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First of all the Pug is one of the oldest existing breeds, tracing its roots back to China, Tibet, then Japan and Europe. From 400 B.C. through time, he has always been domesticated, and has entered himself to mankind.
The truth how the pug came to be is somewhat a mystery. But scientists agree that it was of Oriental origin, with some resemblances to the Pekingese. In China Pugs were kept by Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, This is its earliest Know source. It appeared then in Japan, and then it was brought to Europe, where it became a favorite of different royal courts.
On the other hand, part of the breed experts think that Pugs are somehow miniaturized from Mastiffs approximately 2,400 years ago.
In 1572, the Pug was chosen as the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland when a silver Pug named Pompey saved the life of his master, William, Prince of Orange. Upon hearing enemy soldiers, Spaniards approaching of Hermingny, Pompey licked William's face and barked noisily until the prince awoke. William then grabbed Pompey, and ran to safety. To mark the whole event and the importance of Pompey, an effigy of Willliam and his pug is carved over William's tomb in Delft Cathedral.
In Holland also, Pugs were once known as "Mopshond," from the Dutch word meaning to grumble.
Later William ll landed at Torbay to be crowned King of England and his entourage included his beloved Pugs. Pugs became fashionable for generations. So, step by step the pug climbed the ladder to high society of English Royalty. Queen Victoria loved and owned Pugs. The Prince of Wales gave a Pug named Bully to his wife, Queen Alexandra, before leaving for India.
Popularity of the Pug in England is however attributed to Lady Willoughby de Eresby of Greenthrope and Mr. Morrison of Walham Green. Lady Willoughby's dogs were mostly silver-fawn color, and Green's were a golden color. The black Pug made its way to England some time later, believed to be introduced by Lady Brassey.
Josephine, wife of Napoleon, owned a Pug named Fortune. Fortune was sleeping at the foot of Josephine's bed each night and he was known to carry secret messages. It is said that Fortune refused to leave at Napoleon's request -- on the couple's wedding night -- and bit him instead! And yet another king, Henry II of France found his Pugs more entertaining than the court jesters.
Last updated by Twirly the Pug Aug 24, 2008.