August 17, 2017

Introduction to the Pug

Comical, playful, and affectionate, the Pug makes a wonderful addition to many families. They love to be with people and they are very good with children.

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Although they are a Toy dog, they are the largest of the Toy breeds and able to play with children without getting hurt.

Charming and lively, Pugs are also loyal and loving at home. They can be stubborn and are not always easy to train, but most owners don’t mind.

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History of the Pug

The Pug is one of the oldest of all dog breeds. They are thought to have originated prior to 400 BC, along with the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu, in China. They were already very popular by the time of the Han Dynasty, China’s second imperial dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). By the 16th century China began trading with the Dutch East India Company and some of the dogs were taken back to Holland. There Pugs became popular with the ruling House of Orange. William, Prince of Orange, owed his life to his little dog named Pompey when the dog warned him that the Spanish were coming to assassinate him in 1572. In Holland the dogs were called Mopshond. Another William of Orange, married to Mary of England, later became William III. When he and Mary became King and Queen of England in 1688, they arrived with Pugs in tow and the little dogs became extremely popular in Brtain.

Pugs continued to be associated with royalty throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The painter Goya frequently painted the Spanish royal family with some of their pet Pugs. The painter William Hogarth painted a famous portrait of himself with his little Pug named Trump that hangs in the Tate Gallery in London today. Pugs were wildly popular among the upper classes throughout these years. Marie Antoinette had a little Pug that she called Mops before she married. Josephine, the future wife of Napoleon, had a Pug named Fortune, and she smuggled notes to her loved ones in his collar.

The British royal family continued to be devoted to Pugs. Queen Charlotte (1738-1820), the wife of George III, loved Pugs and kept a large number of them. Or course, all of these royal patrons dim when compared to Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was one of the greatest dog lovers to ever rule. She was fascinated with many breeds, including the Pug and she bred Pugs. She is said to have kept some 36 Pugs and helped establish the Kennel Club in Britain in the 1870s. She also helped set the appearance of the Pug as it is today. Her favorite little Pug was named Bosco. Queen Victoria’s son, Edward VII, was also devoted to Pugs. Later, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were also fans of the breed, keeping 11 Pugs, mostly obtained from the United States after the Duke’s abdication as king.

There was a new infusion of Pugs into England and Europe in 1860 when British soldiers took over the Imperial Palace in China and found Pugs there. They brought some back to England, including some black Pugs. There may have been black Pugs in England and Europe before but they were not esteemed before. These Pugs were shorter than the earlier Pugs and had a shorter muzzle. They had a great influence on the breed’s appearance today. Today’s Pugs are descended from a dog named Click, who was the result of breedings from the dogs that were brought back from China at this time.

Pugs were brought to the United States following the Civil War and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The Pug Dog Club of America was founded in 1931. Today the Pug is very popular in the U.S. They are the 32nd most popular breed of dog in America, out of about 200 breeds.

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Pug Health-Related Issues

Pugs often appear comical because of their small size, large eyes, and short muzzle. The breed has also been criticized because it does have some health issues. However, like many Toy breeds, Pugs tend to have long lives. A 2004 health survey of Pugs in the UK found that their median lifespan was 11 years. Some Pugs in the survey lived to be 17 years. The most common cause of death among Pugs was reported to be old age, followed by heart problems, and then cancer.

In the United States, the Pug Dog Club of America recommends that breeders have dogs checked for the following issues before considering them for breeding: x-rays for hip dysplasia, CERF eye exam every three years, patellas checked for luxation, and Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE).

In hip dysplasia the ball and socket of the hip do not fit together smoothly and they can rub against each other. This can result in mobility problems or arthritis eventually. Hip dysplasia is a common problem in many dog breeds but its severity can vary. Some dogs can feel better with supplements or your vet provide pain management for your dog. In extreme cases surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.

The patella is the kneecap and in the dog it is found on the hind leg. A luxating patella, or floating kneecap, can make a dog temporarily lame. This problem is common in small dogs. You can often identify it is you see a dog running and suddenly notice him give a bunny hop. He may yelp in pain for a moment, and then he is all right again as soon as the muscle relaxes. Some dogs can have this problem occasionally and it never becomes serious. In other cases the luxation can get progressively worse. It usually affects a dog that is middle-aged. In the worst cases a dog may need surgery. Fortunately, after surgery dogs recover quickly and resume their ordinary running and playing.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) is a kind of necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME) that occurs only in Pugs. According to research, the disease can be inherited. PDE is a neurological disease that is an inflammation of the dog’s brain tissue. Dogs with PDE have seizures, among other symptoms. It occurs most often in Pugs that are female and less than seven years old. It is also more likely to occur in fawn-colored Pugs. The condition is being studied at the University of California-Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. According to UC-Davis, 1.2 percent of all Pugs die from PDE. There is currently no cure for the disease but supportive care can help a dog live longer.

Pugs can also have some problems with their eyes. Their eyes are beautiful and appealing but they are also very large. One possible problem is entropion. Entropion is a genetic condition in which a small part of the lid is inverted. It can be easy for an eyelash to scratch the surface of the eye, causing an ulcer to form on the cornea. Entropion can occur in other breeds but it is especially likely to happen in short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds like the Pug. If it occurs, it can usually be diagnosed when a dog is about a year old. Signs include excess tears or inflammation of the inner eye. The problem can sometimes be cleared up with artificial tears or antibiotics but in some cases minor surgery is necessary to tack the eyelid.

Pugs are also prone to reverse sneezing. This is not a health problem but it does occur in some breeds. The dog makes a loud, rapid inhalation of air which can be very startling. It usually sounds scary but it is not harmful. Dogs do it when they have mucus or fluis in their nasal passages.

Pugs can also have stenotic nares which are pinched nostrils. This is a congenital condition that can make breathing difficult. If a Pug has this problem, a vet can make the nostrils a little wider so the dog can breathe better.

Pugs also have lots of wrinkles, so it is necessary to wipe their faces with a wet cloth each day to remove debris and bacteria. They can also have problems with demodectic mange. This kind of mange is caused by a parasite that is found on most dogs (and on most people). It only becomes a problem when the immune system is weakened and the mange breaks out into lesions, crusty skin, and loss of hair. Demodectic mange is easy to treat. If you suspect that your dog has this form of mange, take him to see your vet and it can be cleared up.

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Hemivertebrae can also occur in the breed. It is normal – even desirable – for Pugs to have a curled tail. However, if this curvature happens somewhere else along the spine, it is considered a birth defect and the dog can be paralyzed because of the pressure on the spine.

Remember that most dogs do not major have health problems. Breeders work diligently to test and screen their dogs so they produce healthy puppies. But no one can completely guarantee that every dog will be healthy throughout their lifetime. If you are interested in getting a puppy or dog, be sure to talk to the breeder about their dogs and their health guarantees.

Pug Temperament

Pugs are delightful dogs. They are rambunctious, playful and intelligent. They make wonderful pets for people of all ages. Since they are a brachycephalic breed, they do not do well in hot or humid weather. You should not allow them to play outside when it is hot. They don’t need a lot of exercise. They do well with a few walks every day. They are usually very happy staying indoors and lounging around. They can be very playful inside but they mostly like to be with their people and see what you are doing.

Pugs get along well with other peace-loving pets. They are not aggressive but they will stand up for themselves. They make decent watchdogs and will bark to give a warning but they are not fighters.

Pugs enjoy spending time with children and they are happy to allow kids to dress them in clothes and costumes. Pugs have a wonderful sense of humor. They will expect to sleep on the bed and all of the good furniture. They can be somewhat stubborn and they are not always easy to train. This is not because they aren’t smart – they are very smart. They simply don’t always see a reason to do something.

Pug Grooming

Pugs are easy to groom. They have a short, sleek coat. However – take note – Pugs shed a lot. They shed all the time. You can keep a lot of this dead hair from ending up on your floors and furniture if you brush your Pug daily. It also helps to give your Pug a bath once a month to help get rid of shedding hair and keep the skin and coat clean and healthy.

Pugs do have facial wrinkles and bacteria can grow in the folds of the wrinkles unless you wipe them daily. You can use a warm cloth or a baby wipe to wipe your Pug’s face. Be sure to dry the folds of the wrinkles after wiping them.

Because Pugs also have very large eyes, it’s important to check them regularly to make sure they have not been scratched or injured in any way.

Otherwise, grooming a Border Collie is similar to grooming other dogs. You will need to check and clean your dog’s ears, keep his nails trimmed, and maintain his teeth in good condition.

Pug Fun Facts

  • The Latin phrase associated with Pugs is “multum in parvo,” which means much in a little space, referring to the Pug’s big personality in a small body.
  • Pugs are called “Mops” or “Mopshund” in Germany and the Carlin in France.
  • Pugs often snore.
  • Pugs have a slight underbite. This is normal and desirable in the breed.
  • Pugs are believed to have contributed to other breeds after they were brought to Britain such as the King Charles Spaniel or the English Toy Spaniel.

List of Common Pug Mixes

Pugs are adorable but because they have some health issues, they are not the most popular breed to use in a hybrid mix. One mix that has been popular is the Puggle – a cross between the Pug and the Beagle. People have also bred the Muggese – a cross between a Maltese and Pug; and a Chug – a cross between a Chihuahua and a Pug. A Puginese is a cross between a Pug and a Pekingese. A Jug is a Jack Russell and Pug mix.

  • Bassugg – Pug and Basset Hound Mix
  • Brug – Brussels Griffon and Pug Mix
  • Buggs – Pug and Boston Terrier Mix
  • Bullgle – Pug x Beagle and Bulldog Mix
  • Chug – Pug and Chihuahua Mix
  • Chuggle – Beagle and Chihuahua and Pug Mix
  • Cocker Pug – Pug and Cocker Spaniel Mix
  • Daug – Pug and Dachshund Mix
  • Frug – French Bulldog and Pug Mix
  • Japug – Japanese Chin and Pug Mix
  • Jug – Pug and Jack Russell Terrier Mix
  • Maltipug – Maltese and Pug Mix
  • Muggin – Pug and Miniature Pinscher Mix
  • Pom-A-Pug – Pug and Pomeranian Mix
  • Porgie-Poo – Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle and Pug Mix
  • Poxer – Boxer and Pug Mix
  • Pug-Zu – Pug and Shih Tzu Mix
  • Pugador – Labrador Retriever and Pug Mix
  • Pugairn – Cairn Terrier and Pug Mix
  • Pugalier – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Pug Mix
  • Puganese – Havanese and Pug Mix
  • Pugapoo – Pug and Poodle Mix
  • Pugbull Terrier – Pug and Pit Bull Mix
  • Pugese – Pug and Chinese Crested Mix
  • Puggat – Rat Terrier and Pug Mix
  • Puggit – Italian Greyhound and Pug Mix
  • Puggle – Beagle and Pug Mix
  • Pugglepoo – Beagle x Poodle and Pug Mix
  • Pughasa – Pug and Lhasa Apso Mix
  • Puginese – Pug and Pekingese Mix
  • Pugion – Papillon and Pug Mix
  • Pugland – West Highland White Terrier and Pug Mix
  • Pugottie – Pug and Scottish Terrier Mix
  • Pugshire – Yorkshire Terrier and Pug Mix
  • Pushon – Bichon Frise and Pug Mix
  • Shnug – Pug and Miniature Schnauzer Mix
  • Shug – German Shepherd Dog and Pug Mix
  • Silky Pug – Pug and Silky Terrier Mix
  • Toy Poxer – Pug and Toy Fox Terrier Mix
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Pug FAQs

What is a Pug’s Life Expectancy?

Like many Toy breeds, Pugs have a long life expectancy. According to a health survey conducted by the Kennel Club in England in 2004, Pugs had a median life expectancy of 11 years. Some Pugs lived as long as 17 years.

Are Pugs easy to train?

Pugs are quite intelligent but they are not especially easy to train. They can be stubborn and they like to do things their own way. You need to be patient to train a Pug and things like house training can take longer than with some other breeds.

Do Pugs shed a lot of hair?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Pugs shed a lot. Even though they are a small dog and they have a short, sleek coat, they shed almost constantly. They shed an extra amount in the summer. If you object to dog hair, don’t get a Pug.

Do Pugs make good apartment pets?

Yes, Pugs make excellent apartment pets. They are small and they don’t require a lot of exercise. They are normally quiet unless they need to bark a warning. Pugs make good neighbors in the city.

Are Pugs good with Children?

Pugs love children and they are large enough to play with kids without getting hurt if a small child grabs the dog or trips over him. However, it’s always important to teach children how to play gently with dogs. Supervise children and dogs when they play together to avoid any accidents.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer and a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine, Dog News. She is the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com award-winner for 2013. Additionally, Carlotta is the author of Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Health and Happy, as well as other books about pets. She is a guest writer for numerous website and blogs and a frequent pet food reviewer.

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3 comments

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  • Hello All,

    Hope you can help !

    My wife has become OBSESSED with fruggs (french bulldog X Pug crosses), maybe a stupid question but as neither dog has a long snout do the hybrids suffer from breathing issues ? If so are there any tips to find one less likely to suffer breathing issues ?

    Cheers
    Rick

  • I own a pugador, and I want to say, by far, hands down, the best dog Ive ever had! And I have had all types of dogs growing up! Although I thinks it’s an odd breed she is awesome. Obedient. Loving, protective. The list goes on! I honestly don’t see me having any other breed but baileys. And I’m a huge animal lover. She has been the best companion I could ask for.

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