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Pugsund: Mutt or Designer Dog?

Updated on February 13, 2017
Sherry Hewins profile image

I grew up with dogs and cats, and I am a long-time animal lover. It is hard for me to keep from bringing home any animal in need.

Is a Pugsund the Right Dog for You?

If you are considering bringing a pugsund into your home, you may benefit from my experiences with raising one. While they are not all the same (any more than dogs of any breed are), reading my story may be helpful to you.

Strictly speaking, my dog Chopper is not a “designer dog” as his birth was unplanned. He is a hybrid. It was a “breeder error,” with champion bloodlines on both sides. But theirs was a forbidden love — mom was a pug and dad was a miniature dachshund. This combination is known as "pugsund" or "daug."

How I Fell in Love With a Pugsund

A few years ago a coworker of mine was trying to give away this "mistake puppy" her sister's dog had given birth to. Already having three dogs at home I was not in the market for another, but after I held him my resolve melted, and I agreed to be third on the list of potential puppy parents.

Prospective adoptive parents one and two opted out, and it seemed to be fate that I would bring Chopper home with me. I have two dachshunds and, in my eyes, the fact that he was half Dachshund was a point in his favor.

Baby Chopper

6-week old pugsund
6-week old pugsund

Chopper was only 6 weeks old in the above photo, and had already been away from his Pug mama for a week (not my choice).

This puppy was taken away from his mom much too soon. Puppies learn early social skills, as well as getting care and nutrition from their moms. However, this pup's mom's owner wanted to be rid of him.

I used to crochet sweaters for Chopper when he was a baby. He was born at Christmas time, so he was being potty trained in the snow. He would never wear such a thing now.
I used to crochet sweaters for Chopper when he was a baby. He was born at Christmas time, so he was being potty trained in the snow. He would never wear such a thing now.

Physical Characteristics of Pugsund

  • He weighs about 14 pounds, and is thicker and more muscular than a dachshund.
  • His face is not as flat as a pug. His longer nose seems to make breathing easier for him than for most pugs.
  • His eyes are large, somewhat sensitive and easily irritated.
  • He has a hound's sense of smell. He can smell a buried bone, and he loves to dig.
  • He has short, coarse hair, and sheds profusely, especially in the summer.
  • He has a curly pug tail.

You won't always get the same characteristics in a mix like Chopper. He is truly a mutt. He has a full brother who is longer and slimmer and his sister is shorter and thicker, though they all look similar in their color and facial features.

Some breeders have selected for the characteristics they want over several generations. They are true "designer dogs" and will have more similar characteristics.

Young Chopper

In this photo Chopper was about 11 months old. He still had his black muzzle. It wasn't long before it turned gray.
In this photo Chopper was about 11 months old. He still had his black muzzle. It wasn't long before it turned gray.

Pugsund Personality

Many breeders will tell you that you can predict the temperament of a dog by the breeding. I would question this assertion as I have noticed marked differences in dogs from the same litter. One is adventurous, another is timid; one is boisterous, another is calm. While certain generalizations can be made about different breeds of dog, they are, in the end, individuals.

It soon became apparent that Chopper had an independent streak that none of my dachshunds had. While they preferred to be near me, Chopper was outside on the porch enjoying his solitude. I don't know if this is the pug in him, or just a variant in his personality.

While he can be very affectionate, it is at his discretion. He dislikes being fawned over, he prefers to come to me when he's ready for attention.

Handsome, But Stubborn

Pugsund Training

While housebreaking him was exceptionally easy, the rest of Chopper’s training was much more difficult. While my other dogs only wanted to please me, Chopper could not care less.

He was stubborn with me and aggressive with strangers. This little dog was hard-headed, and he did not like being told what to do.

It was pretty challenging to convince him that I was the “pack leader.” By the time he was five years old, he was pretty well behaved. He still obeys with reluctance.

He considers himself a guard dog, and he takes that role very seriously. The mailman and the UPS guy are his sworn enemies.

Pugsund sleeping in daddy's shirt
Pugsund sleeping in daddy's shirt

Who Should get a Pugsund?

I believe the ideal guardian of a Pugsund should be someone who has experience raising dogs.

While these puppies are extremely cute, and their usual looks draw lots of attention, they are not passive dogs; they can be a real handful. If you are considering getting a Pugsund puppy, be prepared to put a lot of effort into his training if you want a well behaved pet.

That does not at all mean that I regret bringing Chopper into my family. I love this ornery little dog.

Chopper is only 5 1/5 in this photo. You can see that his muzzle is grey and he's starting to put on some weight.
Chopper is only 5 1/5 in this photo. You can see that his muzzle is grey and he's starting to put on some weight.

The Aging Pugsund

At the age of 12, Chopper looks like an old dog, and he has for several years. He gains weight easily, so I have to watch his diet to keep him from getting too fat. His spirit is still lively, but he can't run and jump the way he used to. His joints hurt him. He also has bad teeth.

By comparison, my dachshund, who is a year and a half older, is in much better physical condition than he is.

Consider a Pound Puppy

At this point I would like to say that if you are in the market for a dog, consider visiting the pound first. There are so many good dogs there of every imaginable breed. If you like small dogs, there are lots of chihuahua mixes lately. They are very cute mixed with a pug or a doxie.

My two Dachshunds came from Dachshund rescue, and my sweet, gentle Rottweiler came from the pound, she was hours away from death.

Whatever breed you choose, please spay and neuter your pets. Don’t be part of the problem.

© 2011 Sherry Hewins

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    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 2 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      If she looks like Chopper, she must be adorable :)

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      Sarah Carr 2 years ago

      Chopper lo0ks SO much like my Jessie, who just turned five. We adopted her from the shelter, and they said she was a "pug mix" from S. Carolina. The vet was the one to suggest pug x dachsund, because of her dappled ear. She is also prematurely gray!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks for commenting Amanda. It's hard not to fall in love with a puppy of just about any breed.

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      Amanda 3 years ago

      I had a friend who had gotten a puppy and she wasn't a dog person, unlike me. Well 3 months into her having this puppy she ask me to take her. I've had her for almost three years and have known she is pug/doxin mix and didn't think this was a common mix. Lexi is her name and she is the perfect mix of both breeds, but for the most part she is a lover, who loves to explore. I must say she may be stubborn but I Wouldn't trade her for anything. It was so good to read similar stories.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Congrats on your new arrivals.

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      Dr Abhilasha chaturvedi 3 years ago

      i have 5 pugsunds. my pug laila delivered 6 kids on 4.1.13, out of them one expired withen 48 hrs. rest are doing well.They are very cute but naughty. I myself am an IVF specialst from Allahabad India

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      How cute! Love the picture of him in the shirt asleep!. I have a designer mutt too...a labradoodle so I really got a kick out of this hub. Thanks. Up, and awesome.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks midget38, he's pretty special all right. But, I suppose everyone thinks that about their dog.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Chopper sounds like a fellow I'd like....even tempered, but assertive at the right times! Thanks for introducing him to us, Sherry! Sharing.

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      Francine 4 years ago

      Thank you and yes you are right they are all still very special. My fur baby can be sweet and loveable. He cuddles with me when I need it. He also is very outgoing and social. He enjoys the dog park and visiting friends and family. I wish I could send you a picture of him. They look similar. =)

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Congratulations on your bundle of joy Francine. I think my little Chopper is very special, and even with his independence and stubbornness he can be very sweet and affectionate when he wants to.

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      Francine 4 years ago

      I have a pugsund too and he has very similar personality traits to what you described. He is three now and is a free spirit as stubborn as can be. I know he understands how to behave but he could care less as you so accurately put it. He has a great sense of smell and loves to be outside enjoying the fresh air, sun and sounds. I can tell because he throws his head back taking it all in. Though he is a handful Daddy and Mommy love him so much. We always get questions and comments on his adorable appearance, especially of his cute tooth popping out of mouth.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Jools99, Alfie looks very cute. My Chopper has always been a handful, he's mellowed out some with age. Thanks so much for reading about my pugsund.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      INteresting hub. Chopper looks stubborn! His face is full of personality. My profile pic is of a Yorkie Poo (Yorkshire terrier crossed with a standard poodle) called Alfie - he is the most well-behaved, gentle fella with people but he is not too keen on big dogs. He belongs to my sister but I take him for long walks every morning when she's at work.

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      Albin Pius 4 years ago from kerala,India

      They are certainly adorable I have one in home:)Thanks for sharing.

    • Luna B. profile image

      Luna B. 4 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Your silver dapple sounds a lot like my dachshunds. :) My first dachshund (a red standard longhair) didn't usually sit in my lap, he preferred to either sit in his "own chair" or on the opposite end of the couch. My current dachshund (a black-and-white longhair mini) does the same thing but, he will cuddle up against me occasionally. But, if you move him anytime he doesn't want to be moved, he'll show his disapproval by growling. It's rare for that to lead to a bite, though (it seems to be more of a grumble really). He does have some fear-based aggression towards other dogs that we've had to work through, however. (I believe it may be a reaction to him being bit on the nose at a dachshund event as a puppy.). On the other hand, my red standard was simply a great big teddy-bear. But, both of my dachshunds were/are barkers. I think most doxies are. Mine always barked when someone was at the door (whether friend, foe, or family).

      I'm glad you found my dachshund knowledge/experience, to be interesting. :) My first dachshund became very beloved by my neighborhood at the time so, I ended up witnessing a lot of friends and neighbors adopting dachshunds because of him. There was, also, a little German community nearby that held a community "weiner dog race" every month. So . . . yeah, I've seen a lot of doxies in my time. Haha! I, also, read dog books & watch Animal Planet breed specials more often than is probably normal! ;) So, when I heard some familiar descriptions about Chopper's personality, I just had to chime in. I hope you've had some luck tempering his aggression. My current doxie's dog aggression has almost disappeared now so, I believe it can be done! ;)

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      That's interesting Luna B. My first doxie, a female, short haired, silver dapple mini, was somewhat independent. She would sit at the end of the couch, but not usually on the lap, and although she was devoted to me, she always wanted to be the one to initiate any affection. She also had selective hearing when it came to being called. My current red standard sized female sticks to me like glue. My husband says he can always find me because she shows him. While both would bark at strangers, neither one was aggressive the way Chopper is. My husband's male black and tan "tweeny" will bite if he's afraid, or if someone tries to take something that he thinks is his, but other than that he's everybody's instant buddy.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with dachshunds. Your Chinese Crested/Pekingese mix sounds cute.

    • Luna B. profile image

      Luna B. 4 years ago from Nashville, TN

      What an adorable mix! I agree that all dogs are individuals. Two dogs of the same breed can have wildly different personalities! But, of course, there are certain personality traits that tend to occur more often in certain breeds than others. I have a Chinese Crested/Pekingese mix and most of her personality seems to line up with her Crested side but, there are certainly some classic Peke traits that pop up in her, as well (particularly her tendency to ignore her name when called).

      Interestingly, the independent streak and stubbornness you describe in Chopper are, actually, fairly common dachshund traits! :O Obviously, your first two dachsies didn't get these traits but, as a fellow dachsie owner, I've found that independence and stubbornness can be a pretty common occurrence in the breed (the smooth-hairs in particular can get a little snappy). Pugs are, also, prone to stubbornness (so you got a perfect storm there) but, they're less likely to be very independent or show much aggression. So, ironically, I think the personality quirks that have surprised you most about Chopper may, actually, come from his familiar dachshund side, rather than his pug side. Come to think of it, I've never known a dachshund that doesn't have a streak of independence in him (and I've known quite a few). I've, personally, owned two long-haired dachshunds and the sight of them laying out on the porch/outside like your Chopper was a very common occurrence. So, I assure you, those aspects of Chopper's personality are, definitely, not unusual! :)

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      So you've experienced the daug love? I'm just happy that you've found him now.

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      Martin Zonkoski 4 years ago

      You have no idea how loyal, lovable, and stubborn this daug can be....I'm sad it took this long in my life, to find a friend like this.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      If I saw the title I would wonder "what does a pugsund look like"? I'm sure once they see the photos, they stay and read the whole article!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks for reading and commenting vespawoolf. Also thanks for giving me a chance to brag. I guess it just surprises me that people are searching for this.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Chopper is adorable, both as a baby and an adult. Your account is well-told and interesting. I like the point you make about each dog being an individual even though they do have characteristics of their breed. Voted up and across the board except funny. No wonder this is a popular hub!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks for reading Peter e. People always ask. Lots of people are more familiar with Puggles which look similar although larger and with longer legs and ears. I think pug mixes are very cute and avoid a lot of the breathing problems pure pugs seem to have.

    • profile image

      peter e 5 years ago

      I met two pugsunds in Florida-- so cute I had to ask their names and breed!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks MPG, Chopper was more emotionally traumatized than physically, thank goodness. Hubby did have a sprained elbow, but had recovered for the most part.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What a cute dog! We have a cocker spaniel/king charles cross and she can be stubborn too but we love her anyway.

      Hope Chopper and your hubby are recovering ok, poor things!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks alocsin. He's my little man. Never fails to get questions or comments from passers by.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Whether mutt or masterpiece, the species looks adorable. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      You're right Cat R, it doesn't matter at all.

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 5 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      While I think that a dog mixed of two or more breeds is a mutt, no matter what you want to call it to 'sell' it better, I do prefer my (mostly) mutts. They rarely have the health issues PBs have because breeders are going for looks rather than health. And so far, with the exception of my Sheltie that died at almost 18, the mutts that graced my life and family with their presents lived much longer!

      But it really doesn't/shouldn't matter! If you love your dog as much as your dog will love you, what else is important?

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

      Beautiful dog story. I have a great love for dogs. It is true they all have their own unique personality.

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