Puggle

Ana Oliveira
Dr Ana Oliveira (DVM, University of Lisbon)
 
Photo of adult Puggle

A mix between a Pug and a Beagle, the Puggle is believed to be the result of an accidental breeding between these two dog breeds. Nonetheless, it has become a popular crossbreed among dog lovers due to its fun-loving character and playful nature that bring together the best characteristics of both its parents’ breeds.

Puggles are great family dogs that get along well with children and other animals. They look adorable thanks to their wrinkles, inherited from the Pug parent and they benefit from the longer Beagle nose, which allows them to breathe easier than its Pug parent. Active and sweet, the Puggle is an interesting crossbreed for those who seek a unique dog.

About & History

The Puggle is a designer dog resulting from the crossing of a Pug and a Beagle and its origin is not clear. While some claim the Puggle is the result of an accidental breeding between a Pug and a Beagle, others say it was intentionally bred by Wallace Havens, a breeder from Wisconsin. The first Puggle was officially bred in the 1980s by Havens, though other Puggles have probably been bred before that.

The Puggle is not a breed recognised by the American Kennel Club or any other kennel club or breed registry, although it is registered in the American Canine Hybrid Club. As the decades passed, the Puggle has become more and more popular and the first choice for many dog owners. By the year 2000, Puggles began to be sold and considered as a unique pet.

Appearance

Puggle Large Photo

Puggles are a mix of Pugs and Beagles, and their physical traits and overall appearance resemble just that. With a short, smooth double coat (having a short and dense undercoat with a longer outercoat), Puggles may come in a variety of colours. The most common are:

  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Tan

Puggles have wrinkles, just like their Pug parent. They may have shorter or longer snouts, as they may inherit more characteristics of their Pug or Beagle parent. In any case, the nose of a Puggle is generally longer than the nose of a Pug, which makes breathing a lot easier and also makes them less prone to respiratory problems that arise from having a short nose (present in brachycephalic breeds, such as the Pug). Puggles usually weigh between 7 and 18 Kg (15-40 lb) and are 20 to 38 cm (8-15 inches) tall.

Character & Temperament

Puggles are intelligent and cute little dogs that make great family companions. Because they are good with children and other animals, they are an excellent choice for those that already have pets or have children at home, as well as for first time dog owners. Puggles are also very affectionate and charming, always ready to play but also known for their tendency to cuddle.

Because they are a blend of Pugs and Beagles, their personalities and character traits are also a mix of their parents’ temperament. Puggles inherited the love for sniffing from their Beagle parent, as well as the ability to jump and their active and inquisitive attitude. From their Pug parent, Puggles inherited their land speed and their sweet, companionable nature.

The Puggle is a very adaptable dog, though it can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. It is undoubtedly a family dog that needs to be close to their loved ones. While low in its exercise needs, Puggles tend to need a lot of water during their walks, as they become thirsty very quickly, perhaps due to their high internal temperature.

Unfortunately, Puggles may also inherit some of the worst characteristics of their parents’ breeds. Be it the respiratory problems known to occur in Pugs, the tendency to wander and howl attributed to the Beagle, or the stubbornness of both, Puggles can also exhibit one or more of these characteristics. A stubborn Puggle may be more difficult to train, requiring more patience and persistence. While not guard dogs, Puggles do tend to bark (and howl), which could be a disadvantage if you live in an apartment. Nevertheless, Puggles are happy-to-go lap dogs that will make the wonders of everyone around them.

Trainability

Photo of Puggle puppy

Puggles are generally adaptable dogs. However, some tend to inherit their parents’ stubbornness, making them harder to train. A gentle, but firm, consistent hand is preferable and a lot of patience is required.

Puggles are not among those dogs that are eager to please, for which positive reinforcement with a lot of food rewards, praise, and play is the best approach. Short and pleasant training sessions are also recommended.

Health

The Puggle is a healthy and robust mix breed that lives up to 14 years. Some of the most common health issues are:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy – Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is not a single disease but a group of several conditions that occur in the eye of dogs and occur gradually. PRA is a hereditary and genetic group of eye diseases that may ultimately lead to blindness. As of today, PRA has no cure and the true causes are not yet completely understood. A dog with PRA will start by showing symptoms such as decreased night vision, reluctance to go down the stairs or going to unknown or poorly lighted areas. Rearranging the furniture and decluttering to make sure the affected dog does not injure itself by stumbling upon objects will help to improve its quality of life.
  • Cherry eye – Cherry eye occurs when the gland of the third eyelid (or nictitating membrane) moves down out of its usual position. While not serious or vision-threatening, this condition causes discomfort to the dog and may lead to secondary problems that result from the exposure of the eye to the environment. These secondary problems are irritation, inflammation, and even bacterial infection. Treatment options include the use of topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, and the surgical repositioning of the gland, which usually has a very good prognosis.
  • Hip dysplasia – Being a disease with complex hereditary traits that involve multiple genes, hip dysplasia may occur in Puggles. Hip dysplasia is the result of a hip joint that forms in an abnormal way, leading to a defective articulation that does not function correctly. This dysfunction leads to inflammation and pain that ultimately causes lameness in dogs. Diagnosis can be achieved by diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, and scoring tests. There is no definitive treatment, though it is possible to manage this condition and alleviate its symptoms with proper medication, food, and adequate physical therapy.
  • Allergies – Food and environmental allergies may occur in Puggles. An elimination diet, which consists in removing each individual food or ingredient from the dog’s diet and then adding it back to confirm that the symptoms are also back. Completely excluding the source of the allergy from the diet will treat the condition. As for environmental allergies, these may cause itchiness and redness of the skin. Because the dog will tend to scratch, it may injure itself and the subsequent lesions may develop into a bacterial infection.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Puggles have low exercise needs. Nevertheless, they are active dogs and love to play and interact. Half an hour of daily exercise is the minimum required. We should keep in mind that Puggles are not athletic dogs, so long, extenuating runs or games are not the most appropriate for them.

Grooming

Because Puggles tend to shed, so a weekly brushing is recommended. Also, because they have wrinkles all over their bodies, keeping them dry and clean is a must, as dirty and moist wrinkles may be the perfect habitat for bacteria to grow. Skin infections may be difficult to treat due to their location, so prevention is paramount. Besides coat and hair, a Puggle may need nail clipping and its ears should also be cleaned and kept dry at all times.

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