One of the oldest breeds of dogs, Pugs have been around since before 400 BC in Asia as pets of Tibetan Buddhist monks, later they found their way to Japan and China. When the Chinese were breeding them, they looked for coat markings or wrinkles that looked like Chinese language characters. The foreheads were checked for wrinkles resembling Ws, the Chinese symbol for prince.
In 1860, the British overran the Chinese Imperial Palace where they found several Pugs and Pekinese and brought them back with them. Pugs became pets of royalty in several European countries. It was even the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland. William, the prince of Orange, was saved by his Pug when it alerted him to the advancing Spaniards at Hermingny in 1574. An effigy of William and his Pug is carved on his tomb. When Josephine, Napoleons wife, was in prison, she sent secrete messages to him hidden under her Pugs collar.
It was in France that the breed received it’s name “Pug”. Named after the Marmoset monkeys, also favorite pets at the time and called “Pugs,” Pugs first arrived in the U.S. after the civil war. In 1885 they were registered as a breed in the A.K.C., and in 1931 the Pug Dog Club of America was formed.
A charming, sweet, dignified, intelligent little dog with short smooth hair, the Pug learns quickly, is a bit mischievous, and loves “his” people. A loving, loyal and affectionate companion, the Pug averages 14 to 18 inches high, 14 to 18 pounds, and has a life span of 12 to 15 years.
By: Linda Eastabrooks
Former AKC Breeder