It’s hard not to like those perky pugs – their harmless appearance and playful nature have made them a favorite pet of people worldwide. Their size also gives nearly everyone a chance to own one of these beautiful specimens, regardless of whether they live in a big house or a small apartment.
Pugs make great companions, but there are plenty of things about them that can catch pet owners by surprise. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about pugs.
- Despite the pug’s immense popularity in North America and Europe, they actually come all the way from China. They were bred with a single purpose – to look posh while sitting on an emperor’s lap. While few Chinese emperors of old are remembered for their fondness of cute things, we have them to thank for pugs and their adorable appearance.
- Pugs are, at their core, lazy. The stereotypical canine is always running around and waiving its tail, barking and jumping up to catch that frisbee or tree branch. Pugs couldn’t care less, though – some of them will spend two thirds of any given day sleeping and dozing off. If you’re looking for a hyperactive dog who’s always ready for action, the pug will have to disappoint.
- In line with their lazy nature and original purpose as eye candy, pugs’ bodies are even more frail than you might think. Even a pug in good shape will struggle to run faster than 5 miles per hours, with some members of the species barely able to achieve half that. Similarly, while many dogs are great swimmers and have even been known to rescue people from drowning, pugs can barely swim due to their short legs and weak bodies. Adding to all this, they also catch colds and similar sicknesses easily because of their small noses, making them vulnerable to cold weather.
- Somewhat acting as an extension of the last point, while the wrinkles on pugs’ faces are part of what makes them so nice to look at, they also make the species very vulnerable to bacteria accumulation and all sorts of infections. Hence, pugs rely on humans in order to stay healthy more than most dogs – if you’re looking to get a pug, be prepared to clean its face regularly and thoroughly.
- With all the talk of pugs’ frailty, you’d probably never think they saw military action. You might be surprised to know that pugs weren’t uncommon in the military some centuries ago – while they weren’t much use in combat, their exceptional sense of smell allowed them to track anything military personnel needed, be it other people, animals or objects.
- Pugs rarely bark, so they won’t make very good guard dogs, even if you could somehow conceal them so that the burglar doesn’t simply scoff at the tiny size. However, they’re known for their ability to produce a variety of other, colorful sounds – pugs love singing along and even ‘talking’ with humans. If you’re a fan of karaoke, you might have just found yourself the best kind of dog to duo with.