The pug, quite a dignified little fellow

The Pug is undoubtedly a very old breed, but from where they came is a bit confusing. Authorities differ very much in their opinions of the exact origin of the Pug. Some Pug authorities’ feel they were brought from Holland many years ago having been imported there from the Cape of Good Hope, and later brought to England. Others say they came from Muscovy. Many writers say they are a cross between the English Bulldog and small Dane.

There were dogs resembling the Pug we know today in the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet before 400 BC. They were also seen in Japan and Europe becoming the favorite of royal courts in those countries. The Pug became popular in Holland around the mid-1500’s.

Other important positions of the Pug throughout history were:

* The Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland in 1572. It has been said this occurred after a Pug saved the life of William, Prince of Orange. Apparently the Pug was instrumental in giving the Prince an alarm at the approach of the Spaniards at Hermingny.

* The Pug was an important pet of Josephine, wife of Napoleon in 1790.

One fact remains that were not heard of in England until about the time of William III, at which time, they became great favourites among the aristocracy. They were pampered and petted. During the lifetime of the great painter Hogarth the Pug’s popularity in the Flemish provinces was well documented by his pictures. The Pug is seen in many of his famous pictures.

Two strains in England known as the Willoughby and the Morrison in the years of 1840 and 1850 were well known. The Willoughby strain was named after Lady Willoughby de Eresby, a Pug fancier who obtained a dog from Vienna, formerly the property of a Hungarian Countess. In 1864 he was mated to a female imported from Holland of correct fawn color with black mask and trace but without brindle. From this union the celebrated Willoughby Pug with its “saddle mark” or “wide trace,” found its origin. The Morrison strain was of richer color and without much black marking, also a larger type and supposedly a lineal descendant of the stock owned by Queen Charlotte.

The Pug derives his name from a Greek word which forms the root of the Latin pugnus, a fist, as his profile closely resembles a man’s hand when tightly clenched. However, this definition is one of question. Others think his name is more likely to have arisen from a study of the countenance as well as general appearance of the animal. His jet black muzzle or mask is also called “Carlin,” from the resemblance to a harlequin who was famous in France at one time in history. The breed was known in France previously as “dogmus” and “roquets.” Many wealthy families owned and celebrated their Pugs especially as “parlour pets.” When the owner sat for a portrait, the Pug sat in a prominent place in the foreground.

The Pug has a stately look about him which seems to state his feelings of dignity and how well they know their importance. They are generally affectionate, yet with a jealous streak of their mistress if she gives attention to others in the doggy community. He is easy going otherwise and good tempered. The Pug is clever and can be comically mischievous having an out-going personality. Do not feed your Pug excessively. They seem to have a tendency to overeat if allowed and become overweight, which is not healthy for any breed of dog.

The general appearance of the Pug is a large-headed, smooth-coated, square built and cobby shape standing with an air of importance and dignity. Eyes of a Pug are usually dark and large.

Pug have a short, square muzzle, therefore, they are not too happy in hot, cold or humid weather. Don’t leave them outside or closed in cars in the summer or winter months.

Grooming the Pug is fairly easy. They have a smooth, slick hair coat that is easily combed and brushed. You won’t find any mats and tangles on these guys!

Some common diseases and disorders of the Pug might be:

* Hip dysplasia; * Patellar Luxation; * Entropion; * Demodectic mange; * Heat stroke due to the short muzzle; * Pug encephalitis.

The Pug is also prone to obesity, as mentioned above, arthritis and heart disease.

The Pug makes a good pet companion to the young and old, children and teenagers.

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