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Pugs, Bulldogs, Frenchies and other Flat faced dogs
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The Pug resembles a miniature mastiff of ancient Chinese origin, which may explain why it was called the Dwarf Mastiff when it was introduced into Holland in the 1500s. The Chinese called it Lo-chiang-sze or simply Lo-sze, after Lo-Chiang, a place in China where the Pug is believed to have had its origin.
While the original Pug may have been larger with a longer muzzle, as shown in 18th and 19th century paintings and engravings, today's pugs are characterized by a square, cobby appearance and a round, flat head.
Various theories exist to explain the origin of the breed's name: its ressemblence with a clenched fist, its monkey face, etc. Other languages seem to have taken their inspiration from the theatre to name the breed. The etymology of the word 'Pug' is just one of the many mysteries that surround this breed.
More at Puginformation.org: see Pug etymology.
The Pug is a playful, even-tempered and dignified breed, that can be boisterous and willful on occasion. Their ability as watch dogs is not just a myth. It is not unusual for them to signal a person's presence even before they hit the door bell. Pugs usually have good judgement of what is just background noise and what is not.
The tail is a distinctive characteristic of the breed: it must be set high, and form a tight or double curl. Other distinctive Pug features are the thumb or diamond mark on forehead (once believed to be Buddha's thumb mark) and black moles on the cheeks (three on each cheek). The thumb mark is formed by a black outline of the fawn head wrinkles. Pugs come in fawn, silver or black.
Fawns pugs have a characteristic black mask, black ears and a trace or black line on the back, extending from the occiput to the tail. Originally, the trace was more intense and well defined, while the demarcation of the mask depended on the type of pug. The definite edge of the mask was typical of the Morrison strain of Pugs. In the Willoughby pug the black color generally extended higher up the skull and did not have the same distinct separation. Today, the trace (on the back) has largely disappeared, while the standard's definition of the mask has kept close to the Morrison type of Pug.