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Nicole Cosgrove

muggin dog old

The Muggin is a mixed breed that is the result of crossing the Pug with the Miniature Pinscher. She is also called a Min Pin Pug, Pug-Pin or Pugscher. She is a small dog with a life span of 12 to 15 years. She is an excitable and very happy little thing who is also multi-talented, participating in activities such as obedience, agility, watchdog and jogging.

The Muggin is a great dog for someone wanting a small but energetic companion. Ideally she needs an owner who has experience with training and someone who still can get out and about so that she gets her exercise each day. She is very excitable and spirited and will fill your home with her zest for life.

Here is the Muggin at a Glance
Average height 10 to 14 inches
Average weight 12 to 22 pounds
Coat type Fine, short
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Frequent
Tolerance to Heat Low
Tolerance to Cold Occasional
Good Family Pet? Moderate – they nip
Good with Children? Moderate to good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Yes but does bark
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate to good
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Moderately high
Major Health Concerns Eye problems, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrand’s, Congenital Megaesophagus, patellar luxation, liver problems, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea
Other Health Concerns Urinary stones, White Dog Shaker Syndrome, reverse sneezing
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $250 to $750
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $650

Where does the Muggin come from?

Originally the cross of a Pug and a Miniature Pug was called a Carlin Pinscher however this should not be the case anymore. Breeders are developing the Carlin Pinscher using dogs other than the original two. It therefore makes sense to separate the Carlin Pinscher from the Muggin and if you look at the American Canine Hybrid club it uses Muggin for the Miniature Pinscher and Pug cross. If you are looking for this cross you can always talk with the breeder about what genes are in the mixed breed and whether it is a Muggin or a Carlin Pinscher.

The Muggin is part of a large number of designer dogs being bred today. Designer dogs are a hugely popular phenomena that have trended in popularity in the last 2 to 3 decades. Celebrities in several countries have them as pets and while they mostly originate in America it has spread across the globe. Usually designer dogs are a mix of two purebreds and they are often given a cute name that blends those two parent’s names together. Some have been breed for a purpose, some have been bred to make money off of people who are willing to pay crazy prices. Avoid bad breeders and puppy mills who have no care about their work. Since we have no origins for the Muggin here is a brief look at the parents breeds.

The Pug

Pugs are Chinese and are a very old breed that can be found as far back as 206 BC. Emperors greatly valued them and they were pampered completely. When trading with Europe began in the late 1500s Pugs came over with Dutch traders. They became popular throughout Europe with the wealthy. He was known by different names in different countries, Mop in Germany, the Carlin in France and the Caganlino in Italy. His popularity continued into the Victorian era and he came to the US after the Civil War. While they were popular initially they eventually did fall out of favor.

The Pug’s purpose was never to be any kind of working dog like a hunter, ratter or even retriever. He was bred to be a companion and that was all. That is what he still is today. He will be quite content to sit in your lap all day if you let him, he expects your devotion and in return he will be devoted to you also. He can still be playful but is a far calmer dog than many!

The Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher has slightly unclear origins, experts think it is very old but actual documentation can only trace it a few hundred years or so. It is a German dog originally and he was bred for the purpose of keeping homes and stables clear of vermin like rats and mice. He was first called a Reh Pinscher as he looked like a small deer also from Germany. In 1895 the Pinscher club was formed and he was shown in his first dog show. For the start of the 1900s up to after World War I he was very popular. Breeders continued to improve him and he came to America in about 1919. They were not officially called Miniature Pinschers until 1972.

Today he is a bold, spirited dog who is very good at causing a lot of laughter and exasperation in his owners. He has a lot of curiosity and boundless energy. He is smart and alert so is a good watchdog. He needs a lot of supervision or gets himself into a lot of trouble. He is also very good at escaping yards. He is affectionate and craves attention and will act up to get it if needed.


The Muggin is a very happy and excitable dog who loves people, is super affectionate to family and friends who come over. She gets very attached to her owner and will become your shadow around the house. This means she is also not good at being left alone for any length of time. If she has another dog as company she will do better. She is a very loyal small dog and can be very tender to her family and children. She often bonds very closely and needs attention and affection. She is also playful and lively and has an independent side to her. Early training and socialization help to smooth out that stubbornness. She is best with an experienced owner because of her excitability and sometime willfulness when it comes to training.

What does the Muggin look like

She is a small dog weighing 12 to 22 pounds and she measures 10 to 14 inches in height. She has a small flat head, small muzzle often like a Pug’s and a wide forehead. Her ears flap down and her eyes are oval or almond shaped and dark. Her tail curls and she has paws that are almost cat like. Her coat is fine, short and straight and comes in colors of cream, black, chocolate, golden, brown and white.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Muggin need to be?

She is quite an energetic dog so even though she is small she still needs her two daily walks, some time a ta dog park, play in a a yard if there is one and play indoors. She has a high tendency to becoming overweight so physical exercise will help control that. It is also important she gets mental stimulation too as she is a smart dog. She can live in an apartment as long as she is still taken out for her walks. If she starts acting out and displays some destructive behavior it may be out of boredom or not getting enough exercise.

Does she train quickly?

The Muggin is many wonderful qualities to enjoy but sadly training may not be one of them! Training can be slow and difficult for some owners who may get an especially stubborn Muggin. For this reason we recommend her to experienced owners rather than new. You should not skip the training though. Early socialization and training are important. Keep your sessions short and interesting. Stay positive, reward her, praise her and avoid harsh tones or getting impatient. Be very firm but kind and fair. House training may be slower than other training, just stay consistent and if necessary use the crate. Some owners use professional help with the training.

Living with a Muggin

How much grooming is needed?

She is not a hypoallergenic dog and her shedding is moderate so you will have to vacuum often and brush daily. Her coat is easy to brush using a solid hair brush and she should just be bathed when she really needs it. Too frequent bathing can lead to dry skin problems. You can also remove loose hair by wiping her down with a damp warm cloth. Brush her teeth at least twice a week and clip her nails when they get too long. Some opt to have nails done by groomers as there are nerves and blood vessels in the lower part. Check her ears once a week for infection and give them a wipe clean using a dog ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball. Do not insert anything into her ears.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is good with children usually playing well and being quite affectionate towards them. She is also good with other dogs and animals with socialization. Children should always be trained too on how to play with her safely and what to avoid.

General information

She is alert so could be a good watchdog. She is best suited to more moderate climates and she can live in an apartment but he barking is occasional in case noise is an issue. She will need ¾ to 1 1/2 cups of good quality dry dog food split into two meals a day.

Health Concerns

She could inherit certain health issues that her parents are prone to such as PDE, nerve degeneration, epilepsy, eye problems, mange, staph, patellar luxation, Legg Perthes, vaccination sensitivity, hypothyroidism, skin problems, allergies, yeast infection and hip dysplasia. Buying from good breeders who are happy to show you health clearances is something you can do to give your dog better odds at being healthy.

Costs involved in owning a Muggin

A Muggin is not one of the most trendy designer dogs to have so prices are lower at $200 to $700 a puppy. She will also need spaying, blood tests, chipping, shots and deoworming if they have not been done by the breeder as part of the price. These will cost $260 to $300. Plus she will need some basics such as a crate, carrier, food bowls, collar and leash. This will cost between $100 to $125. Yearly medical costs for essentials like check ups, flea prevention, vaccinations and pet insurance come to between $435 to $550. Yearly essentials that are non-medical for things like a license, training, food, toys and treats come to between $275 and $400.


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The Muggin is a great dog for someone wanting a small but energetic companion. Ideally she needs an owner who has experience with training and someone who still can get out and about so that she gets her exercise each day. She is very excitable and spirited and will fill your home with her zest for life.

Featured Image Credit: Cori Cornejo, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.