The Pug resembles a miniature mastiff, but with a flat muzzle, boxy head, wrinkled skin and square body. This may explain why it was called the Dutch Mastiff or Dwarf Mastiff when it first appeared in Holland.
The Pug probably originated from the Orient but was brought to Europe as soon as the 16th century, probably by the Dutch East India Company.
Another theory is that the Pug was introduced to Holland by the Portugese soon after they opened sea trading routes with China around 1550.
The original Pug may have been larger with a more discernible muzzle, according to 18th and 19th century paintings and engravings.
This curly-tailed and flat-faced compact little dog is referred to as Multum in Parvo , "a lot of dog in a small space."
Typical Pug attributes are the mask (except in Black pugs), velvet ears, black moles, thumb mark and trace.
You can find a detailed description of the Pug's appearance here.
The Pug's original color was fawn with a black mask and saddle mark and until the late 1800s the breed was only seen in this color. More about the Pug's colors.
The most likely explanation for ithe breed's name is the dog's facial resemblance to that of the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets of the early 1700s and were known as Pugs. More about the etymology of the breed's name (external link).
In Holland pugs became the symbol of the royalists (the Orangists) after a Pug, Pompey, saved the life of William the silent, Duke of Orange by alerting him in the middle of the night to the approaching Spanish troops in 1572 at the duke's camp.
Character, Health & Temperament
Although classified as a toy breed by the AKC the Pug is more solid and resistant than many other breeds in this group. With his great sense of humor it is a perfect family companion, patient, good-natured and very tolerant with children. Like all small molosser breeds, pugs are usually less yappy than some other small dogs.
One major drawback of the breed is that Pugs tend to shed all year round, especially fawn-colored pugs.
Another (minor) downside of this breed is that pugs tend to be too exclusive in their relationships. They sometimes have difficulties in sharing their owner's affection and attention with anyone else.
Its only weakness is a tendency to enjoy its meals and treats too much and become overweight.
(Pug dog, Carlino, Mops,
Mopshond, Mops hund)
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Oil painting by Richand Ramsey Reinagle.
The Pug is much taller than present day examples, and has a much more discernible muzzle. Photo: W. Secord
Engraving from The Sportsman's Cabinet
Philip Reinagle, 1803
Photo courtesy: William Secord
Female Pug Gin Gin, Italy
Pugs for Dummies
by Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz
The Pug Handbook