The beagle dog breed dates back historically to 19th century England. The breed is thought to have descended from the "Harrier," a medium sized English hound used for hunting. Beagles were officially registered as a breed with the American Kennel Club in the 1880s. Though beagles derived from inter-breeding of the Harrier and other hunting dogs, they are viewed as a pure breed today.
A beagle mix is also gaining popularity. Mixes may be the result of two purebred dogs of different breeds or may be "mutts" that result from the mating of a purebred and a dog of questionable ancestry.
A beagle mix may have gained popularity due to the desirability of many of the beagle's traits. Mixing breeds results in hybrids with characteristics of both breeds. Mixed breeds also may retain some of the beagle's positive qualities such as excellent sense of smell, sociable temperament, and characteristic physical traits such as sad brown eyes and tri-colored, short fur.
The beauty of the beagle mix is in its resulting traits. Because it is a mix of two different breeds or kinds of dog, mixes have the benefit of more genetics to choose from. The drawback is there is no way to predict what traits of each parent the beagle will have.
Crossbreeds are crosses of purebred dogs from different breeds and may have any combination of the traits of both breeds. Crossbreeds are also called hybrids.
A beagle mix will have characteristics of both its parents. Even in crossbreeding, the resulting puppies, for example, "Poogles" will have a mixture of the traits of both beagle and poodle. Purebreds are so popular (and expensive) because there is consistency in temperament, body dimensions, and known characteristics of their specific breed. Purebred beagles are also eligible for AKC (American Kennel Club) registry and competition.
There are fans of the purebred beagle as well as the beagle mix, whether crossbreed or mutt. The most popular dogs to crossbreed with beagles are pugs and poodles. "Poogles" and "Puggles" are favorites among many dog lovers, in part, due to their cute-sounding names. These "designer dogs," are bred to have traits of two pure breeds. Many believe crossbreeds have overall better traits such as temperament and health due to being out-bred. They are the result of parents with two separate types of genetics and which gives them a wider variety of traits to choose from and may make them genetically superior to purebred dogs.
Proponents of purebred dogs disagree. Though purebreds are the result of in breeding and may have genetic defects due to this, they also have a documented lineage and are also predictable in body structure, overall temperament, and health. In short, you know what you are getting when you buy a pure breed.
A buyer or breeder knows what they are getting with a pure breed. There is no predictability of the traits a crossbreed or mixed breed will have.