Chindara Pekingese and Pugs - Noel & Denise King - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  pug history 

 

 

ORIGINS

Foo, or Fu dog Authorities agree that the Pug is of Oriental origin with some basic similarities to the Pekingese. Bred to adorn the laps of the Chinese sovereigns during the Shang dynasty (before 400 BC), in East China, they were known as "Lo-Chiang-Sze" or "Foo" (ceramic foos, transmogrified into dragon, with their bulging eyes are very Pug-like). The Pug's popularity spread to Tibet, where they were mainly kept by monks, and then went onto Japan, and finally Europe.

This breed may also be referred to as a "Lion Dog" or "Foo (or Fu) Dog" due to its resemblance to Chinese guardian lions just like the Pekingese dog breed from China of similar origin and resemblance to Chinese guardian lions which are considered a guardian spirit.

Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

The breed was first imported in the late 16th and 17th centuries by merchants and crews from the Dutch East Indies Trading Company. The Pug later became the official dog of the House of Orange. In 1572, a Pug saved the Prince of Orange's life by barking at an assassin. A Pug also traveled with William III and Mary II when they left the Netherlands to ascend to the throne of England in 1688. This century also saw Pugs' popularity on the rise in other European countries. In Spain, they were painted by Goya, in Italy Pugs dressed in matching jackets and pantaloons sat by the coachmen of the rich, and in Germany and France. Pugs appear several times as footnotes to history. Sometimes, they were used for Scent hounds. They were used by the military to track animals or people, and were also employed as the guard's dogs.

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

The popularity of the Pug continued to spread in France during the eighteenth century. Before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, Joséphine had her Pug, Fortune, carry concealed messages to her family while she was confined at Les Carmes prison. The pet was the only recipient of visiting rights.

Hogarth with his Pug, Trump, in 1745.The English painter William Hogarth (pictured left) owned a series of Pugs, to which he was devoted. In 1745 he painted his self-portrait together with that of his Pug, Trump, now in the Tate Gallery, London.

In 1860 British soldiers sacked the Imperial Palace in Peking and dogs of the Pug and Pekingese type were brought back to England. This was the first time since the early 16th century that dogs in any great number had been brought out of China. Black Pugs were imported from China and exhibited for the first time in England in 1886. One year earlier, in 1885, the Pug had been accepted for registration with the American Kennel Club.

In nineteenth century England, Pugs flourished under the patronage of the monarch Queen Victoria. Her many Pugs, which she bred herself, included Olga, Pedro, Minka, Fatima and Venus. Her involvement with the dogs in general helped to establish the Kennel Club, which was formed in 1873. Victoria favoured apricot and fawn Pugs, whereas the aristocrat Lady Brassey is credited with making black Pugs fashionable after she brought some back from China in 1886.

Double D Cinoblu's Masterpiece. The Pug arrived in the United States during the nineteenth century (the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885) and was soon making its way into the family home and show ring. In 1981 the Pug Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck won the Westminster Kennel Club show in the United States, the only Pug to have won since the show began in 1877. The World Champion (Best in Show or BIS) at the 2004 World Dog Show held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was a Pug, Double D Cinoblu's Masterpiece.

The Pug is well described by the phrase "multum in parvo" which means "a lot of dog in a small space." He is small but requires no coddling and his roguish face soon wiggles its way into the hearts of men, women and especially children, for whom this dog seems to have a special affinity. His great reason for living is to be near his people and to please them. He is comfortable in a small apartment or country home alike, easily adaptable to all situations.

 

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