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Breed Profile: Pug

If their social media popularity is anything to go by, the Pug may just be the little dog that conquers the world! Since all those social media posts are pretty true to their personalities, you probably already know what to expect from Pugs: friendly, funny little dogs that snort and… well… fart in equal measure, and who make great family pets.

If you’re thinking about adding a pug to your life, here’s what you need to know.

History of the Pug

Pugs are a very old breed. So old, in fact, that no one knows exactly when they first appeared on the scene, but we do know that they were carefully bred from Mastiff ancestors, and that they were very popular in China, many centuries ago.

It’s thought that like gunpowder and spices, Pugs found their way to Europe thanks to the Dutch East India trading company. As in China, they became popular in royal courts, including William of Orange’s in the Netherlands, where one saved the court by sounding the alarm about approaching Spanish attackers.

Napoleon’s wife also had one, and they were popular in Victorian England too. Finally, in the late 1800s, they were recognized as a breed by the AKC.

General Physical Characteristics of the Pug

Pugs are stocky, tough little dogs, and it’s very easy to see their Mastiff ancestry. It’s all over their bodies and faces!

Some say that the name Pug came from the Latin word pugnus, which means fist, and that’s a good descriptor for the round shape of their head. Combined with a snub nose, slightly undershot jaw and the wrinkles on their face, and it’s easy to see where that comparison came from!

Pugs have prominent eyes, small ears, curled tails and neat feet. They’re easy to care for and groom, and while they are small, they are proof that big things come in small packages!

As far as colours go, pugs are either silver or fawn with black masks and ears, or solid black.

Character and Temperament of the Pug

Pugs are friendly, funny and loyal. They love people, get along well with children and other animals, and are delightful to live with. That having been said, they can be a little head strong, and they do have a fair amount of presence! Don’t be surprised if you are left wondering how such a small dog can take over so many things, including the bed!

But if you’re looking for a happy go lucky, easy going little dog that’s confident and friendly, you cannot go wrong with a Pug. These little dogs will happily follow you everywhere you go, charming everyone along the way!

Lifespan of the Pug

Pugs usually live between 12 and 15 years.

Common Health and Personality Concerns for Pugs

Pugs are lovable, sturdy and well-adjusted little dogs. But like many breeds, there are a few issues that the breed is prone to. If you are thinking of getting a Pug, you should be prepared for:

  1. Pug dog encephalitis, which is a fatal brain condition.
  2. Pugs are one of the few smaller breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia.
  3. Brachycephalic syndrome, which is a term encompassing a variety of upper respiratory issues.
  4. Stenotic nares, or abnormally small nostrils, which may also affect breathing, and may require surgical intervention.
  5. Like many smaller dogs, Pugs knees are prone to patellar luxation, which is a condition where the kneecaps may spontaneously shift.
  6. Because of their wrinkly faces, they can be prone to skin conditions, particularly when moisture becomes trapped in the folds.
  7. Legg Perthes disease, which may case damage to the head of the femur and trouble with walking and motion.
  8. Entropion and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which are both eye conditions, the first being related to the eyelids, and the second to dry eye.

In addition to these conditions, pugs also sometimes suffer seizures and may develop nerve conditions, and they may be more likely to develop allergies. They do not do well in very hot weather, and they can be prone to obesity, so watching diet and exercise is extra important.

In spite of the health conditions that may come up when you own a Pug, there’s no denying that there is some sort of magic in these little dogs. No other breed has the ability to make people smile with such ease, and if you’re looking for a dog that brings joy wherever it goes, and is super easy to live with, you’ve found your breed!

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