The Pug possesses all the characteristics of a molosser dog (a square, cobby body and well-knit muscles), but in reduced format and with a curly tail. The ideal pug should neither be too lean and leggy, nor should it be long and low. Some authors have compared it to a small English Mastiff, but with the Mastiff it only shares a resemblance in the name (it was once also known as the 'Dutch Mastiff'). More about the Pug's appearance and typical traits.
Silver-fawn and a golden apricot-fawn are the most common colors, but Pugs also come in black. More about Pug colors.
Most dog historians agree that the origins of today's Pug can be traced back to the Orient, but many aspects of the Pug's history have been a matter for conjecture. It is not known, for example, how it first came to Europe, although it is recorded in Holland as early as the sixteenth century. More about the Pug's origins and history. As for the breed's name, numerous theories exists to explain how the Pug got its name, from the most straightforward to the most excentric ones. More at: Pug etymology.
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Pugs are THE companion dog par excellence; they have a great sense of humor and love the company of children. More about the Pug's temperament and character.
One of the (rare) downsides of the breed is their shedding. This problem seems particularly acute in some lines of fawn Pugs, due to the presence of both a coat and an undercoat in these lines. Not all Pugs are affected by this problem and to most dog people this will be regarded as just a minor problem.
However, it is something aspiring Pug owners should be aware of, especially if there is an allergy problem in their family or if they lack the time to vacuum or sweep their floors almost daily. More about shedding in Pugs.
Like Bulldogs, Pugs can be persistant chewers, not only as a puppy, but well through their adolescence. This chewing habit usually disappears when they become adult dogs. It is important to "puppy proof" your home with this in mind before bringing your new pug puppy home !
Because of their size and because they are not the typical yappy toy breed, Pugs adapt just as well to life in a small apartment as to a career on a larger estate. However, Pugs are indoor dogs, which means that they should not be left outside unattended and unprotected for longer periods of time.
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Overall Pugs are a quite healthy breed, but there are some health-comprising conditions to watch out for. More about the Pug's health. Pugs can be gluttonous and picky at the same time. They need good quality food that provides them with all nutrients necessary to keep their skin shiny and overall condition healthy without causing them to put up too much weight, a tendency seen in many ageing Pugs.
Perfect, cobby Pug with typical Pug face
Pugs playing the garden
Benji (foreground) and Shenshi