(aka: Chinese Pug, Mops, Carlin, Mini Mastiff)
The Pug is a small, compact, and sturdy dog with a muscular build. He has an expression that seems to combine grouchiness with sweetness and bewilderment. This short muzzled dog has facial wrinkles, small folded ears, and a curled tail. The coat of the Pug is short, close fitting, and sleek, and the coloring includes silver, black, or apricot-fawn, with black markings on the face and ears. These dogs have protruding eyes, and this is something that needs to be considered if you have young children that are boisterous, as they can easily be injured. The Pug weighs in at 14-20 pounds, and is around 10-11 inches in height.
The Pug is a good natured, sociable creature that likes to play and have fun, but is not an overly active dog. These dogs are more inclined to snuggle up and have a nap than to frolic around, although some can be very entertaining to be around. A loving, affectionate, yet not overly demanding dog, the Pug is well suited to those with no experience of dog ownership as well as the more experienced. The Pug is not the ideal choice for a guard dog or watchdog, as he is small, a little too sociable to be daunting, and prefers to communicate through grunting rather than barking. His table temperament and friendly nature makes the Pug a good family pet, and he is also ideal as a companion dog for the elderly or anyone that just wants a peaceful friend.
These dogs get along well with children and other animals, although jealousy can strike if another pet gets more attention than them. They will also get along well with strangers. They are intelligent, and training should not prove too challenging, but housebreaking can be another matter. Some can be quite stubborn and strong minded, but most are sweet and sensitive. They love their creature comforts, and enjoy the affection and attention of their owners. These charming dogs do have a tendency to look grouchy because of their wrinkly faces and short snouts, but most are anything but.
The Pug is not an overly high maintenance dog, although his coat will need to be brushed daily to cut back on shedding and to keep it sleek. You should ensure that you clean the wrinkles on his face to avoid skin problems and infection, and also check his prominent eyes for signs of infection, dryness, or other problems. This is a year round shedder, and is not well suited to those with allergies or those who don't like finding hair all over the house.
The mystery of the Pug seems to have links all the way to before 400 B.C. and the Orient. China was the first to be the source of the breed by providing pets to the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Consequently, in Chinese art and paintings, three dogs dominated the era: the Pekingese, the lion dog, and the Lo-sze. It is believed that the pug is descended from the Lo-sze which was distinguished by its short muzzle, short hair, elastic skin, and the prince mark on its forehead. The prince mark has three horizontal wrinkles crossed by a vertical bar on the forehead which makes the Chinese character for "prince". The breed soon spread to Japan and then to Europe, with many appearing in various royal courts.
In 1572, a pug named Pompey saved William, Prince of Orange by alarming him to the approach of the Spaniards at Hermigny. Because of such allegiance, the pug became the official dog of the House of Orange. Later, William II would bring an entourage of Pugs to Torbay for his coronation as the King of England which began the popularity of the breed as a fashion statement.
By 1790, Napoleon's wife, Josephine, raised the popularity of the breed especially through the antics of Fortune. Fortune bit Napoleon on their wedding night but was highly dependable because he would carry secret messages to Napoleon while Josephine was imprisoned at Les Carmes.
In 1860, British soldiers overran the Imperial Palace in Peking and found dogs of the Pug and Pekingese influence. These were brought back to England and began to gain interest of certain fanciers. Black Pugs were imported from China (yet there is speculation that the Japanese may have developed and bred the black pugs first) and promoted in England in 1886. The American Kennel Club, AKC, accepted the Pug in 1885.
Pugs will be eager to learn because of their desire to please you, but they are clowns and occasionally stubborn. They are famous for quickly learning commands but repeat performance later may be difficult or needing encouragement to repeat. However, many do go one to compete in obedience, conformation, and agility trials. Pugs will benefit from learning at an early age the basic obedience commands when most of the "non-performance" is due to clowning rather than stubbornness.
The life expectancy of the Pug is around 12-13 years. There are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed, including cataracts, entropion, liver problems, epilepsy, sensitivity to drugs and chemicals, PRA, Less-Perthes, and encephalitis. His eyes are prone to injury or infection because of their prominence. He is also heat sensitive because of his short muzzle and short coat, and should not be left out in the sun or in stuffy conditions. The parents of the Pug puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.