Pug

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History:  The early history of the Pug is not attested to in detail, it is accepted that modern Pugs are descended from dogs imported to Europe from China in the 16th century. Some historians believe they are related to the Tibetan Mastiff. They were prized by the Emperors of China and lived in luxurious accommodations, sometimes even being guarded by soldiers.

In the latter 1500s and early 1600s, China began trading with European countries. Reportedly, the first Pugs brought to Europe came with the Dutch traders, who named the breed Mopshond, a name still used today.

Pugs quickly became favorites of royal households throughout Europe, and even played a role in the history of many of these families. In Holland, the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange after a Pug reportedly saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving him a warning that the Spaniards were approaching in 1572. When William of Orange (later called William III) went to England in 1688 with his wife, Mary II, to take the throne from James II, they brought their Pugs with them.

Size: Pugs weigh between 14 and 18 pounds (male and female). Generally, they are 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder.

Description:

While the Pugs that are depicted in eighteenth century prints tend to be long and lean,[2] modern breed preferences are for a square cobby body, a compact form, a deep chest, and well-developed muscle.[4] Their smooth and glossy coats can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn or black.[4] [5] The markings are clearly defined and there is a trace of a black line extending from the occiput to the tail.[4] The tail normally curls tightly over the hip.[2]

Pugs have two distinct shapes for their ears, “rose” and “button”. “Rose” ears are smaller than the standard style of “button” ears, and are folded with the front edge against the side of the head. Breeding preference goes to “button” style ears.[6]

Pugs’ legs are very strong, straight, of moderate length, and are set well under. Their shoulders are moderately laid back. Their ankles are strong, their feet are small, their toes are well split-up, and their nails are black. The lower teeth normally protrude further than their upper, resulting in an under-bite.

Personality: Don’t expect a Pug to hunt, guard or retrieve. Pugs were bred to be companions, and that’s exactly what they do best. The Pug craves affection — and your lap — and is very unhappy if his devotion isn’t reciprocated. He tends to be a sedentary dog, content to sit in your lap as you read a book or watch a movie. 

Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, andsocialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who’s beating up his littermates or the one who’s hiding in the corner.

Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who’s available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you’re comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

Like every dog, the Pug needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Pug puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Temperament: The breed is often described as multum in parvo, or “much in little”, alluding to the Pug’s remarkable personality, despite its small size. Pugs are strong willed but rarely aggressive, and are suitable for families with children. The majority of the breed is very fond of children and sturdy enough to properly play with them. Depending on their owner’s mood, they can be quiet and docile but also vivacious and teasing. Pugs tend to have a lazy nature and spend a lot of time napping. They are often called “shadows” because they follow their owners around and like to stay close to the action.

Health: Since Pugs lack longer snouts and prominent skeletal brow ridges, they are susceptible to eye injuries such as proptosis, scratched corneas, and painful entropion. They also have compact breathing passageways, leaving many prone to breathing difficulties or unable to efficiently regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue by panting. A Pug’s normal body temperature is between 101 °F (38 °C) and 102 °F (39 °C). If this temperature rises to 105 °F (41 °C), oxygen demand is greatly increased and immediate cooling is required. If body temperature reaches 108 °F (42 °C), organ failure can occur. Their breathing problems can be worsened by the stresses of travelling in air cargo, which may involve high temperatures. Following the deaths of Pugs and other brachycephalic breeds, several airlines either banned their transport in cargo or enacted seasonal restrictions.

Pugs can suffer from necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME), also known as Pug dog encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain andmeninges.[36] NME also occurs in other small dogs, such as the Yorkshire TerrierMaltese, and Chihuahua.[36] There is no known cure for NME, which is believed to be an inherited disease.[37] Dogs usually die or have to be put to sleep within a few months of onset, which, in those susceptible to this condition, is typically between six months and seven years of age.[38]

This breed, along with other brachycephalic dogs (e.g., boxersbulldogs), are also prone to hemivertebrae. The curled tail of a British bulldog is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs not in the coccygeal vertebrae but in other areas of the spine, it can cause paralysis. The condition occurs when two parts of a spinal vertebra do not fuse properly while a young Pug is still growing, resulting in an irregularly shaped spinal cavity which can put pressure on the spinal cord.

Lifespan: Pugs can live up to 13 years from birth.

Coat, color, and Grooming: 

Even though the coats are short, Pugs are a double-coated breed. Pugs are typically fawn-colored or black. The fawn color can have different tints, such as apricot or silver, and all Pugs have a short, flat, black muzzle.

The coat is short and smooth, but don’t be deceived. Pugs shed like crazy, especially in summer. The wise Pug owner accepts this, and adjusts her wardrobe accordingly, wearing light-colored clothing that better hides hair.

Following that, regular brushing and bathing helps keep the coat in good condition and shedding to a minimum. A monthly bath is sufficient, though some owners bathe their Pugs more frequently. The Pug’s small size is handy: you can drop him right in the kitchen or utility sink for a bath.

Regular nail trimming is essential, since these housedogs don’t usually wear down their nails outdoors like active breeds do. It’s a good idea to clean the Pug’s ears every few weeks, as well.

What requires special attention is the Pug’s facial wrinkles. These folds are hotbeds for infection if allowed to become damp or dirty. The wrinkles must be dried thoroughly after bathing, and wiped out in-between baths. Some owners simply use a dry cotton ball; others use commercial baby wipes to wipe out the folds.

Additionally, the Pug’s bulging eyes need special attention. Because they protrude, the eyes are vulnerable to injury and irritation from soaps and chemicals.

Like many small breeds, the Pug can be susceptible to gum disease. Regular brushingwith a small, soft toothbrush and doggie toothpaste helps prevent this.

Begin accustoming your Pug to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.

As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

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One thought on “Pug

  1. Dede says:

    Thank you Justin, that was very informational. Could you please put a few more pictures of the animal throughout your blog, that would be great. Since I do read this to my neighborhood kids, you know kids they love pictures. (:

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