The Pug is a familiar breed to most people. The corkscrew tail, buggy eyes, and body resemble an artesian bread loaf.
The Pug is an ancient breed brought over to Europe from China in the 1500s. During its early time in China, it was popular in the Song Dynasty. Made popular in the Netherlands, this breed has contributed to the English Bulldog, Pekingese, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Pugs were popular at European courts, and reportedly a Pug named Pompey became the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572 after a Pug saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him to the approach of assassins.
Adored by many, especially the nobility of the 16th century, the Pug was included in a painting by Goya. In Spain and in Italy, they rode up front on private carriages dressed in Jackets and pantaloons to match the coachman.
Traditionally the breed comes in various shades of fawn and black.
The original breed was longer and leaner, but preferences over time modified the breed to be more short and squatty.
Many Pugs exhibit a moderate underbite.
The Pug is well known for its personality earning the Latin saying "multum in parvo" or "much in little."
As with many purebred dogs over the years, there has been a high level of inbreeding. Low levels of genetic diversity make purebred dogs with smaller gene pools more susceptible to genetically related illnesses such as hip dysplasia and weakened immune systems that lead to or exacerbate issues such as demodectic mange. Additional genetic illness such as necrotizing meningoencephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain and meninges, is also more common in purebred small dog breeds.