These sturdy, compact dogs are a part of the American Kennel Club’s Toy group and are known as the clowns of the canine world because they have a great sense of humour and like to show off. Originally bred to be a lap dog, the Pug thrives on human companionship. Pugs are square and thickset, usually weighing no more than 20 pounds. Their heads are large and round, with large, round eyes. They have deep and distinct wrinkles on their faces. Legend has it that the Chinese, who mastered the breeding of this dog, prized these wrinkles because they resembled good luck symbols in their language. Especially prized were dogs with wrinkles that seemed to form the letters for the word “prince” in Chinese.
The moles on a Pug’s cheeks are called “beauty spots.” His muzzle or mask is black, with a clearly defined “thumb mark” on the forehead and a black trace down the centre of the back. His ears are smooth, black and velvety. He has a characteristic undershot jaw (the lower teeth extend slightly beyond the upper teeth) and a tightly curled tail.
Pugs originated in China, dating back to the Han dynasty (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200). Some historians believe they are related to the Tibetan Mastiff. They were prized by the Emperors of China and lived in luxurious accommodations, sometimes even being guarded by soldiers.
Pugs are one of three types of short-nosed dogs that are known to have been bred by the Chinese: the Lion dog, the Pekingese, and the Lo-sze, which was the ancient Pug. Some think that the famous “Foo Dogs” of China are representations of the ancient Pug. Evidence of Pug-like dogs has been found in ancient Tibet and Japan.
In the latter 1500s and early 1600s, China began trading with European countries. Reportedly, the first Pugs brought to Europe came with the Dutch traders, who named the breed Mopshond, a name still used today
Pugs can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak. Crate training is recommended.
Pugs can’t tolerate high heat and humidity because of a short muzzle (air cools down when it passes through the noses of dogs with longer muzzles before entering the lungs). When your Pug is outdoors, watch him carefully for signs of overheating. Pugs are definitely house dogs and should not be kept outdoors.
Despite their short coats, Pugs shed a lot.
Pugs wheeze, snort and snore, loudly.
Because their eyes are so prominent, Pugs are prone to eye injuries.
Pugs are greedy eaters and will overeat if given the chance. Since they gain weight easily, they can quickly become obese if food intake isn’t monitored carefully.
Pugs need a constant human companion. If you own a Pug, expect him to follow you around in the house, sit in your lap, and want to sleep in bed with you.
Pug enthusiasts are a fun-loving bunch. They love Pug get-togethers, Pug parades, and dressing up their Pugs.