Pugs originated in China before moving to Europe and Japan. While the exact origins of the breed may be somewhat of a mystery, it is known that the pug has been around since about 400 B.C.
In Europe and Japan, the pug was a favorite amongst the royals. By around the year 1790, the pug had also become popular in France. In 1886, black pugs were imported into England from China. In fact, the pug was the first dog to be imported from China in large quantities. The pug became a recognized breed with the American Kennel Club in 1885.