So the first thing you may be asking is… what E-X-A-C-T-L-Y is a Puggle?
The Puggle is a small mixed breed dog; the result of crossbreeding a pug and a beagle. Initially bred by a Wisconsin breeder named Wallace Havens, the first Puggle was born sometime in the 1990’s. He also coined the name “Puggle” and was the first to register the breed with the American Canine Hybrid Club.
The Puggle has a thickset or stocky body with short legs, a curled tail, deeply wrinkled forehead and short drooping ears. Their coat is a smooth, shiny, short-haired and fawn, tan, and/or black colored. Puggle’s can grow up to 15 inches tall; their weight will range from 13 to 30 pounds.
A Puggle brings the better of two dog breeds to life. They enjoy family life, they are very intelligent and are quick learners. A Puggle is also gentle and playful. This breed does best with loads of attention and in a nurturing environment. Puggle’s are excellent companions and are gentle with children. Be aware the Puggle LOVES their humans; watch out behind and underfoot as they tend to follow their humans everywhere!
This hybrid is best suited for life indoors and can even adapt to apartment living. The Puggle should be walked every day for at least 15 minutes at a time. Feeding requirements include two small meals a day and plenty of water. Puggle’s are prone to obesity, so a diet featuring a high-quality premium dog food is recommended. (Dog Food Advisor).
A Puggle is misunderstood as being notoriously stubborn but they are actually more inquisitive and their intelligence requires a challenge. Training a Puggle should be balanced with some “thinking” games. They seem to want to know that what they are doing for their human is worth their time and efforts so appropriate rewards should be freely given. Rewards can be a low-cal snacks, a good scratch or even special or extra playtime.
Another misunderstanding humans have about the Puggle is their barking. Remember they are intelligent , friendly and alert therefore they also communicate. They communicate with the only known language of a canine – barking. A Puggle’s bark has very distinctive differences – from a typical “ya’all gotta come see this right now…” type of bark, a “roo-roo” bark as if asking for attention or inviting us to play and sometimes even an excited higher pitched “squark” (squeaky bark) as if to tell us “OMG! This is soooo much fun.”
They are very possessive, notice I did not say protective, and tend to bark to announce passerby’s, visitors to the home, or that it’s time to go outside, playtime, snack time or dinnertime but their friendliness prevents them from being good guard dogs. Consistent training and learning exercises are important to make sure that a Puggle does not turn into a noisy nuisance barker due to his boredom.
Of special concern is that while the Puggle was bred to have a longer muzzle than the pug, and though they do not have the same respiratory issues that Pugs do, some Puggle’s do have some breathing problems mostly limited to snoring or they may reverse-sneeze or wheeze after they have exerted themselves. Remember they can extremely energetic and playful; wanting to play more than is good for them, which can exacerbate their breathing problems.
Puggle’s are sensitive to climate changes; they can overheat quickly, and when the weather turns chilly they tend to get colder and faster than their humans. They can also be sensitive to humid climates, and taking them outdoors in extremely hot or cold weather can easily tire them out, cause illness or heat related exhaustion.
The simple fact is dogs are scavengers, but note the Puggle and remember its only part Pug and the other part is B-E-A-G-L-E so they tend be more “beagle-y” in its scavenger habits. In other words NOTHING if off limits to the Puggle! Thus, the need for a high quality kibble (we feed him Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain Free and alternate with Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free and Solid Gold Sun Dancer) mixed with 1 tsp. canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling) for fiber and low-cal snacks, which can include some fresh fruits and veggies. We’ve had some scares with our Puggle having eaten his rope toy, sticks, a toad, a pencil or two, a pillow, a small plastic coated paperclip (YIKES!).
Lastly the Puggle is also a power chewer. We have yet to find a toy, other than the Kong, that is indestructible to the Puggle. Their chewing habits coupled with their intelligence and playfulness seems to be the motivator to find out “what’s inside all those soft fuzzy, squeaky things the humans call toys?” So a word of caution – Puggle proof your home, watch your Puggle when he is playing with toys ensuring your companion does not create his own choking hazard in the name of playtime. Some Puggle alternatives we have had success with are: deer antlers (the denser the better but watch out for broken molars and that they don’t get too small to cause choking), ice cubes, with and without treats frozen inside, Smart Bones, Blue Bones, frozen banana pieces, carrots, green beans, apples (no skin and especially NO SEEDS!)