Pugs are a very small breed of dog that is famous for its wrinkly and short-muzzled face. It is also known as a Chinese pug, Dutch bulldog, Dutch mastiff, and a Mini mastiff. Pug puppies are called “puglets”. This dog originated from China, and in ancient China it was called ‘lo-sze’ or ‘foo’.
Pugs have a fine and glossy coat which comes in a few colours. They come in black, silver, apricot, or fawn. It can also come in white, although this is rare as it is either because the dog is an albino, or the breeders intended to breed them that way.
It also has a compact squarish body and well-developed muscles. Believe it or not, in the olden days, pugs actually were long and lean. It is only today that we prefer them to have a square and cobby body, compact, have a deep chest and well-developed muscles. Unfortunately, they do have some health issues including obesity, overheating, and pharyngeal reflex.
Although it is small – don’t let it fool you as its personality makes up for its tiny size! Pugs are stubborn but they are rarely aggressive. As a result, pugs are suitable for families with children. In fact, most pugs are fond of children and love to play with them. Pugs can also be quiet and docile, but they can also be quite vivacious depending on their owner’s mood. They also make for good watch dogs, as they are always alert and sometimes yappy.
Pugs were originally bred during the Shang dynasty (before 400 BCE) as a lap dog for Chinese sovereigns. They were even referenced by Confucius in 551 BCE who described pugs as a short mouthed dog. The popularity of the dogs spread to Tibet where they were kept primarily by Buddhist monks, and then spread to Japan and finally Europe.
Pugs were imported into Europe in the 16th century by the Dutch East India Company. In 1572, pugs became the official dog of the House of Orange after a pug called Pompey saved the life of the Prince of Orange as the dog alerted him of approaching assassins. When William III and Mary II left the Netherlands to ascent the English throne in 1688, they took a pug with them. In Italy, pugs were dressed in matching jackets and pants when they road up at the front with the coachman on a private carriage. They have also been used by the military to track people and animals, and as guard dogs.
During the 18th century, the popular pug spread to France. Before Josephine married Napoleon Bonaparte, her pug called Fortune carried hidden messages to her family when she was imprisoned at Les Carmes. In fact, Fortune was the only one who had visiting rights!
Other famous people who love pugs include Queen Victoria of England. She bred many pugs herself, including her pugs called Pedro, Olga, Fatima, Minka, and Venus. Lady Brassey is credited with making black pugs fashionable after she brought them back from China in 1866.
Pugs have also been featured in modern media, including movies such as Men in Black, The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Pocahontas, 12 Rounds, Dune, and Marie Antoinette. They have also been on TV shows such as Eastenders, The West Wing, and The King of Queens.