The Pug was brought from China to Europe in the 16th century and was popularized in Western Europe by the House of Orange of the Netherlands (where it became the official dog of the House after one saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him to intruders), and the House of Stuart. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom developed a passion for the breed which she passed on to other Royal family members. In China the dog was bred to be a companion for the ruling families. They were highly valued by Chinese Emperors and were kept in luxury and guarded by soldiers. The early history of the Pug breed is not fully known but it is accepted that modern day pugs are descended from dogs that were imported to Europe.
The modern breed preference for this dog has a square, cobby body, deep chest, well developed muscle, and compact form. The smooth, glossy coats can be colored fawn, apricot fawn, black, or silver fawn. The markings of the Pug are clearly defined, with a trace of a black line extending from the occiput to the tail. The tail of the Pug will normally curl up tightly over the hip. There are two distinct shapes of the ears for Pugs, “rose” and “button”. “Rose” ears are smaller than that of the “button”, and fold with the front edge against the side of its head. The legs of the Pug are set well under, of moderate length, straight, and very strong. The lower teeth of the Pug normally stick out further than their upper causing them to have an under-bite. The eyes should be large and round, and dark in color.
The breed is a strong-willed type but is rarely aggressive which makes them suitable for families with children of all ages. Because Pugs tend to be sensitive and intuitive to the moods of their owners, depending on the owners mood, the Pug can be quiet and docile, or vivacious and teasing. These dogs are somewhat lazy and enjoy spending a lot of time napping. They crave attention and affection from their owners, and because of this they have often been called “shadows” and will follow their owners around to stay close to the action.
The median life span of the Pug is 11 years old. The pug breed is susceptible to a variety of health problems. They are susceptible to various eye injuries, breathing problems, and are also prone to obesity. Some common conditions associated with the breed include, reverse sneezing, eye prolapse, skin fold dermatitis (because of its many wrinkles), hip dysplasia and demodectic mange. Some serious issues involved with the breed include, necrotizing meningoencephalitis, and are prone to hemivertebrae.