There must be a lot of pug lovers in this country because these cute little dogs are popping up everywhere – on t-shirts and cushions, mugs and tea towels. You can buy pug iPhone cases and pug socks, pug slippers and pug scarves.
So let’s take a look at this spirited little animal.
Pugs were first bred in China more than a thousand years ago. When they were brought to Europe hundreds of years later, the aristocracy and royalty embraced the breed. While we are not sure when they came to Australia, there is evidence they were here by the 1870s.
The pug has a distinctive look – like a miniature mastiff – with a small, square body, curled tail, large bone structure and wrinkly skin. Its coat is dense, soft and glossy and its head is blunt and large when compared with the rest of its body. Its squashed face features large dark eyes – we think it’s these expressive, protruding eyes that win over many people!
Their nature makes them very popular with families and older owners. They are animated, affectionate, loyal and lively. Pugs get along well with other pets and are great with children. Even though they are playful they do well indoors and can happily live without a yard. They do, however, like enthusiastic play, so a daily walk is important. They are sturdy but owners have to be careful they don’t overdo it – if you see a pug wheezing, it’s time to go home. Because they are intelligent they do need regular, consistent training. They are sensitive though, so you don’t need to raise your voice to these animals.
Pugs live to about 10 or 12 years of age, and they are prone to health issues. They catch colds easily and can get stressed in weather that is too hot or cold. After baths they should be dried thoroughly to avoid getting chilled. The creases on their face should be cleaned regularly too. They can suffer from skin conditions and their eyes are prone to weeping. Allergies and breathing problems can also be an issue. Unfortunately pugs are also prone to a form of encephalitis, which can affect adolescent dogs. Pugs should weigh between six to nine kilos and are prone to overeating so be careful not to feed them too much.
While they aren’t the lowest maintenance dogs, pugs are beautiful companions and are beloved by their families and would-be owners. It’s no surprise really that their funny little faces are everywhere.