Square-proportioned, compact and of a cobby build, the pug is a large dog in a little space. Its gait is strong and jaunty, but with a slight roll of the hindquarters. Its distinctive expression is soft and solicitous. Its forehead has large, deep wrinkles. Its coat is fine, smooth and short.
A delightful blend of dignity and comedy, the pug is an amiable, playful and confident companion. It can be stubborn and headstrong, but it is pleasant and generally willing to please. It loves to cavort and show off.
AKC RANKING 12
FAMILY companion, mastiff (bulldog)
AREA OF ORIGIN China
DATE OF ORIGIN ancient times
ORIGINAL FUNCTION lap dog
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 10-11 Weight: 14-18
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 10-11 Weight: 14-18
OTHER NAME mops, Carlin
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance
The pug needs daily exercise, either in the form of a lively game or a moderate walk on leash. It does not do well in heat and humidity and should not be kept outdoors. It needs minimal coat care but daily cleaning of facial wrinkles. Its smooth coat needs only occasional brushing to remove dead hairs; however, the wrinkles need regular cleaning and drying to prevent skin infections. The pug wheezes and snores. Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: elongated palette, stenotic nares, patellar luxation, Legg Perthes, entropion
Occasionally seen: epilepsy
Suggested tests: (eye)
Life span: 12 15 years
Note: Skin fold dermatitis occurs if wrinkles are not regularly cleaned. The pug cannot tolerate heat and is sensitive to anesthesia. It is prone to corneal abrasion and obesity.
The pug has been known by many names: mopshond in Holland (which refers to its grumbling tendencies); mops in Germany, and Dutch or Chinese pug in England. The word pug is derived either from the Latin pugnus, meaning fist, as the head may have resembled a clenched fist, or from the marmoset "pug" monkeys that were popular pets in the 18th century and that the pug dogs somewhat resemble. Whatever the name, one thing is true: The pug's official motto multum in parvo ("a lot in a little") fits it exactly. The pug is somewhat of an exception in the toy group because it is perhaps the only breed to be descended from mastiff forebears. Although its exact ancestry has been lost in antiquity, the pug retains many mastiff characteristics. This is an ancient breed, one of several miniaturized in Asia, where it was a favorite pet of Buddhist monasteries in Tibet many centuries ago. In China, the facial wrinkles were an essential breed feature, most notably the "prince mark," or vertical wrinkle on the forehead, which bore a resemblance to the Chinese character for "prince." Pugs probably came to Holland by way of the Dutch East India Trading Company. They became quite popular and were recognized as the official dog of the House of Orange after one saved the life of Prince William by sounding an alarm at the approach of Spanish soldiers in 1572. By 1790, the pug could be found in France; Napoleon's wife Josephine used her pug to carry messages to Napoleon when she was imprisoned. Pugs were first brought to England during Victorian times and became incredibly popular with the wealthy, displacing the King Charles spaniel as the favored royal breed. Pugs of Victorian England usually had cropped ears, further accentuating their wrinkled faces. Several pugs were brought to England from China in 1886. A year earlier, the breed had been recognized by the AKC. Since that time, it has remained popular as both a pet and show dog.