The Pop Culture Pet

Pugs are everywhere. They’re on our clothes, mugs, magnets, bags, wallets; they’re all over instagram and youtube. Yet local breeder, Bev Benbow, says that pugs have always been popular pets, even before the pop culture hype.

Celebrity pug, “Doug the Pug,” has his own social media presence. With almost 5 million Facebook followers, it is safe to say that Doug is one popular little pug; his owner has made a career out of being his full time manager. Bev says the reason that pugs are so popular is their personalities.

“People say they’re so ugly they’re cute, but I think it’s their personalities really. Once you’ve met one I don’t think you can go back to a different dog,” she said.

Bev attributes their expressive faces to their almost people-like features, and says it’s one of the reasons people identify with pugs so easily.

Breeding pugs for 9 years, Bev has had an overwhelming demand for puppies right from the start. She currently has four waiting lists, one each for boy and girl puppies for both the black and fawn varieties.

“People are prepared to wait.

“The fawns are more popular, but blacks are a close second because they’re rarer; people love them because they’re rare,” she said.

An eight week old puppy from Bev’s kennel will cost $2,300. Bev says that people who have done their research know to expect to pay upwards of $2,000 for a pug puppy, however some people do drop out of the waiting lists because their situations change.

Bev’s kennel, Ellengon Pugs, now has eleven pugs in total, and is licensed to own eighteen. She says it’s important for breeders to have proper licenses, so that buyers know they are not buying from a puppy farm.

Reputable breeders have to follow rules such as not mating the dogs before they are one, and not allowing the dogs to have more than two litters in an eighteen-month period.

Bev uses a combination of natural mating and artificial insemination to meet demand as efficiently as possible.

Bev clearly doesn’t believe that pugs will fall out of fashion any time soon.


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