Pugs were bred to sit on the laps of Chinese emperors during early Shang Dynasty in East China around 496 CE.  (Shaolin's first pug's call name is "Shang" for this reason).  We firmly believe the ancient Foo Dog statues at the entrance of the first Shaolin Monastary in the Henan Province are actually statues of armored and flowered pugs. These huge pugs stand guard on this temple and have so for centuries..take a look! (Main gate of the Shaolin Monastery, Chan Buddhist temple at Song Shang in the Henan Province.  Of what is now the Peoples Republic of China).  The breeds popularity quickly spread into tibet, where monks commonly kept pugs.  (Co-incidentally, my family seem to have a love of Tibet-check it out..brother, Thomas Laird, author.)  
From Tibet and the Tibetian Monastaries the Pug breed later spread to Japan and Europe.  The beloved pug was first imported to Europe in the late 16th and 17th centuries by merchants and crews from the Dutch East Indies Trading Company.  During these centuries, the breed was commonly used as scent hounds.  (yes! scent hounds).  They were, also, used by the military to help track both animals and people.  The breed was later employed as the guard's dogs (not "guard dogs" but the guard man's dog).  By the 18th & 19th centuries, Pugs had spread through France before coming to the United States.  The pug was accepted by the AKC in _____. (hold that thought!)

My family have always loved and owned a pug in Florida when we where growing up.  As a child our pug was also named Shang.  That Shang was loved by the entire neighborhood.  As we recall that first Shang frequently stole our dinner from the table, chased the mailman, garbage man and trucks and cars with the best of them.  ...we knew not better in those days.  Shang also ruled over the family doberman who's name was co-incidentally "Bonnie".  Today 50 years later  & light years from that wonderful childhood home  I am again loved and protected by Shang and Bonnie....and yes, even Shackie.  


Pugs are very sociable, but they can be very stubborn at times.  The breed as a whole is clever, charming and playful.  They are very smart, and are known to succeed in dog training and obedience.  Shang Tu received his Confirmation Championship in 2008 and is now going on for obedience titles and doing very well.  Pugs like any dog enjoy a job & the rewards that come with a job well done.  For a Pug the job must first and foremost be a game.  Pugs are sensitive to the tone of a human voice, so harsh punishment is unnecessary and not forgotten.  Pugs have a very good memory.   Pugs are very receptive to positive reinforcement training and clicker training.  Clicker training with a pug is best taught early.  While pugs usually get along well with other dogs and animals, they generally prefer the company of humans, requiring a good deal of human attention.  In general, pugs are very attentive dogs, always at their owner's feet, in their laps, curled up at their feet, or following them from room to room.  Our pugs follow us all over the house all the time.  If I am watching TV in the living room and decide to go to the kitchen everybody follows.. it is like a wagon train.  When I am done in the kitchen and return to the living room...everybody follows.   


The Pug tends to range on an average of 14 to 23lb.  As they are more prone to suffer obesity, you must provide exercise for the laid back dog as well as a variety in the diet.  Pugs have a fine, glossy coat that can appear in apricot, fawn, silver or black.  Currently, all Shaolin pugs are fawn.  One male has a black background in his pedigre.  Bonnie in particular is a very nice clear coated fawn pug for which we are grateful again to the Saxten Kennel folks for the great effort they put into her breeding.