Pug - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID


General Information - Pug



12-15 years




Watchdog ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:
Very low

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
Ancient times

Other Names:
Mops, Carlin

Original Function:


The word Pug is derived either from the Latin Pugnus, meaning fist, as the head may have resembled a clenched fist, or from the marmoset Pug monkeys that were popular pets in the 18th century and that the Pug dogs somewhat resemble. Whatever the name, one thing is true: The Pug’s official motto 'multum in parvo' (a lot in a little) fits it exactly. The Pug is somewhat of an exception in the toy group because it is perhaps the only breed to be descended from mastiff forebears. Although its exact ancestry has been lost in antiquity, the Pug retains many mastiff characteristics. This is an ancient breed, one of several miniaturized in Asia, where it was a favourite pet of Buddhist monasteries in Tibet many centuries ago. In China, the facial wrinkles were an essential breed feature, most notably the 'prince mark', or vertical wrinkle on the forehead, which bore a resemblance to the Chinese character for 'prince'. Pugs probably came to Holland by way of the Dutch East India Trading Company. They became quite popular and were recognised as the official dog of the House of Orange after one saved the life of Prince William by sounding an alarm at the approach of Spanish soldiers in 1572. By 1790, the Pug could be found in France; Napoleon’s wife Josephine used her Pug to carry messages to Napoleon when she was imprisoned. Pugs were first brought to England during Victorian times and became incredibly popular with the wealthy, displacing the King Charles Spaniel as the favoured royal breed. Pugs of Victorian England usually had cropped ears, further accentuating their wrinkled faces.


Playful and happy, dignified and funny, Pugs do well with visitors, children and other pets. Although sometimes stubborn, the Pug is typically pleasant and anxious to please. It loves to show-off.


The Pug needs daily exercise, either in the form of a lively game or a moderate walk on leash. It does not do well in heat and humidity and should not be kept outdoors. It needs minimal coat care but daily cleaning of facial wrinkles. Its smooth coat needs only occasional brushing to remove dead hairs; however, the wrinkles need regular cleaning and drying to prevent skin infections. The Pug wheezes and snores.

Pug Links

View Breed Standard

Print General Info

View list of breeders

View available litters

View list of clubs

Select another breed

Select another litter