The Portuguese theory on how the Carlino (Pug) arrived West may be a feasible one.
The claim is that the Portuguese traders brought Pugs around the Cape of Good Hope from China and sold the dogs to the Dutch.
Facts do prove that Portuguese traders were among the first to open commerce with China.
It is recorded that trade relations with Portugal were opened in 1516, with Spain in 1575, and with the Dutch in 1604.
There is no doubt that the sailors of Portugal and Spain would have been well aware that the wealthy ladies of their native lands would offer a very ready market for small dogs of a novel breed.
Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia de España, Peter P. Rubens,1609
Within this same period, Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, (1566- 1633), the daughter of Phillip II of Spain, made a famous pledge during the Siege of Ostend. She said that she would not change her linen until the fort was taken.
The siege lasted three years, and after all that time her linen was a brownish- yellow color.
In France, because of her pledge, the coat color of the Pug came to be called "Isabellan" .
Also, "Belle " or "Bella " became popular names for female Pugs, and "Pompey " or "Pompeyo " for male Pugs during this period.
Many artists have incorporated the charming little Pug in their paintings, and from these paintings we have a good indication of the high quality of the breed at the time in Spain.
"Marquesa María Ana de
Pontejos y Sandoval",
Francisco de Goya, 1785.
A magnificent painting by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) places the Carlino or Pug, in Spain in 1785.
The painting of the Marquees María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, at that time her husband served as Spain's ambassador to Portugal, features a lovely example of the Pug with cropped ears, in style at this time, and wearing his collar with ribbons and bells.
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