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The health of the pug

Nowadays the pug is in a negative light, which is a shame and also unjustified because a responsible breeder takes his responsibility and also has the health tests carried out on his pug.

From our association we have been mapping everything since 2013.
You can follow everything below.


June 27, 2019
This afternoon, Brigitte Sabbe - Belgian Pug Dog Club secretary, and André De Bruyn - Belgian Pug Dog Club treasurer, attended a presentation by Mr Arnold Jacques from the Flemish breeding committee. 

This at the invitation of the Flemish Breeding Commission. (A maximum of 2 delegates were expected from each breed club) 

Following the National News Broadcast from October 2018, Read more

We would like to prove that pugs, bred by a responsible breeder, can indeed be healthy and the combinations are selected with the greatest care!

Presentation of the Flemish breeding committee 

May 29, 2019
Study evening "Brachycephal races under pressure".

Here the BOAS test is presented on which we worked together with Mr. Arnold Jacques -  Chairman Flemish breeding committee, Mr. Dimitry Van Raamsdonk - Chairman KBKFB (French Bulldog), Mrs. Ingrid Mylemans - Chairman BPDC and Mrs. Brigitte Baert-Sabbe - Vice-Chairman / Secretary BPDC.
Read more about BOAS

Dr. Hildeward Hoenderkerken NL, gives an expert explanation about BOAS in brachycephal breeds.

May 13, 2019

Invitation study evening "Brachycephal varieties under pressure"

Hereby we invite you, as a breeder and / or lover of the pug, to a study evening “Brachycephal breeds under pressure”.   This will take place on Wednesday 29 May 2019 at 7.30 p.m.  Location: Gildenhuis, Ciamberlanidreef 92 in 9120 Beveren.


December 17,  2018
We receive a newsletter from the National Breeding Commission concerning race records and registration of health results. 

The following health tests are included in the pedigree record of the pug:

  • Degenerative Myelophaty, DM (H673)+(H806)
  • PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis) (DNA)
  • Patella left
  • Patella right 

The Hemivertebra RX we requested was not included. Of course every breeder is free to do more than the recorded tests. 
The breeder / owner can upload the results of these health tests on the KMSH site for the dog in question.  New characteristics must first be validated before they are visible. 
If a breeder does more / other health tests, you can email them to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
New characteristics must first be validated before they are visible.

The KMSH will start in the future with 3 categories of pedigrees.


October 20, 2018
The report "Veterinarians call on to buy no short-snouted breeds" to be seen in the news on TV één.  In the report a vet is given the word against pug / short-snouted breeds due to respiratory problems in these breeds and Mr. Arnold Jacques, Mr. Sammy Baert and Mrs. Brigitte Baert-Sabbe Pro pug / short-haired breeds.  Also images are broadcast of 3 of our pugs that walk, run, jump, etc. and this without even panting once.  Of course, the interview will be shortened, but TV één keeps word and the report can be assessed as positive. 

Conclusion: we came very well out of the debate in Ghent, the result is that the press has not given it much publicity, and that it is currently quiet again ... 

Brigitte emails the members on the maillist and posts a message on the BPDC facebook page asap so that as many members as possible can view this broadcast.


October 19, 2018 
Brigitte Baert-Sabbe is called by Mr. Arnold Jacques chairman of the National Breeding Commission with the request to be present with 3 healthy pugs on Saturday afternoon 20 October 2018 in Ghent, so that Mr. Luc De Smet (Journalist TV één) can interview us and see healthy pugs.


October 18,  2018
Brigitte Baert-Sabbe is called by Mr. Arnold Jacques – chairman of the National Breeding Commission who informes her that he and Mr. Sven Wastyn (KMSH) were invited to "defend" the pug at the veterinary conference in Ghent. He will further inform her of the event as it was not allowed that the chairman and / or vice-chairman BPDC were present.


October 16, 2018
Brigitte Baert-Sabbe is called by Mr. Luc De Smet, Journalist TV één (national television channel) asking if he can come and interview her as vice-president / secretary of the BPDC concerning the health problems with the short-snouted breeds and especially with the pug.  He tells her on the phone that a veterinary conference about this will take place in Ghent and that he also wants to know our side of the story.  Brigitte answers him that she does not want to participate in a program in which our pug and other short-snouted breeds are placed in negativity.  Mr. De Smet assures Brigitte that this is certainly not the intention of TV één and that is precisely why he wants to hear our side of the story. Brigitte says that we also have a chairman, Mrs. Ingrid Mylemans, and that he can possibly contact her about this since she was the first and then only person to import the pug with pedigree in Belgium and started breeding with it.  Brigitte also says she finds it a shame that no distinction is made between pugs with and without a pedigree as the Belgian Pug Dog Club, the KMSH and the National Breeding Commission are working hard to introduce health tests when breeding dogs with pedigree .  Mr. De Smet says that he could not reach the chairman and asks whether this lady is just as articulate about the pug as Brigitte.  Brigitte tells him that she is willing to participate in an interview with the chairman.


June 19, 2018
Brigitte Baert-Sabbe participated in the tour and information afternoon in the Zoolyx lab in Aalst. All kinds of information is provided about genetics and numerous tests such as, for example, the detection of infectious diseases, progesterone, color inheritance, fur inheritance, etc.


April 28, 2018
(Day before the BPDC breeding special with CAC) Brigitte Baert-Sabbe and André De Bruyn take part in the information day in Brussels concerning breeding, health tests, new regulations for the breeding of dogs with LOSH pedigree organized by KMSH and National Breeding Commission. (Formerly Flemish Breeding Commission)


January 16,  2018
Until now, when making this report, no response has been received regarding the adaptation of the breed file and the requested health tests for the pug dog. 

Our board members are concerned about the health of our pugs.  Although we can still do so many health tests, we will never be able to rule out pugs becoming ill.  Just like humans, our beloved pug is unfortunately not free from disease.  The Flemish Breeding Committee prescribes to test both our breeding animals for the prescribed tests that will be included in the breeding file as soon as they are accepted, but on the other hand also to broaden our gene pool. This means, among other things, not only to breed with champion or show pugs.


24 november 2017:
Brigitte (secretariat) receives an email from the Flemish breeding committee that our submitted breeding file has been evaluated.  This only says Patella Luxation. There is a possibility to send in our comments before 01/12/2017 and to substantiate our proposals to adjust this variety sheet.  Brigitte reacts immediately : “what with the 2 other proposed health tests?”

Dhr. Arnold Jacques : 

  • Says that this variety file is a preliminary design
  • asks for information at which labs DNA testing related to PDE / NME can be done and what the cost price is.
  • Wonders what the cost price of the RX is concerning HV is and how many % of breeders currently have this done.
  • Brigitte provides this information.


August 23, 2017 
Together with Mr. Arnold Jacques - Chairman of the Flemish Breeding Commission, Mr. Dimitry Van Raamonk - Chairman of the Belgian French Bulldog Club BKFB, Mr. Dirk Soomers - Board member of the English Bulldoglub BEBD meet Ingrid Mylemans and Brigitte Baert-Sabbe about the health problems of the brachycephal breeds.  We will keep in touch with each other in the future.


After February 22, 2017
The majority of our Belgian breeders and even some Dutch breeders email Brigitte which health tests they do or do not do. Of course, it is not the intention to tell which breeder has which tests or which not.

Based on the emails received from our breeders, the board discusses which health tests are already being done and on the basis of this and personal knowledge and experiences the best experience would be included in the breeding file. Brigitte draws up the breeding file and sends it to the entire BPDC board for approval on the 31 March 2017.

So before April 2017, as originally requested, in time to the Chairman of the Flemish breeding committee, Mr. Arnold Jacques.

On the recommendation of the Flemish breeding committee, the health tests are limited to 3. In the future, a test may still be added or dropped due to the evolution of a certain health problem.

The following tests are requested:

  • Patella Luxatie (knees), 1 x from the age of 12 months
  • Hemivertebrae

This is a hereditary congenital disorder. With this condition there is a malformation of the vertebrae. The vertebrae has a wedge shape instead of a rectangular shape in side view. This condition leads to paralysis in most dogs!

At the vet for radiography recordings of the back.

Fokadvies: Met deze dieren NIET fokken

  • Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) / Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis (NME)

Dit is een inflammatoire storing van het centrale zenuwstelsel dat meestal progressief en fataal is.

PDE is een auto immuun ziekte die het centrale zenuwstelsel aantast. Honden getroffen door PDE sterven meestal binnen de 3 à 6 maanden na de eerste symptomen.

1 x voor de eerste keer fokken met deze reu of teef
In labo door hetzij swab hetzij door bloedstaal.

Breeding advice: DO NOT breed with these animals : 

  • Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) / Necrotizing
  • Meningoencephalitis (NME)

This is an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system that is usually progressive and fatal.

PDE is an auto immune disease that attacks the central nervous system. Dogs affected by PDE usually die within 3 to 6 months after the first symptoms.

1 x breeding for the first time with this male or female.

In lab by either swab or blood sample.


February 8, 2017: 
Brigitte Baert-Sabbe (secretariat) sends an e-mail to all members via mail with the request to the breeders to inform us before 22 February:

  • whether or not they have health tests done with their breeding animals
  • how these are done (eg via blood sample, RX, ..)
  • where these are done (eg lab, own vet, ..)

It is also announced that the KMSH organizes an information day for breeders for which you must register in advance via KMSH.

Ingrid Mylemans, Brigitte Baert-Sabbe and André De Bruyn will of course participate in this info day organized by KMSH.


Feruary 5, 2017
DA representative for the BPDC Brigitte Baert-Sabbe attends meeting of the VDA section 3 (section 3 = breeding dogs not subjected to work tests and greyhounds). There we are asked if we, as a breed club, can submit a proposal which health tests would be advisable for the pug and if the BPDC can make a pedigree token for the pug.



After some board members worked in 2013 to recommend a number of health tests / examinations to BPDC breeders before breeding the pugs, they wanted to submit them to the KMSH scientific committee to request support so that the KMSH would generalize these health tests / examinations for all breeders of the pug, in the future whether or not they are members of the BPDC. Around that time Ingrid Mylemans, Baert Sammy and Baert-Sabbe Brigitte took part in a symposium organized by the KKUSH scientific committee on genetics, as well as in a lecture on the creation of a database of genetic material of all varieties, etc. These board members will continue to monitor all this.

But to date, no health tests / investigations have been imposed by the K.M.S.H. to our breeders. This is being worked on together with the federal government. In the Netherlands and in France, since the beginning of 2014, DNA analysis have also been started on dogs. Many health tests were useless if these tests could not be linked to the DNA of the relevant pug.

At that time we could only applaud that some of our breeders voluntarily had health tests carried out on their pugs with which they intended to breed.  Certainly in these times where the pug is very popular, it is the responsibility of a responsible breeder not to breed litters because there is a lot of demand for puppies. But only to try to improve our breed.