Ella the pug with owner Lisa Downey. A study has found pugs are the latest substitute for babies.
THEY have a face that only a mother could love.
But peculiar-looking pugs are now the hottest dogs in Australia.
And it seems that mums like Ipswich’s Lisa Downey are the reason why.
Dog experts say more and more women are splashing out on a pug to mother as their own children reach adulthood.
Mrs Downey adopted Ella from Pug Rescue at Redbank Plains 12 months ago.
“Within two days we had fallen completely in love with her,” Mrs Downey said.
“You can do anything to her. We paint her nails and dress her up. She would be perfect for little kids.
“My daughters love her too. If anything happened to her I’d be devastated. She’s part of the family. At night she watches television with us and can’t be anywhere but our lap.
“She loves going for a drive. We are going to buy her some ‘doggles’ – dog sunglasses.”
The pug leapt to number seven on the Top 10 Dogs in 2010 list, an 11 per cent jump on last year.
Dogs NSW veterinary advisor Dr Peter Higgins said the most popular of the registered dog groups was the toy dogs which include the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, chihuahua and the pug.
“The pug is increasing in popularity. It has a human-like face which looks similar to a baby’s,” Dr Higgins said.
“There is a current trend towards people having children later in life, and so the popularity of the pug and other toy breeds is simply reflective of our changing attitudes.”
Carol-Ann Reddick from Pug Rescue Queensland said people surrendered pugs for a variety of reasons, from the elderly moving into nursing homes to financial reasons.
“It can be a heart-breaking situation because they make wonderful pets, especially for families with children,” she said.
She said the waiting list was about six months.
For inquiries about adopting a pug, visit www.freewebs.com/pugrescueqld.
TOP dogs of 2010
1. Labrador retriever
2. German shepherd
3. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
4. Staffordshire bull terrier
5. Golden retriever
6. Border collie
8. Cocker spaniel
9. Jack Russell terrier
10. Poodle (toy)
Source: Dogs NSW