Puggles are a hybrid dog breed created by crossing pugs and beagles. They are small, heavy-bodied dogs with a great deal of energy, and when well-trained, they can be excellent family pets and companions. Puggles are not a problem-free breed, however, and recognizing some of their issues is an important part of deciding whether a puggle is right for you.
The puggle has a coat that is easy to care for, but it does have thick fur that sheds heavily, especially during the warm months. Weekly brushing is necessary to ensure that all of the loose hair is shed. Though the puggle's coat is not very long, it is not considered a hypoallergenic dog and is a poor choice for people with allergies.
Puggles are sensitive to climate changes due to their pug ancestry. They cannot tolerate overheating, and when the weather turns chilly they are prone to catching colds. They can also be sensitive to humid climates, and taking them outdoors in extremely hot or cold weather can tire them or cause illness.
The puggle was bred to have a longer muzzle than the pug, and though they do not have the same extreme respiratory issues that fully brachycephalic pugs do, some puggles do have breathing problems. These issues may be limited to snoring or they may reverse-sneeze or wheeze after they have exerted themselves. Due to their beagle lineage they are extremely energetic, and they may want to play more than is good for them, which can exacerbate their breathing problems. Nostril enlargement and palate trimming surgery can work wonders for brachycephalic dogs like pugs and puggles.
Unless they are well-trained, puggles can be loud dogs. They are alert and will tend to bark to announce strangers or visitors to the home, though their friendliness prevents them from being good guard dogs. Some puggles may also howl, a trait that is common in beagles. Early training is essential to make sure that a puggle does not turn into a noisy nuisance.
Some puggles, especially the ones that have more wrinkles in their face, are prone to skin infections. While a puggle's muzzle is not as short and wrinkled as the muzzle of a pug, the wrinkles in its face still need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Dirt and debris can get caught in the wrinkles, which will abrade the skin and sometimes develop into a fungal and/or bacterial infection. Skin infections can be avoided by cleaning the wrinkles with a damp cloth once a day. You can use a gentle liquid cleaning and drying agent specially for this purpose.
- Beagle, cane image by Buffy1982 from Fotolia.com