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Dog Breeds

"To err is human, to forgive, canine."

Author Unknown
 



 

Pug

The Pug is a toy dog breed with a wrinkly face and medium-small body. The breed is often summarized as multum in parvo ("much in little"), describing the Pug's remarkable personality despite its small size.

The word "pug" may have come from the Old English pugg or "puge", which were affectionate terms for a playful little devil or monkey. Pug puppies are often called puglets.

Appearance
While most Pugs appearing in eighteenth century prints tended to be long and lean, the current breed standards call for a square, cobby body, a compact form, deep chest, and well-developed muscle. Their heads, carried on arched necks, should be substantial and round, the better to accentuate their large, bulging, dark eyes. The wrinkles on their foreheads should be distinct and deep. The ears should be smooth and soft, like black velvet and come in two varieties: "rose" (small, round and folded with the front edge angled toward the mask, giving the head a more rotund shape) and "button" (level with the top of forehead and folded at a sharp ninety degree angle). Breeding preference goes to "button" Pugs. The lower teeth should protrude farther than their upper, meeting in an under-bite.

Coat and color
Their fine, glossy coats can be apricot, fawn, silver or black. A silver coat is characterized by a very light coloured coat, absent of black guard hairs. Some unscrupulous breeders call "smutty" Pugs silver. A "smutty" Pug typically has a very dark head, with no clear delineation at the mask, and dark forelegs. The tail should curl tightly over the hip; a double curl is considered perfection.

Pugs of different coat types shed to varying degrees, but they all shed quite a bit year round. Fawn Pugs, which have both an undercoat and an overcoat, are the most notorious for shedding. Pug owners have gone to great lengths to control this Pug characteristic. Partial solutions to the problem involve using special shampoos, supplementing or changing the Pug's diet, or even trimming the Pug's coat. Alternatively, regular coat grooming can keep the shedding down.

Temperament
The stern expression of the Pug belies its true sense of fun. Pugs are sociable dogs, and usually stubborn about certain things, but they are playful, charming, clever and are known to succeed in dog obedience skills. Pugs are sensitive to the tone of a human voice, so harsh punishment is generally unnecessary. While Pugs usually get along well with other dogs and pets, they generally prefer the company of humans and require a great deal of human attention; they may become slightly anxious or agitated if their owner ignores them or does not play with them; however some may happily occupy themselves when the owner is away. In general, they are very attentive dogs, always at their owner's feet, in their lap, or following them from room to room (so be careful where you step).

Health
Because Pugs lack longer snouts and prominent skeletal brow ridges, they are susceptible to eye injuries such as puncture wounds and scratched corneas and painful Entropion. Pugs also have compact breathing passageways, which can cause problems with their breathing or their ability to regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue. These complications can lead to accelerated injury or death should they be left in hot locations where cooling cannot properly take place such as cars on hot days or in outdoor conditions in temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27°C).

Pugs living a mostly sedentary life can be prone to obesity, though this is avoidable with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

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). There is no known cause or cure for PDE, although it is believed to be an inherited disease. All dogs tend to either die or are euthanised within a few months after the onset of clinical signs, which usually occur anywhere from 6 months to 3 years of age.

Pugs, along with other brachycephalic dogs (e.g. boxers, bulldogs), are also prone to hemivertebrae. The screwtail is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs in others areas of the spine it can be devastating, causing such severe paralysis that euthanasia is a serious recommendation.

 

Pug
Other names: Chinese Pug, Mops, Puggu, Carli, Dutch Bulldog
Country of origin: China


The Pug, like other short-snouted breeds, has an elongated palate. When excited, they are prone to a "reverse sneeze" where the dog will quickly, and seemingly laboriously, gasp and snort. This is caused by fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing. "Reverse sneezing" episodes are not harmful to the Pug but are usually resolved by the owner calming the dog and gently rubbing the throat to induce a swallowing action; the symptom may also resolve itself without intervention.[citation needed] Owners typically recognise this phenomenon as a pathological symptom rather than as an endearing behavioral pattern.

As with all small breeds, some problems may arise in pregnancy and during birth. The most common problems include the need for a Caesarian section birth and new mothers being disinterested in the puppies, sometimes accompanied by the mother not opening the birth sac.

As Pugs have many wrinkles in their faces, owners normally take special care to clean inside the creases, as irritation and infection can result from improper care.

Pugs are one of several breeds that are more susceptible to Demodectic mange, also known as Demodex. This condition is caused by a weakened immune system, and it is a minor problem for many young Pugs. It is easily treatable, however, some Pugs are especially susceptible to the condition, and will present with a systemic form of the condition. This vulnerability is thought to be genetic, and good breeders will avoid breeding dogs who have had this condition.

History

Origins
Bred to adorn the laps of the Chinese sovereigns during the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BC), in East China, they were known as "Lo-Chiang-Sze" or "Foo" (ceramic foos, transmogrified into dragon, with their bulging eyes are very Pug-like). The Pug's popularity spread to Tibet, where they were mainly kept by monks, and then went onto Japan, and finally Europe.

Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
The breed was first imported in the late 16th and 17th centuries by merchants and crews from the Dutch East Indies Trading Company. The Pug later became the official dog of the House of Orange. In 1572, a Pug saved the Prince of Orange's life by barking at an assassin. A Pug also travelled with William III and Mary II when they left the Netherlands to ascend to the throne of England in 1688. This century also saw Pugs' popularity on the rise in other European countries. In Spain, they were painted by Goya, in Italy Pugs dressed in matching jackets and pantaloons sat by the coachmen of the rich, and in Germany and France. Pugs appear several times as footnotes to history. Sometimes, they were used for Scent hounds. They were used by the military to track animals or people, and were also employed as the guard's dogs.

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
The popularity of the Pug continued to spread in France during the eighteenth century. Before her marriage at age 15 to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette owned a Pug named Mops (the German, Dutch, Russian, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish name for the dog's breed).[citation needed] Before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, Joséphine had her Pug, Fortune, carry concealed messages to her family while she was confined at Les Carmes prison. The pet was the only recipient of visiting rights.

The English painter William Hogarth owned a series of Pugs, to which he was devoted. In 1745 he painted his self-portrait together with that of his Pug, Trump, now in the Tate Gallery, London.

In nineteenth century England, Pugs flourished under the patronage of the monarch Queen Victoria. Her many Pugs, which she bred herself, included Olga, Pedro, Minka, Fatima and Venus. Her involvement with the dogs in general helped to establish the Kennel Club, which was formed in 1873. Victoria favoured apricot and fawn Pugs, whereas the aristocrat Lady Brassey is credited with making black Pugs fashionable after she brought some back from China in 1886.

The Pug arrived in the United States during the nineteenth century (the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885) and was soon making its way into the family home and show ring.