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Puggle: History and Appearance
It is believed that the first Puggle was bred somewhere in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, though no one can be certain, as it is a hybrid, or mixed breed. A Puggle is the result of crossbreeding a purebred Pug with a Purebred Beagle. Coined as a “designer dog,” the Puggle, like its companions the Labradoodle and the Cockapoo, quickly became a popular pet.
A breeder by the name of Wallace Haven is credited with creating and naming the Puggle at his breeding facility in Wisconsin, though many accounts cite it as an “accidental pairing” that resulted in a dog with combined Beagle and Pug features and personality traits. The Puggle was introduced to the American Canine Hybrid Club, which focuses on mixed breed dogs.
The Puggle’s parent breeds, the Pug and the Beagle, each possess their own very distinctive histories and traits. The Pug is a breed that dates back to 800 B.C., where it was the pet of the Chinese Imperial family. The Beagle, on the other hand, was developed in England beginning as early as the 1200’s as a hunting dog. Both breeds experienced changes throughout their long history, especially during the 1800’s, when they were bred to standard and became featured in various dog shows.
The Pug is known as a lively, sometimes clownish, but very loving lap dog. Though sturdy and muscular, it was basically bred as a companion animal. The Beagle, on the other hand, was originally bred as a rabbit hunting dog, though over time, it grew to have much more diverse hunting skills. Extremely curious, hardworking, and skilled; the Beagle is a very intelligent breed with a tremendous amount of energy.
Pugs can be very demanding of attention, possessive of their owners and suffer from separation anxiety. In addition to this, they have several health ailments, including allergies and breathing problems, as well as encephalitis and epilepsy. Beagles are notorious for running and escaping, as they are quick to follow any scent or animal. Beagles require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and can also be quite stubborn.
The main idea behind a hybrid dog is the creation of a new “breed” that represents the best traits of both parent breeds. Whether the initial crossing of the Pug and the Beagle was intentional or accidental, the Puggle is supposed to be the best of the Beagle and the Pug.
Because the Puggle is so new, and because there are no official breeding records, breed standards, or rules governing ideal breeding practices, the Puggle’s looks, characteristics, and behavior tend to differ from dog to dog. There is no guarantee that the Puggle will be an even mix of both breeds. Some Puggles resemble a Beagle more, while others have more Pug features. Some breeds have a disposition closer to a Pug, yet others have the Beagle’s stamina and energy.
The most consistent personality descriptions of a Puggle state that the breed is very loving, playful, and mischievous. The breed seems to have inherited its family friendly personality from both the Beagle and the Pug, though its ability to get along with other pets seems to vary from dog to dog. The Puggle is affectionate and loves to be a lapdog, yet also has some of the Beagle’s energy and curiosity. The Puggle may have inherited the Beagle’s tendency to bark and is said to be somewhat stubborn in training.
There is still a great amount of variation in size, appearance, and temperament in this hybrid. One thing to consider with new breeds is that ideal breeding practices have not yet been established, so there is not always a guarantee to the health, behavior, and history of the parent dogs. While there are some hobby and online clubs dedicated to the Puggle, there is no official parent club as of yet, nor are there specific breed standards. Therefore, the appearance of each dog can vary greatly.
Puggles can reach up to about a foot in height, give or take a few inches. Their weight ranges from 18 lbs. to 30 lbs. The Puggle’s body can be longer like the Beagle’s, or more compact like the Pug’s. Some Puggles are more thickset and short-legged, while others have longer legs. The tail can either be the straight tail of the Beagle, the curly tail of the Pug, or something in between.
Facial features differentiate as well, though the face is most commonly described as having the Pug’s black mask and wrinkles, but the Beagle’s longer muzzle and liquid eyes. Though longer, the front of the muzzle tends to be more blunt that pointed, and the nose is usually that of the Pug. Often, the muzzle feature’s the Pug’s signature underbite. The ear shape tends to vary, as the Pug has either button shaped or rose ears, and the Beagle’s ears are pendulous. Often, the Puggle’s ears hang down, though they are more squared in shape and not as long as the Beagle’s
While coat color can vary, most Puggles feature the Pug’s black mask and fawn coloring, though they have also been known to be black, brindle, tri-colored, or multi-colored. Unlike the Pug, the Puggle may even feature white markings. Overall, the coat is reported to be the best combination of both breeds, as it is considered relatively low maintenance. It is short, straight, and lies flat to the skin. The hair has some of the glossy luster of the Pug’s coat.
Showing a Puggle
The Puggle, as of yet, is not recognized by any of the purebred canine clubs. In fact, many purebred clubs are against the cross-breeding of two different purebred breeds, and oppose the recognition of hybrid dogs as their own separate breed.
However, with the increase in Puggle hobby clubs, as well hybrid dog clubs, there may be opportunities for Puggles to participate in canine events, provided a breed standard is developed and the Puggle begins to show more consistency in regards to type.