Did you know, the name Pug comes from the Latin word for “Fist”? Not necessarily what you’d expect from this jovial, happy dog, but they’re so named because their wrinkled face resembles a clenched fist.
Anyone who owns a Pug will tell you their personality far outgrows their size. They have a comical personality and love nothing more than being with their humans.
They’re a unique, comical looking breed with a round, wrinkly head, short nose and undershot jaw which means their lower teeth extend beyond their upper teeth. On their round faces they even have ‘beauty spots’ which their characteristic moles are affectionately known as.
The Pug is one of the most well-known dog breeds in the world. They’re old too, dating back as far as 400 B.C and possibly even back to the Han Dynasty in B.C. 206 to A.D. 200 in China.
As with most old breeds, there’s origin is speculated, but the generally accepted theory is that the breed began in China. Some believe they’re descendants of the Pekingese, which also originated in China, but others argue that their ancestors are the Bulldog or Mastiff.
In their long history, they’ve been a regular companion for royalty including Emperors of China, William II who brought them to England from Holland, and Queen Victoria.
Their popularity in China was largely down to their wrinkly faces. The most prized Pugs were those who’s wrinkles resembled specific symbols, especially if they took the form of the symbol for Prince. These lucky Pugs were treated like Royalty themselves with lavish apartments and their own guards.
It’s possible the first Pugs came to Europe when they started trading with the Dutch in the 1500s. After this, a Pug is believed to have saved the life of Prince William of Orange by alerting him of approaching Spaniards. From then on, they were the official dog of the House of Orange which included the future King William III who brought them to England in 1688.
The Pugs we know today are believed to be descendants or two Pugs of “pure” Chinese lineage that were brought back to England from the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860. Lamb and Moss, as they were called, were bred together, eventually creating a puppy called Click who was bred many times with the Willoughby and Morrison lines.
It wasn’t long after this, in 1885, that the Pug was first officially recognised with their very own breed standard which you can find on the Kennel Club’s website here.