What Is A Puggle? Is This The Right Dog For You?
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A puggle is the result of cross breeding a pug and a beagle.
Generally speaking, the puggle ends up being healthier than either of its parents as it has greater genetic diversity at play. Therefore, it’s a hardier, healthier, more long-lived dog.
When two dog breeds are crossed, they each add their own physical and temperamental characteristics to their offspring in varying degrees.
This means that not all puggles look the same or even behave the same way.
In this article, we’ll explore what puggles look like, how they behave, their care requirements, common health issues, and what you can expect of them in your home in an effort to help you figure out if the puggle is the dog for you.
Overview Of The Main Characteristics Of The Puggle
Height: 13 to 15 inches tall
Weight: 18 to 30 pounds
Color: Brown/tan with some darker areas such as the muzzle and tips of the ears
Positive Key Features: Loves children; very sociable; a great companion; does well with other pets; smart, trainable dogs
Negative Key Features: Fairly noisy; prone to cherry eye
Parental Dog Breed History
As mentioned briefly, the puggle is a hybrid dog, also known as a designer breed, that combines the beagle and the pug.
To get a better understanding of what kind of dog you would be dealing with in the puggle, it’s important to understand the history of the parents’ breeds.
The pug dog breed stands at 10 to 13 inches at the shoulder and weighs 14 to 18 pounds on average. They have a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years, although their overall health can play a serious role in shortening their lifespan.
Although they look rather funny and are treated as cute and dopey pets, pugs are actually an ancient dog breed dating back to 440 BCE China.
They were originally bred to be companion dogs for the rich and wealthy, and were even the companion dogs of several Chinese Emperors.
Pugs have a brachycephalic face. This means their snouts are severely shortened to give their face a flat appearance (a sought-after look by the ancient Chinese).
This plays havoc with their eyes, sinuses, soft palate, and breathing ability. It’s common for pugs to suffer from ailments relating to their brachycephaly, which shorten their lifespan.
The beagle dog breed as we know it today was refined around the 1700s from the small foot hounds of the 1500s. However, this breed also has ancient ties to the small pack hounds of Britain when the Roman legions landed in 55 BCE.
Beagles were bred, have been used, and are still used today as small hunting dogs that can be followed on foot by their human companions.
Beagles have excellent noses that sniff out large and small prey, track them, and chase them down with their distinctive baying bark.
Beagles are one of the ‘neatest’ dog breeds to own as they do not drool, do not shed a lot, and don’t have a very strong ‘dog’ odor.
There are two variations of the beagle breed, one slightly smaller than the other. The larger beagle variation stands at 13 to 15 inches in height and weighs between 20 and 30 pounds.
The smaller beagle variation stands under 13 inches and weighs less than 20 pounds.
Puggles are the result of breeding a pug and beagle together. They have been called a designer breed as people intentionally breed the two to hopefully get the best of both in one dog.
Unfortunately, when the breeder is not happy with the outcome, these dogs are often abandoned, surrendered, or given to animal shelters instead of being cherished for the balls of joy they are.
It’s a gamble whether the pug’s or beagle’s genes will mix 50/50 or if one will be more dominant than the other.
This means puggles do not have a ‘breed standard’ appearance or temperament. However, there are some generalizations we can make, so read on to find out what these are.
Physical Appearance Of The Puggle
The puggle has a stocky body that is almost loaf-like—it’s propped up on thin legs, has a rather square head, and may either have the squiggly tail of the pug or (more likely) the straight tail of the beagle.
Puggles will almost always be a tan/brown color. However, this may vary depending on the color of the pug parent. If the pug parent was black or silver, then the puggle offspring may be a lighter or darker tan color.
A puggle’s muzzle and tips of their ears are usually a darker brown or black. This coloration comes from the pug parent.
Their ears are often long and floppy—not as long as the beagle’s but long enough to give them a rather odd appearance.
The puggle’s nose benefits from the beagle parent as it is elongated instead of being flat (brachycephalic) like the pug parent.
This helps the puggle avoid certain health issues that other brachycephalic dogs breeds face, such as severe sinus and breathing issues.
Temperament Characteristics Of The Puggle
Beagles and pugs both love having a family around them—they are both excellent with children and play well with other animals. So, how do these traits transfer to the puggle?
Is The Puggle Friendly?
The puggle is an incredibly friendly dog. They love being around people and other animals because they love having a pack. This pack mentality comes from the beagle genetics.
However, owing to the fact that one of their parents is a beagle, they can be somewhat independent and not always want to be in the family unit 24/7. When they want some alone time, they will simply leave and not make a big fuss about it.
The beagle’s high prey drive can sometimes filter into the puggle, and they may chase after pets and other animals that are smaller.
Is The Puggle Good With Children?
The puggle is a wonderful companion for children. They are medium to small-sized dogs, which means they are not intimidating to younger children.
They are also stronger and more densely built than other small dog breeds, which can be hurt easily during playtime.
However, with that being said, children still need to be supervised when interacting with any dog as they do not always understand when they’re going too far, and often end up hurting the dog and getting bitten in return.
It is important to teach children how to read your puggle’s body language, to know when they are playing and when they have had enough.
Check out our article on tips for a successful relationship between pups and kids.
Is The Puggle An Intelligent Dog?
Puggles are an intelligent cross-breed owing to the fact that pugs and beagles are intelligent too.
This means you can teach them tricks and train them effectively through kind words and positive reinforcement.
Common Health Concerns Of The Puggle
As a mixed dog breed, the puggle enjoys genetic variety and will not be plagued with serious genetic issues the same way purebred dogs are.
However, they are still prone to certain conditions, which means you will need to keep a careful eye out for them.
A luxating patella happens when the knee cap moves around or dislocates, causing pain and discomfort when your dog tries to move.
If you notice your puggle running around, suddenly shift to hopping on three legs and then back to all fours, it may be a good idea to take them to the vet to get their kneecaps checked out.
Cherry eye is an unfortunate occurrence in brachycephalic dog breeds. The nictitans (the small red blob in the inner corner of their eyes) becomes prolapsed (pushed out) and this looks like little cherries.
If your dog has a cherry eye, take them straight to the vet. If left untreated, conjunctivitis, scratching, and serious infection can occur.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Puggle
Am I Able To Commit To My Puggle’s Grooming Demands?
Proper grooming for puggles includes weekly brushing, weekly cleaning of the ears, brushing teeth every second day, and keeping wrinkles and other skin folds clean and dry.
Do I Have Time To Actively Stimulate My Puggle?
Puggles require an hour of exercise a day, broken down into three to four sessions.
While they are small to medium-sized dogs, they need plenty of space to roll around, explore, and stimulate their senses.
Puggles are very intelligent and require mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Mental exercise can be provided to them by giving them puzzles, treats they need to work for, or running through their training and list of commands.
It is essential that their physical and mental exercise is kept up.
A regular exercise routine helps build and maintain strong muscles and muscle attachments, which can help to avoid certain health issues.
Mental stimulation is key to prevent intelligent dogs from becoming destructive and a nuisance.
Do I Live In An Apartment/Condo That Has Noise Restrictions?
Puggles are known to bark and howl quite a bit. Both the beagle and pug parents are known to be noisy dogs—the pug is known for their high-pitched bark and the beagle for their baying. Puggles get the best of both worlds and are very chatty dogs.
If your apartment or condo home has noise restrictions in place, the puggle may be too noisy for you.
FAQs About The Puggle
How long do puggles live?
Puggles live for 10 to 15 years on average.
As a small to medium mixed breed dog, puggles live longer than a medium-sized dog and slightly less than a small dog breed due to their mixed heritage.
Can puggles be used as service dogs?
Beagles are sometimes used as service dogs; therefore, the logic may go that puggles could be used as service dogs, too, right?
It’s true that puggles can be trained to do tricks, obey commands, and are very sociable and function well in public.
However, owing to their mixed breed nature, their temperaments are not predictable enough for them to be used as service dogs.
Additionally, puggles do not always have the need to please their humans, which is an essential trait in dogs that are trained to be service dogs.
My puggle puppy looks like a Mastiff! Did the breeder give me the wrong dog?
Puggles have a very similar appearance to Mastiffs, except they are about a quarter of the size.
They have a very similar tan coloring, a darkening of the muzzle and ears, a straight tail (thanks to the beagle parent), and are full of energy.
This may be because pugs were bred from Mastiffs a couple thousand years ago. Therefore, the coloring and physical similarities they share are genetic in nature.
If you think you may have a Mastiff instead of a puggle, look at the paws.
Mastiff puppies will have larger paws that look ungainly as the dog will ‘grow into them, whereas puggles’ paws will seem far more in proportion to their body.
Rolling Over On The Puggle…
The puggle is a combination of the pug and beagle breeds.
They are hardy dogs who love the family/pack, love exercise, and love cuddles too.
Puggles are slightly larger than a pug and slightly smaller than the large beagle, and sport a tan coat with black muzzle and ears.
Although they are small, they are strong and full of energy.
To recap, let’s look at the main characteristics of the puggle:
- Height: 13 to 15 inches tall
- Weight: 18 to 30 pounds
- Color: Brown/tan with some darker areas such as the muzzle and tips of the ears
- Positive Key Features: Loves children, very sociable, a great companion, does well with other pets, smart trainable dogs
- Negative Key Features: Fairly noisy, prone to cherry eye
Is a puggle the right dog for you?
Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
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