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Everything you need to know about a puggle

Brown puggle dog advice
© Pixabay

The ‘puggle’ has been rising through the ranks of the crossbreeds since the 1980s. If you are thinking about buying a puggle read on to learn more about the pros and cons of this popular dog.

By Nick Whittle

The puggle stands shoulder to shoulder with the ‘aussiepom’, ‘cheagle’, ‘chowsky’ and ‘pomsky’.She is a dog bred for her cute looks and calm disposition, but she may also suffer with hereditary ailments passed on by her parents.

What is a puggle?

A puggle is a crossbred dog born of a pug and a beagle. It measures 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 8 and 13 kilogrammes.

Naturally, a puggle’s features reveal characteristics of both parents: puggles have the wrinkly skin of the pug but the longer muzzle and straight tail of the beagle. Although both parental breeds are recognised pedigrees by the UK’s Kennel Club their hybrid offspring is not.

What is a crossbreed?

Often, breeders will combine the positive aspects of different parents to produce successful and healthy 'crossbreeds', some of which are registered as pedigree breeds in their own right. The Cesky Terrier (Sealyham Terrier x Scottish Terrier), has been inbred since 1948 and is now recognised as a pedigree.

If you are thinking about buying a crossbreed it is useful to consider the characteristics as well as the physical appearance of the parental breeds; you should keep in mind the fact that each of these traits can be dominant or recessive in individual dogs.

You should also consider from where you will buy a crossbred dog.

The puggle is a dog that is currently ‘in fashion’ and as such breeders whose priorities are not in favour of the wellbeing of the dog will be keen to profit from the dog’s popularity. The Kennel Club offers worthwhile advice for people who want to buy a puggle.

The history of the puggle crossbreed

The puggle is thought to have first been created in the 1980s but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the crossbreed’s popularity upturned. Most recently, celebrities have been seen with puggles; this in turn has buoyed interest in the crossbreed.

According to The Happy Puppy website, ‘Celebrity Puggle owners include Kelly Osborne, Uma Thurman, Jake Gyllenhaal and even Sylvester Stallone’.

To date, puggle puppies have been born of beagle and pug parents. The breed will remain unregistered until puggles are successfully bred with puggles over several generations. However, puggle x puggle breeding has not yet yielded any positive results; a fact that has prompted some vets to warn us about the medical complications of inbreeding ‘squashed-face’ breeds.

Caring for puggle puppies

Puggle puppies respond well to socialisation with the family and other animals. It is recommended that puggle puppies are given plenty of opportunities to observe the world they live in. Puggles are intelligent dogs and react well to positive reinforcement and new experiences.

Puggles take from their pug parent a love of the indoors.

Even as a puppy a puggle will not be happy to relinquish her place on a human lap. Although she (and you) may prefer to stay indoors, a good bout of regular exercise in the early years is still necessary in order to keep her healthy and calm.

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Feeding puggles

When measuring meals for puggles you should abide by the nutritional guidelines printed on food packaging. These guidelines should give you an idea of how much food to give a puggle of her weight and size.

Because they are prone to obesity you should not over-feed a puggle. Feed her twice a day and take her food bowl away as soon as she loses interest in eating, even if she hasn’t finished the whole meal.

To check whether your puggle is overweight perform this series of simple physical examinations.

What is the temperament of a puggle crossbreed?

Puggles are said to be intelligent, playful and friendly. They enjoy contact with humans and other animals and are not known for exhibiting aggression when they meet other dogs. They are particularly easygoing around children.

Puggles may choose the indoors over the outdoors but they still like to run around and indulge in energetic playtime. They may not be the fastest walkers of the canine kingdom but they do enjoy the social aspect of walking and they will eventually and after much training respond well to commands. They should be walked for at least 30 minutes each day.

Puggle traits to be aware of

Puggle behaviour

Puggles have been known to exhibit some behavioural problems but, in truth, no more than any other dog. However, herein is the disadvantage of owning an early-stage crossbreed: you will sometimes find their dominant inherited traits are not always the ones which are socially acceptable.

Some problematic behaviour observed of puggles includes howling, barking, digging, a tendency to stray and stubbornness.

Puggle afflictions

Unfortunately, puggles seem to have inherited some of the physical deformities of their pug parent too.
These include:

Pinched nostrils: Specific to short muzzled-dogs, this congenital deformity restricts the dogs breathing. Over-exercise and exercise in hot weather can exacerbate the problem and cause the dog to become asphyxiated.

Hip dysplasia: Again a hereditary ailment, hip dysplasia can cause an early onset of arthritis; overweight dogs or dogs that have injured their legs will suffer more with this condition.

Epilepsy: Seizures are often caused by a dog ingesting a toxin. A dog of any size can suffer with epileptic seizures but pugs are more prone to seizures caused by an inflammation of the brain. Treatments for hereditary Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) include the administration of anti-convulsants and anti-inflammatory drugs.

As well as checking the validity of puggle breeders, prospective owners should take into account the care they may have to provide a puggle in the event of an illness caused by her inherited traits. The British Veterinary Association recently drew attention to the fact that many dog owners are unaware of the kinds of disorders associated with excessive breeding of squashed-face dogs.

In short, before you buy a puggle be certain in your mind that you are doing so for the right reasons.

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