The Basic Breed History Of The Pug

By: Jennydonaldson
For such a small dog, the Pug has a very large history. They have gone through many changes over the centuries, but one fact has always been the same - they love being with people. Many famous people owned Pugs throughout history, which helped to spread their popularity among the fashionable of the world. Looking at their history shows us a glimpse of what living with a Pug is like.

The origins of the Pug are shrouded in mystery and controversy. Some say there is written proof that they existed in 400 BCE, but some insist that there was proof they existed as far back as 700 BCE. It is generally believed that Pugs were originally from Asia, most likely China. This is logical, since all other breeds of snubbed-faced dogs originated in China, in particular, the Pekingese. There is some thought that the snub-nosed dogs mentioned in Chinese writings around 700 BCE were actually Pekingese and not Pugs.

Small snub-nosed dogs in China were considered Imperial property. Chinese Emperor Ling To (168 - 190 CE) is reported to have any Pug-nappers be put to death. However, his Pugs had Imperial guards around them, so they were most likely safe. Back then it is thought Pugs came in both long and short coats, again suggesting a Pekingese influence. Pugs were also seen in many colors, not just the three colors recognized today (fawn, black and silver).

This is because a Pug's timely warning saved his master, William, Prince of Oranges, from an assassin's strike. By the sixteen hundreds, Pugs were popular in most European courts. Other famous owners of Pugs were Josephine (Napoleon's wife, who proves she always liked them small) and the popular English painter William Hogarth.

His Pug, "Trump", appears in several paintings. There was not that many Pugs available for breeding, so they were most likely crossed with small Bulldogs in order to produce Pug-like puppies. Hogarth's Pug was slimmer, longer-legged and longer-nosed than a modern Pug. Trump also lacked the black mask of most modern Pugs.

The Pug as we know it didn't come into being until the formation of a breed standard in the 1800's. Although Pugs had been longhaired, they now had to come in short haired coats in order to be shown. Pugs used to come in many different colors, but for some reason only three official colors are allowed in both the show rings of Europe and America.

Pugs quickly conquered the hearts and homes of the New World, where they were one of the first breeds to be approved by the American Kennel Club in 1885. A renewed interest in Pugs occurred after the release of the hit movie "Men In Black", featuring Frank the Pug, who played an alien on Earth.

The AKC, incidentally, was founded in 1884. Pugs have been consistently one of the top twenty most registered dog breeds in America for decades. Their plan to take over the world is nearly complete.
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