Pugs are little dogs with bulbous eyes, smooshed faces and curly piggy tails that snort like hogs. They also snore at night, overheat easily, and while short-haired dogs, shed profusely. Pug aficionados swear that they are the best dogs in the world.
The origins of the pug can probably be traced back to China before 400 B.C.E. Pugs were companions to Chinese Royalty. It is thought that that the Chinese tried to breed this dog with wrinkles on its head that formed symbols or characters. The “W” on a pug’s forehead is thought to resemble the Chinese character for “prince.”
How did pugs end up in Europe? This, like the exact origins of the dog, is a little confused. Some think that pugs were given as presents to men with the Dutch East India Company when Holland and the Chinese started to trade in the 1600’s. However, a pug is credited for waking up William the Silent of Holland of the House of Orange when Holland and Spain were at war, thus saving the Prince from a deadly surprise attack sometime between 1571 and 1573. Regardless, pugs went on to be both pets and symbols of the House of Orange.
There are two types of pugs that dominate “Pug-dom” today, both developed during the first half of the 1800’s. The Willoughby pugs, developed by Lord Willouby d’Eresby, have a mixture of black and fawn hairs. Additionally, the Willoughby pugs’ faces are almost all black. The Morrison pugs are stockier than the Willoughby pugs and have a color that is commonly referred to as “golden apricot.”
First exhibited in England in 1861, pugs were recognized by the American Kennel Club after the Civil War in 1885. Their popularity peaked at the turn of the 20th century in the United States. Where does that leave pugs today?
Still beloved by those with whom they live. While pugs are considered a Toy breed with an ideal weight of fourteen to eighteen pounds, they have the heart of a dog four times their size. They are bright and eager to please, with occasional flashes of independence—“nope, not right now.” Pugs are not guard dogs, as they are more likely to try to play with an intruder, but are very alert about who should and should not be there. They are very good with children. Pugs have a sense of humor or at least a great deal of toleration for human foibles. Why else would they let themselves be dressed up in wedding gowns or doggie tuxedos and then taken for walks? Females of the breed tend to be a little more standoffish, while males can turn into lap-dog-couch-potatoes.
Like any dog breed, pugs can have problems. They overheat easily and should not be walked or left outside during very hot or very humid days. The breed is prone to head problems like undersized nostrils and dry eye, or the inability to produce tears. They also tend towards hip and leg problems, such as hip dysplasia, a condition where the head of the femur does not fit into the ball of the hip, and slipped stifles, where the bone that protects the knee joint slips out of place. Veterinarians can provide information about the conditions that a pug might have and recommended treatments.
To keep a pug happy, you just have to play with it and make it part of your family. Brush it at least once a week, and wipe out the wrinkles on its face with a soft towel daily. This dog is a true treat to have in your home.
Pug Dog Description
The muzzle should always be black in color, and the ears should have the shape of roses. The eyes of the Pug should be large and dark in color. The teeth of this breed should form an undershot bite. The tail should always be held in a rigid curve, and the limbs of this breed should be powerful. When the Pug moves about, it should have a distinctive gait. The Pug is a small dog breed that originates in the Far East.
Also Known As
- Chinese Pug
- Dutch Bulldog
- Dutch Mastiff
Country of Origin
The Pug is a loyal dog that will show affectionate to those that it cares for. These dogs love to play, and will display a cheerful disposition. The Pug has a personality that virtually everyone will love. However, they can be stubborn. They are known for their exceptional levels of intelligence, and they can become bored quickly if trainers use the same techniques. These dogs will react to your tone of voice. While they make fine watchdogs, they do not bark more than is necessary. The Pug is a dog that will get along with everyone, including other dogs and non-canine pets. They enjoy being around children, and are known for being sociable.
These dogs can get sick easily. They cannot tolerate living in weather that is extremely hot or cold. They may develop allergies, and because they have a compressed muzzle, they may also be prone to having breathing problems. These dogs may have problems with their eyes, and owners will want to watch for this. The Pug has a maximum life expectancy of 15 years old.
The Pug is a powerful breed that has straight legs. They love being energetic, and owners will want to give them the exercise they need. However, it should not be overdone. These dogs cannot tolerate being exposed to extreme weather, so owners will want to give them reasonable amounts of exercise. The Pug is a great dog for people who live in apartments and do not need to have a yard.
Special Grooming Needs
This breed has a short coat that is easy to maintain. Owners will want to brush the coat with a strong brush, and it should only be given a bath when it needs it. The Pug will shed a large amount of fur during its shedding season.