Pugs are famous all over the world for their distinctive wrinkles and curved tail. These dogs have a humble spirit and a rich history. ‘Multum in parvo‘ meaning ‘much in little’ is a common phrase used to describe these canines. As part of the toy group, these dogs were also owned by several well-known celebrities.
The appearance of this breed is worth appreciating. They are square in shape and have a larger head than the rest of the body. Also, they have an average lifespan of 12-16 years. But, besides such factors, there are numerous interesting and fun facts about the breed. Let’s learn about them.
Fun facts about pug breed
1. They were meant to be wrinkle-faced
Wrinkles are one of the amazing features of the breed. Pugs have deep wrinkles around their head and eyes. One of the interesting and fun facts about the pug breed was that Chinese breeders bred this canine to have wrinkles on purpose. This was because they wanted a Chinese pattern resembling ‘Prince’ to be showcased on the dog’s forehead.
Having deeper and larger wrinkles on the canine’s body proves that the breed is purebred. They are also one of the prime reasons why pugs are adored by so many people. Isn’t that cute?
2. They are no relatives of bulldogs
By looking at the face of the dog, many people can think of them to be relatives of ‘bulldogs’. Well, we can assure you, they are not. Bulldogs originally belong to the British Isles. In fact, Pugs are nowhere close to the dynasty of bulldogs, even though they have similar wrinkles.
Instead, pugs can be considered close friends of the Pekingese breed. Just like them, Pekingese also have flat faces with short muzzles. They even share a similar origin-China.
3. Their history is rich
An interesting and fun fact about the pug breed is that it dates back to 400 BC. Although the breed was Chinese, it was more popular among the Tibetan monks. Pugs were kept as pets by these monks in the monasteries.
It was not until the 16th century that the Portuguese traders brought them to Holland. Later, in 1688, William III and Mary were the first to introduce them to England after they claimed their throne.
4. The name of their group is ‘Grumble’
People in Holland know this breed by the name ‘mopshond’ which is a Dutch word for ‘to grumble’. Hence, the group was known by the name ‘Grumble’.
There are also mysteries regarding the real name of the breed. Some say they got their name from monkeys. In the 18th century, marmosets (a species of monkeys) were kept as pets. Their owners named them ‘pugs’. It is believed that both the dog and the marmoset share similar facial features, thus the name.
5. A pug’s tail has two curls
The curled tail is among the interesting and fun features of the breed. Pugs are not always born with curls. They slowly develop this feature within their first few weeks. This tight curl of the dog’s tail is a sign of a purebred.
A pug having a curled tail is the result of a spinal deviation. This breed has a wedge-shaped vertebra and a tail consisting of both cartilage and bone. Such a factor causes this natural curl in the tail.
6. They have their degrees
A pug achieved a degree? Yes, you heard that right. An interesting and fun fact about a pug is that it has completed its MBA. In 2009, a pug named Chester Ludlow from Vermont completed its online degree from Rochville University.
But, is it possible for a dog to complete an MBA? Well, sources say that the owner of this pug submitted his dog’s resume along with $499 to Rochville University. A week later, he received a box consisting of the dog’s MBA certificate for distinction, two sets of college transcripts and membership for student council. The certificate said that Chester received a GPA of 3.19. Although it was a phoney incident, Chester still became famous for being the world’s first dog to earn an MBA degree.
7. Pugs snore!
The appearance of a dog cannot always justify its actions. Unlike other breeds, pugs snore. The flat faces of this breed cause them to snore as loud as a human being. The facial structure of this dog also causes a breathing problem known as Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome which makes it difficult for the pug to breathe.
Further, this breed also deals with sleeping problems. As owners, you can see your dog sleeping in awkward positions (mouth open or chin raised) throughout the house. You can even find them choking in their sleep at times.
8. They have different nicknames
The breed is well-known for its different names. Besides the name ‘pug’, many countries call it by the name Pug moniker. Other than that, Chinese people also call them by the name ‘Doguillo’.
In England, many people know them by the name Dutch pug. Lastly, in Finland, Germany and Holland, they are called ‘Mopsi’, ‘Mops’ and ‘Mopshond’ respectively. This is also among the interesting and fun facts about pugs.
9. They are Brachycephalic
If you are a pug owner, you must have heard them sniffing while moving around. This is because; they have difficulty taking in long and deep breaths. Pugs are brachycephalic, meaning they have snouts that are pushed in more than other dog breeds. Having such a nose can result in breathing problems. This is also another reason for pugs snoring loudly.
Even though energetic, pugs cannot cope with their breathing issues. You can find them struggling while breathing, after taking long walks or being exposed to high temperatures.
10. There was a secret organisation by their name
In the 18th century, the Pope prohibited the Catholics from joining the Freemasons. Thus, the Roman Catholics decided to form a secret society known as the ‘Order of the Pug’. They took pugs to be their symbol because these dogs were loyal and trustworthy.
The Grand Master of the group was a man, but he was accompanied by two ‘large pugs’- one male and the other female. Any member who wanted to join the organisation had to kiss the Grand Pug’s rear, under the tail. Unfortunately, the group failed to create its position and thus, got banned by several regions.
11. The House of Orange considers them their official breed
Pugs also have a history of being loyal pets. In 1572, the Dutch were involved in the Eighty Years War. As a result, William the Silent, Prince of Orange had to take part in it. Stories claim that it was during this time when the Spanish assassins were keen on killing the Prince in his sleep.
To save the life of its owner, Pompey the pug started barking wildly to wake him up. Such a deed made this breed popular in Orange. Thus, it became the official dog of the House of Orange. You will find an effigy of Prince William I above the tomb with Pompey at his feet.
12. Important personalities have owned them
Pugs are not only famous for their deeds but are also known for being pets of important people.
- Josephine Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon, owned a Pug named Fortune. She used her to deliver messages to her family members during her time of imprisonment. Some also say that it was this pug that bit Napoleon on the night of their wedding.
- The British Royalty was also a fan of this breed. Reports confirm that Queen Elizabeth II was a true pug lover before ‘Corgi’ came into her life.
They have also been a part of several films like ‘Men in Black’ and ‘The Adventures of Milo and Otis’.
13. They also worked as mascots
Another interesting and fun fact about pugs is that they have a different kind of popularity in India. A pug named Cheeka was taken to be a mascot for the ‘Hutch’ company- VODAFONE. It was from then that the breed started getting famous, not only in India; but throughout Asia. Later, it also turned out to be the highest used dog in commercials.
14. They are no heat bearers
As brachycephalic breeds, pugs face difficulty residing in hot weather. The breed struggles to inhale fresh air due to the shape of his face. Unlike other dogs, they can’t regulate their body temperature because their flat face prohibits them from cooling the air they breathe in.
15. They have an excellent temperament
An interesting and fun fact about the pug dog breed is that they were born to be companions. Characteristics like an incredible sense of humour and showing off love towards people makes the breed even more special. Their ability to guard and bark when necessary presents them as dependable guard dogs.
However, on the dark side, pugs are quite sensitive. After getting too attached to their partners, pugs can get anxious or depressed if they are left alone for long hours.
If you look at it closely, the pug is truly a good breed. Just like other dogs, this breed also deserves a place in the heart of the owners. Though owning the breed can indeed be challenging for an owner; but, the good sides of the breed make it worth a try.
Q. Which is the most common disease in this breed?
Pug dog encephalitis (PDE) is a disease limited to this breed only. Here the brain and meninges of the dog get inflamed. Worst case scenario, the dog can have seizures or even die in the process.
Q. Can pugs swim?
Just like other breeds, pugs are also capable of swimming. But, their breathing problem makes it difficult for them to swim for long.
Q. Can I give chocolate to my pug?
Definitely not. Chocolate is poisonous for every dog breed. Chemicals like caffeine and theobromine are harmful, especially for smaller breeds. Eating chocolate can have dangerous symptoms like seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea and even death.