The Pug is a breed recognized by the FCI and is a very nice companion dog! We discover the breed standard, the character of the Pug, its origins, and other curiosities on one of most popular dog breeds in the world!
Origins and History of the Pug dog
Pugs originated in China about 3,000 years ago, although Japan claims the black pug variety. The little bulldog is represented in many works of art depicting a legendary dog called the Foo dog, the powerful guardian and evil presence in temples. When the two dogs are represented in pairs, the left holds dog under his paw a ball as a symbol of power, while the right dog protects a puppy. Among the many legends, it is also said, that the forehead wrinkles of the Pug form a character called “Diamond”, in reference to the precious stone , symbol of the emperor.
In Europe, specifically in the Netherlands, the Pug came through the Dutch East India Trading Company. In Italy, however, the first traces of the breed date back to Roman times and then get lost throughout the Middle Ages. It will be brought back only to the eleventh century in Milan, near the Duomo museum, where it exhibited a sculpture depicting the head of a Pug, the work of the Tuscan sculptor Tino Camaino (1285-1337).
Pug Breed Standard
The pug belongs to the mastiff breed type, and look very similar to the English Bulldog, but smaller. The dog, while breathing, makes a slight wheezing sounds a lot like that of asthmatics, and is a distinctive feature of dogs with short faces . This configuration makes it particularly sensitive to excessive strain and high temperatures. Nevertheless, Pugs have a very rugged look and a swinging gate.
The coat of the Pug is short, smooth and very bright, especially if the dogs diet is healthy and balanced. The head is round, with a flat face and protruding black nose. The ears are small and very soft to the touch. Their eyes are really expressive, large and protruding. The tail is curled just like that of a pig! There are four recognized pug colors: black, red, silver and apricot.
The male pug is slightly larger than the female, the height at the withers varies from 25 to 30 cm, while the weight should fall between 6 and 8kg. The average lifespan of a pug g is about 13 years for females and 12 for males- years when our little friend will give us the immense joy!
Pug dog care, nutrition
As just mentioned, given the shape of the face, the pug is a very sensitive dog, and we will have to lend special attention especially during the hottest times of the year. For example, in summer, it is preferable to keep the pug into the house and cool, limiting its exercise in order to avoid the risk of heat stroke. Similarly, we must pay close attention to a Pugs diet! Let us remember that it is a dog that tends to gain weight very easily, and so its diet must be strictly healthy and balanced!
Even the hair and skin of the Pug are very delicate are prone to skin infections, so cleanliness is very important. In addition we must also pay attention to the eyes, as they can suffer from conjunctivitis. Unfortunately the problems are not over yet … our unfortunate friend also can suffer from hip dysplasia and breathing problems during sleep and arousal states. In fact, the pug, when it is particularly annoyed about something, tends to “reverse sneeze”, irritating the throat. If you see your dog sneeze in this strange way, gently massage the neck under his nose, in order to help him breathe.
Finally, the most dreaded disease in pugs dogs is meningoencephalitis (something that also affects Maltese dogs) this terrible disease leads quickly to death following a series seizures.
Pug dog Temperament
The pug is a great dog, very nice and very affectionate, and for this reason needs a family that treats him like a real family member. They are faithful to their master and can be a jealous dog in the presence of other pets, although this is never still aggressive. The character of the Pug is very lively, and given their exuberance they tire easily and tend to take long relaxing moments. That said, it is a dog for many but not for all, let’s see why:
- The pug was been selected 3000 years ago as a companion dog and likes to always stay close to the owner (think of Marie Antoniette- her pug accompanied her to her execution!)
- The pug is an apartment dog;
- Pugs can not come with you to run and cannot run along side you while you bike, as their physical characteristics do not allow it breathing;
- The Pug requires special care as it is subject to many diseases related to their breed;
- Pugs shed a lot, despite having short hair;
- The pugs are not in the top list of dogs suitable for children, especially if very young, as their eyes are very delicate and accidentally being poked in the eye could cause serious problems;
Pugs (like all dogs, some more than others) after the three years tend to calm down, but in the early years of life are very vivacious, so remember that pug puppies require constant attention!
Breeding pug puppies
Considering what we have just said, if you think that the Pug is the right dog for you, let’s give some advice about the puppies. First of all we want to remember, once again, that the pug is a very gentle dog, then you may want to buy the puppy exclusively from a specialized breeder. That said, know that the first few days are beautiful but also full of agitation, for a pug puppy the first impact with a new environment can be traumatic, so prepare a nice homecoming for him before he arrives.
Get your pug a soft comfortable bed to sleep on, lots of toys, and a calm place for him to eat. Do not forget a bowl with fresh water, pug puppies are lively and drink quite a bit. The liveliness of the pug is not always fun for the dog lover so arm yourself with patience and do not be angry too if you find some furniture a little “chewed” by your new guest.
All in all, they are amazing dogs, but it is important to remember that many people do not know the characteristics of pug or themselves, so they chose to take one home and then give it away. So if you’re willing to buy a pug, you should seek first and foremost pugs for adoption in the pug rescue associations.
Among the most famous Pugs we find Wang To, owned by a member of the Kingdom of Hsi Tsoong Council during the Tang Dynasty. Another famous pug dog is Pompeii: in 1618 Sir Roger Williams, in the book ” Action in the Law Countries “, tells the story of Pompeii, who saved the life of William III. When the Dutch were attacked by surprise by Spanish troops, his faithful companion barked to warn him and was able to save his life. Thanks to Pompeii, the pug became the official breed of the House of Orange. The effigy of Pompeii is carved on the tomb of William III in the Delft cathedral.
Among the famous pugs there is also that of Queen Marie Antoinette who did not want to separate from her even in front of the guillotine. Another famous pug was that of Mahilof of the Duke of Enghien, who committed suicide on the grave of the executed master. The news made such a stir that Mahilof was embalmed and exhibited in the Rohan museum.
Finally, one can not overlook Frank, the pug from the movie Men in Black, a cute alien dog that speaks mostly of interstellar politics. A trained Pug named Mushu is the star in that film!