Pug General Breed Profile

Pug DogsThe pug breed originated in China, but not all that much is actually known about the breed’s early history. It’s thought that the small dog breed was taken by Portuguese traders to Holland during the 16th Century. It’s a breed that is well known for its short muzzle, wrinkly skin and curly tale.

A Long, Noble History

The history of the dog goes back longer than people might think, and was even popular with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, in the 19th Century. Her love for the dog was passed on to other members of the Royal family. Before the breed’s popularity in Europe, however, the humble pug was owned almost exclusively by Chinese emperors. The dogs were given luxury accommodation and even guarded by their own soldiers.

Pugs soon became popular elsewhere in Asia, with Tibetan monks keeping them in their monasteries.

Then, during the 16th Century when the pug was imported to Europe, the Dutch House of Orange made the breed their ‘official’ dog. It was in 1572 that the House of Orange took in a pug they called ‘Pompey’, after it supposedly made the Prince of Orange aware of oncoming assassins. True or not, the Dutch monarchs loved the breed so much that Mary II and William III brought their own dog to England in 1688 when they went to take up the throne.

A Winning Personality

While the pug might look a little funny, its personality is arguably what makes it so popular. The breed is fun, quirky, charming and even silly. They’re also relatively easy to train, given how trusting and loyal they can be. One thing owners must be aware of, however, is how easy it can be to begin spoiling the breed. When faced with unconditional love from a pug, it can become easy to get lax on training.

The dog has other quirks, too. If not trained properly, the pug can become troublesome in terms of barking and stealing food. Owners will also need to ensure that they give their pug plenty of attention, as they can be quite energetic and become mischievous when they’re bored.

It is important to remember, however, that any dog can become either aggressive or timid. The key is training your dog right from an early age. The moment you bring your dog home, you should be training him or her to become social and friendly. Socializing your pug with other dogs is important to avoid aggression towards other animals in early age. Even as a small dog, a pug can be affected by a short temper and aggressiveness.

A pug will take on its natural personality – one that is friendly and attention-loving – as long as it is brought up with love, attention and activities.

Known Health Problems

Pugs are prone to a number of health conditions, including obesity. This means that the breed isn’t ideal for people who aren’t too mobile. When pugs get overweight, common conditions like hip dysplasia can put severe strain on the animal’s hip socket. Their notorious breathing problems also get worse when they become overweight. Dogs that are born with stenotic nares – which restrict breathing as a result of small nostrils – can find breathing even more difficult when they have excess weight holding them down. This causes dogs to pass out and can even require surgery to amend the problem.
Pugs can also be sensitive to tight leashes and harnesses. Even a little pressure on their head or neck can cause an eye prolapse, whereby the eye can literally come out of the socket. Veterinarians and owners can usually push the eye back into its socket gently, but when it happens on a regular basis, a pug will require medical treatment or surgery.

Even more seriously, pugs can experience necrotizing meningoencephalitis – otherwise known as NME or PDE – which is an inflammation of the brain. It’s a condition common in other small dogs, and there is no known cure for it. A dog that inherits the condition will tend to die of the condition, or be put down a few months after the symptoms become apparent.


Minimal Grooming Requirements

Pugs are ideal for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on grooming. Brushing the coat every week is all that is necessary – the process gets rid of dead hair, and plenty of it will come away. The dog doesn’t just shed in the summer, but experiences hair loss all year round.

While maintaining the coat is easy and the dog won’t need to have its hair clipped, owners will have to pay extra attention to the dog’s wrinkles on the face and nose. Some dogs may require daily cleaning, whereas others might be fine with weekly cleaning. Simply using a damp sponge or cloth, owners can wipe the face and remove any dirt to avoid what is known as ‘swamp face’.