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10 facts about Pugs

10 facts about Pugs: Portrait of Pug wearing colorful bow tie and looking at camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are so many adorable facts about Pugs that it's hard to narrow it down to just 10! For example, did you know that the Latin phrase ‘multum in parvo’, which means ‘much in little’ is often used to describe these pint-sized cuties? Classified as ‘toy’ dogs because of their miniature size, Pugs may be small, but they make up for it with their big personalities. 

These clowns of the canine world are just gorgeous with their comedic expressions and squishy faces. They’re sweet-natured and affectionate and good with children and other dogs. One of the most popular small dog breeds, here’s 10 facts about Pugs that’ll show you why these low-maintenance lapdogs make for perfect companions.   

1) Pugs are one of the oldest breeds of dog

Pugs are believed to have originated in China around 400BC. Emperors kept them as lapdogs and they were held in high esteem. Pugs were given the true royal treatment – even going as far as getting their own soldiers and mini castles. It’s no wonder they like to be pampered and need constant companionship. The breed then spread to Tibet where Buddhist monks kept them as pets before Portuguese and Dutch traders brought them back to Europe in the 16th Century. 

2) Pugs have always had royal connections 

Pugs have been popular with royalty throughout history. The breed became the official dog of the House of Orange after a Pug named Pompey saved William, Prince of Orange’s life. His namesake William III and Mary II brought their pug with them to England when they traveled over from the Netherlands to accept the throne, while Queen Victoria was also a huge fan and even bred several Pugs herself. And over in France, Napoleon’s wife and Marie Antoinette were Pug owners.

3) They’re one of Hollywood’s favorite breeds

Today, a different kind of royalty has taken a liking to this lovable breed. Celebrities such as Kelly Osbourne, Paris Hilton, and Gerard Butler all have Pugs, but the real stars are the Pugs themselves. The breed has taken over Instagram and appeared in major films such as Men in Black, Pocahontas, and Patrick. While they can be one of the hardest dogs to train, they’re great on screen as they’re happy to play dress and up and have bags of charm.

4) They aren’t as lazy as you think 

10 facts about Pugs: Black Pug asleep

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While they were bred as lapdogs and do love to laze around the house Pugs aren’t lazy. They may sleep for up to 14 hours a day, but it’s mainly because they can. If you take them for a walk, they’ll be happy to trot alongside you and they’re very curious. Just make sure it’s not too hot outside as they can’t handle the heat. While they don’t need a lot of exercise, it’s important to make sure they do get some and you’ll want to monitor their food intake as well as too much of the best dog food can lead Pugs to become obese.

5) Their wrinkles were considered lucky

Pugs were bred to have wrinkles on their faces. That’s because they often form patterns on the forehead that resemble lucky Chinese symbols, such as the word “Prince.” Pugs may be cute, but owners need to be aware that their faces do need cleaning with a soft damp cloth as the folds are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Of course, their wrinkles aren’t their only defining feature. They often have a beauty spot on their cheek and a black thumbprint-like mark on their forehead. Their curled tail also makes them popular but only 25% of Pugs have the sought-after double curl.

6) They’re loud snorers 

Pugs are a brachycephalic breed. Because of their short muzzles and flat nose, they suffer from breathing problems. This also means they snore loudly. One Pug’s snores reached volumes of up to 96 decibels – that’s as loud as a motorbike! Make sure you invest in one of the best luxury dog beds (we recommend the PetFusion Ultimate Memory Foam Dog Bed) for your dog so they have plenty of room to stretch and keep their airways open. The condition also means Pugs catch colds more easily and struggle to swim. 

PetFusion Ultimate Memory Foam Dog Bed
One of Amazon’s best sellers, this bed may be pricey, but it’s excellent value for money and your pug will be able to rest its head and stretch out thanks to its supportive bolsters.

7) They shed lots despite their short coats

You wouldn’t think a Pug would shed a lot, but they do. Pugs lose their hair all year-round and, twice a year, double-coated pugs shed even more. While they’re small, they are the largest of the ‘toy’ dog breeds and they have more hair per square inch of their bodies than most, so be prepared to brush them and keep one of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair handy. Black pugs do tend to shed less than fawn-colored pugs as they're single-coated.

8) A secret society was named after them

Facts about Pugs: Portrait of Pug dog against grey background

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During the 18th century, the Order of the Pug or Mops Orden was formed in Germany. At the time, Catholics were forbidden from joining the freemasonry. It’s believed that Klemens August of Bavaria started this secret society that both male and female Catholics were allowed to join. The pug was chosen as the group’s mascot as it symbolized loyalty and trust. Initiation into the group involved wearing a dog collar and scratching on the door to get in.

9) They can be quite musical

One of the benefits of having a Pug is that they aren’t big barkers. They are quite needy animals, so one of the few times they pipe up is when they’re trying to get your attention or they miss their owner. However, they do have quite the vocal range. They often like to sing and make other sounds from howls and yowls to yips and yaps. This can be quite entertaining and is yet another reason why they’re big social media stars. 

10) No one knows why they’re called Pugs

It’s not clear where the name Pug comes from. Some people believe the breed was named after marmoset monkeys, also known as pug monkeys, which were popular pets during the 1700s and had flat faces similar to the Pugs. Others think the name comes from the Latin word pugnus, which means fist, as the Pug’s scrunched-up appearance resembles that of a human fist. Whatever the reason, the Pug is almost certainly named after its iconic facial features.

The ultimate forever friend

Pugs have a whole host of names depending on the country. In China, they’re called Losze, in Holland it’s Mopshond and in Spain it’s Doguillo. A group of pugs is known as a grumble because the breed is known for the nasal sounds it makes. But whatever you call it, this list shows you there won’t be a reason to grumble with this pooch by your side. 

Zara Gaspar

Former editor of World of Animals magazine, Zara is a freelance writer with a passion for wildlife. Born in South Africa, she developed a love of animals from an early age. She is currently looking for a bigger house just so she can get a cat and a dog.