There is much debate over the origins of the Pug. They were known in Britain since the time of William Of Orange (1689 – 1704), who brought several Pugs with him when he ascended to the British throne, and were first thought to have originated in Holland. However, recent history claims that the Pug is actually an Oriental breed and is probably a smooth-coated, longer legged version of Pekingese. There are also two explanations for the breed name, one derives from pugnus, the latin word for “fist”. The other explanation is that it was taken from the Old English word Pugg, which was a term of endearment, as the breed was extremely popular during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Russia imported large quantities of Pugs. Shop owners in Moscow sold them for one shilling each and all of the colours were very popular. The royal families in Russia included these small dogs as part of their royal family as well. The breed became very popular in Europe that they were the subjects of paintings of famous European artists. Many Pugs owned by royalty were fitted with matching suits and pants and rode on the front with the coachman.
In 1885 the Pug was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Pugs were soon adopted by many American families and began to participate in many shows and competitions.
Pugs are essentially square, sturdy little dogs. They are small in stature and stand about a foot high and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. They are tightly muscled with a broad chest and proudly held head, with big liquid black eyes, which are full of expression and are soft and warm, letting you know if they are sad or happy. The skin on their faces is wrinkled and fawn coloured and Pugs have a black mask and black ears. Pugs come in a few colours, black, silver-grey, apricot, white, and fawn.
Pugs have a short, soft and glossy fur, and while they do shed hair, the hair is easily brushed away and doesn’t stick to furniture and clothing. Shedding can be minimized with regular brushing.
Sometimes playful and clownish, sometimes calm and dignified, always sturdy and stable, good-humored and amiable. Pugs are usually peaceful dogs who don’t make much noise, but they will bark when visitors arrive. A Pug is quite childlike and always need to be with their owners, they have a sweet and charming personality.
They are quite exuberant and playful dogs, alert and intelligent, and therefore they able to be trained. They have a great attitude towards almost everything. The shape of the mouth prevents them from biting efficiently and this makes them reasonably harmless, therefore they are fine around children and make ideal companions for the elderly as well. Though stubborn, Pugs seldom get into real mischief and adults spend much of the day sleeping.
To find out more about Pugs, please read part two of this article.