Possibly the most distinct breed of dog, the pug is easily recognized by its seemingly squished muzzle and curly tail. While the pug has become a beloved companion in households around the world, this playful breed was first bred in ancient China. Buddhist monks of the fifth century were known to keep pugs as pets. These lively little dogs made great companions and helped to brighten up life in lonely monasteries. Chinese royalty also favored the breed. Many emperors owned pugs, and some even build miniature palaces for their prized pooches.
Eventually, pugs dispersed across the globe, finding favor with king and commoner alike. Some eighteenth-century Catholics were so fascinated with the breed that they founded the Order of the Pug after Pope Clement XII banned members of the Catholic church from joining the Freemasons. Members of this secret society instituted some rather eccentric ceremonial rites designed to genuinely embody the spirit of their namesake. Individuals wishing to join the Order of the Pug were required to put on a dog collar and approach the door of the meeting place on their hands and knees. Prospective members would then have to scratch at the door in lieu of knocking, and after they were granted entry, the new member would be barked at by the remainder of the Order, completing their initiation by kissing a porcelain pug.
Many of history’s most notable figures were pug owners. Queen Victoria owned a grand total of 36 pugs over the course of her lifetime and may have helped found the Kennel Club according to popular folklore. Winston Churchill was also a pug lover. Churchill owned pug named Punch, and even wrote a song about the pug for his daughter. Perhaps the most pampered pugs of all belonged to Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor. The Duchess fancied dressing her pugs up in mink furs and bejeweled collars and spritzing them with Dior perfume. These dapper dogs ate only the finest foods, dining on steak, liver, and gourmet dog biscuits.
Today, many families have included a pug as a beloved member of their household. Pugs are loving and affectionate, making the breed an excellent lap dog. They are also considered to be low-maintenance and require only moderate amounts of exercise to stay healthy. When pugs are not accompanying their owners on walks or playing fetch with their families, they love to nap, sleeping up to 14 hours a day.
Feel like a pug would make a good fit for your family? Why not adopt one today!
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