Skip to content

History of the Pug

History of pugs - veterinarian Newport Beach

All About That Pug

Let’s talk about pugs. The odds you have either owned a pug, know someone with one, or happened to see one out and about are considerable. Pugs are extremely popular now and have been for centuries. This dog breed has served interesting purposes throughout our history and has even been royalty!

If you would like to dive down into the history of pugs, then keep reading. There is a lot to learn about every bread, and eventually, we would look to give you information on your favorite breed! Let us know in the comments what’s your favorite dog breed. We might be able to do a piece on them soon!

Overview of the Pug

If you have never seen a pug, then you are in for a treat! The pug breed is known for its distinctive physical features. They have a cute curled trail, short snout, and wrinkled skin. You can easily recognize their beautiful short coat, and they are bread that comes in different colors like all black, fawn (tan), and there have even been silver, white, brindle, and merle.

They have short thick little bodies with well-developed muscles that hide under their rolls! Anyone could describe them as small dogs with big personalities. Pug owners appreciate they are also playful and extremely affectionate. Pugs thrive with human companionship and have a great sense of humor.

One thing is sure: they are a bit lazy and do not require much exercise. Still, pet owners should be careful about any obesity issues because these little dogs love to eat. It is essential to feed your pug a proper diet;  regular exercise will also help maintain a healthy weight.

Many consider them to be “ideal house dogs” because they get along great with children and other dogs. You can trust pugs to be rarely aggressive, so they are suitable for family life. Many parents are fond of letting their children play with pugs because of their sturdiness and size. But be warned, they can be very vivacious and teasing.

These lovely dogs like being around humans, and they are quite sensitive to their owner’s mood. And they will follow you around, seeking your attention and affection.

Pug History

Where Are Pugs From?

Many may not realize, but pugs resulted from breeding attempts to give us lap dogs. The main goal was to give people a dog that could keep us company and provide us with companionship. The ancient breed of this dog carries its roots back to 400 BC. Although this breed’s exact timeframe and original location are not 100% known, most historians agree that the breed originated in China or Central Asia.

Individuals bred this type of dog in China for Monarchs and wealthy patrons who wished to have more docile dogs as companions. Throughout their entire history, pugs have always been people pleasers and have always been the ideal lap dogs. Pugs kept the company of Tibetan Buddhist monks in their monasteries, Chinese emperors, and their families, 

Pugs might even share a common ancestor with another breed: the Pekingese. There are remarkable similarities between pugs and other Asian-originated dogs. Their popularity started in China and then worked their way to Japan, Russia, and then ended up in Europe.

Getting to Other Continents and America

Throughout their travels, they remained loved by all, including royals. Pugs were not only loved by royalty but treated like royalty. Some pugs have received titles and rankings! They had assigned guards as an important part of the family and were very well taken care of.

These curious little dogs kept the company of some famous names you may have heard of. If you have ever heard of the aunt of Russia’s Catherine the Great, she valued her pugs so much that her pugs attended church with her.

Queen Victoria of England loved pugs so much. They were her favorite breed. She had around 38 pugs during her lifetime! Prince William, the Silent of Holland, also loved pugs; he survived an assassination attempt during his sleep because his pug alerted him.

Thanks to this one dog, pugs were the favorite breed of the Dutch Court and were appointed as the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572.

Pugs were also extremely popular with famous European artists like Reiagle, William Hogarth, and Goya. You could find pugs all over their paintings from England to Spain. Hester Piozzi wrote of her visit to Italy in 1789 that “every carriage I meet here has a pug in it.” Joséphine, prior to her marriage to the very own Napoleon Bonaparte, used her pug to carry concealed messages during her imprisonment, considering only her animal companion had visiting rights.

During the nineteenth century, pugs arrived in America, sometime after the American Civil War, quickly making their way to people’s homes. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885 and has since become part of the common breeds loved by American families and achieving movie-star status. 

Properly Caring for Pugs

Because they don’t have long snouts, these dogs are susceptible to eye injuries. Unfortunately, they are also quite prone to breathing difficulties or irregular temperature regulation. Be very careful if you decide to take them on more extended travels as the stress of traveling in air cargo can be fatal. 

We mentioned earlier they need proper exercise to avoid sedentary lives and obesity, so make sure to take them out for a walk whenever you can. We prepared a short article on where to take your dog for a walk. Some of those options have reserved areas for smaller dogs.

Other common conditions might require specialized veterinarian help. Eye prolapse is a common problem caused by trauma or even the use of a tight leash. If this condition repeatedly occurs, seek veterinary counseling for surgery.

Hygiene is vital. Clean between your pug’s wrinkles to avoid irritations and infections, and consult with a veterinarian to prevent or treat parasitic illnesses such as “Demodex.”

What Do You Think of This Dog Breed?

As you can see, pugs are lovely dogs. Don’t believe us? You don’t even have to go a long way back! You can find pugs all over social media, television, movies, and artwork. It is truly amazing to see how far these little creatures have come and just how easy their lives have been over time.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the history of the pug! If you have a pug and experience an emergency, check with our Newport Beach Vet for treatment, and we would be able to help you at Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital. Our emergency vets are here through the night and all day long on Saturdays and Sundays to treat your pets and keep them safe. Give us a call at 949-261-7979 if you need veterinary care anytime.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>
Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>