These little clowns have a long and rich history in China going back at least 2,000 years, although some breed historians believe they’re much older than that. Pugs were so admired that diplomats, ambassadors, explorers, and travelers used them as barter or gifts to gain favors. This practice spread the Pug throughout the world, going first to Japan and then to Europe. In 1572, a Pug warned William, Prince of Orange, of an approaching enemy, so when William was crowned King of England, Pugs were included in the royal procession. Legend has it that when Napoleon married Josephine, one of her Pugs bit him in their honeymoon bed! Pug fanciers say the motto of the breed is “a lot in a little.” Pugs are definitely a lot of dog in a small package.
The Pug is the largest of the toy breeds. One of the key features of the Pug is the head. It is large and round, with a very short muzzle. The skin over the muzzle is wrinkled, as is the forehead. The eyes are dark and expressive, and the ears are carried high and folded. The body is compact and sturdy. The tail is curled tightly over the hips. The Pug’s coat is short and smooth and can be silver, apricot-fawn, or black. The face and ears are black. Grooming the Pug is not difficult. The short coat can be brushed with a soft bristle brush or curry comb twice weekly and she’ll look wonderful. The wrinkles in the face should be cleaned daily, especially if the Pug gets food or dirt in them.
The Pug is a brachycephalic breed, meaning that the muzzle is extremely short. This can cause breathing difficulties, especially during hard exercise or in hot, humid weather. The breed does need exercise to remain strong and healthy, but care must be taken to exercise the dog wisely. A long walk morning and evening is great, as is a good game of ball in between. When well-socialized as puppies, Pugs are friendly, playful extroverts. Although small when puppies, they should not be overprotected, as this could cause them to become fearful.
Training should begin young, as Pugs do have a mind of their own. The training should be firm yet fun and should include games to keep the dog interested and focused. Housetraining can be a challenge, but with consistency and patience, it can be accomplished. Because of their potential breathing problems and their small stature, Pugs are limited in the canine sports in which they participate, but they enjoy agility and trick training and make wonderful therapy dogs.
Pugs are great companions for people of all ages. Although they are sturdy and will take some rough handling, small chil- dren should be taught to be gentle. They usually get along with other dogs quite well, but interactions with larger dogs should be supervised so the smaller Pug is not hurt. Pugs and the family cat can become great friends. Health concerns include eye disorders, knee problems, allergies, hip dysplasia, and Pug dog encephalitis. Because Pugs enjoy eating, obesity is also a potential problem.
PAPI the Pug at DogShaadi.com is a great little dog, but the reality is that his physical build is neither natural nor healthy. The Pug, in fact, is afflicted with a skeletal deformity called brachycephalic syndrome. A rounded head and shortened face are skeletal deformities that cause a variety of health problems.
Dogshaadi.com thinks you should not get a pug if all you know about pugs is that it is in the Vodaphone Ad.
Before buying a Pug, please consider the following facts:
- All short-faced dogs have some trouble breathing. They snuffle and snort their way through life, with their breathing difficulties becoming worse when they’re excited.
- Their nostrils tend to be slim and pinched and may have soft cartilage that cause the nostrils to collapse when the dog tries to pull air in forcefully.
- The trachea (windpipe) tends to be narrow, restricting air flow even more.
- The soft palate (a flap of skin across the back of the throat that prevents food and water from entering the windpipe) is often fleshy and elongated and tends to fall loosely into the throat. This causes noisy breathing, gagging and hacking (as though the dog has mucous in his throat), and sometimes spitting up white froth.
- The eye sockets are shallow, which means the eyes could actually pop out if the dog bangs his head while playing or even pulls too hard on the leash.
- The prominent eyeball is susceptible to scratches and corneal ulcers.
- If the eyelid can’t reach out far enough to fully cover the protruding eyeball, the eye can dry out, leading to a serious disorder called, appropriately, dry eye.
- The teeth are crowded together and tend to grow at odd angles, trapping food debris and leading to dental disease.
- Their loose folds of facial skin are dark, warm, and moist – perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. The result can be raw irritated skin and chronic bacterial infections called pyoderma (skin fold dermatitis).
- Eating and drinking can cause problems because when they put their face into a bowl and try to coordinate swallowing and breathing, food particles and water can get pulled through their nose and into their windpipe, causing gagging, coughing, or spitting up.
- On a more delicate note, breathing through the mouth means swallowing air, which often produces excessive gas.
- Short-faced dogs frequently can’t deliver their puppies because the puppies have such large rounded heads. C-sections under general anesthesia are typically required, and short-faced puppies are exceptionally fragile and have a higher mortality rate than puppies with normal heads.
- Short-faced dogs are risky to anesthetize, requiring extra-special precautions for neutering, dental cleaning, and x-rays.