Retro Pug vs Pug: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Croft
Published: March 30, 2022
© Nature Art/Shutterstock.com
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Did you know that there are two different dog breeds known as the retro pug vs pug? When it comes to telling these two dog breeds apart, What can you do to learn all of the differences between them? And why do we have both a purebred pug breed and a retro pug breed? 

In this article, we will compare and contrast the retro pug with a standard purebred pug so that you can learn all of the differences and similarities between them. We will also discuss how they differ in physical appearance so that you can learn to tell them apart. Let’s get started and learn all about these two distinct dog breeds now. 

Comparing Retro Pug vs Pug

retro pug vs pug
Retro pugs are slightly larger than purebred pugs on average.

©A-Z-Animals.com

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Retro PugPug
Size15-25 pounds; 9-16 inches tall13-20 pounds; 12-15 inches tall
AppearanceLong snout, fewer wrinkles, and longer ears compared to pugs; comes in more colors including apricot and silverOnly found in fawn and black colors; squished face and ample wrinkles. Ears end near the eyeline and are floppy. Dark markings around face and ears
Originally Bred ForA longer snout to avoid some of the common health issues of pugsOriginally bred for royalty and as lap dogs; purebred dog and popular pet
BehaviorLoving and loyal; extremely intelligent and prone to mischief Calm and mellow; used to sleeping frequently near their humans
Lifespan13-16 years12-14 years

Key Differences Between Retro Pug vs Pug

retro pug vs pug
Pugs have wrinkled skin and squished noses or faces, while retro pugs have elongated snouts and fewer wrinkles.

©Khilenko Anastasiia/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between retro pugs and pugs. For example, retro pugs are slightly larger than purebred pugs on average. Pugs have wrinkled skin and squished noses or faces, while retro pugs have elongated snouts and fewer wrinkles. You may also notice that some retro pugs have larger ears compared to the average purebred pug.

Let’s take a look at these differences in more detail now. 

Retro Pug vs Pug: Size

retro pug vs pug
You may notice that some retro pugs have larger ears compared to the average purebred pug.

©Erik Lam/Shutterstock.com

While you may not notice unless you are looking at a retro pug and a pug side by side, the average retro pug grows slightly larger than the average purebred pug. For example, retro pugs weigh anywhere from fifteen to twenty five pounds, while most purebred pugs grow anywhere from 13 to 20 pounds. 

Retro pugs may also grow taller than purebred pugs, though this is extremely difficult to tell upon first glance. The average purebred pug reaches anywhere from 12 to 15 inches tall, while retro pugs average 9 to 16 inches tall. Given this data, a great deal of retro pugs may actually be smaller than purebred pugs on average, but it totally depends on the individual dog. 

Retro Pug vs Pug: Appearance

retro pug vs pug
The average purebred pug reaches anywhere from 12 to 15 inches tall, while retro pugs average 9 to 16 inches tall.

©Ezzolo/Shutterstock.com

There are a few things you can pay attention to in order to tell the difference between a pug and a retro pug. For example, retro pugs have longer noses and faces compared to the squished face of the purebred pug. You will also find more wrinkles on a purebred pug than on a retro pug. 

The average ear length of a retro pug is longer than the ear length found on a standard pug. The AKC also allows for only two different colors of purebred pug, while retro pugs are found in a few other colors. These colors are fawn, black, silver, and apricot, while purebred pugs are only found in fawn and black. 

Retro Pug vs Pug: Original Reason for Breeding

retro pug vs pug
The AKC allows for only two different colors of purebred pug, while retro pugs are found in a few other colors.

©anetapics/Shutterstock.com

You can easily tell the difference between a pug and a retro pug based on their initial reason for being bred. For example, pugs were bred centuries ago for the nobility and royalty of the current area, while retro pugs are a relatively new breed. But why were retro pugs bred in the first place? Let’s talk more about this now. 

The reason that retro pugs were bred originally is because breeders wanted to create a healthier version of the purebred pug. This is why retro pugs have longer snouts compared to the smushed snout of the purebred pug. Retro pugs have fewer health issues overall when compared to purebred pugs, but they still maintain their small dog breeds size and personality. 

Retro Pug vs Pug: Behavior

There aren’t very many behavioral differences between the retro pug and the pug. However, given the fact that retro pugs are a crossbreed between pugs and Jack Russell Terriers, you can imagine that retro pugs have a bit more energy and are mischievous in their personality. This may become even more obvious when you spend time with the notoriously laid-back purebred pug. 

retro pug vs pug
Pugs were bred centuries ago for the nobility and royalty of the current area, while retro pugs are a relatively new breed.

©iStock.com/LexiTheMonster

Retro Pug vs Pug: Lifespan

The final difference between purebred pugs and retro pugs is their lifespan. While both of these dogs have decently long lives because they are small in stature, the average retro pug lives longer than the average purebred pug. This is likely due to the retro pug’s ability to survive a variety of health issues that typically plague purebred pugs. 

For example, purebred pugs live an average of 12 to 14 years, while retro pugs live an average of 13 to 16 years. However, it all depends on the individual dog and the care it is receiving. Given the fact that retro pugs were bred to avoid many of the health issues that pugs experience daily, it is fair to say that most retro pugs live longer than purebred pugs.

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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