Two Distinct and Separate Breeds
The recent attention given to a mixing of Pugs and Beagles resulting in Puggles is both disturbing and mysterious.
Why would anyone want to take two such diverse breeds and combine them? Each with their own personalities, breed characteristics, functions, history and most disturbing - health problems.
The Pug is an ancient breed dating back to the Major Han dynasty (206 b.c. to a.d.200) in China. They were bred for the emperors and other high officials.
Today's Pug is simply a companion dog.
The breed has several health issues including the more common of elongated soft palates, to Pug Dog Encephalitis, which is always fatal, Hemi-vertebrae, which causes rear leg paralysis and Epilepsy. They are also prone to all sorts of eye problems and obesity.
Their biggest problem is they are such wonderful pets they have become popular and as is often the case this new found popularity is not good for the breed. All of the above info can be found on the PDCA web site at www.pugs,org.
Upon checking the Beagle web site we find this breed is a hunting breed of note. He often works in packs. Is very active and not necessarily a lap dog.
The Beagle web site lists 97 health problems with about 20 listed as those with a higher incidence within the breed. These also include common problems such as elongated soft palates to epilepsy to severe eye problems.
Therefore, why take these two wonderful breeds and combine them to make a "breed of the month"? There are very good medical reasons not to mix such health issues and one wonder if the purchasers of these "Puggles" are willing to not only pay the price of medical problems but also undergo the heartache when their fashionable breed experiences life threatening issues.
We urge reputable breeders, dog press and lovers of both breeds to join together in a concentrated effort to educate the public of the possibilities of unsound, unhealthily and questionable temperament whenever you mix breeds.
Fashion Faux Paws
I wonít apologize for my opinion. If you want a Pug buy a Pug. If you want a Beagle buy a Beagle. Please donít support the idiotic craze that the puggle is the best of both of worlds, because it isnít.
I guess itís human nature to not leave well enough alone and I guess itís human nature that some people always have to line their pockets and make a profit from someone elseís stupid decisions.
For over thirty years I have owned and shown some of the nations top winning Pugs as well as top winning Beagles and I feel I am certainly qualified to address this puggle craze.
So donít go waving the hybrid vigor flag in my face. The theory that most genetic problems are the result of recessive genes combining and that these genes wonít find one another in a cross breed is ridiculous. If that were true, you would never take your mutt to the vet. I donít know of any species more cross bred than mankind and we certainly arenít a very healthy lot. Hybrid vigor works for corn and soy beans.
The fact of the matter is, a breeder dedicated to producing only quality animals has spent years studying pedigrees and breeds only healthy families of dogs to likewise healthy families. No dedicated breeder sets out to breed an unhealthy pet. Many national breed clubs have health foundations that have come up with genetic testing to know which dogs are carriers of what health problems. Puppy mills, and backyard/neighborhood breeders donít invest their life blood in studying pedigrees for health and structural faults and they certainly arenít funding any genetic testing. They just breed to sell you what ever it is that you want to part with your bucks for at the moment.
The next misnomer, only the best traits of both breeds are maintained in the cross. Did I mention Iíve got a bridge in Brooklyn? If you think only the best traits of both breeds align themselves like the solar systems Ė then why are our prisons full? Think about this. The best traits of a Pug besides itís small size and clownish personality is that it sheds non stop, it is hard to housebreak, has a faulty cooling system (they absolutely, positively cannot endure heat, humidity or cold), they have no homing instincts what so ever (they canít find their way home from the neighbors) and they get fat looking at food. But I still love them. Donít forget, you donít see any Pugs replacing Border Collies for those highest scores at the obedience trials either. Some Pugs snort and snuffle and some rather than bark, have an awful ďscreamĒ, there is no other way to describe it.
So lets combine those traits with the best traits of a Beagle and what do we get? Beagles are small merry hounds that hunt by scent Ė meaning they put their little Beagle noses to the ground and they are gone. The reason God put that white tip on the end of that happy tail is so it can wave goodbye to itís owner as the little Beagle disappears into the sunset chasing itís quarry (real or imagined). Beagles have a melodious voice. Well, to a true Beagler itís melodious. To your neighbor down the hall in 2A itís not so melodious when he has to listen to it nonstop all day long. Beagles are supposed to give cry when hunting and guess what? They give cry when bored, when noting the arrival of a stranger, when demanding their food, etc., etc, etc. They too live to eat and fight the battle of the bulge without too many victories. Hounds are naturally hard to housebreak. They are aloof and not noted for their obedience brilliance either.
I heard some say it must have been a slow news day when the POST covered the puggle on the front page of the paper. My first thought was here goes our rescue money. Donít kid yourself and think we havenít rescued puggles already. Weíve rescued Pugs crossed with Beagles, Chihuahuas, Border Terriers, Frenchies, Griffys Ė you name it, itís happened. Did you really think the paper was going to interview anyone unhappy with their puggle? That doesnít sell papers.
So why would anyone want to take two breeds steeped in history with characteristics unique to each breed and make genetic goulash? Money Ė honey. Until the POST slapped the puggle all over the front page puggles sold for about $200. Mansí next best trend is now going to cost you big bucks. With that article, you were just informed that you had to have this new mutt that attracted you because it was small and cute when you bought it. But, it will grow into a food oriented, pee on the floor, canít find its way home and donít want to come home new kind of howling, screaming hound that doesnít have much going for it in the obedience department. Think they improved the dogs cooling system? Not likely when you shorten the Beagles nose on a dog that is supposed to hunt for hours on end. Think youíve reduce the chance of eye injuries Ė not when you have a dog bred to follow itís nose and youíve just put those eyes closer to the end of shorten snout. Dah!
These puggle breeders arenít in it for the health and well being of preserving or even creating a ďnew breedĒ. When puggles no longer sell donít think for one moment these so called breeders wonít move on to the next thing you think you canít live without. Why? For the money you are willing to fork over. Remember the cockapoo? So who wants one of those now? Ten years ago you just had to have it. Today itís the goldendoodle, the labradoodle and I canít even keep up with what theyíre calling the Bichon crosses.
If you want a crossbreed Ė go to your local shelter or call an all breed rescue. They are chock full of dogs waiting for good homes. If you want a Pug, buy a Pug. If you want a Beagle, buy a Beagle.
I donít care what celebrity owns what cross. Sure there will always be people that buy a certain handbag because a certain movie star or rock star carries it. Dogs arenít handbags. When you tire of a handbag you can discard it. Dogs are creature that lives for years. Remember what your Mamma said? If ďtheyĒ jumped off a bridge would you?
Trust me on this Ė puggles are here today and gone tomorrow. Though tomorrow wonít come soon enough for true Pug or Beagle fanciers. Eventually the puggle will go the way of the cockapoo and the schnoodle but not before they make an enormous burden on rescue.
Be an informed buyer. Donít buy into the hybrid vigor hype. Both of these breeds have very similar health problems. Left to be randomly crossed by people with no concern for the true health of the dogs all you get in the end is genetic Russian roulette.
If you think the only reason I dislike the puggle craze is because itís cutting into my profit margin? To this I say Ė what profit? The two or three puppies I have available to a pet home from year to year is hardly a profit. Some people collect cars, some people drive fast boats. I preserve a breed standard. My respect goes to the hundreds of members of the Pug Dog Club of America and the Beagle club that will never, ever, literally, cross the line.