pug, breed of sturdy, compact toy dog that became popular in England during the 19th cent. It stands about 11 in. (27.9 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 14 to 18 lb (6.4–8.2 kg). Its short, smooth, glossy coat is either silver or apricot fawn in color with black mask and ears. As is true of most toy dogs that have short faces and tails curled tightly over their backs, the pug probably originated in China. Traders of the Dutch East India Company brought specimens of the breed back to Holland from Southeast Asia and later introduced them into England, where they quickly became fashionable with the nobility. Today the pug is raised as a watchdog and pet. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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