Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Big, small, sleek, fluffy, we love them all! One of the most beloved and unique-looking pooches is the pug. These pups have definitely earned some big fans with their adorable faces and expressive bug eyes! A local veterinarian discusses this lovable pooch below.
The first pugs were bred to be companion dogs for ancient Chinese nobles. Given how cute they are, it’s not surprising that they became the favored pets of several Emperors. As one might expect, those lucky pugs lived lives of complete doggy luxury, and even had their own guards. Pug dogs were also beloved in Tibet, where Buddhist monks kept them as pets.
In the 16th century, Fido was brought over to Europe, where he soon charmed … well, pretty much everyone. Goya, the famous painter, seems to have been a fan, as he painted several pugs. Italian pugs were allowed to sit in the front seats of private carriages, and were often dressed in tiny replicas of the coachmen’s outfits. England’s Queen Victoria also loved the breed. The pugs even became the official dog breed of the House Of Orange, after one faithful pup alerted his owner, the Prince of Orange, of approaching assassins, thereby saving his life.
Fido reached the US in the 19th century. The AKC officially welcomed this cute little dog into their ranks in 1885. In 1931, he got his own club: The Pug Dog Club Of America. One pug of note was Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck, who won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1981.
Pugs are brachycephalic. Like other brachys, they have very short airways, and can easily get out of breath. You’ll have to be careful not to overexert Fido, as this can cause respiratory distress. However, you also shouldn’t let your pooch become a complete couch potato: that can lead to obesity, which is associated with a whole slew of health issues. You’ll also need to be careful with your furry buddy’s eyes, as those bulging ‘bug eyes’ can be prone to injuries. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Friendly and lovable, pugs have often been referred to by the phrase Multum in parvo, which translates to ‘a lot of dog in a small space’ in ‘pug’ Latin. These adorable pups can be stubborn, but are rarely aggressive, and are remarkably patient with children. They’re often called shadows, because they stick so close to their humans, and are equally fond of naps and playtime.
Do you have questions about pugs? Contact us, your animal clinic!