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Long Haired Pug

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Long Haired Pugs

The Mysterious Long Haired Pug

For as long as records show, this dog breed has had a short coat.. This is an old breed, thought to originate all the way back to around 700 BC. Ancient Chinese people owned flat faced dogs that according to writings were very similar to the dog that we know of today. They were most likely this breed's direct ancestors. They did have a very short coat, in fact the name for these specifically short haired dogs was lo chiang sze and later became lo-sze.  Due to its ancestry, this breed is often referred to by its nickname of the Chinese Pug.
Stepping ahead in history, In 1688, this breed became the official canine of Dutch royalty. They were considered to be very special, often brought along to important events such as royal ceremonies. This breed remained popular as time went on, Napoleon and his wife owned one in 1796. They were brought to American after the time of the Civil War.  

The breed was perfected and now the Pug as we know him today is popular all over the world.

There are rumors that still persist today that during the 1800's, there were long haired variations to be found. However, there are no records of any photographs. None. NOTE: Updated information: We may have found a long haired Pug despite the evidence that he can't exist, more ahead.
Black and white old Pug dog photo
During all of these time periods, there were no offspring that had long coats, at least none that were purebred.
And the Search Continues...

As we search for what type of dog may be considered a very rare, long haired versions of our beloved Pug, we have found a couple of things that may be what is causing this potential phenomenon and persistent rumors that such a canine exists:  Two different physical traits may be confused with a long coat:
Pug with very long tail
 Pug with a very long, uncurled tail; not a long-haired Pug, but may be one reason for the term.
Thickness of the Fur- This breed does have short hair, however its density can vary.

Most have 2 layers of hair, an undercoat and an overcoat. Both are short and thick (and tend to shed quite a bit). This is true for all except for pure black Pugs, which roughly 80% have just 1 coat of fur. 

Some may have a thicker top coat than others and this can sometimes lead to the dog having what is known as a more wooly coat....it may seem to be slightly longer than normal, but by all definitions is still short.

Tails - Another element that may bring one to think about long haired Pugs is that some have much longer hairs on the tail than the rest of the body.

As you can see on this dog above, the hairs on the tail are longer than the rest of the coat. However, with purebreds, this never extends to the back or any other area.
Cross Breeds

The photo that you see to the right is not a purebred, though at first glace one may think it is a long haired Pug. What you are seeing is a mixed dog. She is half Pug and half Pomeranian. We are not sure why anyone would want to mix those 2 purebreds, however this is the end result. 

The Pom has a famously thick double coat, the outer layer is long and creates an appearance of a "ball of fluff"...That breed is famous for its coat. Therefore, when bred together with a Pug, the offspring can be similar to this dog that you see here. The face is flat, the ears look about right, the body is short and stocky....and the coat is longer.
How Another Breed in the Bloodline can Cause a Pug to Have a Long Coat

When a puppy is born, it carries traits not only from its parents, but can also show traits going back, normally 5 generations, and sometimes more.
Pug Pomeranian mix
Therefore, when 2 Pugs are bred and the resulting litter produces a puppy with long hair, one may automatically jump to the conclusion that they have produced the much sought after and mysterious long haired Pug.

However, if any of the dogs withing those 5 generations back were not purebred Pugs and just 1 of them was a breed with a long coat, this can jump generations and cause the puppy to have that characteristic. 
Without carefully planned breeding, it is possible for a dog that looks exactly like a purebred to have a longer coat....

But it will be there due to a deviation from purebred breeding somewhere down the line, most often within the last 5 generations.

There is also the possibility that 2 dogs, a Pug and another with a long coat are bred together and the resulting litter holds some puppies that have much more of the Pug appearance that that of the other dog.

That puppy may then be sold as a Pug, when it is indeed not a purebred. If registered with the CKC (Continental Kennel Club) or other canine registry other than those that have strict guidelines, papers may misleadingly back up the claims of being purebred. 
Meet Velvet - Who is Technically an AKC Registered Pug with Long Hair
Real Long Haired Pug Dog
This is 15 year old Velvet, a happy-go-lucky senior Pug dog in the U.S. Is he living proof of an actual long haired purebred Pug dog? Let's look into this further...

Dyanne (last name withheld for privacy reasons), the owner of this Pug had seen what appeared to be a long-haired Pug at a farmer's market that was adorable. That dog's owner stated the dog was a purebred, though did not mention where he was obtained from. But this made her wish for that type of dog.

A few month later, in search of a Pug, Dyanne contacted 2 breeders. When one of the breeder's had a litter and told Dyanne that some of the pups had curiously longer coats than normal, that sealed the deal! She went over and choose the one that she wanted. While looking over the litter, she did notice that the ones with longer coats appeared to be slightly larger than the short coated puppies.

It is said that he came from a litter of 7 puppies, 3 of which had long coats. When he and the other pups with longer fur were born, the breeder was surprised and contacted the owner of the stud dog. She was told that the stud dog's grandmother had a long coat.
Long haired Pug AKC registration
Very interesting is the fact that this dog is registered with the AKC as a purebred. Here is a screenshot of the AKC registration with personal information blocked out. 

So, what we can say for a fact is that this dog - clearly with longer fur than a standard Pug should have - is registered as a purebred.

"Well, this answers it all!" you might say, "there is proof of a long haired Pug!". 
However, we must mention the following is possible:

1) All AKC breeders are on the honor system regarding the parents of a puppy.  In other words, if a breeder owns 2 purebreds and the purebred dam accidentally mates with a stray dog, a breeder technically can tell the AKC that the purebred sire is the father and without DNA testing - which is voluntary on the breeder's behalf - the AKC will trust the breeder.

2) While the registration shows that the parents are AKC registered Pugs, there is a chance that somewhere in the lineage (perhaps 3, 4 or even 10 generations back) there is another breed in there... somewhere... If so, the gene for the long hair jumped many generations. Since the great-grandmother of this Pug is said to have had long hair, perhaps that dog's grandparent was a different breed or something to this effect. 

Do, however, note that a 4th or 5th generation mixed dog can be extremely close to being a purebred. For example, if you had a Pug and Pomeranian mixed dog (50/50), that dog could have long hair of course. If you then bred that mixed dog to a purebred Pug, that 2nd generation dog would be 75/25. Wait for the pup to mature and then him/her to another purebred Pug and the resulting litter is then 93.75/6.25. Once again, and it is 96.875/3.125. 

And in this example, a 5th generation dog that had long hair but looked like a Pug would be 96.875% Pug.
What about DNA testing for this long haired Pug?

You didn't think this would all be cleared up so easily, did you? We must remember that Velvet is almost 15 years old. His owner tells us that many years ago, he had a health condition in which knowing if he had any other breed in his bloodline was important. Due to that, DNA testing was indeed done. We are told that it did come back saying "100% purebred Pug". Over the years, that document has been misplaced. There was never a reason for his owner to pay to have it done again, so there is - alas - no documented DNA proof.
Let's look at some photos of 'Velvet the long haired Pug' at several different ages, including as a puppy:
As you can see, this is one cute dog! Is he purebred? 

With AKC papers and from what we have been told, our guess would be that he is at least 95% Pug. And that somewhere, deep in the bloodline there was a long coated dog mixed in. 
Age progression of long haired Pug
Since this dog's great-grandmother was a purebred Pug with a long coat, that means that one of her ancestors - perhaps 3, 4 or more generations back from her was of another breed.
When you talk about another breed mixed in that far back, the dog in question is - by most assumptions - a purebred for all intents and purposes.

More about this remarkable long coated Pug: He loves healthy snacks for Pugs including carrots and apples and lightly snores when he sleeps. When he was younger, he loved to take long hikes with his owner. He even used to jump into water at the beach, though he doesn't have the best swimming skills.

He's also very crafty... he had learned how to unlock his crate and used to squeeze toys to let out noises to wake his owner when he had to go to the bathroom.

He is now in his golden years, enjoying his life with his loving owner whom we want to thank for sharing her story and these amazing photos of what may be evidence of a true, long haired Pug. 
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