Breed Profile: The Pug

Multum in Parvo — a lot of dog in a small space, is a very apt description for the Pug. One of the oldest breeds, this endearing little dog has its origins in the Orient although just when and how it came into existence is shrouded in mystery.

It is thought to have originated in China before 400 BC but has been found in Tibet and also Japan before finding its way to Europe where it became the favourite of the Royal Courts in many countries.

In Holland the breed became the official dog of the House of Orange as recognition for a Pug saving the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving warning of the approach of the Spaniards in 1572. When William II landed in England to be crowned King, Pugs were included in his entourage.

The breed became very popular during the Victorian era and is featured in many paintings, postcards and figurines of the period. Many of the dogs are depicted wearing wide, decorative collars or large bows around their short, thick necks.

The name Pug is thought to have originated from the dogs facial expression, similar to that of marmosets which were widely kept as pets in the early 1700’s and which were known as Pugs.


In Holland the Pug is known as Mopshond, from the Dutch word to grumble, which probably describes the snuffling and ‘talking’ which is characteristic of the Pug, for it certainly does not describe the nature of this little dog. There are few more endearing dogs than the Pug. It has a natural affinity

with children, craves human companionship and although it has an air of dignity it manages to combine it with a sense of humour and a desire to be the centre of attention.


The coat is fine, smooth, soft, short and glossy and is easy to groom. However, Pugs shed a lot of hair so regular brushing is required. The wrinkles around the face should be wiped regularly with a damp cloth, but bathing is only required when necessary.

As A Pet

The Pug is an ideal pet for all ages and is especially suitable for older folk, as its exercise needs are quite moderate. However, regular exercise will help to maintain health and a regular game of ball will provide plenty of entertainment for the family. It is well suited to apartment living and while it will bark when strangers approach, it is considered a fairly quiet animal.

It is important to ensure that the Pug is kept cool on warm days, as this breed does not cope well with heat. As the Pug is very much a breed that prefers to be a housedog it will generally search out the coolest spot in the house — and certainly the most comfortable whatever the weather!