and nephew at the time and had seen lots of videos of Pugs being very sweet to their owners’ children. Finally, I love the way Pugs always want attention and just want to be your best friend.
3) How did you end up with Pangpang?
This is a good story 😀 After my wife and I moved into our first house, I started looking for a pug and saw some photos and videos of Pangpang. He was the crazy, playful one of the litter and it was love at first sight. I arranged to pick him up on Boxing Day and it was a surprise Christmas present for my wife. I told my wife we were going for a Chinese buffet so unfortunately she didn’t eat much all day in preparation for this and arrived only to find a cute addition to the family. I got told off for the lack of a buffet but Pangpang more than made up for it…
4) What’s the best thing about owning a Pug?
There’s too many to chose from. Pangpang loves to give people pug kisses which you simply have to go with as he gets a little sad if people refuse. Pugs love to go for a walk so it encourages us to be more active. Moreover, many people love Pugs so you’ll make loads of new friends when you’re out for walkies.
5) Do Pugs make great family pets?
Absolutely! They seem to know that they need to be gentle with young and elderly relatives and have a really good nature. They will always be by your side and are very protective of family members. Kids also love to play with pugs as they have loads of energy and are always up for a game of fetch.
6) Do Pugs need a lot of exercise?
Pugs are susceptible to getting overweight so it’s really important that they get regular exercise. Since they’re a small breed, they don’t need to walk too far, but we take Pangpang for two walks a day which he loves plus it helps keep him in good shape. They also love to play fetch and chase. Pugs love food too so it’s important to establish good exercise habits early on.
7) Can Pugs be left alone/do they suffer from separation anxiety?
Pugs love people so the more time they spend with their owners the better. Pangpang will generally sleep if left alone but he’s definitely much happier with some company as he likes to play. Obviously it’s something to bear in mind if you’re planning to get a pug.
8) In your experience, are Pugs smart dogs?
I think so despite what some people say online. Pangpang learns new tricks really fast and will instantly run to the table if the chairs are left out in order to jump up onto the chair and eat any food that’s been left there. He’s very good at judging people’s moods too so knows when someone needs a big pug kiss and when it’s time to play.
9) Are there any misconceptions surrounding Pugs that you’d like to debunk?
A lot of people assume they’re not particularly active but Pangpang never stops running and playing. I’ve also heard people say they’re not brave but nothing could be further from the truth. They will happily play with much bigger dogs and never seem to get intimidated in my experience.
10) What comments/questions do you get when out and about with Pangpang?
People are always curious about pugs so we get lots of questions. The most common is “How old is your pug?” – probably because he’s got a puppy face. “What does Pangpang mean?” is another frequently asked question. It’s a Chinese name which translates as Little Fatty. Finally, I often get asked whether he can swim but the answer to this is I don’t know. I’m going to let him try this summer so I’ll have to update you then.
11) Is there a big Pug community in London?
Yes, Pugs are getting really popular in London. There’s Pug events and Pug walking groups which is a great way for Pangpang to meet other Pug buddies. Pugs are really cute towards each other so I love it when you see a group of them together.
12) Do you think London is a dog friendly city? Areas to improve?
Like all cities, some areas are better than others for dogs. I love taking Pangpang to the big London parks but try to avoid the crowded areas of the city as he gets a bit nervous when there are large groups of people. I’m not a fan of taking Pangpang on the underground as it’s a bit noisy for him and I don’t think he likes it very much. Generally though, London is a good place to take your dog out.
13) Would you recommend Pugs to a first-time dog owner?
I’m ever so slightly biased here…but yes, as long as you have time for your pug. They are adorable and will capture your heart. I’d never had a dog before so if I can do it I’m sure anyone who loves dogs can.
14) What’s your favourite memory/story with Pangpang?
I have so many so this is a tough question. The first time I held Pangpang was such a happy memory and my wife was in tears as he was a surprise Christmas present. When Pangpang grew up he didn’t like to sleep as he always wanted to play but one day I fell asleep watching TV and when I woke up he was sleeping on my belly and doing really loud pug snores.
15) What are the pros and cons of having an Instagram for your dog?
It’s all positives for me really. I get to share the joy that Pangpang brings me with the world. He has friends in so many different countries now and I get messages every day just to ask how he’s doing. I’ve even had people contact me to tell me that seeing his videos and photos has helped them get through difficult periods in their lives which is really touching. Also, simply running his account encourages me to capture even more photos and videos of Pangpang which makes me happy. I guess the only downside is that it can be quite time-consuming so its takes a lot of commitment.
16) What other Pug accounts would you recommend to our readers?
Definitely Stylish Pug @stylishpug as this account has some great content (photos and videos) taken from various pug accounts. I also love @itsdougthepug who was the first pug I followed on YouTube. @thepuggysmalls has some great content and is a really famous pug from London so I enjoy checking out his latest videos and photos too.
Pug Pros and Cons
• Their nature: pugs are adorable, good natured dogs that just want to be your best friend. They will follow you at all times so you’ll never be alone whatever you’re doing around the house.
• They are really playful and good with kids: young kids and toddlers often approach Pangpang and he’s really gentle with them. He seems to know when he should be calm.
• They do the cutest little snores and snorts: I can’t get enough of the cute sounds pugs make. Pangpang always sleeps in the office while I’m working and his snores make me laugh
• They are sociable with other dogs: they love to play with all other dog breeds regardless of size
• Well-behaved: in my experience they are pretty well-behaved and are unlikely to cause much damage around the house. Be careful with your hat though…
• Pugs can be quite stubborn: as a result, it’s important to start training them from day one. You will have to be persistent and not give in when laying down the house rules
• Pugs need a lot of attention so individuals considering getting one should think about their situation to see whether it’s a good fit
• Pugs are susceptible to eye injuries when playing with other dogs and have breathing problems so should avoid exercising for extended periods, particularly when it’s hot. You also need to keep their wrinkles and eyes clean so I recommend using baby wipes to stop them getting infections and eye ulcers.