Retro Pug history: back to the original Pug
The name Retro Pug reflects the breeding ideology of breeders going back to the Pug's origins. However, this is subject to criticism too.
History of the Pug
The Pug presumably comes from the Chinese Empire, where it was bred for the nobility. At the start of the modern era, it came to the Netherlands and from there it conquered the salons of many rich ladies all across Europe. Interest grew at the beginning of the 20th century. Around 100 years later, the Pug became a fashion dog.
Unfortunately the original appearance has given way to extremes: the eyes literally bulge out of the small, wrinkled head. The respiratory tract suffers beneath the flat snout. Many nowadays consider the Pug in this form to be torture breeding. Breeding bans have already taken place in the Netherlands. Hence, reputable breeders are endeavouring to find new methods, which is where the Retro Pug enters the picture...
Back to the roots
Retro Pug breeders have abandoned the standards of Pug breeding. They don't exhibit their dogs and pair other breeds – prohibited in FCI pug breeding. Critics accuse Retro breeders of breeding hybrids. With cross-breeding, however, reputable Retro Pug fans are specifically following the plan back to the 100% Pug of around 60 years ago.
Unlike with hybrids or designer dogs, they specifically pair subsequent generations with one another in order to create a uniform phenotype. Nevertheless, Retro Pug breeding remains a controversial subject amongst Pug fans.
Are there alternatives to Retro Pugs?
So you love pugs but don't want to support the breeding of animals suffering from respiratory problems? A good idea – and not just Retro Pug breeders can make this wish come true.
Breeding programmes supported by the FCI are an alternative. Breeders don't pair any other breeds, but solely choose Pugs with a lower level of brachycephalia that have an FCI pedigree. However, these Pugs are not yet available for purchase.
Old German Pugs are another possibility. These are also pedigree Pugs that have been specifically paired with one another based on the old example.
Attention: Unscrupulous breeders focused on quantity over quality often advertise using the term Old German Pug even if it is a hybrid! The same applies for Pugpuggles and the Puggle designer dog, its origin. Alternative breeds are the Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.
Tip: there are many Pugs and similar dogs in animal shelters waiting for a new home.