Pug History Ancient To Present
History of the Pug
According to the London Zoological Society, the Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Ancient Chinese documents state that short-nosed dogs with the description matching that of the Pug existed in China at around 700 BC. These dogs were only breed and owned by the emperors. It is believed there is an ancient Chinese law whereby only the emperor was allowed to own a Pug, anyone other than the emperor could only own a pug if it was a gift from the Emperor himself, Illegal ownership of a Pug was punishable by death. The Pug had there own living quarters and servants within the royal palace and commanded the highest respect. Emperor, Ling (168-190 AD) was so taken that he gave these small dogs ranks, the females received the same rank as his wives. He also ordered that these small dogs are to be guarded by soldiers and fed only the best meat and rice.
The exact origin of the Pug is still under dispute some believe they originated from the chiang-sze, (later shortened to lo-sze During the Dynasty of Yuan (1206-1333 AD)), Others believe they originated from a little shorthaired dog with a flat nose and a tail worn curled on it’s back called the Ha-Pa and claim this ancient dog is the grandfather of today’s Pug.
The spread of the pug is said to have happened when the Dutch discovered China and started trade, the sailors smuggled Pugs out and took them home to the Europe where because of there small size become quickly popular as companions to the upper classes and nobility.
Pug history has it that when William the Silent invaded England, he took his Pug with him on the conquest and one night, as the Prince slept, assassins crept up on his tent. His Pug heard them and jumped up barking, and saved his master life. In 1688, the pug became the official dog of the Dutch royalty – the House of Orange. As Prince William travelled from Holland to England, to ascend his throne, his pugs attended the ceremony wearing orange ribbons.
Around 1736, the pug was the secret symbol of “The Order of the Pug” (Mopsorden), and the Freemasons.
Another Pug history story states that Josephine, before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, had a pug named Fortune. When they got married in 1796, Napoleon refused to let the pug come up to their bed at night. The pug reportedly bit Napoleon in the leg and Josephine announced that if the dog would not stay in the bed then neither would she. From then on Napoleon shared his bed with a Pug and Josephine. Later Josephine depended on her Pug to carry secret messaged under his collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes.
Pugs remained popular through the 18th century, but slipped in popularity in the early 19th century. After 1860 a new wave of pugs were imported from China with shorter legs and the now-familiar “pug nose”. There Popularity again grew when pugs became a favourite of Queen Victoria – who banned the cropping of pugs ears, feeling it was unnecessarily cruel.
Pugs only made it to America shortly after the American Civil War.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were probably the most famous pug fanciers in the 20th century. They took their pugs, (along with their pugs’ personal chefs and “pooper scoopers”) with them to almost all social activities. Pugs became popular in the United Stated in the 20th century both as pets and show dogs.
In the mid 20th Century pugs again seemed to go out of fashion but again started to make a comeback after the 1997 Hollywood movie Men in Black starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones where a fawn Pug played the part of Frank the alien. This role was later expanded in the 2002 sequel Men in Black II.