All About Puggles
My puggle, Shibby
Although my puggle, Shibby, is very unique in his own ways, I hope that describing him will give insight into this designer breed that has been growing in popularity over the past several years.
A Few Main Details
A puggle is a mixed breed of a pug and a beagle. At 4 years old, Shibby, stands about 18 in. tall, is about 22 in. long, and weighs about 30 lbs. His coloring is very original. Most puggles you see are a tan color with black colored trimming. You can see that Shibby is the complete opposite. Most people think he looks like a miniature rottweiler! Looking at him, you're able to tell which traits come from which breed. (Personally, I think he's a perfectly even mix of both.) He has beagle ears, just a tad smaller than purebreds. A beagle snout, just shorter. Pug eyes, that don't bug out as much. A long beagle's tail that curls like a pug's. And a stocky beagle body that's not quite as heavy-set as a pug. What about his bark? He definitely does not have that loud beagle howl, but his bark has more baritone than a yippy sounding pug.
Now, I can't speak for the behaviors of all puggles. Shibby is surely one of a kind! From my experience (being a dog owner and knowing lots of different dog owners), I think your dog's behavior is a reflection of your relationship with your dog. For example, Shibby's my "little baby," and he definitely acts like it. He is an extremely loving, loyal, and affectionate dog. He craves a lot of attention because he's used to getting plenty of it. He is almost always curled up by my side or at least somewhere very near me. I rarely even leave the room without him toting along right behind me, especially if I'm headed towards the kitchen! If I'm lying down, his favorite place to snuggle up is right in the crook of my legs, behind my knees. From there, he will usually rest his head on my legs and doze off. As a teacher, I spend a lot of time curled up on my couch grading. I get easily distracted as Shibby often jumps up to join me and nuzzles his way onto my lap. He is a very lovable companion!
He is also very tenacious, which can sometimes come off as pushy or stubborn. As I mentioned earlier, I believe a dog's behavior is determined almost soley on their owner. I didn't spend an extreme amount of time training Shibby. Potty training as a puppy got to be very frustrating at times because for some reason he never liked "going" when he was on his leash. Unfortunately, we've always lived in an apartment, so we didn't have the luxury of a yard. (Plus we live on the 3rd floor!) Most articles on puppy training tell you that your puppy will have to go about every 2 hours, so we went out about every 2 hours (except when he was in his kennel when I was at work or asleep at night). Sometimes we would be outside for 5 minutes before he went, while other times we were outside for 25 minutes before he went. Then sometimes we'd come upstairs, and he'd go again! (Thank goodness for puppy pads!) Don't worry, though, we eventually got there. Now, he's fully trained and usually "goes" when he's on a leash. Luckily, we moved to an apartment complex that has a doggy park where he can run around off leash, also.
Did I train him to do some tricks? Yes, but I wasn't super adamant about his training. So, he can "sit;" he usually follows this command right away, but sometimes he walks away and sits where he wants. He knows "down," but doesn't always follow this one. He knows "high five," but also chooses to follow this command sporadically. He definitely knows "no" and "off," as these were words he heard a lot as a puppy and even still as an adult. However, I did say he was tenacious, so "off" usually translates to "I'll come back in a little bit" to him. All this means that he was capable of learning commands, if he had an owner that was more dedicated to taking time to have properly trained him. I will say that the best motivation I ever used for him when training him was with treats. Even now, I can bribe him with food to follow most commands!
So far, Shibby has lived a very healthy 4 years. Most pugs tends to have a lot of breathing problems because they have a very short snout which means their short little nasal passages get to be very easily clogged. A puggle's snout tends to be longer, thanks to the beagle genes. This means they probably aren't going to have the same types of problems. Shibby's nose doesn't really run, but he "snoots" quite often. This could also be because we live in the desert so there's a lot of dust in the air. (I should also mention that he usually snores, too!) Now, beagles are very susceptible to ear infections. This is problematic with Shibby, sometimes. If he gets to scratching a lot at his ears, this is usually an indicator that it's time to clean or flush out his ears. Speaking of his ears, since they are larger like a beagle's, Shibby will often get cuts on the inside of his ears if he and his "brother" (our other dog, a shepherd mix, Onyx) play too rough.
Grooming Shibby is not too difficult. His coat is pretty thin, so he doesn't need to get his fur trimmed. He will shed, but not much more or less than most other dogs. bathing and brushing him on a regular basis prevents from extreme shedding. He still needs his teeth brushed to prevent tarter and other dental problems. I buy Nylabones for him to chew on, which also helps keep his teeth healthy. (He's an "eater," not just a chewer; so I buy a lot of hard plastic toys for him. He also likes to chew water bottles!) He hates getting his nails trimmed, so this is always a challenge. It always requires a second person, one to hold him while the other clips.
I hope this article has been helpful for anyone wanting to learn a little more about puggles. Although Shibby is my first puggle, I would love to continue owning puggles in the future, betting that they would be just as lovable as he is!