The pug is a "toy" or very small breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail. Pug puppies are often called puglets. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colors, and a compact square body with well-developed muscle. They have been described as multum in parvo ("much in little"), referring to the pug's personality and small size. Known in ancient China as lo-sze, they may have been responsible for both the modern Pekinese and King Charles spaniel. They have Chinese origins, but were popularised in Western Europe by the House of Orange of the Netherlands and the House of Stuart of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Pug can suffer from a variety of health issues, including overheating, obesity, pharyngeal reflex and two fatal conditions which are necrotizing meningoencephalitis and hemivertebrae. In addition, care must be taken by their owner to clean the folds of skin on their face.

Pug Description

The breed is often summarized as multum in parvo ("much in little"), describing the pug's remarkable personality despite its small size. While the pugs appearing in eighteenth century prints tended to be long and lean, modern breed preferences are for a square, cobby body, a compact form, a deep chest, and well-developed muscle. Pugs have two distinct shapes for their ears, "rose" and "button". "Rose" ears are smaller than the standard style "button" and are folded with the front edge against the side of the head. Breeding preference goes to "button" style pugs. The legs are very strong, straight, of moderate length, and are set well under. The shoulders are moderately laid back. The pasterns are strong, neither steep nor down. The feet are neither so long as the foot of the hare, nor so round as that of the cat; well split-up toes, and the nails black. The lower teeth normally protrude further than their upper, meeting in an under-bite.

Pug Coat and color

Their smooth, glossy coats can be fawn, apricot, silver or black. There is also the rarer white pug which gets its coat via breeding or albinism. A silver coat is characterized by a very light coloured coat, absent of black guard hairs. A silver pug typically has a very dark head, with no clear delineation at the mask, and dark forelegs. The markings are clearly defined. The trace is a black line extending from the occiput to the tail. The tail normally curls tightly over the hip.

Pug Temperament

Strong willed but rarely aggressive, the pug is suitable for families with children. The majority of the breed is very fond of children and sturdy enough to properly play with them. They can be quiet and docile but also vivacious and teasing depending on their owner's mood. They can make good watchdogs, they are always alert and sometimes yappy.

Pug Health problems

Since pugs lack longer snouts and prominent skeletal brow ridges, they are susceptible to eye injuries such as puncture wounds and scratched corneas and painful entropion. They also have compact breathing passageways, leaving many unable to breathe properly or efficiently regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue. A pug's normal body temperature is between 101 °F (38 °C) and 102 °F (39 °C). If the temperature rises to 105 °F (41 °C) they are no longer able to cope with cooling themselves and their oxygen demand is greatly increased, and requires cooling down immediately. Should the temperature reach 108 °F (42 °C), the internal organs begin to break down at a cellular level which can lead to severe long term health issues or even death.

Pugs living a mostly sedentary life can be prone to obesity, though this is avoidable with regular exercise and a healthy diet.[21]A UK Kennel Club survey puts the average life span of Pugs at 10 years.

An investigative documentary carried out by the BBC found significant inbreeding between pedigree dogs, with a study by Imperial College, London, showing that the 10,000 pugs in the UK are so inbred that their gene pool is the equivalent of only 50 individuals.

Pug Serious issues

Pugs can suffer from necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME), also known as pug dog encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain and meninges, that also occurs in other small-breed dogs, such as the Maltese and Chihuahua. There is no known cause or cure for NME, although it is believed to be an inherited disease. All dogs usually die or are euthanised within a few months after the onset of clinical signs, which usually occurs anywhere from 6 months to 7 years of age.

This breed, along with other brachycephalic dogs (e.g., boxers, bulldogs), are also prone to hemivertebrae. The screwtail is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs in other areas of the spine it can be devastating, causing such severe paralysis that euthanasia is a serious recommendation. The condition occurs when two parts of the spinal vertebrae do not fuse properly whilst a young pug is still growing, resulting in pressure being placed on the spine.

Pug Common conditions

As they have many wrinkles in their faces, owners normally take special care to clean inside the creases, as irritation and infection can result from improper care. Hip dysplasia is a major problem for the breed, with 63.8% of pugs being affected according to a survey performed by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and they were ranked second worst affected by the condition out of 157 breeds tested.

The pug, like other short-snouted breeds, has an elongated palate. When excited, they are prone to "reverse sneezing," where the dog will quickly, and seemingly laboriously, gasp and snort. The veterinary name for this is Pharyngeal Gag Reflex. This is caused by fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing. "Reverse sneezing" episodes are usually not harmful to the pug and resolve themselves. Massaging the dog's throat or covering its nose in order to make it breathe through its mouth can often shorten episodes.

Pugs are one of several breeds that are more susceptible to Demodectic mange, also known as Demodex. This condition is caused by a weakened immune system, and it is a minor problem for many young pugs. This causes them to catch diseases much more easily than regular dogs do. It is easily treatable although some are especially susceptible and will present with a systemic form of the condition. This vulnerability is thought to be genetic, and breeders avoid breeding dogs who have had this condition. Inbreeding is also a known cause for these problems.

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