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Pug

Tags: toy, Small-sized, Adaptable to apartment life, Requires firm, dedicated training, Calm temperament

My origins are in China, as far back as 400 B.C. and probably involve the Tibetan Mastiff -- hard to believe, I know, for a dog that now weighs in at 14-18 pounds. Then my ancestors (who always were treated well by the royalty) spread to Japan and to Europe -- Holland first, then on to France, Germany, and Great Britain (which claims development rights to the fawn-colored Morrison Pug and the black-brown-coffee Willoughby Pug). Whatever our color scheme these days (shades of fawn, including silver fawn and apricot, as well as the ever-fashionable black) we all wear the iconic Pug mask on our brachycephalic faces. The Pug was recognized by the AKC's Toy Group in 1885, and now ranks 17th on the club's list of dog registration statistics, right above the Shetland Sheepdog.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life
  • Affectionate family friend
  • Calm as a clam
  • Classy canine
  • Confident and self-assured

Report card

  • Even-tempered and good-natured
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Pleased to please
  • Socialization and training should start early
  • Training must be firm but gentle, patient and consistent

What to expect

I need you to know (and learn to deal with) a couple quirks in my Pug personality. I'll leave behind my puppy-phase silliness (rambunctious slapstick and all) when I mature as a dignified adult. Then you'll discover why the Germans call me the Mops (from their word for grumble) because I do have some gripes you should know about. First, those children! I can probably take the well-mannered ones. Rude, grabby imps are not amusing. Then there's the heat-and-humidity! My brachycephalic face leaves me with pinched nostrils, an elongated soft palate, and a lot of trouble breathing when it's steamy. I expect to be kept comfortable, and may snore and snort when I'm not. Also I hate to be left home alone, dust bothers my sensitive eyes, and the wrinkles in my face need your periodic attention. Beyond that, I'm a cheery pet to have around.

Watch for

Possible hip dysplasia, back problems, eye disorders (corneal ulcers, dry eye, and pigmentary keratitis), Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation (slipped kneecaps), and PDE (pug dog encephalitis).

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