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More Pug Pictures

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History of the Pug

  1. The Pug originated in China more than three thousand years ago, and believe it or not, the dog counts mastiffs as its principal forebears. Miniaturized by the emperors of the Shang dynasty, Pugs were employed as imperial lapdogs for many centuries. From there the dogs were introduced to Tibet, and became cherished pets of the Buddhist monks. The Pug was then introduced to Japan, where it was discovered by Europeans during the 16th century.

    The Pug was an immediate smash in Europe. After a Pug saved the life of Prince William II in 1572 by alerting him to approaching Spaniards at Hermingny, it was named the official dog of the House of Orange, and Pugs attended William’s coronation as King of England. Pugs were also the favored pets of William III, Mary II, Marie Antoinette, Queen Victoria and Josephine, wife of Napoleon. Pugs were even featured prominently in several paintings by Goya. By the 19th century the Pug had replaced the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as the favorite lap dog of the English aristocracy, and it had also arrived in America, where it was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Today, the Pug remains an incredibly popular pet all over the world.

    Theories about the origin of the name Pug abound. The most popular is that the name comes from the Latin pugnus, meaning fist, since the dog’s head bears some resemblance to a fist. The dog could have also been named for the marmoset “Pug” monkey, which it is said to resemble. A third theory is that the name is derived from the mischievous character Puck, from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.





 

 

 

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