Complete Guide To The Puggle: Care, Feeding, Exercise and More

The Puggle is a modern dog that is a cross between a Beagle and a Pug. This dog breed has only existed for around 30 years, but it is not recognized by the AKC or any other organized dog breed association. The Puggle seems to blend the best of the two dog breeds, coupling the great personality and cute looks of both the Pug and the Beagle.

Currently, the Puggle is considered a “designer” dog breed, but breeders of this adorable dog aren’t currently seeking to make the Puggle an officially recognized breed. Those that have a Puggle are perfectly happy with their little furry friends and widely report that this little dog is an excellent family member. 

I’m not only a veterinarian with 20+ years of experience, but I’m also the owner of a Puggle named Topher. The following information is based on my personal experience.  

My Dog Topher at 4

How Big Do Puggles Get?

There is a great deal of size variation with the Puggle because it results from genetic changes with each new litter. Most Puggles are around 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Males and females are usually about the same size and typically weigh between 18 and 30 pounds. The Puggle can also be found in a “toy-sized,” but really, these dogs are just smaller Puggles that tend to inherit more of the Pug’s appearance. These smaller Puggles are usually between 8 and 17 pounds and measure just 13 inches at the shoulder.  

What Do Puggles Look Like?

The overall look of the Puggle can vary drastically. These dogs have a wrinkled Pug face most of the time but a long nose like a Beagle. The Puggle has the look of a miniature Mastiff and has long and slender legs as opposed to the short and stocky Pug legs.

The Puggle has a double coat that has short and smooth fur. This dog comes in a wide range of colors, including fawn, tan, red, black, lemon, or a mix of all of these colors. Sometimes Puggles have a black mask on their face with black ears. Much of the Puggle’s appearance is left to genetic chance, and often puppies in the same litter will look drastically different.  

What Is The Personality Of A Puggle?

The Puggle is a loving, affectionate, and loyal dog breed that many people love to invite into their families. This little dog is not a “one-person” dog but instead views its entire family as its own. This little dog has been known to get along well with other dogs, all people, and especially children. The Puggle enjoys having the company of other pets and his family and can suffer from severe separation anxiety if he is left for long periods by himself. Although the Puggle is a loving and affectionate dog breed, practice caution when housing this dog with cats. It has been known to have aggressive, predatory nature toward felines.  

Even though the Puggle is an intelligent breed of dog, he can be rather difficult to train. This characteristic is mainly due to the Puggle’s stubborn streak. To break through the stubborn streak, it is best to use positive training techniques. Use plenty of praise and rewards for good behavior.

Always keep training sessions short and upbeat to keep your Puggle interested in learning new behaviors and tricks. The Puggle will be quick to alert you to a stranger at the door but ultimately will not make a good guard dog. Although not all, some Puggles will howl, and this is thought to be a trait inherited from the Beagle.  

Two Of My Dogs – Topher and Doogie

How Much Grooming Do Puggles Need?

Although the Puggle has short fur, they have a dense double coat. The coat consists of a dense and coarse upper topcoat, with a short and soft undercoat intended to keep the Puggle warm. The Puggles will shed a great deal and are certainly not for those who like to keep a clean and tidy house. Brushing your Puggle about once per week will help to remove dead fur and reduce the amount of shedding.  

Some Puggles have excessively wrinkled faces. It is essential to keep the skin folds and wrinkles clean and dirt-free. Trapped debris and water in the skin folds can lead to skin irritation and skin infection, which can be painful. Be sure to wipe the skin folds with a wet cloth or a commercial baby wipe once per week, or as needed, to keep the skin healthy and clean. Of course, always keep the nails trimmed short and the ears clean to keep your Puggle in good health.

How Much Exercise Do Puggles Need?

While the Puggle may be a smaller dog, it is a breed that has a high-energy Beagle as part of its genetic makeup. This fact means that the Puggle is an active dog that needs plenty of exercise. To release some of its energy, it will need about 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise every day. These dogs enjoy going for a long walk or playing a game of fetch. Although they have high energy, the small dog is not a great jogging partner.  

To help keep these dogs both physically and mentally engaged, consider enrolling your Puggle in agility competitions. Not only is this a great way to bond with your dog and spend time together, but it is a great way to give your Puggle the exercise and mental stimulation he needs. The Puggle will work to solve puzzles while being able to satisfy his ongoing need for speed.  

Once a Puggle crosses about 7-8 years of age, they tend to start slowing down quite a bit. Naps become far more frequent. Don’t be fooled, however, as they are ready to bounce up at any point and go racing out the door to bark at a squirrel.

What Is The Best Dog Food For Puggles?

Puggles require no special dietary considerations other than they tend to lean towards obesity as they get older. They’re notorious scroungers and you’ll want to make sure you keep your trash containers closed and locked. Also, if your Puggle is anything like mine, be mindful of whether or not they can access the kitchen counters when you’re not around.

Before we start with the food lists, just know that grain-free dog foods are a myth. There’s zero science showing that they are helpful. In fact, there’s increasing evidence that it’s causing issues in certain breeds of dogs. Food allergies are the only reason to even consider a grain-free diet but only choose one with the help of your veterinarian.

Basic dog foods that I recommend include:

Over the Counter Weight Management Diets:

How Long Do Puggles Live?

There’s no official consensus, but my experience would say 12-15 years. Topher is currently 11 years old.

What Health Conditions Can Puggles Have?

While Beagles are a pretty healthy breed, combining them with the Pug adds many more risk factors.

There are three issues that I do see in Puggles fairly regularly that you should be aware of:

  • Obesity
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Dental Disease

Topher has a bunch of fatty lumps (lipomas), is overweight, experiences reverse sneezing a lot, and I’ve removed a few of his teeth after he broke them chewing on toys. He also had a stroke about 18 months ago and still has a moderate limp to his right front leg as a result. I’m still not sure why he had the stroke and he’s been stroke-free since then.

Where Can I Find a Puggle?

Puggles are a unique breed that comes from pairing a Beagle together with a Pug. Usually, but not always, the mother dog is the Beagle. Most Puggle puppies that are available today are first-generation Puggles. There have been few Puggle to Puggle breedings that have resulted in the same genetic combinations as a first-generation Puggle. Like all dogs that are adopted from a breeder, be sure to do your homework ahead of time. You want to find a breeder you can trust that is knowledgeable about the breed and has performed necessary health certifications and checks before adoption.

Although this breed of dog is largely considered a “designer” breed, there are still available rescues that specialize in Puggles. The Saint’s Puggle Rescue is an excellent resource for those who want to rescue a Puggle. Not only is a rescue a great way to help a dog in need of a home, but you will still be able to get the purebred designer dog of your dreams. As the Puggle becomes more popular, more Puggle-specific rescues will emerge throughout the United States.

Fun Facts About the Puggle

Most Puggles are the result of a male Pug father with a female Beagle mother. Although this is certainly not always the case, it is quite common. When the Pug is the mother dog, it often results in the death of the puppies or the mother dog during labor and birth.  

It is thought that the Puggle started to become popular in the 1990s, although the combination may have developed in the 1980s. This dog breed wasn’t popularized with the name Puggle until Wallace Havens registered dog breed with the American Canine Hybrid Club. The breed is still not recognized by the AKC.

The Puggle is a popular dog breed that has even found its way to Hollywood. Many popular actors and actresses own Puggles, including Uma Thurman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kelly Osborne, and Sylvester Stallone.  

The Puggle is thought to be a generally healthy breed of dog, and the combination of the Beagle and Pug seems to sort out many of the known health problems of the Pug. The Pug traditionally has respiratory issues, but the elongated snout from the Beagle generally rules out these concerns.