Pugs - a Brief History
Wolves to Dogs
Wolves were first domesticated by our hunter-gatherer forefathers over 15,000 years ago. Since that time selective breeding has lead to dogs of all shapes, sizes and skills. You can find dogs to guard your property, round up your sheep, help in hunting but many are just our pets and companions.
For useful articles on the domestication of dogs see the Wikipedia article on the Origin of the Domestic Dog or an article in the Smithsonian Magazine, How Accurate Is Alpha's Theory of Dog Domestication?
Dogs to Pugs
Of the 100s of dog breeds, the pug is one of the oldest reaching back over 2,000 years. It is generally agreed that they were developed as companions for Chinese royalty. They were so well cared for that they had their own servants with guards to watch over them. This has left them well suited to the fawning and mollycoddling they receive from their owners.
Inevitably as their popularity increased they spread through the upper classes and then moved onto royalty in other countries, coming to Europe via Holland and then to England including Queen Victoria. The American Kennel Club has an article covering the history of the pug breed, suitably titled Origins of the Ancient, Wrinkly Companion Dog.
If you are interested in the history of the pug breed here are some more articles:
- The pug in Wikipedia
- Pugs: An Ancient Chinese Breed
An article by Jennifer Wilber which covers their history through China, Tibet, Europe and beyond including a Tibetan legend of eagles turning into flying pugs!
- The "Pugging About" website has lots of great information from how selective breeding has so changed their looks and the effect it has had on their health.
- As a result of selective breeding, the modern day pug is unrecognisable from its ancestors. The "Culture Hook" website has a very good article on how much pugs have changed over the last 200 years.
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