It's no hunting or watch dog; but the wrinkle-faced pug is a charming and adorable companion — and currently a very popular breed. So much so that a Düsseldorf museum has dedicated an exhibit to the irresistible pooch.
It's all about pugs at the Hetjens German Museum of Ceramics as little porcelain pugs peer at visitors from showcases, or pug pendants dangle from bracelets placed on voluminous rococo crinoline shirts.
These adorable canine curios are part of the "Housetraining Guaranteed" exhibition that opens on February 24 at the Düsseldorf museum.
A long journey
Pugs came to Europe from China, where they have been bred for 2,000 years.
The dog was meant for the emperor only, says Düsseldorf city spokeswoman Valentina Meissner. But several pugs were smuggled out of the Forbidden City, and in the 18th century, the little dog reached Europe via Britain and the Netherlands.
Back then, aristocratic ladies almost exclusively owned the loyal little dogs, says Meissner. Today, in a veritable pug revival, the list of pug lovers seems endless, she adds.