Puggles – Photo by xersti
Puggles tend to be about 20-25 pounds, and 13-15 inches at the withers. While colors vary, and there are completely black as well as multicolored Puggles, the vast majority are fawn colored with wrinkled black masks (similar to Pugs), but with the longer body, slightly increased size, and longer nose and floppy ears associated with Beagles. Because Puggles are a crossbreed, the appearance of the breed is less predictable than that of a purebred dog, since there is a decreased ability to predict which attributes will be inherited from which parent.
Due to longer legs, more room in the skull for the eyes, and less effusive wrinkles, Puggles in general avoid many difficulties with eyes, joints, and skin wrinkles common to Pugs; however, they may have more problems than typical Beagles. While Pugs are are particularly susceptible to heat stroke, the longer nasal cavity of the Puggle makes the breed more tolerant of the heat, and less likely to overheat while running in the summer. Conversely, their nasal cavities are likely to be shorter and less efficient than those of Beagles, which could be a problem if the dog also inherited the Beagle’s propensity to run and for long periods.
As pets, Puggles have the mild mannered yet playful ‘lap dog’ qualities often associated with Pugs, mixed with the more energetic tendencies typical of the hunting qualities of a Beagle. A cheerful clown who loves to play but then quickly tires for a short nap, Puggles are mid-sized dogs which make excellent housepets, and many Puggle owners testify to their winning personality as one of their strongest ponts. Their playful disposition, however, makes them a bit slow to train, a trait they share with both Pugs and Beagles. That said, they retain the friendly, laid-back disposition of both breeds, but while their size makes them perfect for apartments, they need a bit more excercise and attention than some traditional apartment dogs (Pugs included). They also shed many small, light-colored hairs, and occasionally have gas. Unlike Pugs, they generally do not snore or make snuffling noises. While they have a relatively standard bark, and vary widely as to how often they bark, some inherit the odd, nasal baying of Beagles, a mix of a baying hound and the coo-ing of a pigeon (some say sounding like ‘Gizmo’ from the movie “Gremlins”). That said, their barking is much more easy to deal with than most Beagles, and many Puggles are barely vocal at all.
After appearing on a series of popular TV morning shows and being featured in a front page article of the New York Post, Puggles became a minor media obsession in the United States in the autumn of 2005 (New York City in particular), with star owners such as James Gandolfini and Jake Gyllenhaal adding to their status. Puggle enthusiasts consistently list their friendly personality, size, and cuteness as winning qualities, while their slowness to train, incessant chewing, shedding hairs, and need for more exercise and attention than their size might indicate are some common concerns.
Their rising popularity in recent years has added them to the list of so-called designer dogs, that is, those that in previous eras would have been called mutts but are now sold for many times more than a purebred Pug or Beagle might cost. The opportunity for making money quickly has attracted puppy mill and backyard breeders who might not give the attention to inherited genetic problems (and assets) that a more careful breeder or reputable breeder of purebreds usually gives, breeding any Beagle and any Pug that are handy. This has led to enormous controversy within the dog-breeding community, with many vigorrously defending mixed-breeds as having ‘the best of both worlds’ of the respective parents, both in terms of personality as well as in terms of potential health problems, but with critics arguing that there is a lack of consistency from such dogs.
Like all mixed-breed dogs, no major kennel club recognizes the Puggle as a dog breed. However, many dog sports allow mixed-breed dogs to participate, and the Beagle half of the Puggle might enjoy some such activities.