With its wrinkly face and stubborn, individualistic nature, a Pug is a dog with a strong personality. A Pug can be tough and opinionated and will often stand its ground with an unblinking stare to express its wishes. But, Pugs are also affectionate and playful and adore human attention and companionship.

Pugs originated in China over two thousand years ago and were favored by Chinese Emperors. They also became popular with Tibetan monks. Eventually, this breed made its way to Japan and then Europe, probably transported by merchants and crew members from trading ships. Pugs were companions of aristocrats and kings in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1754, William Hogarth, an English painter, painted his self-portrait along with his Pug, “Trump.” Queen Victoria owned many Pugs and also bred them.

A Pug has a muscular, thickset, compact body with a deep chest. Its head is large and round with prominent, dark eyes and a short, flat, black muzzle. The face has well-defined wrinkles. The ears are small and velvety and may be folded back or forward. The tail of a Pug is tightly curled and twisted. Its short, sleek, soft coat may be black, silver, apricot or fawn colored. The teeth meet in a slight under-bite. Pugs generally reach a height of 12 to 14 inches and a weight of 13 to 20 pounds.

A Pug can make an amusing companion. Clever and mischievous, this highly intelligent breed of dog has a happy and rambunctious disposition. Pugs usually get along well with other pets and are sociable dogs, but actually prefer the company of humans. Pugs are loyal and devoted to their masters and make good watchdogs. They are not yappers and usually behave well with children and visitors.

Pugs can become bored with repetitive training activities although they tend to do well at mastering obedience skills. They are very sensitive to the sound and tone of the human voice, so harsh punishment is not needed. Since Pugs thrive on human attention, they can become jealous if ignored by their masters, sometimes showing anxiety or agitation at such times. Pugs typically spend a great deal of time at the feet of their masters or following them from room to room.

Caring for a Pug is relatively easy. The short hair is easy to groom with brushing and shampooing when needed. Creases on the face should be cleaned frequently. Pugs have a tendency toward obesity and should not be overfed. Frequent, light exercise is recommended. Pugs are sensitive to temperature extremes and should not become overheated. Likewise, this breed should be kept indoors during cold weather. The short muzzle of a Pug can sometimes result in chronic breathing problems, so this dog may tend to wheeze or snore.

With their bright, charming personalities, Pugs are wonderful, entertaining and loyal companions. Although they can be willful at times, they are rarely aggressive. Playful and easy to care for, the intelligent, sensitive Pug will be a strong presence in the home of its owner.

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