Source: The Scotsman (Extract)
June 13, 2022

One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Pug – they were one of the UK’s 10 most popular dog breeds in 2020 and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.

Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.

1. A historic breed

Pugs were brought to Europe from China in the 16 century and were popularized in Western Europe by the House of Orange of the Netherlands.

2. A changing breed

Pugs didn’t always look the way they do today. Paintings of Pugs from the 18th century show animals with leaner bodies and longer legs. It’s only recently that the more compact dog has become popular.

3. A royal pet

Pugs became even more popular in Britain during the nineteenth century when Queen Victoria developed a passion for pugs that she passed on to other members of the royal family.

4. Constant companions

In ancient China Pugs were bred to be companions for royalty. They were highly valued by Chinese Emperors, who kept their pooches in luxury and emplyed guards to protect them from thieves.

5. What’s happening tonight Josephine?

Before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, Josephine was denied visiting rights while detained at Les Carmes Prison. She used her pet Pug Fortune to carry concealed messages to her family.

6. Best in show

While a Pug has never been named Best in Show at Crufts, the beed has been triumphant in the American equivalent – the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. A Pug named Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck was named top dog in 1981.

7. An artistic muse

William Hogarth had several pet Pugs and his 1745 self-portrait, which hangs in London’s Tate Gallery, depicts one of his favourites, named Trump. Pugs were also a favourite subject of the Spanish artist Goya.

8. Movie stars

The hugely-popular film series Men in Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, also features Frank, a talking Pug portrayed by a canine actor called Mushu.

9. Long lives

Pugs have quite a long average lifespan compared to other breeds – around 12-15 years. The fourth oldest dog ever recorded was a Pug called Snookie who passed away in South Africa in 2018 at the grand old age of 27 years and 284 days.

10. Literary breed

Author Jane Austen featured a Pug in her novel Mansfield Park, published 1814. Lady Bertram, the hero’s mother, was said to “think more of her pug than her children”.