The Pug is a small dog with a big personality. The Pug’s tiny body and stocky legs are instantly recognizable, but it is the disproportionately large eyes and wrinkled face for which he is most known. Unlike some small breeds, which can be aggressive at times, the pug is a very placid, docile and affectionate breed that makes a wonderful family pet.

The History of the Pug

It is believed that the Pug is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated dog. It is impossible to be precise about the date, but it is thought that Pugs were first bred sometime before 400 B.C., in Asia. Throughout history, the breed has been incredibly popular among nobles and royalty. In the 1700, the Pug was a favorite of the Dutch William of Orange. Legend has it that William’s Pug alerted him to the approach of the Spanish forces, thus saving his life. Consequently, the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange.

As a toy dog, the Pug has principally been a pet of the rich and powerful, rather than a working dog. However, as William of Orange noticed, they make wonderful guard dogs. Although, they are not one of the yappy breeds, the Pug will alert his, or her, owners to the presence of strangers.

Size and Physical Appearance

Typically, a Pug will reach approximately 12- 14 inches in height and will weigh around 20lbs. However, they can gain weight quickly, as they are not lovers of physical activity and are known for their tendency to overindulge if given the opportunity. A Pug’s laziness and size make it the ideal dog for city and apartment living, but it is important to ensure that a Pug does get daily exercise, whether he, or she, wants it or not.

The breed has a variety of coat colors; the most popular being fawn, silver, black and apricot; with any color, the muzzle is always black. Despite their very short fur, the Pug tends to shed heavily, so may not be suitable for allergy sufferers. However, the coat is easy to groom and may only require brushing two or three times per week. Owners should take care to clean the wrinkles on a Pug’s face to avoid the possibility of skin problems. In addition, potential owners should be aware that the Pug’s squashed face will cause him, or her, to grunt and snore when asleep.

Personality

As already mentioned, the Pug’s personality defies its small stature. They are incredibly affectionate, loyal and friendly towards children and other animals. However, some Pugs can display jealous behavior if their owners are giving another animal or human attention. Despite this, the Pug is not aggressive.

Another popular feature of the Pug is its intelligence, which makes the breed easy to train. Owners will notice, however, that a Pug can become bored with repeating the same trick or command over and over again. Therefore, it is wise to vary your dog’s training to ensure that you retain his, or her, attention. Due to the intense attachment that a Pug feels for his, or her, owner, it is not advisable to own one if he, or she, will spend extended periods alone in the home.

Potential Health Problems

The most common medical conditions among Pugs are obesity, skin problems, sensitivity to extremes of temperature, allergies and, perhaps unsurprisingly, breathing difficulties. Nevertheless, the average lifespan of a Pug is between 12 and 15 years. To help keep your Pug healthy, it is wise to give him, or her, regular, but not strenuous, exercise.

Despite their peculiar appearance, there is something extremely attractive and charming about the Pug. Moreover, the breed’s character is sure to continue winning hearts for many centuries to come.