Key Personality Traits:
At their best, Pugapoo dogs are undeniably lovable, people-friendly, enthusiastic, trainable best friends. While they may not look much alike, the Pug and the Poodle have a lot in common. Topping the list is a love of laughter – yours, at their antics.
The Pugapoo is a crossbreed. It’s often assumed that a crossbreed will combine the best of two or more breeds, but it doesn’t always work that way. The way genes combine and express themselves is not always subject to a breeder’s control, even less so when two different breeds are crossed.
Crossbred puppies like the Pugapoo – even within the same litter – can look very different from each other, and can look the same as or different from their parents. The Pugapoo’s size, color, coat type, temperament, activity level and health risks will vary depending on what traits an individual puppy has inherited from his parents.
Pugapoos are not very consistent in looks, and can have a curly Poodle coat, a short Pug coat, or anything in between. They can come in pretty much any color, have a tightly corkscrewed tail or one that flies high, and even come in a variety of sizes from around 10 pounds to as much as 30 pounds, depending on the size of the parents.
Because both Poodles and Pugs tend to be good with children, this can be a good mix to consider as a family pet. The smallest Pugapoos need to be protected from rough play, however. Pugapoos are usually good with other dogs and cats, but can be barkers if they take after the Poodle side, so be sure to gently nip any signs of nuisance barking in the bud.
Pugapoos have a low to moderate activity level that is adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They need a nice walk or active playtime each day, and if you’re interested (and the dog is in good overall health — check with your vet first), they are athletic enough to participate in such dog sports as agility, flyball, obedience and rally.
Both of the breeds used to create Pugapoos are smart and learn quickly, but if the Pug side is dominant your Pugapoo may have a bit of a stubborn streak. If you begin socialization and training early and use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards, you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion.
Other Quick Facts
- Pugapoos are companion dogs. They love their people and need to live in the house, never outdoors.
- Pugapoos have a low to moderate activity level and will enjoy walks or indoor playtime as well as some dog sports and therapy visits.
- Pugapoos can have different types of fur, including the straight hair of the Pug or the curly coat of the Poodle. Pugs shed heavily, and a Pugapoo may or may not shed a lot, depending on which coat type he inherits.
- Pugapoos are best suited to homes with older children who will treat them gently.
- Some Pugapoos may snore and snort if they take after the Pug side of their family.
The History of Pugapoos
People have been crossing types of dogs for millennia in the attempt to achieve a certain look, temperament or working ability. That’s how many well-known purebreds, including the Affenpinscher, Australian Shepherd, Black Russian Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Doberman Pinscher, German Wirehaired Pointer, Leonberger and more, originally got their start.
But crossing two breeds over and over does not a breed make. A breed is a group of animals related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most characteristics. To achieve consistency in appearance, size and temperament, breeders must select the puppies with the traits they want and breed them over several generations for the traits to become set.
Crossbreeds such as the Pugapoo have become popular over the past ten or twenty years as people seek out dogs that are different from the everyday Pug or Poodle or that they think will have certain appealing characteristics. For instance, it’s often claimed (falsely, by the way) that cross-breeds are hypoallergenic or have fewer health problems or will carry the best traits of each breed.
Unfortunately, genes aren’t quite that malleable. Genetic traits sort out randomly in each dog, so without selecting for certain characteristics over many generations, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the best of each breed. And no matter what his breed or mix, an individual dog may be more or less allergenic, intelligent, or healthy.
Whatever his breed, cross, or mix, love your dog for what he is: a unique, special and loving companion.
Pugapoo Temperament and Personality
Because the Pugapoo is a blend of two breeds, it’s hard to say exactly how his personality will turn out, but most likely he will be outgoing, friendly, and affectionate. Pugapoos can be barkers if they take after the Poodle side. They usually get along with other dogs and cats.
To a degree temperament is inherited, which is why it’s always a good idea to choose the “middle-of-the-road” puppy rather than the bossy one or the shy one. Howevever, you can help to promote a friendly nature by making sure that your puppy gets plenty of socialization before he is four months old. Up to 16 weeks of age, puppies are highly receptive to new people, places, sights, sounds, and experiences, so that’s the best time to start training them in puppy kindergarten classes and making sure that they encounter lots of different things so that they develop confidence.
Be aware, though, that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed.
What You Need to Know About Pugapoo Health
Just as all people have the potential to inherit a disease through genetics, so can dogs—purebreds, crossbreeds, and mixes.
It’s a red flag if you encounter a breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, claims that crossbreeds like the Pugapoo are immune to all health problems, or reveals that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. Reputable breeders champion honesty and integrity in their lines. Pugapoos may be susceptible to the health problems of both the Pug and Poodle, but there’s also a chance that the genetic diversity introduced by mixing two breeds may lower the chances of developing certain inherited diseases. Still, the very nature of genetic variation makes that difficult to predict.
You will not be able to detect all inherited conditions in a growing puppy, which is why finding a breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible is paramount. Good breeders will be able to show you health certifications for the puppy’s parents that will reveal any genetic defects in the lineage. These can come from health registries like the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Canine Eye Registry Foundation, or other independent organizations.
Don’t fall for an irresponsible breeder’s sales pitch. Getting dogs “vet checked” or providing any other anecdotal evidence of their health are not substitutes for real genetic testing of their dogs.
Vetting your breeder is half the battle to ensuring your new puppy’s health. You also have a great responsibility for protecting him against one very common health problem: obesity. Keep your Pugapoo at an appropriate weight, and you can help him extend his life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure to keeping your puppy in good health.
The Basics of Pugapoo Grooming
The grooming needs of the Pugapoo will depend on what kind of coat he has. The curly Poodle coat sheds very little but requires grooming every 4 to 6 weeks. Some owners learn to use clippers and do the job themselves, but most rely on professional groomers. Either way, it’s essential to take care of the curly coat, because without regular clipping, it will quickly become a matted mess that can cause painful skin infections at the roots of the hair. The short Pug-type coat sheds, but doesn’t need much care beyond a daily brushing.
Your Pugapoo’s ears need to be kept clean and dry, so clean them regularly with a cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. The rest is basic care. Trim his nails as needed, usually every week or two, and brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease.
Choosing a Pugapoo Breeder
Pugapoo puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Pugapoo a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. But there’s no need to pay big bucks for a Pugapoo. You can often find a wonderful example of this hybrid dog at your local shelter or through adoption organizations.
If you choose to buy one, however, select a breeder who has done the health testing to ensure that her puppies won’t carry the genetic diseases common to both breeds. If you are going to pay several hundred dollars or even $1,000 or more for a dog, you should get your money’s worth. Buying from a breeder who is smart and caring enough to do health certifications, even for a crossbreed, is the best way to do that. And while there are no guarantees in life, buying a healthy dog is a good way to minimize the possibility of big veterinary bills in the future.
What red flags should you look for in a breeder?
When they are only interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy. Good breeders will care first and foremost about getting their puppies in the right homes. They will ask as many questions of you as you will of them.
When they are overly concerned with your payment. Sure, all breeders should rightfully expect to be paid promptly and in full. However, breeders who seem preoccupied with whether your credit card will go through, or who offer the ability to pay online with a credit card, are often a cause for concern.
When they appear to be running a more commercial operation. Red flags to look out for include having multiple litters on premises, always having puppies available, or giving you the choice of any puppy. Again, reputable breeders will be most concerned with connecting the right puppy with the right person, not necessarily making big profit margins.
At the end of the day, don’t forget the old adage “let the buyer beware.” While there is no surefire way to distinguish a puppy mill from a legitimate operation, doing your research into the breed, checking out the facility, and asking the right questions will reduce the changes of heading into a disastrous situation. Think about using your veterinarian as a trusted resource—they may be able to refer you to a reputable breeder or rescue organization.
One last thing to note: Poodles have a reputation for being “hypoallergenic”, meaning that they can be tolerated by people who have allergies to dogs. Because they have the Poodle in their heritage, Pugapoos are sometimes promoted as being hypoallergenic. But allergies are caused not by a particular dog coat type but by dander, the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs. There is no scientific evidence that any breed or crossbreed is more or less allergenic than any other dog. Some people with allergies react less severely to particular dogs, but no reputable breeder will guarantee that her dogs are hypoallergenic.
Adopting a Pugapoo From a Rescue or Shelter
Adopting rather than buying from a breeder can be a great alternative to finding a Pugapoo to bring home. Fortunately, there are many great options to consider. Here are a few to get you started:
Search Online. The internet is a great resource to aid in your search for a Pugapoo. Petfinder.com , one of the most popular search engines for finding a new pet, is an awesome place to start. Search for a Pugapoo based on certain criteria like houstraining status, age, and geographic location.
AnimalShelter is another fantastic site to help you find animal rescue groups in your area.
Finally, don’t discount social media as a viable way to find a new dog. Sometimes, a quick post on your own channel communicating your desire to adopt a Pugapoo will unlock leads to litters, rescue groups, or dogs in need of a new home in your own network.
Talk to Local Experts. Looking for a dog? Reach out to the people who know them best! Vets, dog walkers, and groomers in your area can be great resources for helping you find a Pugapoo. They are often the first group people turn to when they have to make the tough decision to give up a dog, so these professionals may help connect you with a Pugapoo in need.
Find a Rescue Group. There are rescue groups for nearly every breed of dog. Pugapoos are no exception. Breed clubs often have rescue organizations dedicated to taking care of dogs in need of a home. Pugapoo breeders and enthusiasts can reach out to their networks to help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family.
The great thing about breed rescue groups is that they tend to be very upfront about any health conditions the dogs may have and are a valuable resource for advice. They also often offer fostering opportunities so, with training, you could bring a Pugapo home with you to see what the experience is like.
Whether you bring home a puppy or adult, take your Pugapoo to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
Do Pugapoos shed?
When it comes to shedding, Pugapoos tend to lose very little hair thanks to the coats of their parents, pugs and poodles. This is true for both the curly and smooth coat varieties of Pugapoos. However, Pugapoos do require some amount of daily brushing to prevent matting and skin infections.
How long do Pugapoos live?
On average, Pugapoos live between 12 and 14 years.
What does a Pugapoo look like?
Pugapoos are a crossbreed between a Pug and Poodle. As such, their appearance can vary depending on which traits they inherit from each parent. Their coat can either be shorter and straighter like a Pug’s, or longer and curly like a Poodle. As for coloring, that too can range from white, to tan, brown, black, or a mix of these combined.
It is often hard to distinguish what your Pugapoo will grow to look like as a puppy, so only time will tell what his adult appearance will be.