Showsight - July 2021


W e are all excited to get back to dog shows after our COVID hiatus. We want to restore that little bit of normal back into our dog life. It feels like we were all put on pause, there was a rewind, and now we are starting fresh. We are raring to go. With this in mind, I would like to take the opportunity to refresh readers’ understanding of some of the points of the Pug standard. I want to emphasize a few of the nuances that make a Pug, a Pug. I want to address the high points of type in our standard. I would certainly hope that anyone officiating in the ring already has a firm grasp of what mod- erate angles, moderate reach and drive, double tracking, and a level back mean. So, I’ll leave that for another discussion. I would like you to remember three important words when you think about a Pug; round head, square body, curly tail. These three words sum up the shape a Pug is expected to be. Say it again, “Round head, square body, curly tail.” Pugs are short-bodied, thickset, and square. We measure square from the point of shoulder to the ischium, and from the top of the with- ers to the ground. The standard calls for a Pug that is “ multum in parvo ,” which literally translate to “a lot in a little.” Basically, we are the con- crete block of the Toy ring. Calling for a lot in a little requires substance that is not overdone; nor should it ever be coarse. A fat Pug doesn’t have substance, he is just fat, and a scrawny adult clearly lacks substance. Admittedly, our standard can be confusing because it only addresses substance in terms of weight, stating weight from 14 to 18 pounds (dog or bitch) as desirable. And admittedly, today’s exhibits are often slightly larger than the “desired” weight we address in the standard. However, the Pug should be evaluated on the merit of its bone, muscle, and cobbi- ness as it relates to breed type. Always keep in mind that the Pug is a Toy breed of moderate angles. We never want to see Pugs that are excessively large, weedy, leggy, short-legged or long-bodied. Pugs never have a tuck- up. Our back is parallel to the ground and our underline is virtually the same. Think thick as a brick. Let’s move on to the curly tail. Our standard says the tail is curled as tightly as possible over the hip. The double curl is perfection. A Pug’s tail is a very distinctive characteristic, and a Pug carries his feelings on his tail. While a double curl is perfection, a tight single or 1-1/2 twist is perfectly acceptable and pretty much what you can expect to find. No daylight should ever be visible from within the curl. The tail should always remain curled tightly to the body—and this applies when mov- ing too. A low-set tail, a tail that doesn’t hold a curl, flops open when moving or shows daylight are all undesirable. It is not unusual for a puppy, or an exhibit that may have been startled by a noise, to drop its tail for a moment. However, when recovered, the tail should be carried high with that tight curl. (I joke that there are only three times a Pug’s tail comes undone; when he is ill, when he’s sleeping or when he’s dead.)


Here is a beautiful example of square, level back, the correct underline, and profile.


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