It is said that the Pug is “a lot of dog in a small space,” which mostly refers to their playful yet mischievous personality as a small sized breed.
The Pug has been all over, and if one takes a look back in time, you will find their muzzles on postcards, featured in historical paintings, and made into various figurines.
A definite favorite amongst Kings and Queens throughout Europe in the 1500 and 1600’s, the Pug’s comical face and charming temperament is still on full display today ranking in the top 40 most popular dog breeds.
What makes the breed such a favorite with dog lovers today?
Here is what you need to know about the Pug.
According to historical accounts, the Pug breed dates back to the ancient times. It was said that Pugs were so important in Asian culture, predominately China, they were considered to be “royal” dogs that were protected by soldiers. Pet pugs during those times were held in high regards as faithful companions, much like today.
Pugs weren’t only limited to China, however, they were also found in Ancient Tibet and Japan. In the 1500 and 1600’s, the Dutch and Chinese exchanged in trade, which resulted in the breed landing in Europe. The Dutch traders called this breed, as they do today, Mopshond.
During the late 1500’s, Pugs were becoming an integral part of European society. After one Pug reportedly saved the life of Prince William of Orange from a Spanish invasion, the breed was hailed as the official dog for the House of Orange.
Prince William the Third and his wife, Mary, left the Netherlands and to establish their throne in England. It is believe that the Pug they brought along was incidentally bred with a modern King Charles Spaniel. From then on, famous poets and artists would depict the breed in their works.
In the 1800’s, thanks to admiration of the breed from Queen Victoria, the popularity of Pugs surged and subsequently, a club was established.
Pugs arrived in the United States following the Civil War, and were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The breed had a different look during the 18th and 19th centuries, usually appearing with cropped ears, and shorter legs.
In America, the first club for Pugs was established in 1931, promptly named “Pug Dog Club in America.” Today, according to the American Kennel Club, Pugs are the 32nd most popular breed and belong to the “Toy Group.”
A World Dog Show back in 2004, saw a Pug named, Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece win the Best in Show.
Today, the Pug is more compact with more muscle definition and wears two types of ears including, “rose” and “button.”
They still hold a cultural significance in China and around Europe as an important dog breed belonging to a prestigious class of rule.
According to the American Kennel Club, a Pug is a small sized dog with medium energy that should stand between 10 to 13 inches. The preferred breed weight ranges from 14 to 18 pounds for a male or female.
Pugs are full of personality and thrive in a calm but consistent atmosphere. They need an owner, who is fair but firm. They are described as even tempered, however, they tend to be the class clown in a room full of dogs.
This breed loves attention, and won’t stop until they get their fair share. Pugs are highly intelligent, and can be stubborn at times during training.
The Pug needs a leader, a strong master, who will give the breed an abundance of affection and attention. They will follow you around wherever you go faithfully, which is exactly why this breed was so popular during ancient and Victorian times.
Don’t be surprised to find a Pug hopping up on your lap, as they much more prefer being on or close to you rather than on the floor.
Ultimately, the Pug is charming, a breed that is going to garner the attention of anyone surrounding you and the family. They can be aggressive if the situation warrants it, but this breed made its name being a lover throughout history rather than hunting and guarding.
If you let a Pug slug around the homestead, it will. They are considered somewhat active, but you could find yourself driving them to get out and exercise than an ordinary breed.
When you buy a Pug from a reputable breeder, you should always obtain proper testing and clearance through the appropriate paperwork. Of course, regular veterinarian visits will ultimately help keep your dog the healthiest possible.
Pugs can be expected to live on average, 10 to 14 years. They aren’t considered a breed hampered with a surplus of health issues, however, there are some concerns to look out for.
PDE, also called, Pug Dog Encephalitis, is a serious condition that is fatal within months, and usually affect younger Pugs, is an inflammatory brain disease. Unfortunately, there are no tests for this disease, and researchers are still studying this fatal condition.
According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 64 percent of Pugs in their survey suffer Hip Dysplasia. This is a deformity of the hip joint, that can cause lameness and pain.
Certain Pugs suffer from unknown seizures, which is called, “Idiopathic Seizure.” This can be treated by the veterinarian.
Pugs belong to a unique dog type called, “Brachycephalic.” Like many other dogs of this nature, this can result in a slew of issues with the eyes. Proptosis, a dislodged eyeball from the socket, Distichiasis, abnormal eyelash growth causing the lashes to rub against each other resulting in irritation and discomfort, Corneal Ulcers, an eye condition that can lead to your Pug going blind and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is a retinal disease that can lead to absolute blindness.
Finally, Pugs are vulnerable to issues affecting their skin like, Demodex, Skin Fold Dermatitis, and Cheyletiella Dermatitis. These skin conditions are typically caused by small mites, which are highly contagious, and will affect your other pets if left untreated.
Generally, Pugs are a relatively healthy breed, that live a longer average life span than most other dogs. Most of these conditions can be avoided, or aren’t seen in a majority of Pugs.
Pugs are known to be a sedentary breed, and when the breed leads an inactive lifestyle, this ultimately increases the chances of obesity. While they are a medium energy dog, you should encourage, and may have to, daily walks and mental stimulating exercises. Their intelligence can often translate into boredom with different routines or tricks, so mixing it up will greatly help keep your Pug fresh and active.
Another key item is cleaning out your Pug’s wrinkles either daily or often. Dogs like English Bulldogs and Pugs are vulnerable to skin infections because of their folds. A damp cloth or hypoallergenic wipes will do the trick in helping keep your dog healthy.
Brachycephalic breeds like Pugs need to be careful about heat exertion. Ultimately, this breed has a harder time breathing in warmer climates and has a higher than normal body temperatures than other breeds.
Regular grooming should be expected with this breed, as they are considered to be seasonal shedders. The good news is, grooming your Pug is fairly simple, and most masters of this breed call the process, “wash and go,” thanks to their simple to groom coat.
A Pug is fine with apartment living, and won’t require as much space as their personality my command. In short, this breed just wants you time and affection.
Early socialization is always vital if you plan on introducing your dog to the family, smaller children or other animals. They can get protective and selfish with their food and toys, but nothing a little training can’t break.
Along with daily exercise, a good balanced diet will determine how long your Pug will go in life and how healthy it will be.
Pugs are notorious for loving their food, and will definitely let you know they are hungry.
A puppy, depending on metabolism and activity rate, should be eating anywhere from 3 times a day at 1/3 a cup per meal. This will roughly break down to 40-50 calories per pound.
Like other breeds, as your Pug’s maturation progresses from six month to a year, you will be able to reduce from three meals down to two. Three quarter cups per meal is recommended.
Adults considered “active” should be eating twice a day at half a cup per meal. Older Pugs will eat at the same volume per day but perhaps less in serving size, depending on variable factors.
Your Pug will appreciate a home cooked meal with the best of breeds, but try to keep away from fillers and artificial preservatives.
Strive for a protein value of 18 to 22 percent and your dog will love you if you feed them chicken, fish, eggs, peas, liver and turkey.
As always, you should have fresh drinking water available to keep your dog hydrated and rejuvenated.
The Pug manifests a double coat, that can be described as sleep and soft. This double layered coat can come in two coats, according to the American Kennel Club. The Club describes the colors as fawn or black, and a muzzle that is well-defined.
Because the Pug does shed year round, you will want to get into the practice of brushing several times a week with a rubber curry brush. This will help stimulate better hair growth production and remove dead hair as well.
Their under coat is typically fluffy, while the breed’s top layer is longer but smooth.
Pugs weren’t meant for the foxholes, or for guarding the yard, they were strictly kept for one main purpose only, and that was for their companionship.
Although many cultures held this breed in high regards as a form of prestige or fashion, the one constant about this dog remains true to this day, it’s affection.
Sure, this dog is easy to groom, and simple to please, but it’s their charm and devotion that keeps this breed as one of the more sought after pets to own.