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Adopt a Pug

Pug Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


companion, mastiff (bulldog)

Area of origin:


Original function:

lap dog

Average size of male:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 14-18

Average size of female:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 14-18

Other names:

mops, Carlin

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Pug Dog Temperament

A delightful blend of dignity and comedy, the pug is an amiable, playful and confident companion. He can be stubborn and headstrong, but he is pleasant and generally willing to please. He loves to cavort and show off.

Pug Dog Care

The pug needs daily exercise, either in the form of a lively game or a moderate walk on leash. He does not do well in heat and humidity and should not be kept outdoors. He needs minimal coat care but daily cleaning of facial wrinkles. His smooth coat needs only occasional brushing to remove dead hairs; however, the wrinkles need regular cleaning and drying to prevent skin infections. The pug wheezes and snores.

Pug Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: elongated palette, stenotic nares, patellar luxation, Legg - Perthes, entropion
Occasionally seen: epilepsy
Suggested tests: (eye)
Life span: 12-15 years
Note: Skin fold dermatitis occurs if wrinkles are not regularly cleaned. The pug cannot tolerate heat and is sensitive to anesthesia. He is prone to corneal abrasion and obesity.

Interested in the history of the Pug dog breed?

The pug has been known by many names: mopshond in Holland (which refers to his grumbling tendencies); mops in Germany, and Dutch or Chinese pug in England. The word pug is derived either from the Latin pugnus, meaning fist, as the head may have resembled a clenched fist, or from the marmoset "pug" monkeys that were popular pets in the 18th century and that the pug dogs somewhat resemble. Whatever the name, one thing is true: The pug's official motto multum in parvo ("a lot in a little") fits him exactly. The pug is somewhat of an exception in the toy group because he is perhaps the only breed to be descended from mastiff forebears. Although his exact ancestry has been lost in antiquity, the pug retains many mastiff characteristics. This is an ancient breed, one of several miniaturized in Asia, where he was a favorite pet of Buddhist monasteries in Tibet many centuries ago. In China, the facial wrinkles were an essential breed feature, most notably the "prince mark," or vertical wrinkle on the forehead, which bore a resemblance to the Chinese character for "prince." Pugs probably came to Holland by way of the Dutch East India Trading Company. They became quite popular and were recognized as the official dog of the House of Orange after one saved the life of Prince William by sounding an alarm at the approach of Spanish soldiers in 1572. By 1790, the pug could be found in France; Napoleon's wife Josephine used her pug to carry messages to Napoleon when she was imprisoned. Pugs were first brought to England during Victorian times and became incredibly popular with the wealthy, displacing the King Charles spaniel as the favored royal breed. Several pugs were brought to England from China in 1886. A year earlier, the breed had been recognized by the AKC. Since that time, he has remained popular as both a pet and show dog.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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