Average Height: 10 -11 in
Average Weight: 14 -18 lbs
Average Life Span: 10 -14 yrs
Coloring: Fawn, apricot, silver, black; light coats typically have black muzzles
Area of Origin: China
Similar Breeds: Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Boston Terrier
History and Origin:
The Pug has been present in East Asia for over two thousand years. While its origin has been lost in history, the Pug, along with the Lhasa Apso, was known to be a watch dog of Buddhist monasteries in Tibet dating back to 400 BC. It arrived in Europe during the late Middle Ages, enjoying great popularity as a companion for nobility. The breed was even announced as the official breed of the House of Orange in the Netherlands after a Pug alerted William I of approaching enemies, saving his life. While the Pug enjoyed significant popularity in continental Europe, it didn’t gain popularity in Britain until the mid-nineteenth century. The breed was present in England in the late eighteenth century, however it was only showcased at shows starting in 1861, one year after the British sacked the Imperial Palace in Peking, China, bringing purebred Pugs and Pekinese dogs back to England. The Pug was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1885 and the United Kennel Club in 1886.
Personality and Temperament:
Affectionate and enthusiastic, the Pug is an excellent family pet. While a companion animal, it loves to be active, and is a suitable playmate for children who are aware of its small size. It is intelligent, and can be willful if given the freedom to boss its owners around. Sensitive to tone of voice, the Pug responds most positively to a firm yet gentle owner, who will be rewarded with a spirited personality and plenty of antics. The Pug can be a good choice for a nervous or first-time dog owner. Overall, it is a loving, loyal companion.
Exercise & Training:
The Pug enjoys walking and playing. A daily walk and mental stimulation will keep it happy and healthy. Due to its short nose, it does have a tendency to wheeze or snort when it gets over-exercised, and a Pug owner must be constantly aware of this physical indicator. If given sufficient exercise, the Pug can adapt well to apartment living. An intelligent breed, the Pug is happiest with plenty of mental stimulation to challenge it. Variety in its training will hold its attention.
A good brushing a few times a week will help keep the Pugs coat free of dead hair. Only bathe when necessary, but regularly clean the folds of the face to remove debris which can cause infections. The Pug sheds more heavily in the spring and fall, and brushing every day to eliminate the excess hair will help keep the coat and skin healthy.
It is likely that the Pug had influence in the development of the French Bulldog, and possibly even the English Bulldog. Through these lines, many Mastiff breeds may have Pug blood. Through the French Bulldog, the Pug has influenced the Boston Terrier, and it is likely that it also contributed to the development of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In Asia, it shared duties of watch dog and companion with other small breeds such as the Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and the Pekingese.
Interesting Facts about the Pug:
1. Before owning Cavalier King Charles Spaniels once she married Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette of France had a Pug dog named Mops.
2. Josephine, Napoleons wife, also enjoyed the company of Pugs; her dog Fortune carried messages to Napoleon when she was in prison.
3. Queen Victoria of England owned many Pugs, preferring the apricot and fawn color to black.
4. A talking Pug named “Frank” was a recurring character in the “Men In Black” movie franchise, starring alongside Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.