Combining all the cuteness of a Pug dog with the agility of a Beagle, the cross-bred ‘Puggle’ has become a firm family-favorite, since it was first bred in the 1980s.
Fun-loving and willful, with a lively streak, don’t be fooled by its stature; it may be small in size, but the puggle is a surprisingly energetic breed.
Easy to maintain, versatile enough for compact living, it’s clear to see why they are so popular, with celebrities including Uma Thurman and Penelope Cruz owning one.
The much-loved Puggle was bred in Wisconsin, America in the 1980s by breeder Wallace Heavens. This was at a time when US breeders were starting to experiment with different breeds.
In a short space of time, the Puggle grew to be one of the most loved dogs, and by 2000 was being sold commercially to pet owners. Not long after, in 2005, the Puggle was named the number one crossbreed in America!
While the Kennel Club still does not recognize the Puggle as a standardized dog breed, they are accepted by the American Canine Hybrid Club.
Some purists refer to them as ‘designer dogs’. This term is used to describe intentionally bred dogs from two or more recognized breeds and not from purebred ancestors; often with personality or looks in mind.
Classified as a small dog, the Puggle is compact in size with a short tail similar to that of a Beagle.
It has small dark beady eyes with a matching dark nose, a long muzzle and upturned face, often with a black mask. Famous for its wrinkles, it has adopted many of these from its pug ancestry. Its coat is short with straight hair, known to be fawn, brown, red and black. It is often confused with miniature Mastiffs.
10 – 15 years
Fun-loving and cuddly, this is a small dog with a big personality! Full of life with plenty of energy, its stubborn personality can, at times, be demanding of owners. They make up for this with their great affection to them and overall friendliness to strangers.
With some pug traits coming through, they also enjoy down time and snoozing, and love being petted to sleep by their owners.
Due to their versatile nature, they do well in large families and workplaces, where they can be the center of attention. The downside – this is not a dog that does well on its own, suffering from separation anxiety and antisocial behavior if left for long periods alone. This is why some are known for excessive howling or barking.
Puggle dogs can be inquisitive and will explore their surroundings – often leading to trouble. As such, it’s important to train them at an early age. Since they are sociable, they can learn basic training in a short period of time.
They are known to be stubborn, hence it’s important to ensure they have training schedules and are stimulated within their environment. They enjoy treats and rewards, and respond best to positive reinforcement during training
Possible Health Concerns
There is a general concern around crossbred dogs. The Kennel Club warns to avoid “unscrupulous breeders” that don’t always breed with the welfare of the dog in mind. They also state that the advantages of buying a pedigree dog include “the predictability of specific breed traits including behaviour and temperament, care needs, and their health predisposition.”
Generations of cross breeding attempts have left some Puggles prone to health problems such as: epilepsy, cherry eye and stenotic nares.
Although the Puggle has a longer muzzle than its pug ancestry, they tend to have less breathing problems; but do note that some are still prone to this. Also, like their Pug forefathers, the Puggle is weather-sensitive and does not tolerate extreme weather very well.
Being energetic dogs, Puggles require at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to keep them fit, healthy and disciplined. Puggles also enjoy a game of fetch or chase in a well-fenced area. With its inherited Beagle instinct to chase, you may want to keep it on a lead in certain environments.
Some owners find that regular activity helps prevent them from antisocial behavior such as insistent barking.
As with all dogs, the Puggle requires balanced nutrition. This can be provided in two meals featuring up to 1.5 cups of top quality dog food.
A typical pug trait, this dog loves eating and is therefore prone to obesity if overeating is indulged. With this in mind, servings should be monitored closely.
Although short, the pug coat requires consistent, disciplined brushing every week – since they tend to shed. But bathing is only required on a need-to-do basis.
Regular wiping of their face is important, particularly the muzzle and folds of skin which are prone to bacterial infections if hygiene is not upheld. A daily wiping with a wet cloth is advised.
A Puggle’s teeth need to be brushed two or three times a week and nails trimmed at least once a month, or whenever they start to make a clicking noise.
Expressive, energetic and a tad cheeky, it’s hard not to be charmed by the Puggle. Combining all the best traits of two breeds; such as the fun-loving nature of the Pug and the loyalty and agility of the Beagle, they make great family pets.
As long as its demands for activity (and feeding) are met, the Puggle can provide great companionship to its owner. But, this is also a dog that requires training, regular grooming, and plenty of exercise to prevent antisocial behavior.
If you don’t mind being challenged, and have patience and a sense of humour, this will serve you well!