Whoever thought of crossbreeding the cousins of Frank (in Men in Black) and Charlie Brown’s Snoopy surely had the foresight of creating a hybrid that will forever be known and loved for its playful spirit, excellent health, insatiable desire to please, and an unfathomable sense of humor. Unfortunately, there’s also a Loki to this otherwise adorable designer breed. It can be very stubborn, totally uncooperative, and selectively deaf. In other words, don’t expect the Puggle to like you just because you brought it home. And in case you’re wondering what it would take to turn this into a really good-natured and fun-loving hybrid and none of its more mischievous side, then read on.
History of the Puggle
Purists have never made any attempts to hide their disgust and contempt for dog designers – individuals who mix different breeds in an effort to create a dog that is more to their liking. But this has never deterred Wallace Havens and the many others like him to continue producing mixed breeds or what are now aptly called designer dogs. The philosophy is simple: bring together the finer qualities of two different breeds so that the negative characteristics in each are effectively canceled out. But in a world where no one can ever manipulate how the genes of the species will fall into the proposed sequencing, coming up with a hybrid dog that has exactly the same characteristics that one has envisioned is a once-in-a-blue-moon thing.
Unfortunately, when celebrities began sporting Puggles in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century with prohibitively 4-figure price tags, TV appearances, and magazine write-ups, Havens knew that somebody has definitely made a mockery of the delicate process of mating two different breeds of dogs. Gone is the noble purpose of acquiring the good characteristics and discarding the bad. In its stead came the prospect of making tons of money. After all, the Pug Beagle Mix is one of the most adorable hybrids in the world. Almost anyone would want to have theirs even if it isn’t proven to have come from a reputable breeder.
Not many know that Wallace Havens is the creator of the Puggle. He has a 4,300-square-foot building just north of Madison, Wisconsin housing his Puppy Haven Kennel. It’s a 1,600-dog compound and one dedicated solely to the cross breeding of some of the world’s foremost designer breeds. Havens has Schnoodles, Bichon Poos, Chihuahua Bichons, and Lhasa Eskimo, among others. Of course, Havens bred the very first Pug Beagle Mix in 1985 and began marketing it about 2 years later. However, it was only in 2005 when some of these Puggles were eventually seen in the company of Hollywood celebrities and other A-listers that the designer dog skyrocketed to fame.
We also found literature that indicates Havens was not the first to create the Puggle. Some breeders may have already created the hybrid as early as 1981 to 1982. However, Havens was the first to have the crossbreed officially registered and recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club.
Who are the Parents?
The question most folks have is why would anyone want to create a Puggle? To gain an understanding as to why the Pug and the Beagle were crossbred, it’s important to take a look at the individual parents of the Puggle. This will somehow give us an idea as to just what kind of dog the Puggle turns out to be.
Just like Snoopy, real Beagles are fun-loving dogs that love being the companion of kids. You might even consider yourself being Charlie Brown with your own Snoopy. But don’t let the sweet and good-natured Snoopy characterization of the breed fool you. As intelligent as the Beagle may be, it is also one of the most stubborn canines you’ll ever have to work with.
Don’t hate the Beagle for it, though. After all, it’s what it was bred to do. It is not really stubborn in the strictest sense. What many consider stubbornness is in reality the dog’s single-minded focus on a particular scent that captured its interest. You see, these dogs are scent hounds and they can easily pick up even the faintest scents from miles away. They will never stop until they have tracked down where the scent is coming from. No amount of pulling or tugging on their leash will ever dissuade them from pursuing the scent. For some folks, this can already equate to being stubborn.
But if you’ve seen airport security employing Beagles in sniffing duties, you know that their remarkable scenting skills can be put to very good use. One just needs to have the skill and the patience to train them.
Beagles are also considered as ancient dogs, perhaps dating as far back as 400 BC in Greece. It is understood that the Beagle came from the now-extinct Talbot Hound which William the Conqueror brought to England in 1066. Kings Edward II and Henry VII were both believed to have Glove Beagles in their royal court. Queen Elizabeth I had Pocket Beagles. The Beagle ran out of favor from budding fox hunters, opting instead for the faster and more agile Foxhound. But this didn’t stop the breed from flourishing especially in the Welsh, Irish, and English countryside.
Fans of Frank, Precious, and Percy know what these three have in common – they’re clownish. They have this happy disposition in life and try to be as joyful as they possibly can. Don’t expect it to guard you and protect you with its life because these little bundles of joy were never meant for such things. They were bred specifically for companionship. They like pug get-together parties, getting dressed up in fancy costumes, being paraded in malls and in the park, and being showered with lots of affection.
This Pug is meant to be a magnet, drawing people to its charm and wide-eyed, be-wrinkled face. While it surely won’t mind sitting and lounging with you all day, its silly antics and comic genius can easily shine through and bring life to an otherwise boring afternoon. It’s not a stick-in-the-mud type of dog, but rather a canine full of life and vigor. The only reason it stays being a couch potato if its owner is also a bona-fide couch potato.
You see, the Pug is a ghost, not necessarily as a phantasm but more because it will follow its owner anywhere, everywhere. It has this insatiable appetite for affection. It wants to feel loved and needed by its human masters, so it follows him wherever he goes. Disregard this craving for attention and the Pug can easily go into depression.
Considered a toy breed because it never grows taller than 14 inches with a floor at 10, the Pug is an ancient breed. Historians say that it is a relative of the Tibetan Mastiff and is especially prized by Chinese Emperors. It is widely believed that Pugs originated from the Han Dynasty of China between 206 BC and 200 AD. This puts them in almost equal footing with other Imperial dogs like the Shih Tzu, the Lo-Sze, and the Pekingese. Interestingly, the Lo-Sze is considered as the Pug’s ancient self.
Famous people who owned Pugs included the French Queen Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Josephine, and the UK’s Queen Charlotte and Queen Victoria, among others.
Being a hybrid that is already about 3 decades old, it is now a lot easier to establish certain characteristics that can be considered as ‘rules’ for the hybrid. As always, the only way these characteristics can be ascertained is if a Puggle comes from a purebred Pug and a purebred Beagle. Any mixes in either of the parents can lead to variations in appearance, temperaments, and behavior.
- On the average, a grown-up Puggle can weigh 18-30 lbs with the female slightly lighter by a couple of pounds.
- It can grow 11-15 inches when measured at the shoulders.
- Puggles can live 10-15 years, often depending on their health.
- Puggles have double coats with the outer layer being longer and the inner layer dense and short. These can be in tan, black, or fawn.
- The coat may be short, but this doesn’t excuse them from shedding quite a lot.
- Special care is needed especially in cleaning and drying wrinkles and other skin folds.
- If the genes of the Pug are more dominant, expect a short-nosed Puggle. It’s long-nosed if it’s the Beagle that is more dominant.
- Puggles have low exercise needs, although they still need daily walks.
- Beagles are known to howl while pugs are tenacious barkers. Expect the Puggle to be very vocal.
- Puggles are companion hybrids. As such, they’re prone to separation anxiety.
Things You Should Know
Crossing the Pug and the Beagle can produce an energetic and highly active, albeit stubborn hybrid. For some, it’s the perfect family companion while others may not be especially-suited for this designer breed. Let’s find out if you’re the former or the latter.
The Beagle is smart, but it is one of the most stubborn breeds on the planet. The same is true with the Pug. It is clever and very attentive, yet its stubbornness can be very testy. As such, it is not the best designer dog for those who simply lack the experience training such a very stubborn dog. Take note, however, that you can always hire a professional dog trainer. But even this can prove very challenging as you’ve also got to learn the basics of training dogs. Otherwise, the Puggle will only respond to the commands of its trainer and not necessarily you.
Puggles respond well to rewards, though. It knows how to please and knows that if you acknowledge the things it does – whether ‘good or bad – it will keep on doing it. It is for this reason that you be very mindful of how you interact with your Puggle so you only reinforce the desirable behaviors and not the bad ones.
Pugs are known to have voracious appetites. It is not uncommon to see this trait in a Puggle. Beagles, on the other hand, trust their sense of smell more than their taste buds. This should give you an idea as to just what kind of dog food is best suited for a Puggle. It should have that interesting aroma to entice the Beagle in the Puggle, but also calorie-dense to help support the energy requirements of the Pug without feeding it too much. Feeding a Puggle a calorie-dense dog food is ideal since smaller yet more frequent feedings – say 3 or 4 times a day – are generally advisable for smaller dogs.
Puggles may be small, but they can have a stocky build. Try imagining the effect of the weight of their bodies on their short limbs and you’ll have an idea as to why hip dysplasia can be a real problem. Picking a dog food that has nutrients that can strengthen and support the joints is crucial. Also crucial are low-allergenic foods as these dogs are susceptible to allergies. Going for a limited ingredient diet is always a good idea and then work your way from there.
The Puggle comes from a very interesting mix. The Beagle is best known for its active lifestyle while the Pug is more docile, although it can be rambunctious if given the opportunity. The Puggle, in general, will not require extensive daily walks. Just 15 minutes every day is enough. This should be complemented by another 15 minutes or so of vigorous playtime. Puggles are known to overheat extremely fast. As such, if you do take it for a walk, make sure to have frequent rest periods every 5 minutes and to give it plenty of water to drink.
Exercise for the Puggle has more to do with their mental disposition rather than their physical health. It’s a moderate to high energy dog. If this energy is not channeled into more constructive ways, it can easily become the fuel for destructive dog behaviors. And mind you, the Puggle is very vocal. The Pug barks and the Beagle howls. Together, you’ve got a very annoying, very loud dog that can be best addressed if you give them something to do. This is why exercise and mental stimulation are very important for the Puggle.
Puggles were crossbred for the purpose of providing companionship to families and their other pets. They love the attention they get both from humans and other pets. Unfortunately, larger dogs may not be especially keen on the Puggle’s friendliness and young kids may not know that their playful actions are already hurting the small dog. It is best to also teach young kids how to pet small dogs. Supervising their interactions is also a must.
Introducing the Puggle puppy to other pets in the household should begin in earnest. This helps provide for a harmonious and peaceful multi-pet household.
It may have a relatively short coat, but the undercoat is dense. They also shed quite a lot, requiring twice weekly brushing if you don’t want any of these hairs to land on your carpet, bedding, or furniture. Perhaps what is more important is learning how to clean and completely dry the skin folds as well as wrinkles on the Puggle’s body, especially on its face. These areas should be carefully cleaned as dirt and debris can accumulate in the folds.
Bathing should be done every 3 to 4 months, unless your Puggle has become obviously dirty and muddy. Most Puggles love to dig on the soft Earth, so they do tend to get dirty if left outdoors to play. In such cases, once monthly bathing is enough. Don’t forget the ears, teeth, and the nails.
Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cherry eye, allergies, and reverse sneezing are very common among Puggles. Some may also be prone to patellar luxation, epilepsy, stenotic nares, and hypothyroidism. Regular visits to the vet can help manage these conditions at the onset and prevent more serious complications.
Puggles are recommended for…
- Families and individuals who have the patience and perseverance to train and socialize a Puggle
- Those who consider a dog’s bark as music to their ears
- People who want a companion dog, but are more than ready to take on the role of a leader
- Families with children aged 8 years or older
The Pug Beagle Mix is not ideal for…
- People who are allergic to pet dander
- Folks who hate very loud, very vocal dogs
- Singles and families living in apartments
Designed as a family dog, the Puggle comes with an insatiable desire to please its human family. It thrives on the affection it receives, being a world-class lap dog and all. It has a sweet temperament and an intelligence that is most often negated by its stubbornness. They are playful and very cuddly and won’t mind snuggling up to you for hours.
Almost everyone wants a Puggle in their lives. That innocent look in their eyes plus the strong inclination to cuddle makes them excellent lap dogs. If you can manage its stubborn streak, the Puggle may be just right for you.