Our canine pals come in all shapes and sizes. Big dogs, small dogs, sleek dogs, fluffy dogs, we love them all! One of the most adorable pooches has to be the pug. Fido’s squished face and expressive eyes have definitely earned him some fans! A vet discusses the pug below.
The pug is quite an ancient breed. They were originally bred as companion dogs for Chinese nobles, including several Emperors. As one might expect, being the Emperor’s favorite pet is a pretty good deal. Those lucky, pampered pugs lived lives of complete doggy luxury, and even had their own guards. The pug was also beloved in Tibet, where Buddhist monks kept them as pets.
Fido was brought to Europe in the 16th century, where he soon charmed … well, everyone. including Goya, the famous painter, who painted several pugs. In Italy, pugs were allowed to ride in the front seats of private carriages, and were often dressed in coachmen’s outfits. England’s Queen Victoria was also a big fan. The pug even became the official dog of the House Of Orange, after one smart pooch alerted his owner, the Prince of Orange, about approaching assassins, thereby saving his life.
The pug made it over to the US in the 19th century. The AKC officially welcomed the breed into their ranks in 1885. In 1931, Fido got his own club: The Pug Dog Club Of America. One special pug, Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck, even won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1981.
Pugs are brachycephalic, which means they have very short airways, and can easily lose their breath. You don’t want to overexert your pet, as this can cause respiratory distress. However, you also shouldn’t let him become a complete couch potato, either. While Fido will benefit from a daily walk, you shouldn’t encourage him to run or play too vigorously. You’ll also need to be careful with your pet’s eyes, as those bulging ‘bug eyes’ can be prone to injuries. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Friendly, cuddly, and lovable, pugs have often been referred to with the phrase Multum in parvo. That translates to ‘a lot of dog in a small space’ in pug Latin.They can be stubborn, but are rarely aggressive. They’re remarkably patient with children, and are equally fond of naps and playtime. They’re often called shadows, because they stick so close to their humans.
Do you have questions about pugs? Contact us, your animal clinic!