The History Of The Pug

By Melissa Murray

Faithful, eager, clever, affectionate, good-natured, and impressibly high-spirited. These are all words that describe the Pug dog. The pug has a long history dating back to at least 700 B.C. Originated in China; the wrinkle that forms a W on its forehead was actually known as the Chinese character for “Prince”.

There is much debate on the subject of how the pug got its name. The first recorded appearance of the word pug in the English language was in 1566 meaning “endearment”. By 1600 the word came to be known to mean “courtesan” or “bargeman”. Then by the middle of the next century it finally appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary as “dwarf breed of dog resembling a miniature bulldog” which remains today.

The pug was known for its comical appearance, famous for its loyalty and bred as a companion. There is one story widely known that demonstrates this loyalty. In 1573 at William the Silent of Holland’s House of Orange, the now famous pug named Pompey awoke his master in the night right before a surprise attack by the Spaniards. Sir William escaped capture and Pompey became the symbol of the House of Orange. An effigy of the monarch with his pug at his feet is carved over William’s tomb in Delft Cathedral.

Another story displaying the obvious worthiness of the pug took place on the night of Napoleon’s wedding to Josephine. He had told her that he refused to share his bed with the animal and in return her beloved pug “Fortune” bit him. Josephine made it clear that Fortune would stay or she would not and from then on Napoleon shared his bed with the two.

Coming into the 18th century, the pug breed was accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Since registration the breed has been known as an excellent show dog but still remains the perfect loyal companion. Its motto “Multum in Parvo” means a lot a dog in a small space. The pug most definitely lives up its motto!

Melissa Murray is running her full-time web-based business selling all kinds of adorable and ideal dog clothing and accessories at great prices.

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