Designer dogs: the puggle prevails

By Staff Writer
February 2, 2006

Matt Schill

The new dog in town is unlike any of the popular breeds in the past. The latest sensation of dog ownership is owning a “designer dog.”

Hybrid breeds, or “designer dogs,” are the products of two purebreds specifically mated to make a certain type of dog such as a “peekapoo” and a “goldendoodle.” People want hybrids as pets to have the cuteness of both breeds, but mostly because they are the solution to those who could not own a dog because of allergies.

Cross breeding the poodle was the start of this hybrid dog rage. Poodles are dogs whose fur does not shed. When they are mixed with a different breed, the most dominant feature about the poodle, its fur, is passed on to their puppies.

“I think this is a good idea for people that couldn’t have a cute puppy,” says Mariel Wright, a junior psychology major. These new breeds have given many people the chance to have a pet in their homes.

One of the first dogs a poodle was crossed with was the labrador retriever. When mixed together, out comes a curly-haired, friendly and hypoallergenic puppy that is now called a Labradoodle. They were first bred in Australia in the early ’90s. The prices on these puppies are high, costing around $2000.

These dogs were also mixed for service training. Because of the intelligence of both the poodle and the labrador, these pups can be trained to help those who need service in their homes that are also allergic to dogs.

Another extremely popular hybrid is called the puggle. This is a mixture between a female beagle and a male pug. They are known to be sweet-tempered, affectionate and very playful. These small dogs have loose skin with a wrinkled face and are very calm, like pugs, and have the strong physical qualities from the beagle.

Puggles grow to be between 15 and 20 pounds, are tan with black muzzles and most of them have a curly tail like the pug. Unlike the pug, however, puggles do not have the signature eyes that bulge out of their heads.

In the past seven years, the demand for puggles has sky-rocketed. The price for these marvelous mutts used to be in the range of $200 to $300, which was high for a mutt. Now it is hard to find a puggle that doesn’t cost under $800, and the prices are even higher for the smaller puppies.

For those who want pugs, they will usually opt for a puggle because a puggle does not have the breathing problems like the purebred does. Most hybrids do not show any congenital defects or particular health concerns. Because of the longer snout, coming from the beagle, it makes breathing easier for the puggle. The life expectancy of hybrids is also longer than a purebred.

Even though these dogs are very popular all over the world, there is still controversy. One problem that people face when creating a mix-breed puppy is that they will not turn out the way that they want. For a puggle, it is very specific that you mate a female beagle with a male pug.

Also, the owners and breeders of purebred dogs think the cross-breeding is out of control. They think that the blood lines of the purebreds have been kept flowing for generations and now they feel that they aren’t getting their money’s worth. A purebred pug sells for up to $800 where a puggle sells for $1500 and higher.

Wright said, “I don’t think it should matter. They are just new kinds of dogs that people want to have as pets. They should have any kind of dog they want.”

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Matt Schill

Staff Writer

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