The Pug is a toy breed which was bred during the 15th century BC as lap dogs for Chinese Rulers during the Shang dynasty. The popularity of the breed later spread to Tibet, then Japan and Europe. The Pug was eventually dubbed the official dog of the House of Orange due to one saving the Prince of Orange’s life. Several other famed historical rulers kept Pugs as pets. The breed was also kept as a scent hound and a guard dog. The Pug arrived in America during the 19th century. The breed’s name may be derived from the Old English word “pug” which is an affectionate term for monkey or playful little devil.
Today’s standard for the Pug is slightly more cobby than the lean eighteenth century version. The breed weighs around 15 pounds and is compact, square, and muscular. The head of the Pug is one of its recognizable features; it is round and wrinkly with bulging dark eyes. Its ears are smooth, soft, and folded toward the front, and it generally has a distinct underbite. The coat of the breed is soft and short and can be apricot, fawn, silver or black. The tail of the breed curls tightly over its hips.
The Pug is a sociable, playful, yet stubborn breed. It is charming and friendly and requires a great deal of attention. Likewise, the breed is very attentive to its owner, and generally very obedient. The breed is sensitive to the intonations of human voices, and harsh punishment or strong commands are not usually required to make a Pug obey. The Pug, like most dogs, needs a fair amount of activity in order to avoid obesity.
The Pug can be high maintenance due to excessive shedding. The wrinkled face of the Pug also needs extensive care; improper care of the wrinkles can cause health issues. The breed must be kept in cool places due to its shortened snout; it may have problems with breathing in high heat, and complications with temperature regulation can lead to death.
The breed can live 10 to 15 years but may encounter some health issues such as pug dog encephalitis, hemivertebrae, reverse sneezing, and demodectic mange.