The Beagle

Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern beagle dog breed was developed in Britain around the 1830s from several breeds. It is believed that the Beagle breed was developed from other scent hounds including the Talbot Hound, North Country Beagle and other English hounds. Beagles were bred as scent hounds, and were used in packs in England to track the scent of foxes, hare, rabbit and other wild animals.

Beagles became more refined and widely recognized in North America by the late 19th century, eventually becoming one of the most popular breeds. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

beagle
beagle

Beagle dogs are small hounds with a sturdy frame, and sleek orange, black and white hair. They have a short, dense, weatherproof coat which requires very little grooming. Beagle dogs are characterised by their round feet and large soft ears.

He is normally around 13 to 15 inches high and weighs between 20 and 25 pounds when fully grown. The beagle is often compared to a Foxhound due to its similarity in size and nature but they do have broader heads and shorter legs than their cousins. They have drop ears which makes Beagles prone to ear infections. Beagles’ eyes are brown or hazel in color and have a distinctive expression. Beagles almost always have white tipped tails – a characteristic that developed so hunters were able to spot the dog when they’re hunting in tall grass.

The Beagle is good with children but will harass the family cat any chance it can. They are a good family pet because of their size and their even temper. Beagles do not like to be left alone so if you are gone for long hours either this breed is not for you or get another dog as a companion. Beagles are mischievous by nature and need plenty of attention.

Beagles need early consistent obedience training due to their stubbornness and their distractibility. It is not a good idea to allow your beagle off a leash. He will pick up a scent and follow it. He then has what one would call selective hearing. He is not going to come when you call him and he will follow the scent to wherever it takes him.

Beagles are not fussy eaters. They will eat anything. You need to be careful as to what you feed them because they can easily become overweight and then develop some health issues. They do need a lot of exercise and when walking it is a good idea to maintain a brisk pace or else they will be constantly sniffing. Also do not leave them outside by themselves for too long even if your yard is fenced. A bored beagle will bay and howl which your neighbours are not going to like and dig holes which you are not going to like.

Today’s beagle because of their intelligence and their nose are used for various detection roles such as drugs, explosives and even termite inspections.

If you have the patience to obedience train and take this dog for long walks and are going to be home a lot then the beagle would make a good pet.

beagle
Boy Walking His Beagle

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Comments

    • Lionismee
    • November 14, 2015
    Reply

    You just taught me a lot about Beagles, mainly that my current lifestyle wouldn’t work well with a Beagle. I’ve always rather liked them. Maybe it the influence of the Peanuts cartoon.
    What would be a good dog for a family that lives in a condo and are gone from the house 9 – 10 hours or more per day?

      • Maureen
      • November 15, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Lionismee there are actually some dogs that are couch potatoes so for some one that works all day these dogs would be a good choice. If you are looking for a small breed then you can choose from the Chihuahua, Maltese or French Bulldog. Larger breeds that can be left alone are the whippet, Shar Pei or a Greyhound. If you don’t have time to house-train a puppy and are looking for an older dog there are many wonderful Greyhound rescues.

    • Bobby Kundu
    • November 14, 2015
    Reply

    Personally, I have had some interest in dog breeds and this article on Beagles provides a good introduction on this particular breed. I have known that beagles have existed for over 2000 years as scent hounds, but I didn’t know that the modern breed came around the 1830s. Lastly, one point I want to add this article is that beagles have very little inherent health problems thanks to 2000 years of breeding. Other dogs like Bulldogs and Dachshunds have problems with face wrinkles and back pain, respectively.

      • Maureen
      • November 15, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks for your comments Bobby. The beagle is a very healthy breed but they can be afflicted with epilepsy, allergies and cherry eyes. Reputable breeders do their best to breed these out of the breed but all health issues cannot be bred away. The biggest problem with beagles is they will eat anything and that may get them in trouble.


    • Mohd Azeezy
    • April 21, 2016
    Reply

    I like hunting in the forest with my friends. We used to hunt at least 2 times a month. But we, well until now, never use a dog for hunting. Perhaps after reading your description it’s good to train a dog for hunting. It can ease most of the hunter, especially at night. Can you suggest me a good hunting dog?

      • Maureen
      • April 21, 2016
      Reply

      I am not sure what kind of hunting you are doing at night since most people I know hunt during the day. However here are some dogs that are used to hunt. First you have the lab which is primarily used when hunting ducks. They will go out and retrieve the duck for the hunter. Another hunting dog is the Coon Hound. He hunts by scent so if you are chasing a cougar or another large animal the coon hound will give chase. Usually hunts in a pack. Another hunting dog is the Catahoula Cur. This dog has increased in popularity since some states are having problems with wild boars. They also hunt in a pack. There are many more hunting dogs it just depends on what you are hunting and what you want to use them for. Enjoy your hunting!

    • Andrea
    • December 6, 2016
    Reply

    I like dogs that are easy to train but don’t need a ton of exercise. I have a husky/German Shepard/collie cross and she is a beautiful dog. She needs a daily walk and she could go for hours and hours, but she is happy with a shorter walk. She is 6 years old now, so her energy levels are getting lower. I had recently adopted a miniature schnauzer but I had to give her back. She had too much energy for our family. It is really too bad because she was a sweet dog but I just couldn’t give her the attention she needed. The beagle sounds like a breed that would not be for me 🙂

      • Maureen
      • December 6, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Andrea I think you are right, the beagle would not be a good fit for what you are looking for. You may think about adopting a senior dog from a shelter. Most of them are past there energetic days and now are just looking for a home to live out their remaining days in a peaceful comfortable home.

      There are also some breeds that like nothing better than to spend most of their time lounging around. Breeds like the Chinese Shar Pei, Keeshond, Skye Terrier and the Chow Chow may well be what you are looking for. These breeds would be quite happy with a daily walk.

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