Pug History (Courtesy of the AKC)
The Pug, one of the oldest breeds, has flourished
true to his breed down through the ages from before
400 B.C. He has always been domesticated and has
endeared himself to mankind.
The truth of how the Pug came into existence is
shrouded in mystery, but authorities are agreed that
he is of Oriental origin with some basic
similarities to the Pekingese. China, where the
breed was the pet of the Buddhist monasteries in
Tibet, is its earliest known source. It next
appeared in Japan, and then in Europe, where it
became the favorite for various royal courts.
In Holland the Pug became the official dog of the
House of Orange after one of the breed saved the
life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving alarm
at the approach of the Spaniards at Hermingny in
1572. An effigy of the monarch with his Pug at his
feet is carved over William's tomb in Delft
Cathedral. Later, when William II landed at Torbay
to be crowned King of England, his retinue included
his beloved Pugs and they became the fashionable
breed for generations.
By 1790, the Pug's popularity had spread to France
where Josephine, wife of Napoleon, depended on her
Pug "Fortune" to carry secret messages under his
collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at
Les Carmes. Fortune must have had a possessive
nature, for it is said that he bit the future
Emperor when he entered the bedchamber on his
Called the "Mopshond" (from the Dutch word "to
grumble") in Holland, "Mops" in Germany and "Carlin"
in France, the origin of the name "Pug Dog" has a
variety of explanations. The most likely is that
which likens the dog's facial expression to that of
the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets of the
early 1700s and were known as Pugs; hence "Pug Dog"
to distinguish dog from monkey. The appellation of
"Pug Dog" has endured to this day.
In 1860, British soldiers sacked the Imperial Palace
in Peking, and dogs of the Pug and Pekingese type
were brought back to England. This was the first
time since the early 16th century that dogs in any
great number had been brought out of China. Black
Pugs were imported from China and exhibited for the
first time in England in 1886.
The Pug was accepted for registration with the
American Kennel Club in 1885.
This lovable and staunch little dog is well
described by the motto Multum in Parvo - "a lot of
dog in a small space." His appearance is always that
of being well-groomed and ready for the show ring.
He is small but requires no coddling and his roguish
face soon wiggles its way into the hearts of men,
women, and especially children - for whom this dog
seems to have a special affinity. His great reason
for living is to be near his "folks" and to please
them. The Pug is at home in a small apartment or
country home alike, easily adaptable to all
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