Pug Breed Information
Alternative names -
Country of origin - China
Classification and breed standards
FCI:|Group 9 Section 11 #253|Stds
ANKC:|Group 1 (Toys)|Stds
CKC:|Group 5 - Toys|Stds
A Pug is a toy dog breed with a wrinkly face and medium-small body. Pug puppies are often called Puglets. The word "pug" may have come from the Old English pugg, which was an affectionate term for a playful little devil or monkey. See also Puck (mythology).
The breed is often summarized as multum in parvo ("much in little"), describing the Pug's great personality and small size.
1. 1. Origins
Bred to adorn the laps of the Chinese emperors during the Shang dynasty (1766-1122 BC), in East China, where they were known as "Lo-Chiang-Sze" or "Foo" (ceramic foos, transmogrified into dragon, with their bulging eyes are very Pug-like). The Pug's popularity spread to Tibet, where they were mainly kept by monks, and then went onto Japan, and finally Europe.
Professor Ludvic von Schulmuth studied canine origins by studying the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. Schulmuth created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog". From this dog evolved the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin. Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Shih Tzu and the Pug.
1. 2. Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
The breed was first imported in the late 16th and 17th centuries by merchants and crews from the Dutch East Indies Trading Company. The Pug later became the official dog of the House of Orange. In 1572, a Pug saved the Prince of Orange's life by barking at an assassin. A Pug also travelled with William III and Mary II when they left the Netherlands to ascend to the throne of England in 1688. This century also saw Pugs' popularity on the rise in other European countries. In Spain, they were painted by Goya, in Italy Pugs dressed in matching jackets and pantaloons sat by the coachmen of the rich, and in Germany and France. Pugs appear several times as footnotes to history. Sometimes, they were used for Scent hounds. They were used by the military to track animals or people, and were also employed as the guard's dogs.
1. 3. Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
The popularity of the Pug continued to spread in France during the eighteenth century. Before her marriage at age 15 to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette owned a Pug named Mops (the German, Dutch, Danish and Swedish name for the dog's breed). Before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, Joséphine had her Pug, Fortune, carry concealed messages to her family while she was confined at Les Carmes prison. The pet was the only recipient of visiting rights.
The English painter William Hogarth owned a series of Pugs, to which he was devoted. In 1745 he painted his self-portrait together with that of his Pug, Trump, now in the Tate Gallery, London.
In nineteenth century England, Pugs flourished under the patronage of the monarch Queen Victoria. Her many Pugs, which she bred herself, included Olga, Pedro, Minka, Fatima and Venus. Her involvement with the dogs in general helped to establish the Kennel Club, which was formed in 1873. Victoria favoured apricot and fawn Pugs, whereas the aristocrat Lady Brassey is credited with making black Pugs fashionable after she brought some back from China in 1886.
The Pug arrived in the United States during the nineteenth century (the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885) and was soon making its way into the family home and show ring.
While most Pugs appearing in eighteenth century prints tended to be long and lean, the current breed standards call for a square, cobby body, a compact form, deep chest, and well-developed muscle. Their heads, carried on arched necks, should be substantial and round, the better to accentuate their large, bulging, dark eyes. The wrinkles on their foreheads should be distinct and deep, . The ears should be smooth and soft, like black velvet and come in two varieties: "rose" (small, round and folded with the front edge angled toward the mask, giving the head a more rotund shape) and "button" (level with the top of forehead and folded at a sharp ninety degree angle). Breeding preference goes to "button" Pugs. The lower teeth should protrude farther than their upper, meeting in an underbite.
3. Coat and color
Their fine, glossy coats can be apricot, fawn, silver or black. A silver coat is characterized by a very light coloured coat, absent of black guard hairs. Some unscrupulous breeders call "smutty" Pugs silver. A "smutty" Pug typically has a very dark head, with no clear delineation at the mask, and dark forelegs. The tail should curl tightly over the hip; a double curl is considered perfection.
Pugs of different coat types shed to varying degrees, but they all shed quite a bit year round. Fawn Pugs, which have both an undercoat and an overcoat, are the most notorious for shedding. Pug owners have gone to great lengths to control this Pug characteristic. Partial solutions to the problem involve using special shampoos, supplementing or changing the Pug's diet, or even trimming the Pug's coat. Alternatively, regular coat grooming can keep the shedding down.
The silver variety of a Pug is much less common in the United States with Black and Fawn being the dominant colors. A Pug with a hard or woolly coat are considered objectionable by the AKC and are viewed unfavorably in shows. There is supposed to be a clear trace or black line extending from the head of the Pug to the tail. Additionally, moles and birthmarks are accepted and are not viewed unfavorably.
The stern expression of the Pug belies its true sense of fun. Pugs are very sociable dogs, and usually stubborn about certain things, but they are playful, charming, clever and are known to succeed in dog obedience skills. Pugs are sensitive to the tone of a human voice, so harsh punishment is generally unnecessary. While Pugs usually get along well with other dogs and pets, they generally prefer the company of humans and require a great deal of human attention; they may become slightly anxious or agitated if their owner ignores them or does not play with them; however some may occupy themselves when the owner is away. In general, they are very attentive dogs, always at their owner's feet, in their lap, or following them from room to room.
Because Pugs lack longer snouts and prominent skeletal brow ridges, they are susceptible to eye injuries such as puncture wounds and scratched corneas and painful Entropion. Also, the compact nature of their breathing passageways can cause problems such as difficulty breathing. Furthermore, dogs regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue. Because of the problems Pugs have with breathing, in conjunction with how all dogs regulate their temperature, Pugs may have trouble controlling their temperature. Pugs are bred to be indoor pets only, and must not be left outside in temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, despite loving to "sunbathe", and should never be left inside cars on hot days.
Pugs living a mostly sedentary life can be prone to obesity. Therefore, it is important for Pug owners to make sure their pets have regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Pugs can also suffer from a chronic form of granulomatous meningoencephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) specific to the breed called pug dog encephalitis (PDE). There is no known cause or cure for PDE, although it is believed to be an inherited disease. All dogs tend to either die or are euthanised within a few months after the onset of clinical signs, which usually occur anywhere from 6 months to 3 years of age.
Pugs, along with other brachycephalic dogs (e.g. boxers, bulldogs), are also prone to hemivertebrae. The screwtail is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs in others areas of the spine it can be devastating, causing such severe paralysis that euthanasia is a serious recommendation.
The Pug, like other short-snouted breeds, has an elongated palate. When excited, they are prone to a "reverse sneeze" where the dog will quickly, and seemingly laboriously, gasp and snort. This is caused by fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing. "Reverse sneezing" episodes will not hurt a Pug, but it will scare the dog, and maybe its owners, a good deal. The quickest way to stop these episodes is to talk to them calmly and gently rub the throat to induce swallowing. Otherwise, the reverse sneezing will usually resolve on its own. It is important that future and present Pug owners recognize this phenomenon as a pathological symptom rather than value it as a seemingly endearing behavioral pattern.
As with all small breeds, some problems may arise in pregnancy and birth. The most common include the need for a c-section and disinterest in the puppies, which may cause the mother to not break the birth sack.
As Pugs have many wrinkles in their faces, owners must take special care to clean inside the creases, as irritation and infection can result from improper care. . Pugs also need to have their claws trimmed regularly and should only be bathed as needed, as this takes essential oils off the skin and fur.
Pugs are one of several breeds that are more susceptible to Demodectic mange, also known as Demodex. This condition is caused by a weakened immune system, and it is a minor problem for many young Pugs. It is easily treatable. Some Pugs, however, are especially susceptible to the condition, and will present with a systemic form of the condition. This vulnerability is thought to be genetic, and good breeders will avoid breeding dogs who have had this condition.
Pugs can be expected to live from about 10 to 15 years.
6. Pugs in media and culture
In a May 23, 2007 web issue of The Onion, Pugs were lampooned in a fake news article titled Dog Breeders Issue Massive Recall Of '07 Pugs. The piece satirized Pugs and Pug breeders by speaking of the dog and its characteristics as a faulty product, "evidenced" by a fictional quote from the American Pug Breeders Association director, "While pug owners are accustomed to dog malfunction, the latest animals are prone to more problems than just the usual joint failures, overheating, seizures, chronic respiratory defects, and inability to breed without assistance. The latest model Pug is simply not in any way a viable dog."
Pugs have also held their own as featured players in many films and television shows.
* Otis from The Adventures of Milo and Otis
* Odie the Talking Pug - First appearing on David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks" Odie went on to win America Online's Top T.V. Moment of the Year in 2004.
* Frank from Men in Black and Men in Black II
* Weenie, from Kay Thompson's Eloise book series
* Shakespug is a friend of Satchel Pooch, a main character in the comic strip, Get Fuzzy.
* Mr. Pickle, BBC-presenter Jonathan Ross's Pug, seen in his talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross
* Ralph, Don Burke's dog In the long running channel 9 show, was a Pug and a frequent guest of the show.
* Percy Pug from Pocahontas (Disney)" and "Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World"
* Bean from "The Clique" series
* Tori Spelling's pug Mimi LaRue
* Featured in the commercial for the cellular company "HUTCH" in India
* There is a pug in both of the Eloise Movies.
Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
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