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Black Pug
Black Pug
Alternative names
Country of origin
China, perhaps Korea
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 9 Section 11 #253  
AKC: Toy  
ANKC: Group 1 (Toys)  
CKC: Group 5 - Toys  
KC (UK): Toy  
NZKC: Toy  
UKC: Companion Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Pug is a small but robust toy dog breed with a compressed, wrinkly face.


Pug with fawn coat Pug with fawn coat

The Pug's appearance is characterized by a flat, wrinkled face, compact body, and curled tail. Pugs have four color variations: fawn with a black mask and ears, entirely black, silver, or apricot. The silver or apricot-fawn colors should be decided so as to make the contrast complete between the color and the trace and the mask. The breed generally stands between 10 and 11 inches (25–28 cm) tall at the withers with an ideal weight range of 14 to 18 lb (6.3 to 8.1 kg). However, current AKC judges indicate slightly larger Pugs as higher quality. "Fawn" is the most common Pug color, black is rare, and silver is very rare. Most fawn Pugs have black facial features.


While Pugs do not bark much, they are still quite noisy. Many Pugs make a grunting nasal noise, which increases when they get excited. Some may snore, especially if overweight.

A Pug's nose is mashed in and is responsible for snoring and snorting A Pug's nose is mashed in and is responsible for snoring and snorting


The Pug is a very sociable dog, but quite stubborn. The breed even has its own motto associated with it: "multum in parvo" (a lot in a little). The Pug is a popular breed for a housepet, as it is easy to groom (though it sheds substantially more than other dogs of similar size). Pugs are true "lap dogs", in that they most often want nothing more than to curl up in their owner's lap (and perhaps a snack). They require regular exercise, and some Pugs will walk for an hour or more. When exercising a Pug, however, it is important to make sure they do not overheat, as their short noses do not cool them off as easily as those of longer-nosed breeds. Pugs are generally compatible with most children and other animals.

Pugs are not noted for high achievement in obedience competitions, although, like all dog breeds, they are intelligent and learn quickly in the right environment. According to the book The Intelligence of Dogs, they have only fair ability to learn new commands and to obey commands the first time. On the other hand, it is worth noting that there is much debate about how to accurately measure dog intelligence.

Unlike many other breeds, Pugs have not been bred for physical attributes, but rather have been bred for human companionship. In other words, Pugs have been bred to have amiable dispositions, and to enjoy being with humans.


Part of the Pug's appeal is the wrinkled, expressive face. Part of the Pug's appeal is the wrinkled, expressive face.

Because they have extremely short snouts and no skeletal brow ridges, Pugs can easily scratch their corneas or puncture their eyeballs. Their short noses can also cause them to develop breathing problems. They are also prone to skin infections if the crevices in their faces are not kept clean. Additionally, Pugs may be prone to skin allergies, which if not treated can lead to infection as the Pug scratches the inflamed areas. The breed's characteristic flat face may also contribute to tooth and mouth problems. Pugs typically love to eat, and so are prone to obesity; they can quickly reach unhealthy weights. It is therefore important for Pug owners to make sure their pets get regular exercise. Due to their short snouts, Pugs are vulnerable to temperature extremes. It is important to make sure that they do not overheat in hot weather, and likewise they should not be left outside in very cold weather.

Pugs can also suffer from a chronic form of Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) specific to the breed called Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE). PDE is estimated to occur in 1% of Pugs. There is no known cause or cure for PDE, although it is believed to be an inherited disease. [1]. PDE is invariably fatal. All dogs either die or are put to sleep within a few months after the onset of clinical signs. [2].

A healthy Pug can be expected to live 10 to 13 years, although many well cared for Pugs have reached 18.


The demeanor of a Pug ranges from expressive and playful to calm and warm. The demeanor of a Pug ranges from expressive and playful to calm and warm.

Most agree that the Pug originated in China, dating back to around 700 BC, though there is some debate as to the breed it was derived from, perhaps from Korea. It was bred to be a companion dog, rather than a guardian. Pugs were kept by the royalty and were pampered and spoiled, and the expectation of such treatment is a characteristic that seems to remain with them to this day. Sometimes, as a mark of great esteem, Pugs were given to members of the court.

Some interesting anecdotal history (not officially verified, but worth mentioning) includes an ancient Chinese law whereby only the Emperor was allowed to own a Pug. According to these anecdotes, a person could be put to death for owning a Pug, unless it was given to him by the Emperor himself.

When the Dutch started trading with China, sailors smuggled some Pugs home to Europe, where the small dogs and natural companions quickly became popular. Like in China, they soon became associated with nobility.

According to legend, during a campaign against the Spanish by Prince of Orange, William The Silent, his Pug, Pompey, thwarted an assassination attempt. One night at Hermigny, while the prince slept, assassins crept toward his tent. Pompey heard them and began barking and scratching to warn his master, finally jumping on his master's face to alert him to the impending danger. [3]


  • Pug Club of Canada


Famous Pugs

  • Josephine Bonaparte had a Pug (which met a rather unfortunate end with the chef's bulldog). The Pug's name was Fortune, and he was used by Josephine to send Napoleon secret messages. It is also said that on their wedding night Napoleon refused to allow Fortune to sleep with them in the bed, and Fortune then bit him. Josephine said "If the Pug doesn't sleep in our bed, neither do I!". From then on, Napoleon shared his bed with a Pug (and Josephine).
  • Bandit from Johnny Quest
  • Otis from The Adventures of Milo and Otis
  • Percy from Pocahontas
  • Algy from Rupert Bear
  • Wilson the Pug, a Pug with his own set of books, cards, and calendars.
  • The late Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson) were the proud owners of 4 Pugs, who ate steak served in lead crystal dog dishes.
  • Frank from Men in Black and Men in Black II
  • Monroe in The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
  • Weenie in Eloise
  • William of Orange (the former king of The Netherlands), had a Pug who saved him from an attack of Spanish invaders.
  • Pakkun from Naruto, even though his tail is not curled.

Pugs in the arts

  • A Pug named Frank appeared in the movies Men in Black and Men in Black II, and a number of Pugs played the role of Otis in the movie The Adventures of Milo and Otis.
  • Popular Russian mystery author Daria Dontsova features pugs prominently in her slapstick detective series. The pugs provide numerous amounts of comic relief and sometimes even (accidently) help their owner solve a deadly mystery.
  • Celebrities such as Maura Tierney, Carol Kane, Woody Harrelson, Tom Welling, and Tori Spelling have appeared in TV and print ads with their pugs.
  • A modern artform that is gaining popularity is the practice of dressing Pugs in humorous costumes.
  • The English painter William Hogarth had Pugs and included them in his paintings. Several of these portraits featured Hogarth's wife or Hogarth himself. Others included his good friend, financier Eric Freedgood; a famed breeder of pugs who often joked about his striking resemblance to the animals.


  • Winston Churchill, whose wife called him by the nickname "Pug", wrote a short poem about a Pug:
Poor Puggy-wug
Oh, what is the matter with poor Puggy-wug
Pet him and kiss him and give him a hug.
Run and fetch him a suitable drug,
Wrap him up tenderly all in a rug,
That is the way to cure Puggy-wug.

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