Pug “Charming, Mischievous, Loving”
The Pug, also called the Chinese Pug, Dutch Mastiff and Dutch Bulldog, is a very old dog breed that was developed in China at least 2400 years ago. The meaning of the breed’s name is unclear, although it is possibly slang for the word “monkey” or is derived from the Latin “pugnus,” meaning “fist.” Easily recognizable due to their stocky bodies and prominent eyes, these popular companion animals were often favored pets of monks and royal families in Europe and China. The small size and relatively low exercise requirements of the Pug make it suitable for living in apartments. Spirited, willful and affectionate, this breed possesses a sturdy, compact build that enables it to play safely with children. Pugs are lively, alert animals that behave lovingly toward people of all ages and get along well with other dogs.
The Pug is an ancient breed with its origin in China sometime before the 6th century BCE. A short description of a dog that resembles the Pug exists in the 6th century BCE writings of Confucius, and sources from the 5th century BCE suggest that dogs of this type were a favorite of the Shang dynasty rulers, who used them as lap dogs and frequently presented them to others as gifts. It is likely that this early Pug is also the predecessor of the Pekingese. From China, the popularity of the Pug spread to Buddhist monks in Tibet. There are also sources that suggest the Pug encountered similar treatment in Japan. While some sources do exist, much of the artwork and writing that described these early dogs was destroyed in the 3rd century BCE by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Accordingly, the exact nature of the Pug’s origin and its spread through Asia is unknown.
The Pug should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Pugs live to eat and are prone to obesity, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. , so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.
The Pug’s short, smooth, glossy coat needs minimal maintenance, but it does shed. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt, or a hound glove will help to remove the loose hair and help keep him looking his best. Pugs don’t need to be bathed unless they happen to get into something particularly messy or start to get a doggy odor.
Given the opportunity, a Pug will happily spend much of the day snuggling on the sofa—which, combined with the breed’s fondness for eating, makes obesity a real possibility. But the Pug is playful, sturdy, and lively, too, and owners can keep the breed fit with daily opportunities for moderate exercise, such as walks or play sessions in the yard. It’s vital to remember that as a short-faced breed Pugs aren’t tolerant of hot weather, and they shouldn’t do strenuous exercise when it’s warm or humid out—better to be in air-conditioning. Some canine sports in which Pugs participate and excel include agility, obedience, and rally.
The Pug has been bred to be a companion and a pleasure to his owners. He has an even and stable temperament, great charm, and an outgoing, loving disposition. Pugs live to please their people, so they are generally easy to train. Their feelings are easily hurt, and harsh training methods should never be used. A Pug wants to be with his family and will be unhappy if he is regularly left alone for long periods of time. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended.