If you ever consider enrolling your Pug in a competition, you will find that there are thousands of American Kennel Club affiliates from which to choose. Each of these clubs will have their own set of rules, but some rules are pretty universal. Besides being a purebred, following are examples of some standard requirements:
AKC Papers are required to register for competitions. The breeder from which you purchased your Pug will have papers, as should individuals who are selling pure bred Pugs. If you rescued your Pug from a shelter, he or she may not have AKC recognizable papers. You can still compete if you obtain a Purebred Alternative Listing.
There are several Pug breed standards on which a purebred pup will be judged.
The general appearance of the Pug should be square, with his or her length being equal to or less than its height. The Pug should not have a leggy appearance, nor should it appear to have squatty short legs.
The term multum in parvo, is often used in describing a Pug. This can be loosely translated to mean, “a lot of dog in a little space.” A Pug is compact, with firm, well developed muscles, and ideally ranges in weight from 14 to 18 pounds. This applies to both the male and female.
The head is significant and round with no skull indentation, and is comprised of the following features:
The neck is sturdy, solid, and slightly arched to carry the head proudly. The Pugs short back is level from its highest point to its tail set. He or she is broad in the chest and well ribbed up. The tail is curled as tautly as possible over the hip, and a double tail curl is preferred.
The Pugs legs are set well under the body, and are very powerfully built, straight, and of medium length. When viewed from the side, the elbows should appear straight below the withers. The shoulders are fairly laid back. The pasterns are strong, with a gentle slope. The feet consist of spread out toes, with black nails, and are not quite as long as the foot of a hair, and a bit less rounded than that of a feline. Dewclaw removal is preferred.
Powerful hindquarters have a moderate bend of stifle, and the hind lower leg joint creates a right angle to the ground. The Pugs legs are parallel when viewed from behind. The hindquarters and forequarters should project the appearance of balance. The thighs and buttocks are brawny and full.
The Pug sports a short coat that is fine, smooth, silky, and glossy, as opposed to, stiff or woolly.
Recognized by the AKC are four colors:
A puppy’s coat color can change over time as the adult coat grows in. From time to time it happens that an owner will have an adult Pug who is registered as a color that that dog is not. Some clubs will permit an owner to amend the color on the registration, as many as three 3 times.
A black, and clearly defined, back trace is most desired, (the back trace being the darker line that extends from the back of the skull to the tail.) The more intensely dark and defined the Pugs mask, ears, moles on cheeks, and forehead diamond, the better.
When observed from the front, the Pugs forelegs must bear well forward, indicating no frailty in the pasterns. His or her paws should land solidly, with the central toes pointing straight ahead. The hind quarters should not show a twist or turn, and the hind legs must follow in line with the front. The limbs may naturally meet in both front and rear. The gait should appear free, confident, and jaunty.
The Pug is playful, charismatic, and mild tempered, often exuding a sense of dignity.
The standards outlined above closely follow those of the AKC Pug Breed Standards. Whether you choose to compete or not, why not take a few moments to see how your own Pug stands up to the standards!
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