The Pug, one of the oldest breeds, has flourished true to his breed down through the ages from before 400 B.C. He has always been domesticated and has endeared himself to mankind.
The truth of how the Pug came into existence is shrouded in mystery, but authorities are agreed that he is of Oriental origin with some basic similarities to the Pekingese. China, where the breed was the pet of the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, is its earliest known source. It next appeared in Japan, and then in Europe, where it became the favorite for various royal courts.
In Holland the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange after one of the breed saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving alarm at the approach of the Spaniards at Hermingny in 1572. An effigy of the monarch with his Pug at his feet is carved over William's tomb in Delft Cathedral. Later, when William II landed at Torbay to be crowned King of England, his retinue included his beloved Pugs and they became the fashionable breed for generations.
By 1790, the Pug's popularity had spread to France where Josephine, wife of Napoleon, depended on her Pug "Fortune" to carry secret messages under his collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes. Fortune must have had a possessive nature, for it is said that he bit the future Emperor when he entered the bedchamber on his wedding night.
Called the "Mopshond" (from the Dutch word "to grumble") in Holland, "Mops" in Germany and "Carlin" in France, the origin of the name "Pug Dog" has a variety of explanations. The most likely is that which likens the dog's facial expression to that of the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets of the early 1700s and were known as Pugs; hence "Pug Dog" to distinguish dog from monkey. The appellation of "Pug Dog" has endured to this day.
In 1860, British soldiers sacked the Imperial Palace in Peking, and dogs of the Pug and Pekingese type were brought back to England. This was the first time since the early 16th century that dogs in any great number had been brought out of China. Black Pugs were imported from China and exhibited for the first time in England in 1886.
The Pug was accepted for registration with the American Kennel Club in 1885.
This lovable and staunch little dog is well described by the motto Multum in Parvo - "a lot of dog in a small space." His appearance is always that of being well-groomed and ready for the show ring. He is small but requires no coddling and his roguish face soon wiggles its way into the hearts of men, women, and especially children - for whom this dog seems to have a special affinity. His great reason for living is to be near his "folks" and to please them. The Pug is at home in a small apartment or country home alike, easily adaptable to all situations.