Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Pug Craze- Why are they so popular?



You might have noticed that in recently,  Pugs seem to be EVERYWHERE. They're on T-shirts, mugs and in the hands of celebrity owners like Billy Joel, Kelly Brook and Dennis Quaid. This blog entry is dedicated to discovering exactly where the Pug came from and why exactly this cute mutt has become so popular.


Kelly Brook and her pug Rocky
Pug Apparel


A short History of the Pug

Pugs are an ancient breed dating back to the Han dynasty in imperial China. They were a dog of the wealthy, with the wrinkles on their face supposedly resembling the symbols of "Prince". The Pug was brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Trading Company and was popularised by the House of Orange in the 16th Century. In fact, in 1572, it was reported that a pug named Pompey saved the life of the Prince of Orange by barking to alert him to would-be assassins.


 Princess Ekaterina Dmitrievna Golitsyna in 1759 with her pampered Pug

By 1790, the Pug makes an appearance in French elite life, with Napoleon's first wife Josephine using her pug to carry messages to her betrothed from Les Carmes prison whilst her family were imprisoned there.
Across the pond in England, Queen Victoria had a fondness for Pugs, helping replace the King Charles Spaniel as the dog of choice amongst the rich and powerful. She bred her own Pugs, with Olga, Pedro, Fatima and Venus amongst her favourite pups.

Fast forward to the 90s, and pugs are everywhere in the media. Popular TV shows like Eastenders, the West Wing, Spin City and others. In film, who could forget Frank the pug in Men in Black or Percy in Disney's Pocahontus?Boybands like N-Sync and the Backstreet Boys were even doting on their Pugs in photo shoots and album covers. 


Frank, the unlikely star of Men in Black


In fact, the popularity of Pugs increased so much in the decade that in 1993, Pugs ranked 28th in most popular dog breeds in the United States. By 1999, they were the 16th most popular registered dog in the States.

What makes them such good pets?

The Pug is officially classed as a toy dog, with a wrinkly, flat face and curly tail. Pugs come in a variety of colours including black, fawn, apricot or silver fawn. Whilst small enough to fit comfortably in any home, the pug is often described as "much in little" with its personality and stature that of a much bigger dog. In fact, they are the largest of the Toy breeds and due to their tendency to gain weight easily, they can often weigh as much as 6kg.


Dennis Quaid pictured recently with his porky pug

They are definitely creatures of comfort. They overheat easily, can be quite stubborn and need regular grooming to keep their sensitive skin wrinkles healthy.

 But most of all, we think Pugs are so popular because they are funny. Their playful and mischievous temperament combined with their sticky-out tongue means that they are a big crown pleaser. With a round body and expressive faces, here at Scruff we think they're only going to get more popular in years to come....








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