The pug is an ancient and consistently popular breed throughout its history. This is a wonderful companion dog for city dwellers.
- Breed Name: Pug
- Country of Origin: Ancient China
- Weight: 6-8 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 28-32 cm
- Life expectancy: 13-14 years old
- Pugs are friendly towards family members, strangers and other animals.
- Aggressive behavior is completely atypical for them.
- These dogs easily adapt to your lifestyle.
- Are funny and sociable pets.
- Don't need long walks.
- Suitable for inexperienced owners.
- Due to the peculiarities of physiology, it is vital to monitor the temperature regime of keeping pugs.
- Are prone to obesity, so a balanced diet is required.
- The owner needs to carefully monitor their health.
- Pugs are not among the rare dogs, which means that you can buy a puppy in almost any city.
Pug is one of those breeds that, thanks to its characteristic appearance, is easily recognized even by those who do not consider themselves an expert in dog breeding. Of course, the modest size and special benevolence do not allow you to assign the functions of a reliable guard to this pet, but as a faithful friend for the whole family and a source of positive emotions, the pug fits perfectly.
History of the pug breed
Although visually pugs somewhat resemble English bulldogs, boxers and now-extinct bullenbacers from Germany, in fact their roots should be sought in the East. Moreover, you will have to dig deep, because the first extant images of short–faced dogs on ancient artifacts and mentions of them in historical documents date back to the VI-IV centuries BC. The famous ancient Chinese philosopher and politician Confucius speaks of them as companions of the nobility moving on chariots.
For a long time there was an opinion that another popular Chinese breed originated from pugs – Pekingese . However, genetic studies allow us to confidently say that kinship relationships are built in reverse order: long-haired dogs appeared much earlier, their direct ancestors were Lhasa-apso or Chemdze-apso, who guarded Tibetan monasteries, and pugs are either a cultivated natural mutation, or the result of crossing with other short-haired breeds. Perhaps that is why Pekingese have been considered exclusively imperial pets for centuries. But not everyone could afford to have pugs either. This was the privilege of the courtiers close to the ruler. The conditions of keeping miniature dogs were truly royal, they ate much better than most ordinary subjects, often had their own rooms, servants for walking and personal guards. An attempt to steal such a dog was subject to severe punishment, up to the death penalty.
Researchers suggest that the first European to see unusual pets of Chinese nobles was the Venetian merchant and traveler Marco Polo, who lived in an exotic country for a European for seventeen years. His "colleagues" from Holland and Portugal found themselves in the Middle Kingdom only two centuries later, in the era of Great Geographical Discoveries. They brought not only silk and spices to their homeland, but also charming Lo Chiang Tse, soon renamed to a simpler pronunciation of "pug".
The sturdy fawn-colored guys with cute faces and big eyes immediately attracted the aristocrats of the Old World. However, they played a special role in the fate of the Netherlands: the vigilance of the faithful Pompey helped William the Silent to avoid death at the hands of an assassin in the midst of the war of independence from Spain. Subsequently, the revolutionary leader of the Lower Countries became the founder of the royal Orange dynasty, and the pet accompanied the owner even after his death – a sleeping dog is expertly carved at the feet of the marble figure of the Dutch founding father on the lid of his sarcophagus. Pugs have become a symbol and a living mascot for William's heirs.
Through their efforts, the dogs got to Britain, where they quickly gained popularity with the local nobility, and subsequently dispersed to the royal courts of continental Europe. Especially much for the revival of interest in the breed among the British in the second half of the XIX century was done by Queen Victoria, who doted on her pets. Then the "British" pugs were taller, lean, with an elongated muzzle and had an exceptionally light color. But, as a result of the looting of the Beijing Forbidden City during the Second Opium War by officers of the British and French armies, previously unknown black individuals came to the West. The latter are still quite rare and therefore more expensive. In general, pugs are an example of a breed whose popularity is quite stable.
Appearance of pugs
The ancient breed was recognized by international organizations of dog breeders at the end of the XIX century, and the official standard of pugs was approved only in 1987. His main criteria are:
Weight and height
The norm for an adult pug is the weight range from 6.3 to 8.1 kg. The height in the standard is not clearly spelled out, but on average it is 25-30 cm for females and 30-33 cm for males.
Pug is a stocky dog with square outlines (the length of the trunk is equal to the height at the withers). The musculature is well developed, gives the impression of compactness and proportionality.
Pugs have fawn (beige), apricot, silver or black colors. In the first three cases, a prerequisite is the most clear contrast between the main (light) color and the dark "mask" on the muzzle, ears. The so–called "belt" is allowed – a dark stripe of fur running along the spine from the occipital protuberance to the base of the tail, and "diamond" - a dark spot on the forehead.
The pug's coat is short, thin, tight–fitting, smooth and soft to the touch. It usually has one length throughout the body, but it can be slightly shorter on the muzzle and slightly longer in the back of the trunk. Black-colored animals have coarser hair than beige and apricot dogs.
Textbook example of a brachycephalic skull. Large, massive, rounded, but not "apple-shaped", has no pronounced protrusions and dents, the bones of the skull are invisible. The muzzle is square, short, blunt, but not upturned, with deep symmetrical wrinkles. The forehead does not protrude above the brow arches.
Dark (proteins should not be visible), large, round, rather convex, but not protruding. Planted wide.
The bridge of the nose is small, but pronounced, straight, with shortened rather than curved nasal passages. The nose lobe is dark, is in line with the eyes and is visually the center of the muzzle.
The lower jaw is wide, the chin is well pronounced. For pugs, a dense snack (no more than 3 mm) is the norm – the evenly positioned incisors of the lower jaw overlap the teeth of the upper one.
Strong, powerful, comb-shaped, slightly curved, the length is proportional to the body.
The ears of pugs are small in size relative to the head, thin and very soft. Two forms are acceptable: laid forward, the inner openings of which are closed with edges tightly pressed to the skull ("buttons"), or folded over the head, pulled back in such a way that the inner part remains open ("rosettes"). Preference is given to the first.
Short and massive, with a wide chest and well-defined, arched, retracted ribs. The top line is straight.
Strong, straight, moderate length, well placed under the body. The paws are neither excessively elongated nor pronounced rounded, the fingers have a clear separation and black claws.
The pug's hind legs should be well developed, strong, straight, they are parallel to each other when viewed from behind, of moderate length. The knee and hock joints have well-defined angles. The shape of the paws is elongated, but not long. The fingers are well separated from the top.
The pug's tail is short, thick, densely covered with hair, set high and pressed against the body. It is twisted into a ring, and a double turn is preferred.
Springy, loose, elegant, confident. The pug's gait is characterized by light rolling movements.
- convex or "apple-shaped" skull;
- protruding forehead or gaps between the eyes;
- lack of a bridge of the nose;
- upturned or downturned nose lobe;
- saggy wings;
- disharmonious crease over the nose;
- lightened nose lobe;
- narrow nostrils;
- close-set, light-colored, almond-shaped, slanted, too small, protruding or with visible whites of the eye;
- distorted mouth, exposing teeth and tongue;
- sagging or arched chest;
- disproportionately long or short neck;
- long and/or fluffy coat;
- straightened articulation angles.
Photo of an adult pug
As noted above, all owners of pugs characterize them as friendly and lovely companions. Puppies are quite playful, but as they grow up, the need for active leisure fades away, and the main joy in the pet's life becomes quiet hours on the couch in the company of the owner.
Pugs are extremely attached to people, so it is not recommended to leave them alone for a long time, so as not to provoke stress. If you are planning a vacation or another trip, feel free to trust your pet to the care of neighbors or friends – these dogs easily come into contact even with strangers who show interest and kind feelings for them. The love of the "little tank" is enough even for children, but it is worth keeping an eye on their communication, since during the game they can inadvertently seriously injure the large and bulging eyes of the animal.
Unlike other decorative breeds, pugs are calm and balanced. They are not characterized by the "spoiled child" syndrome, which can often be encountered when dealing with "ladies" dogs. If the pug wants your attention, he will just come and settle down next to you.
Owners of pugs will not have to listen to neighbors' complaints about intrusive barking, which, of course, does not guarantee silence. Your pet will constantly sniff loudly, hiss and experience bouts of flatulence. And pugs are absolute champions in dog snoring, which you wouldn't suspect given their modest size. However, many consider the latter to be a funny feature rather than a disadvantage.
Education and training
Despite their friendliness and sociability, pugs are quite stubborn, so their training seems to be a difficult occupation, without a guaranteed result. If you still decide to teach your pet simple commands, be patient and ... goodies. The carrot and stick method is simply not applicable here. Completely non-aggressive dogs do not tolerate hostility towards themselves, they can only be trained with the help of encouragement.
Care and maintenance
Taking care of a pug will not require any extra effort from the owner. Short and smooth wool does not need professional grooming, it is enough to comb it at home. During the molting period, which happens twice a year, it is recommended to do it daily, and the rest of the time – less often. By the way, the future owner should know that the pug sheds surprisingly abundantly, and be prepared for frequent cleaning. But experts advise bathing a pet as rarely as possible, so as not to violate the natural protective barrier on its skin. The best option is considered to be bath procedures once a month.
Folds and wrinkles on the muzzle require constant and close attention. They must be regularly and thoroughly cleaned of food particles and debris that gets there during their stay on the street. This will avoid inflammatory processes and infections.
The duration of daily walks depends on their intensity. A leisurely walking step can take up to an hour and a half, but a light jog should not exceed 10-15 minutes, since your pet's respiratory system is not designed for marathon races. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the temperature and humidity of the air – for a pug, hypothermia or overheating can become fatal without exaggeration. Short wool without a powerful undercoat does not protect it from low temperatures, so in the cold season it is important not to forget about special clothing. The features of the structure of the muzzle do not allow you to effectively remove excess heat, and even with an increase in body temperature by 3-4 ° C, your pet may die. In connection with this summer, it needs to be kept in an air-conditioned room.
Pug health and Diseases
Unfortunately, we have to state that pugs are not the healthiest dogs. Throughout their lives, they have to deal with both congenital and acquired diseases. The most serious of the first category are encephalitis, the cause of which has not yet been definitively clarified by veterinarians, and epilepsy.
The most vulnerable places in the body of representatives of this breed are the eyes and respiratory system. Many pets go partially or completely blind as a result of mechanical damage, infections and other diseases. Cases of seasonal or chronic allergies are not uncommon. But the most common problem of this breed is undoubtedly obesity against the background of excessive appetite and low physical activity. By itself, it is not lethal, but it shortens life expectancy, exacerbating existing health problems.
How to choose a puppy
The main advice when choosing a pug is not new: contact nurseries with an excellent reputation or experienced breeders, because animals purchased "by hand" or by private ads may have not only external or disqualifying disadvantages, but also significant health problems.
Before buying a pug, carefully study the pedigree of the parents, look at the conditions of keeping animals, get acquainted with the puppy. A healthy baby, in addition to a properly formed skeleton, a normative color and the signs described in the breed standard, should have a lively friendly disposition, not be afraid of people and not show aggression, not be apathetic.
Photos of pug puppies
How much does a pug cost
The price of a pug puppy depends on the name of the kennel, its pedigree, individual characteristics and color. Rare black and silver puppies are more expensive than fawn and apricot pugs. The cost may be lower due to more or less significant deviations from the breed standard. The average price of a pug puppy ranges from $80 to $350.