ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Puggle

Puggle dog
John Walton
Written by John Walton

The Puggle is a cute mix between the Pug and Beagle breeds, quickly gaining popularity thanks to its look and funny personality. This is a very friendly and loving dog, which gets along with other dogs, as well as kids, but may be tricky to train, as he’s not always willing to please its owner. Also, the Puggle enjoys barking, so you may want to curb this behavior very early.

This hybrid has been bred on purpose by people who intended to have the best of both breeds: the loving personality of the Pug, together with the long nose of the Beagle, which helps the dog breathe more easily. This is sometimes achieved, but it still depends heavily on genetics.

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityBelow Average
Health and GroomingHigh
All Around FriendlinessHighest
Exercise NeedsAbove Average

Dog Breed Group:Hybrid Dogs (Designer Dogs)
Height:8 to 15 inches
Weight:15 to 40 pounds
Life Span:10 to 15 years

The Puggle has not yet been recognized as a standardized breed by any main kennel club, due to the short time it has been bred (the first Puggle was bred in the 1980s, but they became commercially available in 2000). Though, this breed has been registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club, which keeps track of all crossbred dogs.

They are also called Designer Dogs, as they are being bred for obtaining specific characteristics (personality or looks) of both breeds in one dog. Usually, the Puggle has the wrinkles and color of the Pug, with the longer tail, muzzle and ears of the Beagle, having the look of a miniature Mastiff.

Although most Puggles are loving and cuddly, you must keep in mind that some may inherit different characteristics from their parents: howling and tendency to wonder (Beagle), respiratory problems (Pug) or stubbornness (Pug and Beagle), so this dog is pretty much a surprise itself. They are smart dogs, but don’t expect them to be trained easily, as they are not so eager to please like other breeds. Of course, this is a trait inherited from both its parents, which can also be pretty stubborn, so try to keep training sessions short and fun, and use the rewarding technique to reinforce any positive behavior. This may require some patience, though.

Puggles are very friendly and social dogs, which get along with pretty much everyone, canine or human alike. They are by nature not aggressive, and are great with children too. Despite being howlers and sometimes noisy dogs, traits inherited from their Beagle parent, Puggles are not suitable to be guard dogs.

You won’t see a Puggle laze around the house, as they are very active dogs. They need about 30 minutes of exercise each day, but they are not the best jogging companion. They love to play fetch, race around larger rooms or halls, and are more than happy to walk next to you wherever you may go.

Main Highlights
  • Puggles shed a lot, and need to be brushed at least once a week to get rid of all the dead or loose hair. Pay great attention to the skin folds and wrinkles also;
  • They are smart dogs, but can be pretty stubborn, so train them by rewarding and praising positive behaviors, and keep training sessions short and fun;
  • Puggles may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods;
  • Puggles are very friendly dogs, which get along with most pets and people, and are also great with children;
  • They are very adaptable to any kind of home, but you must be careful about the noise restrictions in your area, as they are known to bark and howl.
Breed History

The first Puggle was bred in the 1980s, by the Wisconsin breeder Wallace Heavens, who wanted to cross breed a Pug and a Beagle. This was a time when the U.S. breeders began experimenting with dog breeds to create new ones, so the newly developed Puggle was registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club.

By the 2000s, the gentle, friendly and funny personality of the Puggle made it popular among the population, so more breeders began to breed these dogs in order to cope with the demand. Many of them expected the Puggle to get the best traits from both its parents, but only some of them had, as genetics is quite unpredictable.

Size

Common Puggles are somewhere in-between the size and weight of a Beagle and a Pug, reaching about 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh 18 to 30 pounds. In the meantime, toy Puggles have developed, being less than 13 inches tall, and only weighing 8 to 17 pounds.

Personality and Character

The Puggle has a loving and joyful personality, making it very popular for active families with children. It is also a very social dog, and will get along with most dogs, although it may chase smaller pets (a hunting trait inherited from its Beagle parent).  Like any other dog, the Puggle needs very early socialization and accustoming with any noise, smell or event it may face during its adult life.

It is a smart, but stubborn dog, and training may be a bit challenging, though not impossible. Always reward and praise the Puggle after doing anything right, but be very patient, as he is not very willing to please humans. Distracting his attention from what you don’t want him to do, may also be a good idea, as long as it works for your specific dog.

Being active dogs, they do need a brisk walk or short, lively play sessions to keep its mind stimulated and to help it release its energy. This short buddy is not the best jogging companion, as it may get tired quickly, but try to give it about 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Beware of noisy behaviors such as howling or barking, as well as Beagle-specific obsessive digging or wandering away. You may want to place a strong fence around your yard to avoid it from escaping, as well as sturdy railings around your flower or vegetable garden if you want to keep them looking good.

Health and Potential Problems

Although generally a healthy god, the Puggle may still inherit specific diseases from both its parents, so it’s best to get to know specific health issues of both the Pug and the Beagle before bringing a mixed breed home. On the other hand, mixing two breeds may also reduce the possibility of developing such a disease, especially as the hybrid is not yet established as a breed, so you may never know for sure.

Some of the possible major diseases a Puggle may suffer of are:

  • Stenotic Nares (pinched nostrils): this congenital disorder affects dogs with short muzzles, making it pretty hard for them to breathe. Symptoms include heavy breathing, fatigue and blue gums in dogs which are not getting enough oxygen. Mildly affected dogs may be managed by limiting the amount of exercise and preventing weight gain, but more severe cases will need surgical repair. Using a harness instead of a collar will also be useful. Luckily, Puggles with longer muzzles, inherited from their Beagle parents, are much less likely to suffer from respiratory problems;
  • Hip Dysplasia: usually affecting larger breeds, hip dysplasia may also appear in smaller ones, deepening with jumping or falling. This condition may not be very obvious, so X-ray screening may be necessary to track it. Arthritis may develop as a dog with this condition ages, so keep a close eye on his joints, especially if you know his parents were also affected;
  • Patellar Luxation (slipped stifles): this is a common problem affecting small breed dogs. This is usually a congenital disorder meaning that the femur, knee cap and tibia are not properly lined up. This may also occur later in life. You may notice that your dog is lame, or skipping and hopping his leg while walking. Mild cases may be aligned manually, but more severe ones may require surgical intervention;
  • Cherry Eye: this is an abnormality of the eye, caused by a gland in the dog’s third eyelid bulges out, thus showing a red mass in the inner corner of the eye. This affection can be repaired surgically;
  • Hypothyroidism: this is a hormonal disorder, caused by the lack of thyroid hormone. Symptoms include obesity, infertility, low energy, mental dullness, coarse fur, or the skin becoming tough and dark. This problem may be kept under control with daily medication, which has to go on throughout the dog’s life;
  • Epilepsy: these dogs may be prone to epilepsy, a disorder that may cause seizures. It is incurable, though it may be kept under control with adequate medication.

A major health issue affecting both Pugs and Beagles is obesity, so the Puggle will also be prone to gaining weight easily. And this is one you can protect your puppy of. Be very careful about the quantity of food you feed him and the amount of exercise he gets. The good part is that the Puggle is not a lazy dog, and he has to exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

The best option is to only get your puppy from a serious and responsible breeder, who has strong evidence of its parents’ and even grandparents’ health and has screened them for any genetic disease. A responsible breeder would only breed healthy specimens, although this won’t guarantee for the hybrid puppy’s health, as genetics may shuffle its cards.

Care Features

The Puggle is a very affectionate dog, which should always live indoors with his humans, and loves a large family, so that someone is always home with him. Otherwise, he may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

As long as he is allowed indoors for most of the time, the Puggle will adapt to any kind of house, from a huge manor to a small condo, but be very careful with the excessive barking. This trait, together with the howling, may be inherited from his Beagle parents, as well as the tendency to wander away or dig in the ground.

This is an active dog, which needs moderate exercise to keep his body and mind healthy and prevent obesity, as both its Beagle and Pug parents have the tendency to gain weight quickly.

As well as the Beagle, the Puggle may be easily distracted, so make sure you keep him in a leash or play with him in a well-fenced area, to prevent him from getting into trouble, like being hit by a car or having any other accident.

Feeding Schedule

Puggles love to eat, a hobby inherited from their Beagle parents, so they are very likely to beg for food whenever they get the chance. As they can eat continuously, Puggles should never be free fed, but given a daily ration split into two or three smaller servings. This way, you will prevent them to gain weight quickly, and also bloating due to the fast ingestion of a large food quantity. You may have noticed this also works on us humans, too.

Feed your Puggle high quality, dry kibble in the amount written on the package, and introduce any new food item slowly into his diet, to avoid digestive tract problems, like diarrhea or constipation. Also, limit the amount of high-calorie treats, as they are well known fat developers inside the body.

Of course, give your Puggle a lot of exercise between meals, to encourage better digestion and burning of calories, as well as a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Coat, Color and Grooming

As both its Beagle and Pug parents, the Puggle has short coat, which is usually pretty easy to care for. Though, its parents also shed a lot, so this is also applicable to Puggles. You can keep the loose hairs under control and the coat in good shape with a weekly brushing, that would remove dead hair. Also, the skin oils will be better distributed along the coat, making it healthy and shiny.

Usually, a Puggle would inherit its Pug parent’s coat color, but other variations have also been noticed. The most common coat colors seen in this breed are fawn, tan or black. Mixed colors are quite rare, though.

Bathing is not required very often, and it’s even better to only bathe this dog when he needs it, meaning when the Beagle genes determine him to dig in the soil or get into something dirty. Nails should be trimmed as needed, depending on where the dog lives, but usually this is required every week or two. The flattened ears inherited from the Beagle have to be kept clean and dry, so check them up constantly. Also check up his teeth and brush them with a vet-approved paste, as small dogs are known to be prone to periodontitis.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

Puggles are loving and very social dogs, which get along pretty well with everyone. They like human attention, and are good even for novice dog owners. A Puggle will appreciate playing with children of all ages, as they are very active and playful themselves and can keep track with children. Always supervise small children while playing with the dog, and teach them how to respect pets and play with them responsibly.

They will also appreciate the company of other dogs, though, due to the inherited Beagle genes, Puggles may chase other smaller pets. Proper training should help minimize this behavior, provided that you encourage a dog that won’t chase other animals, or you distract his attention.

Although the Puggle is a social dog by nature, socialization is still required from an early age, to help him get used to all the things, places, smells and sounds he will have to face during his life.

This gentle and affectionate hybrid is quickly gaining popularity among people who want to own a dog different than the ordinary Yorkie, Poodle or Maltese. All breeders hope to gain the best traits from the Beagles and Pugs they are breeding together, but since this breed is only at the beginning, genetics may still play tricks on it.

Surely the following Puggle generations will be more stable and more resembling, by selectively breeding the healthiest specimens, and hopefully they will become fully established as a breed. Only get your puppies from responsible breeders, who can prove their dogs’ health and avoid puppy mills or pet stores at all costs. Bear in mind that puppies sold in those places are of uncertain origin, so a low acquisition price may compensate itself with costly treatments for serious genetic diseases.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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