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Bix the Mix
My dog's name: Bix
(for Beagle mIX and for the great Iowa cornettist who also could wail)
Hometown: He's moved. Originally Midwestern, he is now all East Coast.
How we met: Endless search for the perfect Beagle mix. Thought long and hard about Beagle x Shih-Tzu , but can you imagine the housebreaking problems?
What makes my dog special: ... how can I count the ways in which this dog is so very special? Bix's version of fetch: throw something, he brings something else back. If you toss his small green teddybear does he bring you a good book or a glass of wine? No. But you might get a large, white teddybear, an old tennis ball, your glasses, or something else he considers equally interesting.
My dog's likes/dislikes:
Likes: children; other dogs; cats (and shares his crate with a blind cat buddy); people of all ages/genders/ethnicities; any sort of biscuit; going to the vet.
Dislikes: being alone, taking medicine.
dam unregistered small (about 13 lb.) tri-color beagle (probably hunting type)
sire: unregistered black toy poodle (about 6 lb.)
Medical problems: asymptomatic coccidiosis picked up around 12 weeks of age. At six months - serious liver abnormality.
Personality: Very friendly and affectionate. Bouncy, exuberant, loves all sorts of toys. Learned sit and down at 9 weeks. Plays happily with a two year old and a four year old (under supervision).
Appearance: Looks like a fuzzy, scruffy beagle. Basically black and tan with white only on feet, chest, under chin, in a partial neck ring, and just a dab on the tip of his tail. By 10 weeks his black head/outer ears started changing to tan. The tan is dilute - a pale buff rather than the usual beagle reddish brown. Picture at top of page is at about 5-6 weeks.
Size: at 8 weeks (can't remember, 5.2 or thereabouts?); at 11 weeks 6.9 lb.
aka Big Foot.
Puppy hair is somewhat coarse and straight, except for curly fringes on ears.
Finding information about Beagle x Poodle crosses has been very difficult. Online one has to try to avoid all the neopet stuff and I found nothing in various books on mixed breeds.
Unlike other F1 crosses, their appearance seems to be unpredictable. Whereas in Bix' case the Beagle seems to have trumped the poodle, at least so far, he bears no resemblance whatsoever to most of the pictures I found, except for a general scruffy look. Many of them seem to have that. See this page, and look at the temperament info on Abigail. I found that very reassuring, though of course personalities are no doubt as variable as appearance.
Jasper, Seamus, A black one and one in Beagle colors
Here is an interesting picture of a litter (Bix resembles the 2nd from the right) that looks like some sort of Mendelian Poster - for the classic single gene with 2 alleles and both parents heterozygous. But that is deceptive. Coat color inheritance in dogs involves a whole set of genes.
Coat color genetics in Beagles
Coat color genetics in Poodles
The adult poogles seem to look a bit like maniacal terriers, so if you want a cute dog, or even to be able to guess what it will look like as an adult, this is probably not a good choice.
But, if you don't much care about appearance and want a dog that will probably have an exuberant and loving personality -- yet you want to avoid, insofar as possible, the health problems that accompany inbreeding -- a mix such as beagle/poodle should (fingers crossed) be a charmer.
The genetics of behavior are, of course, incredibly complex. The classic studies were those of John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. One of the five breeds they studied was the beagle. (The others? American Cocker Spaniels, Basenjis, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Wire Haired Fox Terriers) Their studies are detailed in Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog.
Probably more accessible at your local library are books by the psychologist Stanley Coren. These include:
How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind
How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do (pbk version)
The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide To The Thoughts, Emotions, And Inner Lives Of Our Canine Companions
How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication
Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality
and many more. He just cranks them out. They are not only gracefully written, they are all solidly based on the research of many teams worldwide. Other books.
Here is an interesting little note on behavioral genetics.
*And an excellent, absolutely superb, gentle introduction to canine genetics for people who don't know what alleles are, let alone neutral isoalleles.* The author is the late John Armstrong.
Some general information on growth rates
Updates on Bix:
14 weeks - Bix is pointing ... at butterflies. Does he have a bit of bird dog?
Positive: Rarely barks, almost completely housetrained, good bite inhibition, will run through a tunnel if a kid races through first. Weight 9.9 lb.
Negative: A bit of a chewer in spite of his many Kongs and sterilized bones. Considers cat poop a great delicacy.
The polemics of “designer dogs”
There seem to be two issues here, which are often confounded.
1. Purebred vs Mixed/Mutt.
Bix’s owner/caretaker has a Ph.D. in population genetics and so has a definite point of view - little patience with the arguments used by breeders of “purebred dogs” that they are doing something good for dogs or for people who love them. We treat our corn and cows better than that.
- The genetic cul-de-sac dogs as an endangered species
- various materials at the Canine Diversity Project site
- as well as the eloquent explanations of the Australian vet, Kate Schoeffel
2. Buying a dog vs. adopting one from a shelter or rescue organization.
Bix’s family has lived with several dogs over many years - most were “rescue” dogs - some purebred, some glorious mutt, all beloved, all remained with us until death. So when the last two died within weeks of each other this spring (a purebred at age 8, a mutt at age 18) the first impulse was to find an adult dog from a local shelter. Fell in love with a middle-aged overweight Beagle at an adoption event. However - some organizations proudly advertise that they reject 30-40% of applicants - and guess what .... we got rejected. The stated reasons “in 5 years will be too old to properly exercise a dog” and “might forget a heart worm pill.”
Polling friends revealed that those who had always owned dogs tended to be rejected. Those who had never owned dogs tended to be approved. According to my vets’ staff this is very common. The dog owners they think ideal are apt to be rejected, people they wouldn’t let foster a mouse get approved. (And BTW when the rescue organization called the vet office for a recommendation they specified that they only wanted to hear about any “current” dogs, not the recently deceased.)
We do not choose to live without dogs. So, horrors of horrors, we purchased two puppies. (Not from pet shops!) And deliberately chose F1 hybrids. And they get walked at least 3 times a day, have loving homes already chosen in case anything unforeseen should happen, get great vet care, have regular social contact with scores of people, receive both discipline and loads of affection. Microchipping; spaying/neutering; crate training; obedience classes. But we will never again try to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue organization, though we will continue to encourage others to do so as we think the world's best dogs are there. (The rejection was too painful for us.)
Bix at 18/19 weeks.
While trying to add just one picture here, he ate through yet another leash. Unsupervised for probably less that 2 minutes. An hour previously he quickly chewed through Koda's current harness. This is one expensive dog. See the pretty leash in the picture? It no longer exists.
Note the change in color on the face and head. This is common in beagles - black on the face/head/ears is replaced by tan during puppyhood, though in Bix's case it is unclear whether tan or white is going to predominate. As noted above, Bix's tan is clearly dilute (buff) and this is supposed to be due to a homozygous gene for tan dilution. Black dilution is thought to be controlled by a separate gene. When that is homozygous one gets 'blue' dogs.
Scruffy is rather a mild term to describe Bix's current look. Moth-eaten would be accurate.
Some excellent puppy / adult comparison pictures.
Update on leash/harness destruction. We are trying superglue spot reinforcement on the three harnesses and two leashes that were not sliced all the way through. Plus yet another application of bitter apple. Of course superglue on the fingers makes typing dicey.
Update on shelter rejection: On a walk one day we met a lovely Husky mix with his people. Asked where Bix came from, they got the whole rejection story and it turned out they were rejected by the same organization. (In their case they were told it was because their yard wasn't completely fenced.) The difference is they went up the street the next day to a local humane society and were given their fabulous dog whereas we were so abashed we started looking for breeders. Moral: if turned down by one shelter, another may think you're great.
And .... on another walk we met some people who are thinking about getting a dog and loved both Bix and Koda. When given the whole complex story they said "We don't know anyone who has ever been approved by those people." I told them I knew of one family that was okayed, only one. A family that had never had dogs.
Update on searching for poogle information. Don't do it unless you qualify your search by using the words beagle and poodle as well. Otherwise you will not only get mostly neopet stuff, you may also get unwanted obscenities, as well as the occasional charming surprise - for example the place called Poogle.
No Surprise, Puppies Grow
Here is Bix in his crate at 8 weeks and 18 weeks.
See also: Several page of before and after pictures of various dogs.
Bix starts school
Bix was signed up to start puppy kindergarten classes, but the class was cancelled because of insufficient registrations. So he ended up in an adult dog class where he is the only puppy. His classmates include one adolescent dog (a 10 mo. old German Shepard mix whom Bix has a crush on) and two adults, a schnoodle and a greyhound.
And he is getting clicker trained! (Koda and Marco were lure-reward trained.) Actually he started sits and downs and stays at about 9 weeks - but without the distractions of being Somewhere Else and among Big Dogs.
Leave it is not going well. He will back away if he is being asked to back off from treats. From a piece of cat poop? No way. No potential treat outweighs that olifactory/gustatory pleasure.
More information on Bix's clicker training.
Bix at 5.5 Months
His head continues to pale - to what? white? tan? We can't tell. It is a sort of strange silver right now. All the white on the tip of the tail has disappeared.
He had a professional trim, bath and pedicure, mostly just to introduce him to being handled by strangers. He doesn't look much different - but he certainly smells better. Joked with the groomer that if you cross a poodle and a beagle you get ... a terrier.
To vet next week for neutering.
Bix went to the vet but wasn't neutered. He failed his liver function tests and so was deemed too much a risk to anaesthetize. Within days he was off seeing a board certified specialist who tried, but failed to find a liver shunt with a sonogram - but sonograms miss 50% of shunts. His liver is very slightly smaller than normal. Now we are awaiting some bile acid measures (?) comparing fasting and feasting levels. And it may not be a shunt at all, but some sort of liver disease. Abnormal test results can't differentiate.
Apart from perhaps drinking and peeing a bit more than other dogs, he is asymptomatic. His behavior seems utterly normal. This is not a depressed or disoriented dog.
What about our theory that we could avoid most genetic problems by choosing a mix of two historically unrelated breeds? Arrgh!!! Though portosystemic shunts are clearly genetic, way more common in Yorkies, Miniature Schnauzers, and Irish Wolfhounds than in other breeds, and much, much more common in purebreds than in mixes, dogs with the shunts don't show higher inbreeding coefficients than dogs without them or common ancestors not shared by shunt-free dogs. So it isn't simple. Incompletely penetrant dominant? Polygenic?
So far the testing and examinations have cost almost exactly $1,000, which means that the heat will have to be turned down to 50F for the winter and pasta will replace a lot of salads.
Surgery is really the only effective way to treat a shunt. But if a shunt isn't operable, or one needs to stabilize a dog for surgery, or just to make the poor critter feel better - controlling protein intake can lower the amount of circulating ammonia. There are a couple of prescription diets, for example Waltham Royal Canin Hepatic LS14, which I presume one of the vets will evenutally prescribe for Bix, but meanwhile the nearest pet store actually gave us many small bags of an 18% protein food. (Solid Gold Holistique Blendz. Bix hates the taste and I hate the spelling.) The specialist vet seemed happy with that, but Bix isn't getting the lowered copper and increased zinc of the prescription diets.
Feels odd to have to give these foods to a bouncing, growing puppy, but here is the list of low protein foods that were generally designed for senior, inactive dogs.
And here are two pictures of the day Bix came home, aged 8 weeks and 1 day. All just nostalgia now as he is physically quite changed. His personality is the essentially the same.
I like wikis and manage some, so I'm playing with this for the love of wikis as well as for the love of Bix.
see also: Koda and Marco; Wazzuk; Lila the Titian
Bix at six months with Koda and Marco.
Latest page update: made by DoggyGal
, Aug 11 2007, 3:14 PM EDT
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Anonymous||Looking for a "Beagle/Poodle" mix!||15||Feb 13 2009, 10:59 AM EST by poogles4you|
Thread started: Feb 12 2007, 4:38 PM EST Watch
We have been searching for quite some time now for beagle/poodle mix puppies, and have had absolutely no luck... Any suggestions on places to look/people to contact? Thank you!
14 out of 16 found this valuable. Do you?
Keyword tags: poodle mix puppies
|scottishterrier||What an excellent page!||3||Jan 27 2008, 9:10 AM EST by Anonymous|
Thread started: Jan 31 2007, 1:16 AM EST Watch
Much time, thought, and personal experiences of yourself and others as good illustration. Documented well to support your theses using research and resources.
I think what needs to be highly stressed with hybrids of two purebred dogs is to make very sure that both parents have diverse backgrounds without inbreeding. Both parents have been genetically tested for possible defects and genetic tendencies of disease. I do understand where this is going but it is very important one knows what kind of dog they are getting. Is well reversed in the characteristics and personality of both breeds.
I do understand also the what I call snottiness of some purebred breeders as well as purebred rescue groups who do have the tendency to reject what could be termed as wonderful homes. Your personal example of being too old according to them to adopt their rescues is not uncommon at all.
Some dubious rescue organizations do hoard rescues pulled immediately from shelters as alerted by the staffs of said shelters. I do believe local people should have at least a week to be able to adopt these dogs once the three day (typically) time for owners to reclaim their dogs has expired. Some rescue groups can get dogs that come from purebred show only breeders who have overused their bitches and now have "retired" them. More next post. Cheers to Bix MaMa! ~ P.D.
|Anonymous||I have a Beagle Poo...or that's what they called it at the pet store||0||Jul 19 2007, 6:52 PM EDT by Anonymous|
Thread started: Jul 19 2007, 6:52 PM EDT Watch
Camryn is 18 months now...and the temperament you described fits her to the T. She is still into chewing...but mostly water bottles and her toys, of course! She weighs 14 lbs, and is very thin. When we bought her she was 1/2 the size of her siblings weighing in at a little under 3 lbs. She was 2 months and a day old when we bought her for $700 (with no papers or history). It seemed a bit high at the time...but she is more than worth it. I would really like to find another beagle poodle mix so Camryn has someone to play with, but I can't seem to locate them anywhere. Here are a few pictures...
Camryn at 3 months:
The day we brought her home:
See how little she was:
This past winter:
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