The Pug is one of those breeds that, due to its characteristic appearance, is easily recognized even by those who do not consider themselves an expert in dog breeding. Of course, the modest size and special benevolence do not allow assigning the functions of a reliable guard to this pet, but as a faithful friend for the whole family and a source of positive emotions, the pug is ideal.
- Breed name: Pug
- Country of origin: Ancient China
- Weight: 6-8 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 28-32 cm
- Life span: 13-14 years
- Pugs are friendly towards family members, strangers, and other animals.
- Aggressive behavior is completely atypical for them.
- These dogs adapt easily to your lifestyle.
- They are funny and sociable pets.
- Do not need long walks.
- Suitable for inexperienced owners.
- Due to the nature of the physiology, it is vitally important to monitor the temperature of the pug.
- They are prone to obesity, therefore a balanced diet is required.
- The owner needs to closely monitor their health.
- Pugs are not among the rare dogs, which means that you can buy a puppy in almost any city.
History of the Breed
Although visually Pugs are somewhat reminiscent of English Bulldogs, Boxers, and the now-extinct Bullenbeisers from Germany, in fact, their roots should be found in the East. Moreover, you will have to dig deeper, because the first images of short-faced dogs on ancient artifacts that have come down to our days and references to them in historical documents date back to the 6th – 4th centuries BC. The famous ancient Chinese philosopher and politician Confucius speaks of them as companions of the nobility traveling on chariots.
For a long time, it was believed that another popular Chinese breed, the Pekingese, originated from the Pugs. However, genetic studies allow us to confidently say that family ties are built in the opposite order: long-haired dogs appeared much earlier, their direct ancestors were Lhasa-Apso or Chemdze-Apso, who guarded Tibetan monasteries, and Pugs are either a cultivated natural mutation or the result of crossing with others. shorthaired breeds.
Perhaps this is why the Pekingese were considered exclusively imperial pets for centuries. But not everyone could afford to have Pugs either. This was the privilege of the courtiers close to the ruler. The conditions of keeping the miniature dogs were truly royal, they ate much better than most ordinary subjects, often had their own chambers, servants for walking, and personal protection. For an attempt to steal such a dog, severe punishment was imposed, up to the death penalty.
Researchers suggest that the first European who had a chance to see the unusual pets of Chinese nobles was the Venetian merchant and traveler Marco Polo, who lived for seventeen years in an exotic country for a European. His “colleagues” from Holland and Portugal ended up in the Celestial Empire only two centuries later, in the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries. They brought to their homeland not only silk and spices but also charming Lo Chiang Jie, soon renamed into a simpler pronunciation “Pug”.
- the head is round, large, with an even forehead;
- the muzzle is brachycephalic, with deep folds above the nose;
- the lower jaw is larger than the upper one, protrudes slightly;
- eyes are large, protruding, dark in color;
- the ears are small, close to the head, soft, close to the auricle;
- physique – strong, stocky, with well-developed muscles;
- the tail is small, rolled into a ring;
- color – beige, red, silver, black.
As noted above, all Pug owners characterize them as friendly and lovable companions. Puppies are quite playful, however, as they grow older, the need for active leisure fades away, and the main joy in a pet’s life is quiet hours on the couch in the company of the owner.
Pugs are extremely attached to people, so it is not recommended to leave them alone for a long time, so as not to provoke stress. If you are planning a vacation or other trip, feel free to trust your pet with the care of neighbors or friends – these dogs easily make contact even with strangers who show interest and good feelings towards them. The love of the “little tank” is enough even for children, but their communication is worth keeping an eye on, since during the game, through negligence, they can seriously injure the large and bulging eyes of the animal.
Unlike other decorative breeds, Pugs are calm and level-headed. They do not have the “spoiled child” syndrome, which is often encountered when dealing with “ladies” dogs. If the Pug wants your attention, he will just come and sit next to you.
The owners of Pugs will not have to listen to complaints from neighbors about obsessive barking, which, of course, does not guarantee a regime of silence. Your pet will constantly sniff loudly, wheeze, and experience bouts of flatulence. And the Pugs are absolute champions in dog snoring, which you would hardly suspect given their modest size. However, the latter is considered by many to be more of a fun feature than a disadvantage.
Despite their friendliness and sociability, Pugs are quite stubborn, so training them seems to be difficult, without a guaranteed result. If you nevertheless decide to teach your pet simple commands, please be patient and … goodies. The carrot and stick method is simply not applicable here. Completely non-aggressive dogs do not tolerate hostility towards themselves, they can only be trained with the help of rewards.
Conditions of Detention and Care
Caring for the Pug does not require extra effort from the owner. The short and smooth coat does not need professional grooming, it is enough to brush it at home. During the molting period, which happens twice a year, it is recommended to do this daily, and less often the rest of the time. By the way, the future owner should know that the Pug sheds surprisingly abundantly, and be prepared for frequent cleaning. Experts advise bathing your pet as little as possible so as not to disrupt the natural protective barrier on his skin. Bath procedures are considered the best option once a month.
The folds and wrinkles on the face require constant and close attention. They must be regularly and thoroughly cleaned of food particles and debris that gets there while outdoors. This will help avoid inflammation and infections.
The length of your daily walks depends on the intensity. A leisurely walking step can take up to an hour and a half, but an easy run should not exceed 10-15 minutes, since your pet’s respiratory system is not designed for marathon races. In addition, it is imperative to take into account the temperature and humidity of the air – for the Pug, hypothermia, or overheating can become fatal without exaggeration. A short coat without a strong undercoat does not protect it from low temperatures, so in the cold season, it is important not to forget about special clothing. The peculiarities of the structure of the muzzle do not allow to effectively remove excess heat, and even when the body temperature rises by 3-4 ºС, your pet may die. In this regard, it must be kept in an air-conditioned room in the summer.
Unfortunately, we have to admit that Pugs are far from the healthiest dogs. Throughout their lives, they have to deal with both congenital and acquired diseases. The most serious of the first category are encephalitis, the cause of which has not yet been fully elucidated by veterinarians, and epilepsy.
The most vulnerable places in the body of representatives of this breed are the eyes and the respiratory system. Many pets are partially or completely blind as a result of mechanical damage, infections, and other diseases. Cases of seasonal or chronic allergies are common. But the most common problem of this breed is undoubtedly obesity against the background of excessive appetite and low physical activity. It is not fatal in itself, but it shortens life expectancy, exacerbating existing health problems.
How to Choose a Puppy
The main advice when choosing a Pug is not new: contact kennels with an excellent reputation or experienced breeders, because animals purchased “from hands” or from private advertisements can have not only external or disqualifying disadvantages, but also significant health problems.
Before buying a Pug, carefully study the pedigree of the parents, look at the conditions of keeping the animals, get to know the puppy. A healthy baby, in addition to a well-formed skeleton, a standard color, and the characteristics described in the breed standard, should have a lively friendly disposition, not be afraid of people and not show aggression, not be apathetic.