A while back we determined that Beebo is most, if not all, puggle. That is, a pug/beagle mix. All the evidence is there. That was two years ago, when Puggle Fever was everywhere. Now it’s time for the inevitable backlash.
Once enjoying obscurity as the nickname for a baby platypus, the term “puggle” is now universally understood to mean the cross-bred offspring of a pug and a beagle that has become as trendy as investment jeans or pumpkin latte. “It’s the equivalent of breeding a Marc Jacobs bag with a Louis Vuitton,” sniffed one pet-store owner, employing the popular, if misguided, notion of comparing companion animals to stitched accessories.
Created and coined by commercial breeder Wallace Havens of Sun Prairie, Wis., the puggle arguably peaked in 2005, when assorted celebrities were photographed with the soulful-eyed canines and the New York Post gave the hot hybrid its cover, no less.
Okay first things first. Our puggle dates back to 1999 and so we were totally at the bleeding edge of the puggle thing. (Some of our friends were, unfortunately, even closer to Beebo’s bleeding edge than we wanted.) The fact that people were recognizing the awesomeness of puggles should not reflect poorly on the dogs themselves who are just being dogs.
The appeal of the puggle is evident at first glance: A puggle puppy inherits a slightly less smushed-in face than its pug progenitor, framed by the floppy ears of the beagle parent. It is cuteness defined.
Yes! This is true.
But the puggle’s downfall is not its appearance. It is its energy level. While pugs have been bred for centuries for companionship, they have a reputation for clownish stubbornness. This gets taken to NASCAR levels with the infusion of beagle blood. An unapologetic hunting dog, the beagle gives voice when he is excited, or frustrated, or bored, or basically just breathing. He laughs at your obedience class enrollment forms, preferring instead to dig up the dahlia bed or bark nonstop in the crate while you go to work.
As a result, while a puggle is a delight to look at, he is a challenge to live with. The word that recurs in conversation with rescuers is “hyper.”
But this! This is DAMNABLE LIES. Beebo hardly digs at all.
While puggles are good with children and other dogs, they don’t meet the expectations of the many pug lovers who seek them out, she says. “Pugs are very docile, lazy dogs. They wouldn’t know it if a bird landed on their head. Puggles definitely have [a much higher] activity level.”
More lies! Beebo sleeps all day long and is not good with children at all.
Beguiled by the whiff of an interesting scent, puggles are unapologetic wanderers; often inheriting the pug’s notoriously poor sense of direction, most of their excursions are one-way trips. If they retain something from their pug forebears, it is that nonstop shedding coat and a dyslexia about housebreaking.
This is just an attempt to say, nicely, “pugs are stupid”. And frankly, this is actually all true about Beebo except he’s got the housebreaking pretty much down.
So, Ms. Denise Flaim of Newsday, you have made your little point.
Here’s my counterpoint: