Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Explore the history behind one of today’s top dogs – the Pug


You’ve probably noticed that the Pug is popping up more and more. With a cult following almost as fervent as Corgi lovers, Pugs have dominated both the Internet and our homes – especially city apartments. But as big as Pugs have blown up in recent years, they’re a breed with plenty of history. There are even some who assert that Winston Churchill didn’t own an English Bulldog, but in fact was the proud pet parent of Pugs! Curious where this dog breed got its start? Check out this short history from the American Kennel Club.

Mysterious origins to lofty thrones. We don’t know exactly where Pugs got their start, but it’s likely that these dogs originated in Eastern Asia, especially since they bear some resemblance to Pekingese. Pugs were bred in ancient China, and they could be found as pets in the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet. Eventually, Pugs made their way to Europe, where, over time, they climbed the English social ladder and ended up becoming the official dog of the House of Orange. As the story has it, a little Pug actually saved the life of William of Orange by alarming him to the approach of the Spanish army during a 16th-century war.

In 1790, Napoleon’s wife Josephine reportedly had her pet Pug, named Fortune, carry secret messages to the famous emperor during his imprisonment in Paris’s Carmes jail. According to the AKC, one of the best descriptors for Pugs is the Latin “multum in parvo” – or, “a lot of dog in a small space.” It’s hard to measure dog intelligence, so sources disagree on how bright Pugs are. But there’s no disputing their larger-than-life personality. It’s probably why so many Pugs have made a splash throughout history and continue to do so today.

Famous and inspiring Pugs. While Fortune, that clever Pug of Josephine’s, is one of the more famous examples of this well-loved breed, other Pugs have also left their mark on history – often through inspiring their pet parents and offering companionship. Pug Village notes that the author Harriet Beecher Stowe kept two Pugs named Punch and Missy. Meanwhile, the beloved English painter William Hogarth had a Pug named Trump, who showed up in at least one or two famous works. And it’s known that the renowned Italian designer Valentino was also a Pug lover. His dog, Oliver, was the nominal inspiration behind Valentino’s famous lines of shirts and cardigans, notes the news source.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.