Most agree that the Pug originated in China, dating back to around 700 BC. They were bred to be a companion dog, not a guardian. They were bred by the royalty and were pampered and spoiled. They have not lost this characteristic. Sometimes, as a mark of great esteem, they were given to members of the court. Some interesting anecdotal history (not officially verified but worth mentioning) includes an ancient Chinese law whereby only the Emperor was allowed to own a Pug. He could give a Pug to his own selected friends but otherwise it was punishable by death to have a Pug. When the Dutch started trading with China, the sailors smuggled some Pugs home to Europe where, being a small dog and natural companion, they quickly became popular. Again, they attached themselves to the nobility.