Retro Pug vs Pug: What’s the Difference?

Retro Pug vs Pug, which way to go? While they have a lot of similarities (after all, both of them have Pug genes present), they also differ greatly. A lot depends on what kind of lifestyle you have, and what your expectations are when it comes to adopting a new canine fella. No less important, is what your budget is (some breeds will require more vet visits than others). 

So, let’s talk about the pros and cons of each breed and compare them for you to make your decision.

retro pug vs pug
Retro Pug vs Pug: What’s the Difference?

Retro Pug  

So the nose Pug or Retro Pug came into the picture in 20th century Germany when breeders started thinking about brachycephaly treatment options for them. A shorter snout was giving pups a lot of breathing problems as well as a low tolerance for heat. Therefore, crossbreeding a Pug with a different canine kind seemed like a logical solution. That’s how the Pug was mixed with the Jack Russel Terrier and we got a new, long-nosed Pug, or Retro Pug, breed. 

Later on, one breeder from Sweden created a Retro Pug club. She started to develop the right breed standards all long-nosed canine fellas had to adhere to (like the right weight, height, face length, etc.). 

Pros Of Owning A Retro Pug

  1. Very Friendly: Retro Pug is one friendly fella! It will lick you up and down when you come home and cuddle next to you on the couch when you watch TV. Also, this old-style pal will never attack without a reason and loves it when its pet parents have guests over for dinner. 
  2. Fewer Health Problems: since Retro mop Pug has a longer snout inherited from Jack Russel, it will ensure that a pup has better breathing and a more vibrant personality. Together with that, a Retro Mops Pug has better skin and healthier eyes thanks to the Terrier DNA.  
  3. Can Thrive in Any Household: no matter the size, any household will be suitable for your Retro Pug pup. Since it’s bigger than the regular Pug but smaller than Jack Russel Terrier, it will comfortably fit in anywhere from a studio apartment to a 4-bedroom house. It doesn’t need a lot of vigorous exercises during the day, just a few potty walks, therefore no need in a huge space. 
  4. Loves Playing with Children: yes, children are his human siblings and if they are close in age, they can really have a lot of fun together! Just as long as you teach the kids to be gentle to their furry little playmate. 
  5. Very Intelligent: Trainability is much higher compared to its Pug ancestor. It learns commands and basic obedience rules a lot quicker. 

Nobody’s perfect, everybody has some “skeletons in the closet.” Let’s take a look at some that the Retro Mop Pug has.

Cons Of Owning A Retro Pug

  1. Gets Stubborn at Training: oh yeah, thanks to its Pug genes, it is not that easy to train. Even though, when compared to its Pug predecessor, it can be stated with no doubt that it picks up on information a lot faster, it is still not on the same level as, let’s say, German Shepherds, Labs, and Husky canine fellas.
  2. Has Too Much Energy, Hard to Calm Down: when a pup has a lot of energy, it can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it is more fun to play with. On the other hand, it becomes too much of a pain in the neck for the two-legged: they have to work and, therefore can’t play a lot with their little fella.  
  3. Can Get Too Needy Sometimes: This kinda reflects the above-mentioned con for the Retro Pug. It needs to spend as much time with its owners as possible, so sometimes the desire for unlimited attention can overwhelm its human parents.
 retro pug puppy

Learn more about: What Is A Pug Mixed With Corgi

Now that we are done talking about the Retro Mops Pug, let’s take a look at its Pug counterpart. After all, it’s Retro Pug vs Pug, who is going to have more of your votes? 

Pug’s History

Pugs were first discovered in ancient Egypt, where they were worshiped as sacred animals. Then they traveled to Europe with several Dutch merchants, and quite a few Royal Homes absolutely adored them. Some of the royal fans included the Dutch, the English (with Queen Victoria as the self-made Pug breeder), as well as the French monarchs. The royals in turn got them from the Chinese. Many generations of Emperors were proud to call pugs their companions.

Read more about: How Much Are Black Pugs?

Pros Of Owning A Pug

A lot of the Pros will be the same as for the Retro Pug:

  1. Very Active: Pugs can definitely fit the profile of a rather playful, and up-for-anything type of partner. They can play with everybody just fine: kids, house guests, or other canine counterparts.
  2. Friendly Towards Strangers: doesn’t matter if you invite your friends over to hang out or a plumber to fix your leaking faucet, a Pug pal would be equally friendly towards both. You rarely hear of Pugs’ aggression issues, unless they are severely abused as well as malnourished
  3. Do not Require Much Exercise: it’s a more “couch potato” type of dog, honestly. While it can be playful with kids, it doesn’t need constant action in its life. It can be just fine lounging in its favorite chair and catching some zzzs while you are watching TV or talking to someone on the phone.  
  4. Suitable for Any Type of Household: any space size will be fit for a wrinkle-faced pal, as long as it has a comfy couch, food and water bowls, and a few interesting toys to play with.   
retro pug vs pug
Retro Pug vs Pug

Cons Of Owning A Pug

  1. Can Get Extremely Clingy: this little bug-eyed bundle of joy will follow your every step. While some pet parents might find it amusing, others-very annoying. Especially if you are working from home and need to concentrate on your tasks. Dog sitter or doggie daycare to the rescue! 
  2. Stubborn to Train: Indeed! You need a lot of positive reinforcement to train this wrinkle-eyed friend to do anything, as it tends to act more like “My Way or the Highway!” If it doesn’t respect its caregiver, it will not listen and just continue its course of action. Patience, patience, you got this! 
  3. Major Health Problems: Some of the most common problems the Pug pup may experience are hip dysplasia because of its short limbs, cherry eye, various skin conditions as well and breathing problems (short flat snout). Also, because its incorrect breathing, it may develop major lung and heart problems as it gets older.  


Retro Pug vs Pug: this is solely your decision to make. We have covered the most common pros and cons for both breeds, now it is up to you which way you decide to go. It may not be the easiest choice, but if you like the quirky personality, friendliness, and mellowness of a Pug, go that route. On the contrary, if you like the activeness and intelligence of an old-style Pug, there’s nothing wrong with that. As an added bonus, your Retro pal will have a lot fewer health issues, meaning fewer vet visits.

Read more about: What Is A Pug Mixed With Poodle

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.