The Ancient Dog That’s Played A Part In Over Two-Thousand Years Of History

Dog lovers make it a point of emphasis to learn all they can about their favorite species of pooch. They know hounds like beagles boast killer noses and those long-legged Greyhounds can run with incredible speed. But still, one beloved breed of dog remains a mystery…

Yup, even the most avid dog-lovers don’t know all the facts and rich, lengthy history behind this adorable breed of dog. But that’s what we’re here for — to throw you a bone and hand you a treat. We’re about to shed some light on the pug, one of the world’s most iconic dogs…

1. They’re older than Jesus: While early pug history remains a bit of a question mark, there’s no denying that they’re ancient. Current theories say they existed in China before 400 BCE, making them one of the oldest breeds on the planet.

pugscompilation1 / YouTube

2. Pugs were once royal: Buddhist monks first raised pugs as pets in Buddhist monasteries, and Chinese emperors revered them as lapdogs, offering the pooches all the luxuries of the royalty, including palaces and royal guards.

3. The Chinese read their wrinkles: Some experts suggest the ancient Chinese saw the characters of their written language reflected in pugs’s wrinkles. This was the canine equivalent of having a Chinese symbol tattooed on your chest.

4. There’s a word for a group of pugs: In some parts of the world like Germany and Holland, people call pugs mopshounds. The word means “to grumble” in Dutch — that’s how a group of pugs became known as a grumble!

5. Breeders gave them a nickname: Breeders like those within the American Kennel Club describe pugs with the Latin phrase multum in parvo, which means “a lot of dog in a small space.” That’s an apt description for the strong, yet tiny pooch!


6. The name “pug” has an interesting source: In the 18th century, marmosets were called pug monkeys and pugs were called mopshounds everywhere; maybe it was the dog’s monkey-like face, but somehow, the name pug jumped to a different species.

Ryan Dolan / Evening Telegraph News

7. There’s a secret organization named after them: After the Pope banned Catholics from joining the Freemasons in 1740, some dissidents formed a secret fraternity called the “Order of the Pug.” To join, you had to kiss a porcelain pug’s butt (seriously)…

…the Catholics chose the pug as the symbol of their secret society because the dogs were known for their loyalty and trustworthiness. Eventually, Catholic leadership caught on and started banning branches of this society, too.

8. There’s a pug with an MBA (sort of): In 2009, pug Chester Ludlow received an MBA online from Rochville University. He never attended class but still got an “A” in Finance. Unfortunately, the degree was awarded in a marketing stunt.

Get Educated / YouTube

9. They’re the official breed of a royal house: In 1572, the Dutch were embroiled in the Eighty Years War. Before a battle, the Dutch leader and Prince of House Orange, William the Silent, slept in a tent with his pug…

That night, a Spanish assassin moved in to kill the prince, but his pug — Pompey — foiled the attack by barking loudly and waking the Silent. Because one saved the prince’s life, pugs became the official dog of House of Orange.

Years later in 1689, when Prince William III and his wife Mary II became rulers of England, they brought their pet pugs, who each wore little orange ribbons to their owner’s coronation.

10. Pugs suffer breathing problems: The pug’s facial structure — which gives them their iconic smooshed look — makes it nearly impossible for them to take long, deep breaths. That’s one reason they don’t fare well in water.

Pets Roole’s / YouTube

11. Pugs snore loudly: Because of their smooshed faces, pugs snore often — and loudly. In fact, experts measured the volume of a pug named Otis’s snores and found they reached 96 decibels: just one decibel under that of a Boeing 737 passing a mile overhead.

12. They’re royal in the U.K., too: The Dutch and Chinese aren’t the only people to celebrate the pugs. Queen Victoria loved pugs and even issued a royal decree that banned citizens from cropping their ears.

13. Napoleon Bonaparte feuded with a pug: The French ruler’s wife Josephine had a pug named Fortuné she loved so much that she demanded he sleep in her bed. Rumors say the dog bit Napoleon on his first night in bed with his new wife.

14. Your cat’s got competition: If you own a cat — or if you’ve ever seen one — you know they sleep a lot. But some pugs can sleep just as much: on average, the breed sleeps about 14 hours per day! But that doesn’t mean they’re lazy…

15. Pugs aren’t lazy: Pugs only sleep 14 hours when they’re bored. They’ll walk if you want to walk, and play if you want to play. Add a natural curiosity that compels them to prowl around, and pugs only sleep when they’re waiting for something exciting.

16. There’s an “ideal” tail: A pug’s curly tail is just as iconic as their wrinkles and smushed face, but apparently, there’s a tail all breeders strive for. According to the American Kettle Club, “the double curl is perfection.”

17. They don’t get colds more often: Even some pug owners believe their pooches are more prone to colds (and their facial structure might suggest they are)! But in truth, they get colds just as often as other dogs — their symptoms are just more obvious.

18. They’re made to be companions: The reason why pugs have lasted over 2,000 years is that they’re the perfect friend! They’ll snuggle, they’ll play, they’ll sleep — they don’t care, as long as it’s with you!

So many people own and love pugs, but not everyone knows pugs were so prevalent throughout history! This is one incredible species of dog!

Share these pug facts with your pug-lovin’ friends below!

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