Dedicated to the pug breed since 1990, we are a small (2 people) hobby/show kennel located outside of Birmingham, Alabama USA.
Having owned and loved pugs for 3 decades now, we purposefully chose this breed when we first married after scouring through a dog breed book. We were drawn to the description of the pug with its minimal grooming and exercise needs and with their comical and loving dispositions. We definitely made the right decision because, 3 decades and 15 pugs later, we have savored every minute of our lives with these adorable, intelligent little clowns!
We train, rescue, show, breed, and love pugs and our "canine children" hold AKC titles in rally obedience, tricks, Canine Good Citizenship, and of course, AKC champions in conformation. We even have an AKC Achiever Dog because of his multiple titles and awards.
We do not breed often but, when we do, we carefully evaluate and select only the finest, health-tested, AKC registered pugs with champion pedigrees from both America and Europe, that will contribute to the future of our breeding program and the future of this marvelous breed. The puppies who do not remain with us will be placed in a loving pet home on a spay/neuter contract.
The pugs we breed are like children to us. Their well-being is paramount to us and we want to find each pup the perfect match and perfect home resulting in our scrupulous selection process with an initial, in depth inquiry form, subsequent dialogue, and sometimes even home visits so we can find the perfect match for each pup and pug lover.
Why are Pickwick Pugs special?
Pedigree: Pickwick Pugs includes only the finest pugs in our breeding program. When you look through each puppy's pedigree you will find a sea of AKC champions. (The prefix "CH" stands for Champion, "GCH" for Grand Champion). You will also recognize some of the most important names of pugs and breeders such as Hill Country Pugs, Tangetoppen, and Mianda. We go out of our way to find the perfect stud. For example, GCH Mianda's Prince Charming at Vanity, in St. Louis, AKC Stud Dog of the Year in 2019, was the perfect sire for our "Thrill Litter" girls Lilly, Miss Dior, and Princess Buttercup.
GCH Hill Country's Big Bang Theory (Bazinga) from Texas was the incredible sire of our Lemaitre Litter as well as our boy Robert. Bazinga is also the father of of "Biggie" pug, who has won more best in shows than any pug in history.
The famous Tangetoppen line is represented with the sire of our "Annie" (Zobear's American Idol, #1 Winner of Limited Dog class at Crufts, International Champion UK and Dutch Champion, IR Champion, and Res Best male European Dog, "Tangetoppen's Take a Hint" (Tino)
Here is Tino's daughter, Annie, moving out in the puppy class at the Pug Dog Club Nationals.
As members of The Pug Dog Club of America, Greater Atlanta Pug Club, Birmingham Obedience Training Club, Good Breeder Good Dog programs and other organizations, Pickwick Pugs is committed to improving the health and well-being of purebred pugs.
We strive to produce pugs who are beautiful inside and out.
We believe that overall health, sound temperament, and sociability are just as important as outward looks when meeting breed standard.
Champions: Through our participation in conformation dog shows, highly qualified AKC judges have selected Pickwick pugs to be some of the best representatives of the breed. The AKC Champion and Grand Champion pugs we include in our breeding program have received recognition with awards such as "Best of Breed", "Best of Winners", "Best of Opposite Sex", "Winners Bitch", "Winners Dog", "Best in Toy Group", "Best Puppy", "Best of Breed Owner Handler" and more.
Health Tested: As members of AKC's Bred With H.E.A.R.T. program, our breeding stock is health tested in accordance with the recommendations of the National Pug Dog Club of America.
Once you have been owned by a pug, it becomes quite obvious why they are one of the oldest breeds of dogs and have flourished since before 400 B.C. Our goal at Pickwick Pugs is to keep this breed flourishing. To that end, we fully support and promote PDE susceptibility testing and other important health scheme testing of our pugs to be bred. We test for:
It is important to note that buying from a reputable, conscientious breeder does not guarantee perfect health for life. Therefore, it is important to research all of the challenges you may face when owning a pug. In general, the pug breed often deals with hip dysplasia, elongated soft palates, PDE, PK, other eye problems, and other issues. A good starting source is the Pug Dog Club of America. You might also speak with a vet who has dealt with pugs to learn what you might possibly expect throughout a pug’s lifetime. While pugs' challenges often involve eyes and hips, ALL breeds and all living creatures will have their own, unique challenges as well as those universal challenges such as bacteria, viruses, accidents, and just the exciting act of staying alive while living a full and fulfilled life.
Beauty and Brains is our Motto!
We train our puppies! With daily, individual training sessions, each puppy learns things like sit, down, stand, leave it, drop it, easy, loose leash walking, wait, come, potty training, and fun tricks like spin, shake, bow.
Along with our extensive health-testing and screening, and consultation with top trainers, behaviorists, and some of the most important pug breeders in the US and the world, we strive to produce amazing pugs who are beautiful inside and out! Our pugs live with us in our home so we can truly examine their temperament and, withtheir participation in performance sports, we are also able to observe each dog's learning curve and intelligence quotient. Pickwick pugs are intelligent!
Every Pickwick Puppy goes to his or her new home with a diploma from our "Star Puppy Academy", having worked daily on such important skills as leave it, drop it, sit, down, stand, wait, watch me/attention, loose leash walking, crate training, and even fun tricks like spin, shake, and hi-5. Similar puppy training programs and "bootcamps" can cost anywhere from $7,000-$20,000, in addition to the price of the puppy and so often, the puppies are sent to training facilities where they are housed in kennels, separated from their littermates and mother too early, and in actuality only receive minimal attention and training day.
That is not the case with a Pickwick Pug Puppy who receives individual attention and training many times each day, as well as important socialization with its siblings and family which is invaluable when learning the customs and manners to thrive in the dog world.
And Pickwick Pugs does not charge extra for all of this additional training because we believe strongly that what is accomplished, and how it is accomplished, during the first critical 12 weeks of a puppy's life is paramount to its success, happiness, and health (physical and emotional) throughout its lifetime.
Pickwick Puppies live in our home with us and receive lots of interaction with people through puppy parties, socialization, outings, trips to the bank, errands, even going to work with us and meeting our clients and students. Our training protocols for our puppies is a full-time job.
We socialize our puppies:
From teaching puppies about resource guarding to learning how to handle different challenges and sound protocols, to visits and outings once they are strong enough, to puppy classes and parties, we thoroughly socialize each puppy as we know first hand, through our work with rescue, the ramifications of a puppy not having received this during their critical socialization period.
Through special puppy parties, outings to hardware stores, restaurants, banks, churches, stores, and all sorts of novel environments, meeting, and being handled and trained by all sorts of people from children, to women with walkers or men with beards and hats, our puppies have truly been socialized following scientifically based protocols taught by such important animal behaviorists and veterinarians as Ian Dunbar, (often called "the grandfather of positive dog training") and Jane Killion's Puppy Culture, Click here to read more about the importance of socialization during the first critical 12 weeks of a puppy's life.
AKC Registration: All Pickwick puppies go to their new with AKC registration papers, paid for entirely by Pickwick Pugs. Companion puppies are registered with limited registration.
Vet Checked: Pickwick puppies have visited our amazing vet on numerous occasions, for check-ups, dew claw removal, 1st 2 sets of vaccinations, worming, microchip, and final wellness checkup. The entire puppy is examined closely by our amazing vets, from heart, lungs, eyes, ears, to overall structure, hips, spine, patellar. Additionally, when indicated, specific tests such as PDE and xrays are also administered.
Microchip: At one of their visits to the vet, each Pickwick puppy receives an AKC Reunite identification microchip, paid for by Pickwick Pugs.
As full-time musicians (Amy is a piano teacher with a home studio and Jeff is an organist/choir director) our involvement with pugs and dogs is a hobby and passion. Our jobs afford our puppies marvelous opportunities for puppy socialization.
Not surprisingly, our pugs all learn how to "play the piano!' Here's our Champion Pickwick's Peachtree Hill Country's Mighty Macintosh, TKN at his piano. An amazing show pug, Macintosh finished his AKC Championship at just 9 months of age with just a handful of shows,
Here's our brilliant pug Sebastian, BGR, CGC, RN, RA, TKN watching himself play the piano on the television show, Daytime Alabama. (Sebastian is neutered and not part of our breeding program.)
Nature + Nurture:
Emotional resilience/inquisitive puppies. The Puppy Culture protocols we implement with EVERY Pickwick puppy provides the right environment that interacts with genetics to create a stable, inquisitive puppy who learns well, is resilient after surprised or when faced with novelty, and is affectionate to both people and dogs. From as early as the first weeks of the puppy's life, we work on things like Early Neurological Stimulation exercises, and throughout the following 12 weeks things like resource guarding, and games that teach the pup how to think and learn.
We actually begin our training protocols early, while the puppy is still in the womb. Within days after their 1st breaths, we begin ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) exercises and we work with each puppy daily, assisting the mother by overseeing and helping with each feeding and elimination every 90 minutes or so. The first 3 weeks involve the humans catching a few minutes of sleep when they can, because they are up with the mother pug for every feeding. Raising pug puppies can often be like raising an orphan pup or bird. It is all consuming and nothing like, say, a Labrador, Poodle, or Golden Retriever.
You can read more about the Puppy Culture protocols to understand what it is involved, but here are a few behind-the-scenes glimpses from our 2019 LeMaitre Litter:
Temperament Evaluations: At 7.5 weeks we hire a professional trainer to complete a temperament evaluation on each puppy. This helps us not only match each pup with just the right home, but it also helps us know what elements to concentrate on during their upcoming training sessions before going to their new homes.
Very often, pugs require C-Sections, so it is often at the vet that they take their very first breaths!
All of our pugs -- show pugs who are part of our breeding program, to rescue pugs and retired show pugs who are spayed/neutered) train in areas of rally obedience, tricks, and other fun things that keep their minds active and alert.
Here is our 1st champion and foundation bitch, KK nailing a perfect score at rally obedience.
We supervise all feedings at the milk-shake bar to make sure no puppy is accidentally smothered or stepped on by the pug mama.... even when this means waking up every 90 minutes throughout the night for quite a while!
The puppies also visit the vet for "dew claw removal". We avoid ENS around this time or any other times a pup is under stress.
Day 9, stimulating the GR (glucocorticoid receptor) gene. At birth, the gene is "dormant". Licking by the mother (or supplementing with a soft brush during the neonatal period) stimulates the gene to demethylate, making it more active, and allowing pup to grow up to be more relaxed in response to stress.
Each puppy is weighed at approximately the same time each day and look for the puppies to double in weight by Day 10 (200% of birth weight). Here is the Lemaitre Litter's 10 day weigh-in.
Macintosh, 15 days old, learning to walk:
Day 28. With eyes and ears open the pups enjoy listening to music and "watching" their dvd player. Time to move from the whelping box to the larger pen!
5 weeks old. Toys, toys, toys!
Training, training, and more training! It all begins with attention and loading the clicker. As soon as the puppies can "eat" gruel, we begin individual training sessions.
Every day, the puppies are introduced to a new item, experience, scent, sound, toy as they explore their environment and become braver and stronger.
Grooming: Pickwick Puppies are used to being groomed as we clip and later dremel their toenails regularly and, once they are old enough, bathe, blow-dry, clean nose fold and ears. We even tape their ears when necessary, whether or not they will be going to show homes, to "train" them to hang properly to frame the face as we know that even pet homes will want the most beautiful pug possible!
Show pugs have to look pretty too and need lots of baths and grooming! Here are some great ways we've found to dremel toenails. These swings actually work great and we've found that, along with a diamond bit dremel, the pugs don't mind the process as much. (If you've ever owned pugs, you know how they don't usually like their feet messed with!) Highly recommend!
Diet: Pickwick puppies have been fed the highest grade food available (Farmina N&D Ancestral Grains and Primal Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food supplemented with things like Raw Goats Milk, Ester C, Fresh Factors, Fish Oil, Probiotic Yogurt, Calcium, Collostrum, organic Pumpkin, Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Tripe, Liver, homemade chicken broth etc.)
Getting close to "gotcha day" at 12 weeks, pups continue their work on things like attention, sit, down, stand, leave it, wait, bow, drop, shake, spin, loose leash walking.
Puppy Basket: Pickwick Pugs provides a puppy welcome package filled with all sorts of treats, toys, blankets, food, books. supplies and, of course, the puppy's painting for you to proudly display at home
Paw-Painted Masterpiece: Tucked inside your basket will be a very special gift ... a paw-painted original painting by your own pup. Yes, one of the final tricks we teach each puppy is to paint! Using non-toxic acrylic paint, each pup enjoys a painting session as he or she creates a truly unique, paw-painted original masterpiece which they will bring with them to their new forever home. Additionally, they create another painting which will be used to sell for animal rescue. Yep, Pickwick puppies start supporting rescue at only 10-11 weeks of age!
Pugs can lead active lifestyles!
We believe pugs can do more than just sit on a couch, (although they do, and should, excel at this :) and we love for our own pugs to get the most out of life as possible. Working for an active lifestyle for our own canine family, this philosophy influences our emphasis on health testing and scrupulous selection process for our pugs in our breeding program. We strive to breed strong, healthy pugs for future generations to come … pugs who can hike, breath easily, take jolly walks and jaunts, dance, and savor life to the fullest!
Our pugs hold AKC titles in such things as Rally Obedience, Trick Dog, Canine Good Citizenship, and some have earned their AKC Achiever Dog Award. Here is one of our rescue pugs, Sebastian, at a rally class. (He is a neutered pet, and not part of our breeding program, but BOY is he smart!
Even our conformation show pugs participate in training and fun performance sports. Here is our foundation bitch, KK, winning a Rally trial!
Pugs are intelligent, "loving, charming, mischievous" cuddle partners, and our pugs love learning new tricks like playing the piano, painting, and other cute tricks like bow, wave, crawl, and shake as well as important obedience commands like come, sit, stay, snore. Our Champion Pickwick's Peachtree Hill Country Mighty Macintosh, TKN loves learning new tricks. Here he is performing his novice trick routine at the Pug Dog Club of America National Convention.
Believe it or not, pugs are actually pretty good at nose work sports ... and they LOVE it. Here is Lilly 'finding it' at her scentwork class.
We also support animal rescue and have fostered and adopted many pugs and dogs of other breeds who need a home.
Here is Sebastian pug supervising a training session with one of our foster puppies, Cambridge as he learns to "load the clicker".
Here are some of our fosters and rescues over the years.
The Painting Pugcassos
All Pickwick Pugs ... from the show pugs, to the rescues, to the puppies ... help to raise money for animal rescue with their paintings! Checkout some of their latest paw-painted masterpieces. Feel free to purchase anything you like as all proceeds are donated to animal rescue (and, besides, they make really cool and unique gifts and completely original decor for your home.) From handmade soaps (all organic, natural ingredients) to canvas paintings, to tissue boxes, and tote bags, you'll be sure to find something you like!
Here are some "behind the scenes" shots of the talented Painting Pugcassos hard at work, along with some of their paintings and creations.
While we love all of our non-conformation rescue pugs, we have learned first hand over the years the consequences of dealing with poorly bred dogs. From seizures and life-time dependence upon drugs like phenobarbitol, to bad hips and degenerative myelopathy, to patellar luxation and expensive surgeries, eye problems, psychological and behavioral problems, to expensive brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome issues, we've seen a lot, and we want to minimize, and eliminate when possible, all of these conditions for future generations of pugs!
If you would like to become a part of the Pickwick Pugs family and be considered to own a Pickwick puppy or pug, please complete the inquiry form so that we can get to know you. We look forward to hearing from you!