The Asian certainly gave the world tiny little Pug but during what century or when, there is no exact answer. There is a Chinese object d'art showing two Pugs, one in a reclining position, the other in a sitting position. On both of the figures, the tail is curled; the ears are small and fall forward as button ears; the blunt face with wrinkles clearly discernible, has large, almost round eyes; and the artist certainly meant the observer to see a short coat. Upon inquiry, it was learned from the importer that this piece predated the Christian era by several hundred years and the Pugs were, at the time the object was created, termed "Fu" or "Foo" dogs.
There is little, if any doubt that his "Fu" dog is the breed we now term Pug. It is generally conceded that the Pug was brought to Holland and later to England.
In Holland, the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange after one of the breed saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving alarm at the approach of the Spaniards at Hermingny in 1572. An effigy of the monarch with his Pug at his feet is carved over William's tomb in Delft Cathedral. Later, when William II landed at Torbay to be crowned King of England, his retinue included his beloved Pugs and they became the fashionable breed for generations.
By 1790, the Pug's popularity had spread to France where Josephine, wife of Napoleon, depended on her Pug "Fortune" to carry secret messages under his collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes. Fortune must have had a possessive nature, for it is said that he bit the future Emperor when he entered the bedchamber on his wedding night.
However, for sure this breed also appeared in Russia and France at an early date. Hundreds of years ago, Pug dogs were a feature of the Moscow market; fine specimen. Varieties are fawns, also blacks and light creams. A black mask in fawns is an asset.
Originating in China, this attractive Pug became very popular in England, and was kept by people of taste and refinement. A very old breed, and now has become popular again. The theory that Pug dogs were imported from Russia is unquestionably correct. Pugs were imported in large quantities from that country during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but there is no trace of Pug dogs ever having been imported from Russia prior to the importation of Pug dogs from Holland. The ancient Pug and the modern Pug are easily identifiable as a breed.
It is doubtful that there is any other breed of dog whose fundamental characteristics have remained as constant over an unknown number of centuries as that of the Pug. However, the Pug of today shows marked improvement symmetry of body to head; in the shortening of muzzle; and the overall squaring of the head and body - all due to selective breeding. At one time, the ears of the Pug were cropped. However, some Pug convinced some sensitive human that this atrocity must stop, so today the Pug has his beautiful black, velvety soft ears left just as nature intended.