History of the Pug Breed
The pug is one of the oldest breeds. Its origin is subject to many opinions. Some believe it is a much smaller variation of the somewhat rare French mastiff. Another possibility is that it could be an offshoot of the shorthaired Pekingese or other Oriental breeds. It could also have been the offspring of a small bulldog. Whatever the ancestry, it seems to have originated prior to 400 BC somewhere in Asia. Some believe that the name of the breed comes from the Latin word “pugnus,” which means “fist” because the pug’s head looks like a clenched fist. Another theory is that the name originated from the marmoset “pug” monkeys that were kept as pets and resembled the little dog. One of the essential breed features (especially in China) is the “prince mark.” This refers to the vertical wrinkle on the forehead that looks like the Chinese symbol for prince. The pug has been a pet in many countries by a variety of people – from Buddhist monks in Tibet to European royalty. After being imported to Holland in the 1500s, the breed became the official dog of the House of Orange when a pug saved Prince William’s life by alerting him of approaching Spanish soldiers. In France, Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, was imprisoned and used her pug to get secret messages to her husband. The pug arrived in England around 1860 and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1885. It makes an excellent watchdog and is loved for the companionship it brings to its owner.
Size and Appearance of the Pug
The squared-shaped pug is stocky and compact with short legs. It has a short, flat muzzle and folds of skin, or wrinkles, on its face. Its tail is tightly curled over its short back. Its distinctive rolling gait is strong and lively, revealing its big dog dreams. The pug has deep, expressive eyes and a soft air. Its coat is short and smooth of fine, glossy hair colored in silver, apricot, fawn or black with a black mask and ears.
This playful pup is cheerful and friendly – a canine jester. It is self-confident, if a bit tenacious and stubborn. The pug is smart, loyal and willing to please. It has a charming personality that is easy to love. It can be mischievous and a show-off and gets along with children, visitors, and other pets quite nicely. This breed does not bark excessively, yet makes a good watchdog.
Pug Recommended Maintenance
The smooth coat of the pug requires minimal grooming that consists mainly of brushing twice weekly to help with the breed’s excessive shedding. Bath as necessary and dry thoroughly to prevent it from getting cold. Clean the wrinkles on the face daily in order to prevent skin infections or chapping. Wash the pug’s eyes several times weekly to remove debris and build-up. Special attention should be paid to its teeth and nails. The pug needs moderate exercise daily that can be achieved through a walk or romp in the park. The exercise requirement for a pug is more than most toy dogs need. Because of the breed’s short muzzle, it may experience breathing difficulties, especially in hot and humid weather. It should not live outdoors and is best suited for apartment living. The pug has been known to snore, again due to its short snout. Training should be gentle, as this breed is sensitive to its owner’s tone.
• Life span: 12 – 15 years
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: elongated palette, stenotic nares, patellar luxation, Legg – Perthes, entropion
• Occasionally seen: epilepsy
• Suggested tests: (eye)
• Note: Skin fold dermatitis occurs if wrinkles are not regularly cleaned. The pug cannot tolerate heat and is sensitive to anesthesia. It is prone to corneal abrasion and obesity.