The Latin word pugness, which means “fist,” is the source of the name of the Pug dog breed. Since the AKC first recognized this breed in 1886, it has been incredibly popular as a family pet and competition dog. Fist is an appropriate description of their facial characteristics because they resemble a closed fist.



The Pug dog breed is amiable, exhibits a self-assured disposition, and is quite playful. The Pug is generally a friendly dog who enjoys impressing its owner, especially if given a chance to brag. However, it can be a little headstrong and difficult to educate.

Pug Dog Breed History

Like many smaller breeds of dogs now prevalent in the United States, pugs were initially bred to sit on the laps of Chinese dignitaries during the Shang dynasty (roughly 1600–1046 BC).

The pug dog breed was very popular, and that popularity followed it to Tibet, where monks often kept them. The Japanese discovered their sweet temperaments and cute faces, as did the Europeans.



Once in Europe, the dog’s popularity grew, and the pug dog breed became the dog of choice for many Europeans. According to legend, a pug traveled with William III and Mary II when they traveled from the Netherlands to ascend to the throne in England around 1687.  

In Spain, the pug was included in a Goya painting, while it’s been said that a pug saved the life of the Prince of Orange by barking at an assassin.



The Italians, French, and Germans weren’t to be left out of the pug love, either. It’s been said that pugs were dressed in pantaloons and jackets and sat by the coachmen of the Italian, French, and German rich.

But pugs weren’t just kept for their good looks, however. They were also often put to work. They were sometimes used as scent hounds and employed as guard dogs. European military forces also used them to track people and animals.



Marie Antoinette had a pug before she married Louis XVI, and Josephine had a pug before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte.

That pug’s name was Fortune, and he was used for carrying secret messages to her family when she was at Les Carmes prison. The pug was allowed to visit her there, while other family members weren’t.

During the 19th Century, the pug dog breed was brought to America and was admitted into the American Kennel Club in 1885. Soon after, it was in the show rings and homes throughout the country.

Pug Personality

Pugs aren’t hard to care for, but like all breeds, they have needs. Learning how to take care of his needs is essential if you want to have a happy pug.

The Pug requires regular vigorous activity, just like many toy dog breeds. The best exercise would be a 20-to-30-minute brisk walk or a fun physical activity centered around a dog game.

The Pug dog breed is not the kind of dog that should always be left outside. This animal should live indoors because it can’t tolerate extreme heat and humidity. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with letting your Pug spend a few hours each day outside, but make sure he has access to lots of covered spots to hide from the heat.

Like all dogs, pugs need their ears and teeth kept clean. In both cases, begin when your pug is a tot. If you get them accustomed to it, they’ll be more open to letting you do it.

The Pug’s physical traits include a propensity for wheezing and snoring. This dog requires routine cleaning when it comes to grooming because of its extensive wrinkles, particularly on the forehead and neck. If the Pug gets wet, it must be dried off immediately to avoid a skin infection, which is often common in this breed.

Those facial folds that are so cute are also a breeding ground for gunk and smell. Keeping them clean benefits not only your dog but also you.

Health Concerns

Technically known as Luxating Patella, “trick knees” are common in pugs and other toy dog breeds. In the simplest terms, a luxating patella is the dislocation of a small bone in the knee called the patella. It dislocates from the femur, where it’s held in place by ligaments.

In mild cases, the patella will move back into its own. In more severe cases, the patella will fall out of place and sometimes move back in on its own, but at other times it will require the services of a vet to pop it back into place. But then it can pop out again and again. If the pug develops a severe luxating patella, he will often need surgery. The surgery can correct the problem, and it can help to rid the dog of pain.