Pugs are among the most popular modern dog breeds in Europe and the USA and are often used as advertising characters on TV. Although pug breeding is discredited among dog lovers, more and more dog lovers are opting for a flat-snouted companion. Our detailed Pug guide shows what the Pug trend is all about and how you can contribute to the healthy breeding of the breed by being careful when buying a puppy.
Small and Round: This Is How the Pug Differs from Other Dog Breeds
You can recognize a thoroughbred pug on the street from afar: the small and angular physique, the short snout, and the round head with a black mask is clear characteristics of the breed. The ideal weight for a height between 25 and 30 cm (measured at the withers) is 6.3 to 8.1 kilograms, although the FCI breed standard does not give any specific information on height and weight. A strong male can be significantly taller and heavier than a comfortable peer of the same age.
Googly eyes, applehead, and curly tail: What is really healthy and desired to inbreed?
- Typical of pugs is the round head, which appears relatively large in relation to the body. A so-called apple head (like the Chihuahua) looks cute but is undesirable in inbreeding because the extreme shape can affect the health of the animals. Ideally, there should be no depression in the middle of the pug’s skull.
- The muzzle is short, square, and framed by folds, whereby the nose does not look turned up and the folds must not be so strong that they restrict the dog. A slight underbite is desired, ideally, the rows of teeth lie straight on top of each other.
- The round eyes are set very far apart and should not stand out or show white. In the breed standard, the “gentle and troubled expression” is emphasized, giving way to a very alert expression when agitated. Purebred pugs always have brown eyes (exception: albino and dilute colors).
- Pug ears are extremely soft, thin, and flexible, and they are relatively small. They start at the top and outer edge of the skull. Two types of ears are desired in inbreeding: the rose ear folds sideways and backward so that the auricle is visible. With the button ear, the tip folds forward so that the inner ear is covered.
- The neck is strong and thick, but not too short. The skin in this area is very loose and folds large when the head is held upright.
- The body is short and strongly built, with well-sprung ribs. The lower profile line is only very slightly raised.
- The front legs are attached to the side and the shoulders are very sloping on the body, but they are well placed under the body. The knees are well bent on the muscular hind legs.
- The short tail is set high and is rolled over the hips. Double-rolled rods are considered serious breeding faults.
The soft fur of the pug dog: nice to cuddle
The pug is loved for its particularly soft fur. It is relatively short and smooth, similar to the fur of a domestic cat (though less fine). Four colors are approved for breeding: silver, light fawn, apricot, and black. Albinism is slightly more common in pugs than in other breeds, but dogs with this genetic defect are not allowed to breed and often suffer from eye and skin problems. Dilute colors and merle colors are also due to genetic defects that should not be included in inbreeding.
Small peculiarities in the fur markings are allowed
- Eel Line: A black stripe that runs down the spine to the tail.
- Forehead spot: “Diamond” in English, dark spot on the forehead.
- Mask: Black coloring on muzzle, ears, and lips.
Teacup Pug – Does the mini pug really exist?
Teacup Pigs or Mini Pugs look confusingly like purebred pugs, but only weigh 1.5 to 2 kilograms and are correspondingly tiny. They are the result of crossing pug females and male chihuahuas. Designer dogs are discredited by dog lovers because health problems occur more frequently with this hybrid breed than with purebred pugs, despite the slightly longer snout.
Great Britain, China, or Holland – The Real Origin of the Pug
Just like the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu, the pug originated in the monasteries and imperial houses of China – historians agree that the pug in its present form lived in Chinese palaces as early as 400 years before Christ and was kept under strict lock and key there. The pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Until the late Middle Ages, pugs were only kept by Chinese emperors and by those given gifts by emperors. When nobles were forced by Gelnot to sell their pugs, they were often poisoned before they were sold so that the breed was reserved for the Chinese elite.
The path of the pug from China to Europe
It was not until the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century that the imperial claims regarding the dog breed relaxed and the first pugs made their way into the Dutch royal family with Dutch merchant fleets. From the Principality of Orange, the fashion dog quickly spread throughout Europe. A famous representative of the breed is the Pug Fortuné, which belonged to Napoleon’s wife Joséphine de Beauharnais.
The Pug and the Formation of Kennel Clubs in Europe
From the 17th century, pugs appear in all European countries and are very often used as an addition to portraits. Queen Victoria had a special fondness for this breed and bred pugs herself in the English royal family. Her commitment contributed to the formation of the first kennel clubs in Europe in the 1870s, which introduced systematic breed breeding. To this day, England is considered the international patron for pug breeding.