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In the past three hours, 4 different people have mentioned “Puggles” to me. Good hearted, well meaning people just like the folks who buy or want to buy Puggles from Pet Stores because they are so “cute.” Puggles are a mix of beagle and pug and are currently being touted as the “#1 Hybrid in America” and the "New Must Have Dog". Today alone I've seen stories about Puggles on NBC, the Today Show and MSN. I’m not linking to any of these articles because I don’t want to give them anymore positive media coverage than they are already getting. No, I want to give you the other side of the story and educate you about these new “Designer Dog Breeds”.
Just the other week at Petco, a family with a little Puggle puppy approached me and Pugsley, saying “Awwww, there’s you’re daddy”. I am getting scared. They are gaining in popularity. Of course I think Puggles are cute. Pugs and Beagles are my 2 favorite breeds of dog. I spent my childhood with beagles and my adulthood with Pugs. But does that mean I think it’s a good idea? NO. Cute isn't the issue here folks. I feel like I need to be a voice for these dogs who can’t be heard. I don’t care how much backlash I’ll get for this either. Come and attack me, I double dog dare you.
I’ve been working in Pug rescue for a while now and I’ve seen a lot of heart breaking things. I’ve seen footage of the puppies that are sold into pet stores where they are kept in farm-like warehouses with no electricity, in the dark, in excessive heat and unbearable cold. In crate, after crate, stacked upon one another to the roof with rain and snow leaking in. The puppies that make it out of here alive are the lucky ones. Ever wonder why you see so many sick puppies at the Pet Store? Because they are coming from places like this.
But even before puppies get to that horrible place to be farmed out to local stores, even before they are born, think about their parents and where they come from. From places where the people who breed them don’t care about the dogs or the offspring, they care about the $1500. bounty on each puppy’s head. They don’t care about congenital defects, throwing bad genes from one and bad genes from the other into one big blender to mix up and make more bad genes.
They are so greedy in fact, that they will breed the same female dog over and over and over and over until she can’t walk. To the point where she is still nursing one litter of puppies while being impregnated with her next. How do I know? Because our rescue organization has saved dogs just like this. Pugs with broken jaws, limbs, and cut out vocal cords. Oftentimes, they aren’t given enough food or water and are living in their own feces and urine in cramped quarters. Just enough to keep them alive and pumping out litters of puppies that end up in these same types of places. The Puggle is a Backyard Breeders dream!
Let’s forget for a moment about the fact that a Puggle is going to inherit not ONE set of genetic problems but TWO. A Pug being a brachiocephalic toy breed and lapdog crossed with a beagle hound that is full of energy and was bred to hunt. How well do you think that dog is going to be able to breathe when it’s running hard and playing? Take a Pug’s nose and challenged respiratory system and cross it with Beagles exuberant personality and genetic urge to hunt and run. How can this be good?
Not every Puggle comes out looking like the ones being featured on the cover of the NY Post or on the Today Show. Some come out Black and white. Some look more like pugs with curly tails. Some inherit the long fur of the beagle. And what do you think happens to those "less attractive" dogs? They get discarded.
Even behavioral wise, pugs and beagles are both incredibly stubborn and difficult to train. Any owner who adopts a Puggle, will have to be aware that they are getting double the trouble in housetraining and obedience. You know what this will result in? Owners who don’t have the time, patience, or money to deal with all of these issues. That’s when, if we are lucky, they contact our rescue organization so we can help them. It’s all the owners who don’t contact us though that I worry about. Instead they just sell them in the paper to any random person or worse, dump them on the side of the road, or possibly even to a fate more cruel.
So remember, each time you see a Puggle, or any of these so called “designer’ breeds like Tea Cup Pugs, or Albino Pugs, etc. etc. (and this isn’t just limited to pugs they just happen to be the “it” dog of the moment) know that no matter how cute the dog is, and maybe if it’s lucky will be born without any health problems – that only a non-reputable breeder who is greedy for money and the cost on each puppy’s head would breed a Beagle and a Pug. Only a Backyard breeder or a Puppy Mill would. I’m not saying Puggles aren’t cute. I’m not saying they won’t make great dogs. I’m not saying all will get sick. But I am saying no matter how great he is, the conditions his parents are living in are 95% of the time deplorable. And any money you spend to purchase one goes directly into their pockets so they can stay in business.
If you have found this article by Google Searching “Puggle” which I’ve key worded specifically so that you will, and are looking to purchase a Puggle from a Pet Store or a sketchy breeder, Please think seriously about it before you do.
Instead, I would urge you to look at your local adoption and rescue organizations, animal shelters, or check Petfinder.org where these dogs will inevitably end up. The volunteers who make these operations possible work tirelessly and give selfishly of their time, heartache, and personal money to save dog's lives. Please also consider making a donation to help them continue their relentless efforts to save all the dogs that are products of abuse and neglect.
You can start here: Precious Pugs Rescue and Adoption and give today.
How else do I know? Because Pugsley is a puppy mill pug and his parents sufferered tremendously.
***Please feel free to crosspost***
Here are just a few Puggles listed on Petfinder currently being sheltered and are in need of a good home.