All About Pugs

About This Breed

Once nicknamed the Dutch mastiff, the Pug is a small dog with a wrinkled face, short legs and barrel chest. In addition to being one of the world's most physically distinctive dogs, the Pug is also well loved for its charismatic personality and effortless charm.

To learn more about Pugs and meet other Pug lovers, check out the Pug Paradise group in the Pet360 community.

Physical Characteristics

The Pug is a compact and square-bodied dog breed with a soft expression and clearly defined black markings on its muzzle, ears, cheeks and forehead, which has deep and huge wrinkles.

COLORS

The Pug is commonly seen in fawn or black.

COAT

The coat of the Pug is fine, smooth, short and glossy.

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

POSITIVES

The Pug is a playful, confident, and friendly companion that is willing to please its human family.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

The Pug can be headstrong and adamant at times. It is also known to frolic about and occasionally get into trouble.

Care

IDEAL LIVING SITUATION

The Tibetan Mastiff fares the best in the city or the suburbs.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Regular cleaning and drying of the Pug's coat is necessary to prevent skin infections, especially in the dog's facial wrinkles.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Pugs:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis
  • Patellar luxation
  • Entropion
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  • Obesity
  • Skin infections

History and Background

Multum in Parvo, meaning "a lot in a little," is the official motto of the Pug and sums up its description. The Pug has had various names throughout the years, including Mopshond in Holland, Chinese or Dutch Pug in England, and Mops in Germany. But the word “pug” is thought to have come from the Latin pugnus, meaning fist and attributed to its clenched fist-like head, or from the 18th-century marmoset "pug" monkey, which purportedly appeared quite similar to the dog.

The Pug is often thought of as different from other members of the Toy Group, as some believe it is descended from the mastiff or a mastiff-like dog (even being nicknamed the "Dutch mastiff" for a time) while others concluding it bears more of a resemblance to the Pekingese. And though its exact ancestry is not known, many consider the Pug as one of the first breeds miniaturized in Asia. China is the earliest known source of the breed, where Buddhist monasteries of Tibet favored the Pug as a pet. The Chinese considered the Pug's facial wrinkles an important feature of the breed, referring to it as the "prince mark" because of its similarity to the Chinese figure for prince.

 

Brought to Holland by the Dutch East India Trading Company, a pug would become a pet to William I, the Prince of Orange in the mid 16th century. The Pug was also bestowed the position of the House of Orange official dog after one of its kind saved the life of William I by alarming him to the approach of an upcoming attack of Spaniards at Hermingny in 1572. Later, when William II landed at Torbay to be crowned King of England, his cortege included pugs, making the breed fashionable for generations. 

By 1790, the Pug had made its way to France. Most notably used by Josephine, wife of Napoleon, her pug, "Fortune," carried secret messages under his collar to Napoleon while she was confined in Les Carmes prison.

In England, the Pug gained popularity during the Victorian era. These pugs sported cropped ears, which further enhanced their wrinkled expressions. And in 1885, the American Kennel Club would recognize the Pug. Since then, the Pug has become not only a popular show dog, but a wonderful family pet.

Visit Adopt-a-Pet.com to find an adoptable Pug in your area!