This dog is a very popular dog breed in the States and perhaps it’s because it’s as merry and happy-go-lucky as it can be. Happy, fun and playful, this breed makes a wonderful companion for both kids and adults. As with the basset hound and bloodhound, a good part of this breed’s life is governed by its nose. And it makes perfect sense if we look at their history. Today, you’ll stumble on some utilized at airports for their ability for detecting prohibited agricultural imports.
This breed was selectively bred to track rabbits and hare. The breed was quite popular in England. During the reigns of Edward II and Henry VII very small beagles were produced and were nicknamed Glove Beagles, because they fit in a gloved hand. Elizabeth I kept also owned Pocket Beagles that were only 9 inches tall and capable of fitting inside a pocket when going hunting. Hunters would send the larger hounds to chase the prey while the smaller ones were sent to hunt underbrush. Later on, as fox hunting became popular, the larger and faster foxhound became the breed of choice. It was wasn’t for a few farmers that kept a few beagle-like dogs, this breed risked extinction. And many of these smaller lines indeed are now extinct. The real ancestors of the beagle though were thought to be those owned by Reverend Phillip Honeywood in Essex, England in the 1830s.
The first beagles were then imported from England to the US in the 1840s.. The average fox-hunting beagle was about 15 to 17 inches tall, but American breeders made them smaller so to make them more suitable for rabbit hunting. Of special interest in the Patch strain which was developed by Willet Randall around 1880. that became quite popular in the 1940s and 1950s for their speed. The American Kennel Club registered the first beagles in 1885, today they are still registered under the hound group. Snoopy is believed to be a beagle.
These are loving, outgoing and playful dogs that are quite appealing for their looks. As other hounds, these dogs are very food motivated and will do what it takes to get to a few crumbles, even if they’re on the counter top.And make sure you keep that trash can out of his nose reach. These are playful dogs that keep you entertained with their antics–when they’re not being naughty. Over all, these are good-natured dogs that get along well with people and other dogs.
The Ideal Household
While these dogs aren’t barkers, they’re known for other varieties of vocalizations courtesy of their amazing vocal cords which vibrates when air passes through. Expect these dogs to bay, howl and make this distinctive sound that’s a mix between a bark and a bay when he sights quarry. Keep this in mind as many beagles are surrendered for their loud baying. The ideal owner is one who understands this breed and accepts the fact that the “nose is in charge.” Many beagle lovers refer to this breed as the “nose on four feet.” Consider that this breed doesn’t like to be left alone, if you are home for most of the day, your beagle will be extra happy.
As other hounds, these dogs have pack drive and generally get along with other dogs. If you must leave the home, a beagle may feel better if you have another dog to keep him company. With children, this breed is sweet, but consider that they are very food motivated and this can spill into possessiveness. Make sure your child respects the dog and doesn’t interfere when it’s eating. They can also be mouthy during play. Never leave a child and dog alone.
This breed may do well in apartments, but you must keep into consideration their loud voices and the fact they need to be walked to keep them happy and entertained–and that means more than just a couple of blocks..Give them at least an hour of exercise and mental stimulation a day. Fail to do that, and you’ll have a bored and unhappy pooch that will become destructive. Also, encourage exercise as this breed matures as they’re prone to obesity. A yard can give the opportunity to go on some sniffing adventures, but if you intend to leave this breed in the yard alone for too long, he’ll tend to get bored and may howl, dig and even try to escape if some scent is luring them. These dogs tend to make lousy guard dogs.
As mentioned, the life of the beagle is for a good part governed by his nose. To make this breed extra happy, enroll him in field trials where he gets to do what he was bred for: hunt! As other hounds, the beagle breed may be difficult to housetrain. Despite being sweet and gentle, this breed has a stubborn streak and are independent thinkers. If you want a dog that lives to please you, this is not the breed for you. You can take advantage though of food to motivate them. Remember through to fade using food as lures or your beagle will only work when food is in sight. As with all other dogs, socialization is a must. Always have your beagle on leash as this breed will wander off given the opportunity. Remember, that his nose is the command center and where his nose goes, the body follows. Make sure he’s microchipped and has tags in cases he accidentally gets loose. The recall is the most challenging command for this breed.
These dogs are so close to the ground, there’s no need for them to stop to catch a scent, they’ll just run and trail at the same time. Somewhat, the beagle resembles a miniature Foxhound. There are 2 types of beagles: the ones standing 13 inches and those standing 13 to 15 inches. This breed on average weighs between 18 and 30 pounds.The most common coat color is tricolor with a black saddle. Many have the tip of the tail white which helped hunters see them easily when hunting among brush. The head is dome-shaped, the nose is typically black like a licorice gumdrop, the overall expression is sweet and pleading–perfect for begging. The neck is long enough to allow sniffing and has a bit of dewlap. The tail is kept upwards when active. Any coat color is accepted, but the most common remains the tricolor. Some tricolors have a broken pattern, with white coats with patches of black and brown hair known as pied. Puppies are always born typically born black and white.As the pups grow, the black areas fade to brown. In bi-color coats, tan and white is the most common variety. There’s belief that the beagle’s long ears and large lips aid him in excelling at ground scenting by trapping the scents close to the nose
Overall, this breed is prone to the following conditions: intervertrebral disc disease, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, distichiasis, epilepsy, hypothyroidism,beagle dwarfism, chinese beagle syndrome, luxating patella. The lifespan of this breed ranges between 12 and 15 years.
Coat Care/ Grooming
The average beagle is tricolor with a black saddle. The coat is smooth, short and resistant to rain. Brush them once a weak to remove stray, dead hairs. They tend to shed mostly in the spring.Generally, they’re clean dogs needing the occasional bath when they smell like a skunk. Their ears need care to prevent infections, make sure they don’t stay humid. Their coat may have a distinctive doggy odor that some may dislike.
Where to get one:
Rescue: National Beagle Club of America
SOS Beagle Rescue
East Cascade Beagle Rescue
National Beagle Club of America
Occasionally you may stumble on breeders trying to sell Pocket Beagles yet the bloodline for this variety is extinct, so caution is needed as these dogs are often the product of poor breeding practices and dwarfism: