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    Pugs – cute flat-faced dogs full of controversy

    Facial wrinkles, curly tails, big eyes, and snoring are the most typical and recognisable features of pugs. They are very charming and social which makes them great companions. They originally come from China but their body structure has changed over the years and become a hot topic among pug lovers and veterinarians.

    In the 16th century, pugs travelled to Europe and became especially popular in European courts. The most popular puppy is Pompey the pug who served as the official dog of the House of Orange. According to the website, he rescued his owner, the Prince of Orange, by barking at assassins who wanted to kill the prince. Over the centuries, pugs were associated with aristocracy and the wealthy. This breed flourished under the patronage of Queen Victoria and she had a grumble* herself. 


    Unfortunately, pugs of the 21st century do not resemble their ancestors. The breeding process of pugs and various crossings are the reason for the health issues faced by them today. Originally a pug muzzle was longer which prevents the problems connected with breathing and reverse sneezing (paroxysmal respiration). Due to these issues, some countries enforced the laws that prohibit the breeding of dogs with muzzles considered to be too short. In the Netherlands, the list consists of 20 breeds, including pugs. The studies conducted by the UK, especially by the British Veterinary Association, present the statistics that prove the distressing health problems of the breed such as eye ulcers, obesity, and painful spine abnormalities.


    However, in Poland, the most significant problem that affects the breed is puppy mills, also known as puppy farms. Unlicensed breeders treat pugs brutally and sell the puppies at lower prices. The brachycephalic dogs are demanding and need special conditioning which is not provided in such mills.


    The phenomenon of retro pug breeding is the alternative method that prevents the issues of the modern pug’s appearance. Although Polish law does not prohibit the breeding of pugs, potential owners have to be aware of the problematic life of these lovely dogs. They need to pay attention to the pedigree registration certificates and be ready for all health demands, such as visits to veterinary surgeries. Also, the owners should support FCI kennels only.


    *a grumble of pugs – the collective noun that describes a group of pugs and has been coined due to their snorting and grunting


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