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All About Pugs

All About Pugs

The Pug, one of the top twenty most popular dog breeds in the United States, is an ancient breed of Chinese origin. They date back to at least 400 B.C. when they were prized by Chinese emperors of the Shang dynasty. At that time they were known as Lo-Chiang-Sze, “Lion Dog” or Foo (Fu) because of their resemblance to the Chinese guardian lions called Foo, which were considered guardian spirits. They share this term with the Pekinese which was also called the Foo Dog.

From these earliest times the Pug’s sole function was to live in luxury as a companion dog. Because of the breed’s popularity they spread to Tibet where they were kept by monks in monasteries, and then to Japan and later to Europe.

It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th centuries that Dutch merchants brought the first Pugs back to Holland. The little dogs quickly became the official dog of the ruling House of Orange which later came to rule in Great Britain.

History reports that in 1572 the Prince of Orange’s life was saved from an assassin because of the barking of his Pug. William of Orange, who became William III of England and his wife Queen Mary II of England took Pugs with them when they left the Netherlands for England in 1688.

Pugs became popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. They appeared in paintings by Goya and were dressed in clothing and rode with the coachman in Germany, Italy and elsewhere.

In France the Empress Josephine enjoyed the company of Pugs. She used her Pug, named Fortune, to carry secret messages in his collar to her husband Napoleon Bonaparte when she was temporarily imprisoned.

The English painter William Hogarth owned several Pugs and was devoted to them. He painted his self-portrait with his Pug named Trump in 1745.

Pugs were called Mopshond (to grumble in Dutch) in Holland and Carlin in France, but they picked up the name Pug in England. The name probably comes from their facial expression which resembles the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets in the early 18th century. The monkeys were also known as Pugs.

Pugs reached new heights of popularity with the dog lover Queen Victoria on the throne.

Queen Victoria bred Pugs herself Her involvement with the breed, and with dogs in general, helped found the Kennel Club in Britain in 1873. Queen Victoria preferred fawn and apricot Pugs while another early fancier, Lady Brassey, brought black Pugs back from China in 1886, making them highly sought after.

The Pug was brought to the United States in the 19th century and recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885, making it one of the earliest breeds recognised by the AKC. The Pug enjoyed great popularity only to dwindle in numbers by the turn of the century. Dedicated breeders kept the breed alive and gradually interest in the breed returned.

The Pug Dog Club of America was founded in 1931. At the current time the Pug is enjoying a renewed growth in popularity.

Only one Pug has won Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show: Dhandys Favorite Woochuck in 1981. At the World Dog Show in 2004 the Best In Show winner was the Pug Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece.

Hiring A Professional Handler to Show Your Dog?

Hiring A Professional Handler to Show Your Dog?

The American Kennel Club offers about 15,000 dog events each year in the United States. The UK Kennel Club offers around 3,200 events across the United Kingdom.

All ‘intact’ KC-registered purebred dogs are eligible to be shown at these KC-sanctioned dog shows. (Intact means that the dog is not spayed or neutered).

Dog shows evaluate dogs for potential breeding purposes so it would defeat the purposes of the dog show to have the dogs spayed or neutered.) There are Kennel Club member kennel clubs throughout the country which put together dog shows. Chances are that there is a show near you once or twice a year.

If you have an KC-registered purebred dog and you are interested in showing your dog at dog shows, do you need a professional handler to show it for you? That all depends.

There are some good reasons to use a professional handler but it is by no means a requirement. Many owners do show their own dogs and win, but it takes a lot of hard work and practice.

Reasons to use a professional handler:

1. You would like to have your dog evaluated by an objective observer.

KC registration guarantees you that your dog is a purebred but it does not guarantee you that your dog is ‘show quality.’ Not every dog born is capable of being a Best in Show winner or even of becoming a show champion.

A professional handler who is familiar with your breed can look at your dog and evaluate his conformation. He or she can tell you if you would be wasting your money by trying to show this particular dog. Most handlers are honest enough to tell you the truth. They are not lacking for clients and they don’t want to handle dogs that will make them look bad in the show ring.

If you do have a dog that they think they can win with, they will tell you that, too. If they don’t see show ring potential in your dog they may have connections with other breeders who have litters with show potential puppies.

2. If you do have a good dog you may not have the grooming skills necessary to make him look his best.

This can be particularly true if you have a longhaired breed or a breed that requires specialised grooming, such as a Poodle. A good handler can take a good dog and make him look great.

3. You may be new to showing and still learning.

A good handler can be very instructive and you can learn from him or her as they show your dog. Or, you can ask for some private lessons from a handler, either with handling or with grooming.

4. You may be a good enough handler to show your dog in small shows or to put points on them to finish their championship but your dog is better than you are.

If you have a great dog you may want to use a handler to help your dog go as far as he can go. You can use a handler to show your dog at big shows, where the competition is especially tough. You can earn the small wins but with a handler your dog could have a shot at Group wins or even Best in Show.

Of course, there are plenty of owners who develop their skills and compete against professional handlers. You can attend handling classes offered by local kennel clubs or, as mentioned, you can pay for lessons from a professional handler or ask for handling tips from other exhibitors. There are also some good books and videos available about handling, as well as some good seminars offered by former handlers.

The key to success is to pay attention to even the smallest detail of your dog’s appearance and to practice everything you will do in the ring until you can do everything smoothly. It’s an adage that good handlers do not draw attention to themselves. Everything they do puts the focus on the dog and accentuates his good qualities.

Remember that whether your dog wins or loses, whether a handler thinks he’s show material or not, he is still the same wonderful dog he always was. Shows are only a small part of your life or your dogís life. If you decide that shows aren’t for you there are many other fun things that you and your dog can do together.