A Short Overview On Pug Dog Breed History

Why do we love pugs and why are they so renowned? Most people consider having a pug as a pet and there are of course a number of reasons why we fall in love with these cute, clown dogs. The most notable here are their comic appearance, loyal and lovable personality and they create a strong bond with their humans. They are indeed the perfect pet to welcome into your family and make your life a lot funnier. All things considered, there may be lots of questions on why exactly these dogs came into being.

In general, dogs are bred to serve as protection for the surroundings and keep us alerted of any unwanted event or an intruder breaking into our territory. With Pugs things seem quite different because they are small size dogs and don’t manifest any aggressive behavior towards others, hence they are generally owned to serve as companion dogs. In order to answer the question “What do we breed Pugs for”, we should take a quick look at the history of this breed that goes back 2 millennia back – not quite a modern dog, but definitely trendy at all times. 

A Brief History Of Pugs

It is believed that Pugs have their origins in the Han dynasty in China. These dogs were loved and highly appreciated by the royal family and often lived in luxury, sometimes even guarded by soldiers. The Chinese aristocracy and members of the imperial families have always shown a particular weakness for small dogs with large eyes and brachycephalic cranial construction and, over time, there have been successive crosses between subjects of these breeds.

Over the years,  Pugs have had different names all over the world, including “Mopshond” in the Netherlands, “Chinese Pug” or “Dutch” in England, and “Mops” in Germany. Nonetheless, the word  “pug” is thought to originate from the Latin “pugnus”, which means fist, or from the 18th-century marmoset “pug” monkey, due to its resemblance to this breed of dog.

Although its exact origin remains unknown, many consider the Pug to be one of the first small dog breeds in Asia. China is the earliest known source of the breed, where Buddhist monasteries in Tibet favored Pug as their pets. The Chinese considered Pug’s facial wrinkles to be an important feature of the breed, referring to it as the “prince’s mark” due to its resemblance to the Chinese figure of the prince.

Brought to the Netherlands by the Dutch East India Trading Company, a Pug would become a pet for Prince William I in the mid-16th century. The pug also received the position of the official dog “House of Orange”, after a dog of this breed saved the life of William I, alarming him about the approach of an attack by the Spaniards from Hermingny, in 1572. The breed became renowned for generations.

By 1790, the Pug had made its way to France. Used mainly by Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, her baby pet, “Fortuna” carried secret messages to Napoleon under her collar, while she was imprisoned in Les Carmes prison. It is very useful to know a bit about the history of this breed because we understand what lifestyle they have been used over time and we also gather that their royal ancestry reflects their friendly personality and attachment to humans, so they need to be treated like royals even nowadays in our homes. 

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