Description & History

The Pug originated in China. The breed, which can be traced back many centuries, was probably brought to the west by Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century. It first became popular in Holland before being introduced to Britain.

The Pug is kind, gentle and trustworthy especially with children. Because of this, the Dutch called them "nursery dogs" and would leave them in the nursery to watch over the children. Also, it is considered to be a people's dog, as it likes to be close to, or even touching, its owner.

It reached the height of its popularity in the Victorian era and, perhaps more than any other breed, it has been owned by people from all stations in life. European and English royalty, aristocracy and ordinary working people, all favoured the Pug.

Henry II of France, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon's wife, the Empress Josephine and William Hogarth all kept Pugs. It was William III and Queen Mary who first brought the breed to England from Holland, when ascending The English throne in 1689.

George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, kept Pugs. These dogs were of German origin. Queen Victoria, who loved all dogs, was particularly fond of Bully, a fawn Pug, who was given to her by Prince Albert and lived many happy years with his mistress.

In more recent times the breed found favour with Duke and Duchess of Windsor and were their constant companions for many years. During her lifetime the Duchess owned twelve of these dogs.

Rosamund Walters.

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