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Sunday, 21 May 2017


The pug probably originated in China before 400 BC and was the mascot of many ancient Buddhist monasteries.

Ancient Chinese emperors kept pugs as lapdogs and treated them to all the luxuries of royal life. Sometimes they were even given their own mini palaces and guards.

The Pug is one of three ancient breeds that originated in China in the pre-Christian era. These breeds were the Lion Dog, the Pekingese, and the Lo-sze or Foo-dog. The Foo-dog was the ancient Pug.

Guardian Foo Dog China, 1622-1722 

Its name comes from the Latin word pugnus, meaning "fist," a reference to the shape of the dog's face.

The Pug breed was introduced into Holland by Dutch traders and then into England by the same route.

In 1572, the Dutch were in the midst of the Eighty Year War, a protracted struggle for independence against the political and religious hegemony of Spain. While The Prince of Orange, William the Silent, was sleeping in his tent one night, Spanish assassins were lurking just outside. Fortunately, William’s pug, Pompey, was there to warn his master by barking wildly and jumping on his face.

As a result of saving the life of the leader of the Dutch forces, the pug was made the official dog of the House of Orange. The pooches became the symbol of Orangists, people who supported the royal family.

When William III came to England to rule with his wife Mary II, he brought his pugs, who wore little orange ribbons to their master’s 1689 coronation.

King William III had a white pug called Kuntze. His pug's barking raised the alarm and saved William during a Spanish raid at Mons.

Painter and his Pug is a 1745 self-portrait created by William Hogarth. 

Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Josephine had a pet pug named Fortuné that she loved so much that she refused to let the dog sleep anywhere but in her bed.

Before her marriage to Napoleon, Joséphine had Fortuné carry concealed messages to her family while she was confined at Les Carmes prison, as the pooch was the only one given visiting rights.

The breed was much larger then, and the English are credited with the refinement and reduction in size of the Lo-sze to the Pug we know today.

A male Pug 1802

The pug became very popular in the European courts, and reached a peak in popularity in royal circles in Victorian times when it was a popular pet for adults and children alike; indeed, it has only ever been bred as a companion.

Queen Victoria had many Pugs, which she bred herself, including Olga, Pedro, Minka, Fatima and Venus.

Queen Victoria's passion for Pugs was passed on to many other members of the Royal family, including her grandson King George V and his son King Edward VIII.

Because Pugs have short snouts, they are prone to breathing difficulties or unable to efficiently regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue by panting.

Their facial structure makes it difficult to take long and deep breaths, which is why you might hear a pug snuffling while running around.

Sources Europress Family Encyclopedia, Comptons Encyclopedia. Mental Floss

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