Did you know that the Pug was originally bred as an adorable lap dog? If you have ever been lucky enough to meet a Pug you would know they are perfect for the job.
Pugs were first bred in the Shang dynasty (sometime before 400 BC) for Chinese rulers. At that time they were known as "Lo-Chiang-Sze" or "Foo". There are many references to this early Pug-like dog. Ceramic "Foos" were made that were more dragon than dog, however, you can still see the resemblance in their eyes.
Confucius made references to the cute little dog breed as early as 551 BC. He described them as a sort of "short mouthed dog". These Lo-Sze could be derived from the modern Pekingese.
Shortly afterward the Pug's popularity spread throughout Tibet. There they were mainly raised by the Buddhist monks. From there they went to Japan and then finally to Europe where they were first introduced to the west. Still with all that is known about the Pug their true origin is unknown.
The reason for this is because Emperor Qin Shi Huang, China's first Emperor, order all records of the dog to be destroyed. This included all scrolls and art related to the Pug. Qin Shi Huang reigned China from 221 to 210 BC.
The Pug was also referred to as lion dogs, or fu (foo or fo) dogs. The Chinese people thought of them as guardians and statues of them were placed outside of temples. You have surely seen these lion like statues when you go out to eat at your local Chinese restaurant. Even today these unique statues can still be seen in our daily lives. If you look closely you will be able to see the resemblance to several different dog breeds from the era. These include the Pug, but also the Tibetan spaniel, Lhasa apso and the Pekinese.
The Pug was first imported to Europe in the late 16th and 17 centuries. The dogs were brought in from merchants and crews members from the Dutch East India Company.
True to its origin the Pug quickly became the symbol of another monarchy, the House of Orange. In 1572, the Pug named Pompey saved the like of the Prince of Orange. Pompey began barking when an assassin attempted to kill the Prince.
This isn't the only royal Dutch Pug. When William III and Mary II left Holland to take the throne in England in 1688 a Pug traveled along. This could explain where the modern English King Charles Spaniel since it is likely this little Pug was bred with this Spaniel's ancestors. This would after all explain the Pug like appearance of the modern breed.
Now that you know more about the lovable little dog you can enjoy the bred that much more!