The Pug is a small breed of dog known for its wrinkly face and curly tail. The pug is a rather old breed of dog, originating in China before bring imported to Europe in the 16th & 17th centuries.
Modern Pugs tend to have square, compact bodies with deep chests and well-formed muscles. Their coat is short and glossy, and most often is fawn-coloured, but they can come in apricot fawn, silver fawn, and black. Their coats are quite easy to groom with a firm bristle brush and only need to be bathed when necessary (although they should be dried immediately as they are sensitive to temperature). Their facial creases, however, need to be cleaned frequently. Pugs tend to shed heavily about twice a year.
Pugs have either “rose-” or “button-” shaped ears. “Rose” ears are smaller but breeders prefer “button” ears. The Pug has a tail which curls over the hip, very strong legs and ankles and small feet. Its lower teeth often rest further forward than the upper, and as a result most Pugs have under bites.
Healthy male Pugs weigh around 6 – 9 kg and stand at 30 – 36 cm tall, while females are usually 6 – 8 kg and between 25 and 30 cm tall. The life expectancy of the Pug is 12 to 15 years.
Pugs are well suited to apartments and small dwellings and will cope without a yard. However, they do not cope well in hot or cold weather and therefore should be kept indoors at a comfortable temperature.
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Pugs are well-suited to many types of owners, including elderly people and families with young children. Though strong-willed, Pugs are very rarely aggressive and are very fond of children and get along well with other pets. They can be quiet and placid but also playful and lively. They are quite lazy in nature and tend to enjoy napping, which can make them a great low-maintenance companion for elderly people. They are very loyal, affectionate and loving towards their owners and often follow them wherever they go.
They tend to have rather poor road sense, so it is imperative that they are kept indoors or in an enclosed outdoor space. Even though they are a relatively inactive breed, they can be prone to overeating and so should still be taken on daily walks.
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The Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds, believed to have originated over 2,000 years ago; however there is much debate over when and where it first appeared. It is widely accepted that Pugs or similar dogs were popular during the Chinese Song Dynasty.
They began to be imported in the 16th century and became very popular among European nobility; in fact, the breed became the official dog of the House of Orange after the Prince of Orange was rescued by a Pug named Pompey in 1572, having alerted him to the presence of assassins.
Pugs were well established all over Europe – they have been depicted in England, Spain, Italy and France. They were often employed as guard dogs and the military used them to track animals and people.
English painter William Hogarth owned many Pugs, which are often depicted in his works, and Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Josephine used her Pug to carry messages to her family while she was imprisoned.
In the 19th century, Queen Victoria bred many Pugs, and her passion for the breed was inherited by her grandson King George V and great-grandson King Edward VIII. Her breeding efforts are credited with the development of the Pug we see today.