For six days of last week, I was lucky enough to be asked to stay and take care of three wonderful pups – two of which were Pugs. My husband stayed with me, and in the midst of the chaos (Buffy came with us…and when you are inside with four dogs it can only be described as chaos!) he asked me “So, what are pugs for?” I am forever spewing random facts about dogs and dog breeds, so I understood his question to be inquiring about what pugs were originally bred for rather than what purpose they serve in today’s society. (That purpose could only be to increase the world’s overall CUTENESS factor!)
I am embarrassed to stay, I was stumped.
“The Pug is well described by the phrase “multum in parvo” which means ‘a lot of dog in a small space.'” is the first sentence of the pug’s profile on the American Kennel Club’s website. Well, I definitely agree with that! These dogs have lots of personality. As a dog walker, I don’t come into contact with too many pugs – these guys usually don’t need a whole lot of exercise. The ones I do, though, have giant personalities. The tiny Pug puppy I was staying with was extremely playful and spent hours and hours chasing Buffy around. Buffy….the lab….being chased around by a Pug puppy.
One of the oldest breeds of dogs? They have been around since 400 B.C. 400 years before the birth of Christ!
They were kept by Buddhist monks? Really? I must say, I didn’t see that coming. Most of the pugs I know are pretty playful and spunky….I can’t really picture them in Tibetan Monistaries.
Comfortable in small spaces? That I totally knew. They were so popular in New York City. Those New Yorkers are always walking everywhere; they don’t want to have to walk their dogs after a long day of buses and subways.
For some reason, I also think of pugs in those beautiful old oil paintings in ornate frames in museums. Turns out, I’m not completely crazy! Apparently, a lot of wealthly ladies (who had money to throw around to get portraits painted of them) had pugs as pets.
So to answer my husband’s original question – Pugs weren’t really bread for anything other than what they do today – lay around and be cute! They have been fashionable in many countries and royal courts, and can adapt to any lifestyle they are thrown into. Great with kids, eager to please, adorable….sounds like a great breed to me!