The stocky little dog with the easily recognizable mask and flat face was first registered into the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885, but it is thought that this breed has origins as far back as 400 B.C in Asia. Napoleon's wife Josephine owned a Pug named "Fortune" and Buddhist monasteries in Tibet kept the dogs as pets. Though they are called by a few names, such as Chinese Pugs or Pugs, the different names refer to one registered breed with a fairly distinctive personality and appearance.
Registered pugs come in three distinct colors, though there are more than three colors found in the breed. The fawn pug is probably the most recognizable, with the black pug coming a close second. As its name would suggest, the apricot pug is a tad darker than its fawn counterpart, with a slightly reddish hue. More rare are the silver pugs, brindle pugs and the genetically tweaked white pugs. With the exception of the white pug, all colors can have the trademark black muzzle that provides their mask.
Though they have different coats, pugs generally share the same fun-loving, affectionate demeanor. This naturally varies from animal to animal, however. Their serious muzzle can crack into an irresistible smile, demonstrating that -- despite how seriously the pug takes its job guarding you and your family -- it also loves to be the class-clown. They tend to get along well with both people and other animals.
If you are thinking about getting a pug you should be aware that these are very affectionate animals. They want to be near you pretty much all the time. Because they are not recommended for outdoor living, this means the dog will shadow you wherever you go in your home. Male pugs are more notorious for this than females, who tend to be more independent. She will do what makes her happy, whether you're around or not.
The pug is not recommended for those households that cannot accommodate an indoor dog, because it is more sensitive to heat and humidity. They can overheat and die after 30 minutes outdoors when it is very hot or humid. The pug is also prone to breathing problems thanks to their flattened faces, which require a bit more hygienic attention, due to the distinctive wrinkles. You should exercise your pug regularly to prevent obesity, which can shorten its life. Another consideration; is shedding. Its coat is short and requires very little grooming, but it can shed quite a bit.