Pugs are recognized as one of the oldest dog breeds on record, dating back to documents made by Confucius around 551 BC. They are believed to have originated in China, where they were considered to be prized possessions by Emperors. Some of these Pugs were even given their own palaces, guards, and servants! Their popularity spread through diplomacy (they were given as gifts by the Chinese to Japan and Korea) and through international trade. The Dutch East India Company’s trade routes brought Pugs to Western Europe and The Netherlands and the Pugs we know today are thought to have originated in England in the 18th Century. Still maintaining their aristocratic appeal, they were often present in court and with those in high society. The preferred coat color established by the English breeders was noted to be fawn, though black and silver coats were also recorded.
Pugs made their “trip across the pond” to America shortly after the Civil War. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885, where they were accepted into the toy group. The first and only Pug to have ever won the Westminster Kennel Club show was named Ch Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck, aka“Chucky” and did so in 1981. Throughout their existence, the popularity of the breed has experienced numerous surges. Those who’ve had the pleasure of knowing a Pug agree with the opinion that Pugs are a treasured gift and modern-day Pugs have definitely never forgotten their status as royalty!