Pug is a little clown. They have a long and rich history in China going back at least 2,000 years, although some breed historians believe they’re much older than that. Pugs were so admired that diplomats, ambassadors, explorers, and travellers used them as barter or gifts to gain favours. This practice spread the Pug throughout the world, going first to Japan and then to Europe. In 1572, a Pug warned William, Prince of Orange, of an approaching enemy, so when William was crowned King of England, they were included in the royal procession. Legend has it that when Napoleon married Josephine, one of her Pugs bit him in their honeymoon bed! Pug fanciers say the motto of the breed is “multum in parvo,” which means “a lot in a little.” Pugs are definitely a lot of dog in a small package.

The Pug is the largest of the toy dog breeds. They stand 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs between 14 and 18 pounds, although some dogs are heavier. One of the key features is its head. It is large and round, with a very short muzzle. The skin over the muzzle is wrinkled, as is the forehead. The eyes are dark and expressive, and the ears are carried high and folded. The body is compact and sturdy. The tail is curled tightly over the hips. The Pug’s coat is short and smooth and can be silver, apricot-fawn, or black. The face and ears are black. Grooming is not difficult. The short coat can be brushed with a soft bristle brush or curry comb twice weekly and it will look wonderful. The wrinkles in the face should be cleaned daily, especially if it gets food or dirt in them.

Pugs are great companions for people of all ages. Although they are sturdy and will take some rough handling, small children should be taught to be gentle. Pugs usually get along with other dogs quite well, but interactions with larger dogs should be supervised so the smaller Pug is not hurt. Pugs and the family cat can become great friends. Health concerns include eye disorders, knee problems, allergies, hip dysplasia, and encephalitis. Because they enjoy eating, obesity is also a potential problem.

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