Does your Pug yelp to the heavens? Does it sound like a death-curdling scream?
Often find yourself wondering why, oh why do Pugs scream like that?
If your pet Pug is a screamer, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Pugs are known as quiet docile dogs, but from time to time, they make some very bizarre noises indeed.
In this article, we’re going to get to the bottom of just what those Pug-sized screams actually mean and how to prevent them for your and your neighbor’s sake.
Why Do Pugs Scream? The Basics
Screaming is one of the many vocal talents possessed by the Pug. And, unfortunately, some Pugs like to use their operatic range quite often. Often in very specific situations.
In its most basic form, this ‘scream’ is just a way of communicating emotion. And nine times out of ten it’ll be nothing to worry about.
A Pug’s scream is not always a sign of trauma or pain. In fact, it could just be their way of telling you how excited they are to be on this fabulous walk with their best friend (you).
Due to the human-like screaming sound that some Pugs make in these scenarios, owners often fear the worst. To keep your mind at ease, we always recommend tracking your pet’s everyday behaviors.
When you know what is and isn’t normal for them, that’s the best way to identify any problems early. If screaming isn’t in their standard repertoire, or screaming behavior continues for a prolonged period of time then we always advise visiting your veterinarian.
But Aren’t Pug’s Meant To Be Quiet?
Yes. Pugs are, on the whole, a very quiet breed compared to some others. But that doesn’t mean that they are silent. Whilst a Pug might not bark very much they will make some interesting sounds from time to time.
That could be anything from snorting to screaming and some seriously smelly farting. Remember your Pug is a brachycephalic dog. So expect a lot of snoring as a result.
Every Pug is different, and their vocalizations will vary with age, temperament, and environment. For some first-hand experience check out this video where you can hear a full range of Pug-made noises.
Reasons Why Your Pug Might Be Screaming
So, we’ve discussed that Pug screaming is something that some Pugs do – like it or not. But surely there must be some tangible reasons why right?
They might be reacting to an unexpected event, or they might simply be a bit bored. In some cases, screaming could be an indicator of pain.
Let’s take a look at some common causes of these terrible (or hilarious) screams.
1. They’re screaming at the TV
Many Pug owners tell stories of their Pugs screaming at the television.
In fact, this behavior is very common. Pugs get a bit confused (and excited) when they see moving images on the television. It confuses their senses. They can see – check. They can hear – yup. But they can’t smell anything.
For a dog that is super weird. Screaming is just them expressing this pent up excitement, frustration, or confusion.
If your Pug enjoys watching TV – that’s great. But if you notice that your pet is continually in stress-mode when your favorite show is on, try to limit their interaction with media like this.
For your sake and for theirs.
2. Your Pug is bored and wants attention
Pugs are attention seekers by nature. Companion dogs, velcro dogs; call them what you will. We all know these little guys don’t like to be left alone.
Your Pug’s occasional screaming could just be the result of boredom and a cry for attention.
It is a way to get you to play with them – once you offer some TLC the screaming should stop.
Top-tip: It’s important not to reinforce screaming as a route to attention. Once you’ve identified this behavior, stop rewarding screams with cuddles and play.
It might be the most effective way to get them to stop, but it will turn into a vicious cycle.
Instead, stay calm and wait until your pup calms down before offering your attention.
3. They don’t like your beauty treatments
Many Pug owners say that their Pug screams when they try to bathe them or cut their nails.
Dogs don’t really enjoy bathing (or, as it seems, a forcible manicure). But they’re not in pain. Your little drama queen is just having a diva moment.
4. They’re super excited about something
Oftentimes, screaming indicates excitement.
Maybe you’ve just walked through the door after the nine to five or maybe they’ve eyed up an animal in the garden that looks very chasable.
In this state of unbridled ecstasy, your Pug is likely to yelp, scream, bark, and pant until they tucker themselves out.
5. Your Pug is feeling scared
In much the same way, your Pug might let out a scream or two if they are feeling scared about something. It could be the result of an unknown situation, a new environment, or anything that makes them feel unsettled.
Oftentimes Pugs might react like this if you’re taking them in the car, to the vet, or moving to a new house. Remember, they don’t understand what’s going on.
6. It was all just a horrible nightmare
Just like us, Pugs dream at night. And just like us, those dreams are sometimes bad.
Dogs can have nightmares. Sometimes a night terror will cause your Pug to scream out loud in their sleep. They might be remembering a traumatic incident.
Creating a safe, cozy, and calming sleeping environment for your Pug is a great way to help them relax at bedtime. But if night terrors persist, we recommend visiting your vet to check for any underlying issues.
7. They miss you
Pugs are companion animals. They live for cuddles and quality time with their owners. As such, this breed is prone to developing separation anxiety if left alone frequently or for prolonged periods of time.
For this reason, you might find that your Pug screams when you leave for work in the morning, go out to complete some errands, go to the bathroom, or get ready for bed. They are just scared you might not come back.
If this happens consistently it’s worth speaking to your vet. They can refer you to an animal behaviorist to help ease your Pug’s anxiety and set up a healthier routine.
8. Your Pug might be in pain
Though screaming doesn’t necessarily indicate illness or injury, pain is one possible cause of this behavior.
The biggest indicator that your Pug’s screaming is caused by pain is a change in normal behavior.
If your Pug is not prone to screaming (or has never screamed before) a sudden yelp is cause for concern. They could be injured or experiencing the onset of chronic pain for the first time.
Look out for other associated symptoms and call your vet immediately.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleeping habits
- Change in temperament
- Visible injury
How To Prevent Your Pug From Screaming
There are a number of different steps you can take if you’ve got a screamer on your hands. Once you’ve got the all-clear from your vet, it’s down to you.
Let’s identify some common situations that you can apply at home.
1. If your Pug is excited
If your Pug is excited about dinner time, a bowl of yummy food should stop that screaming. If your Pug is excited to see you, a cuddle or quick play-time should do the trick.
2. If they have separation anxiety
This problem is a little bit harder to fix in the first-time round. If your Pug is anxious when away from you for too long, you’ll need to engage in some long-term training to reduce their distress. You can learn more about separation anxiety and how to treat it here.
You’ll need to teach your Pug that alone time does not mean abandonment. If the problem persists, you might need the help of a dog behaviorist.
We also recommend keeping your Pug entertained and distracted with fun, mentally stimulating toys – especially if they are the only animal in the house.
3. For fear
If your Pug is afraid of something (fireworks for example) you can calm their screams with some TLC.
Take them into a calm environment and offer up some gentle cuddles until he or she calms down and relaxes.
4. Deal with illness or pain
If you suspect illness, injury, or pain in your Pug you must go to the vet immediately.
Though the occasional Pug scream can be cause for a giggle, at the end of the day, screaming is an annoying behavior if too persistent. Socializing your Pug from an early age is the best way to avoid this developing behavior.
Part of socialization training is getting your pup used to all sorts of different environments, scents, smells, sounds, and circumstances. This means your Pug is less likely to be phased by new things in later life.
Stop That Screaming
Why do Pugs scream?
Well, there are many reasons why.
They might be excited, scared, anxious, or in pain. But chances are they’re just being characteristically dramatic.
Whilst screaming is usually nothing to worry about, we always recommend keeping a close eye on your pet.
If they start exhibiting any worrying behavior visit your vet for the all-clear.