Jaws Drop as People Discover What a Pug and Greyhound Mix Looks Like

An unusual-looking dog has captured viral attention after a video of her was shared on TikTok.

An Italian greyhound and pug mixed breed called Petunia’s wide-set eyes, underbite and long body have shocked the internet as viewers rushed to share their reactions.

In a video with over 4 million views, owner Caitlin Duffin asked: “Ever wonder what a Pug Italian Greyhound looks like?” before panning to her pup.

“Oh dear. That’s unfortunate,” said one commenter. While another wrote: “I was expecting a monstrosity and for once, my expectations were exceeded.”

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 190 dog breeds, while the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognizes 360 breeds worldwide. That’s before even considering the hundreds of mixed-breed dogs like Petunia.

Evolutionary biologist Frank Hailer told Newsweek: “Cross bred dogs are very common, and in recent years some famous cross bred dogs such as labradoodles and puggles have become very popular.

“It is important to realize that our current dog breeds are the result of people mixing dogs of different origins to obtain a desired mix of traits,” he explained. “Then, in a little over 100 years, we’ve now been more protective about keeping dog breeds ‘pure,’ which has led to well-known problems with inbreeding and hereditary diseases.”

The health impacts of breeding dogs is a hotly debated topic, with particular breeds more susceptible to health issues as a result of continued inbreeding. Research carried out by the Royal Veterinary College in the U.K. looked at the health data of 2,781 French Bulldogs and 21,850 dogs of different breeds. They found that the French Bulldog is 42 times more likely to suffer from narrow nostrils and 30 times more likely to develop obstructive airways syndrome compared with other breeds.

Meanwhile, the growth of puppy farming, where people breed dogs for profit, has seen more dogs born with genetic abnormalities as a result of unhealthy breeding.

“Mixing dogs in general is a good thing, both for their own genetic health, and for us as their companions, because it allows us to mix traits we’re looking for,” said Hailer.

Pug and Italian Greyhound
File photos of an Italian Greyhound, left, and a Pug, right. The mixture doesn’t produce an attractive result.
jarun011/ DevidDO/Getty Images

While cross-breeding dogs can be positive and prevent issues seen with in-breeding, it is impossible to know which elements of each dog will be prominent in the puppy.

“Sometimes you get the undesired traits come through more than the ones you were going for. For example, if you mix a herding dog with a guard dog, you could get a dog that barks a lot, is protective and can even be aggressive,” said Hailer. “It’s important to realize that it might take a few different attempts at crossing the same breeds, until you have cross-bred offspring with the traits that you want.”

While people were at first taken aback by Petunia’s unusual looks, many TikTok users shared love for the pup.

“Contrary to public opinion…I think she’s absolutely adorable,” said one commenter. While another wrote: “Made my day….That is one cute grin.”

In a later follow-up video, the dog’s owner Caitlin also reiterated her love for her unusual dog.

In the video, she wrote from Petunia’s perspective and said: “Some people say I shouldn’t exist. But my mom is so happy I do,” before adding: “I have my special needs but am overall happy and healthy.”

When it comes to finding your ideal dog, Hailer said that buying or adopting a cross-breed is no different to any other dog: “With cross-bred dogs, it’s just like with other dogs – when you get a puppy, ask to see the litter with their mother, ask about the father, and preferably get the puppy from people who breed responsibly and raise the dogs well,” he said. “Nobody wants to support puppy mills.”

Newsweek has reached out to caitlineduffin for comment.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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