The Pug is one of those breeds that, due to its characteristic appearance, is easily recognized even by those who do not consider themselves an expert in dog breeding. Of course, the modest size and special benevolence do not allow assigning the functions of a reliable guard to this pet, but as a loyal friend for the whole family and a source of positive emotions, the pug is ideal.
#1 Although visually pugs are somewhat reminiscent of English bulldogs, boxers and the now extinct Bullenbeisers from Germany, in fact, their roots should be found in the East.
Moreover, you will have to dig deeper, because the first images of short-faced dogs that have survived to this day on ancient artifacts and references to them in historical documents date back to the 6th – 4th centuries BC. The famous ancient Chinese philosopher and politician Confucius speaks of them as companions of the nobility traveling on chariots.
#2 For a long time, it was believed that another popular Chinese breed, the Pekingese, originated from the pugs.
However, genetic studies make it possible to say with confidence that family ties are built in the reverse order: long-haired dogs appeared much earlier, their direct ancestors were Lhasa-apso or Chemdze-Apso, who guarded Tibetan monasteries, and pugs are either a cultivated natural mutation or the result of crossing with others. short-haired breeds. Perhaps that is why the Pekingese were considered exclusively imperial pets for centuries. But not everyone could afford to have pugs either. This was the privilege of courtiers close to the ruler. The conditions for keeping miniature dogs were truly royal, they ate much better than most ordinary subjects, often had their own chambers, servants for walking, and personal protection. For an attempt to steal such a dog, severe punishment was imposed, up to the death penalty.
#3 Researchers suggest that the first European who happened to see the unusual pets of Chinese nobles was the Venetian merchant and traveler Marco Polo, who lived for seventeen years in an exotic country for a European.
His “colleagues” from Holland and Portugal ended up in the Celestial Empire only two centuries later, during the era of the great geographical discoveries. They brought to their homeland not only silk and spices but also charming Lo Chiang Jie, soon renamed into a simpler pronunciation "pug".