The Breed has a long history, and has changed remarkably little in appearance over the centuries. What makes a Pug look like a Pug?
Breeders of pedigree dogs have a standard, commonly known as the “Breed Standard”. This is the blueprint for describing what the perfect animal should look like, what their temperament should be and also outlining the characteristics of the breed.
Whilst there may be no such thing as the “Perfect Dog” breeders aspire to produce dogs tat conform as closely as possible to what the Breed Standard states. In show’s the judges use the Breed Standard as their guide and they also judge how close to the Breed Standard in their opinion that competing dog is. The dog that comes closest to what the judges determine to be the closest to the Breed Standard will win top honours.
This does have significance beyond the sport of showing for it is the dogs that win in the ring that will be used for breeding. Todays show winners are responsible for passing their genes to future generations and preserving the Breed Standard.
There are minor differences in the wording of the Breed Standard, depending on the Kennel Club stating the Breed Standard, Mostly the descriptions are very similar.
So What is the Breed Standard for the Pug? See below and you can see for yourself.
Decidedly square and cobby, it is ‘multum in parvo’ shown in compactness of form, well knit proportions and hardness of muscle, but never to appear low on legs, nor lean and leggy.
Great charm, dignity and intelligence.
Even-tempered, happy and lively disposition.
Head and Skull
Head relatively large and in proportion to body, round, not apple-headed, with no indentation of skull. Muzzle relatively short, blunt, square, not upfaced. Nose black, fairly large with well open nostrils. Wrinkles on forehead clearly defined without exaggeration. Eyes or nose never adversely affected or obscured by over nose wrinkle. Pinched nostrils and heavy over nose wrinkle is unacceptable and should be heavily penalised.
Dark, relatively large, round in shape, soft and solicitous in expression, very lustrous, and when excited, full of fire. Never protruding, exaggerated or showing white when looking straight ahead. Free from obvious eye problems.
Thin, small soft like black velvet. Two kinds – ‘Button ear’ – ear flap folding forward, tip lying close to skull to cover opening. ‘Rose ear’ – small drop ear which folds over and back to reveal the burr.
Slightly undershot. Wide lower jaw with incisors almost in a straight line. Wry mouths, teeth or tongue showing all highly undesirable and should be heavily penalised.
Slightly arched to resemble a crest, strong, thick with enough length to carry head proudly.
Legs very strong, straight, of moderate length, and well under body. Shoulders well sloped.
Short and cobby, broad in chest. Ribs well sprung and carried well back. Topline level neither roached nor dipping.
Legs very strong, of moderate length, with good turn of stifle, well under body, straight and parallel when viewed from rear.
Neither so long as the foot of the hare, nor so round as that of the cat; well split up toes; the nails black.
High-set, tightly curled over hip. Double curl highly desirable.
Viewed from in front should rise and fall with legs well under shoulder, feet keeping directly to front, not turning in or out. From behind action just as true. Using forelegs strongly putting them well forward with hindlegs moving freely and using stifles well. A slight unexaggerated roll of hindquarters typifies gait. Capable of purposeful and steady movement.
Fine, smooth, soft, short and glossy, neither harsh, off-standing nor woolly.
Silver, apricot, fawn or black. Each clearly defined, to make contrast complete between colour, trace (black line extending from occiput to tail) and mask. Markings clearly defined. Muzzle or mask, ears, moles on cheeks, thumb mark or diamond on forehead and trace as black as possible.
Ideal weight 6.3-8.1 kgs (14-18 lbs). Should be hard of muscle but substance must not be confused with overweight.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.