Height: 13-15 inches from shoulders
Weight: 18-30 lbs.
Life Span: 10-15 years
Coloring: White with black and brown markings
Area of Origin: England
Similar Breeds: American Foxhound, Basset Hound, Black and Tan Coonhound, Harrier, Dachshund
History and Origin:
Beagle-like dogs existed in the ancient Greece. However, there is no verifiable documentation about their ancestors. The standard beagle breed was developed in nineteenth century in England and it was primarily used for hunting purposes. In the early 1870s, Beagle dogs were brought to United States and bred with “American Beagles” that were common southern hunting dogs with similarities to the Basset and Dachshunds of today. This cross-breed of the English and American Beagle was adopted quickly and the National Beagle club was formed in 1888. The Beagle quickly became one of the most popular family companions in the United States.
Today some Beagle as still used in packs (mostly in Europe) as hunters of rabbits and other small vermin, but most have found homes as beloved family pets.
Personality and Temperament:
Beagles are gentle and loving and they get closely attached to their owners. They are great around children and love to play with them. Beagles are considered intelligent dogs. They can learn quickly and can amaze people with crafty, naughty acts. They have a special fondness for food and should not be disturbed while eating as they can harm that person who teases them. Since Beagles were initially bred for hunting purposes, their scent instinct is quite sharp and they are quick to follow a trail once they pick up the scent. Beagles love to socialize with both humans and other dogs. However, if they are playing with other dogs, you need to keep an eye on them because they can become aggressive. Beagles can bark quite loudly, especially if they are upset or overly excited. Moreover, they howl a lot, which can also be annoying for many people. If left alone in the house for long periods of time, they may become noisy and destructive.
Exercise & Training:
Beagles are quite active and energetic dogs. They need plenty of mental and physical exercise, either from a brisk daily walk, running in the park, or any other proper exercise gets them moving around for an extended period of time. Lack of exercise can make them troublesome and irritating. They will also gain weight if not exercised regularly and properly, so be sure to give your little pup plenty of exercise if they start to look chubby. In order to satisfy their natural tracking and hunting instinct, it is recommended that beagle owners play tracking games with them, leaving a trail of scent for them to follow throughout the house or yard. Beagles are difficult to train as they grow older so it is better if they are trained in early age. Crating and obedience training is important for them and training should be done in fenced backyards, as they have a tendency to escape from training. Since beagles love to eat, food items can be given as a reward for training.
Beagle dogs have short-haired coat which can be easily groomed. It takes a very short time to clean and make them tidy. To keep the coat clean, beagles should be brushed at least once a week. They can also be washed with a mild soap if necessary. Like most other dogs, Beagles will shed but not excessively. They do need regular tooth brushing and nail trimming in order to prevent diseases. Their ears should also be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.
Beagles belong to the family of Scenthounds. They look very similar to the Foxhound, in fact, they look more quite a bit like miniature foxhound. In terms of function, they are quite similar to other hunting dogs such as Basset Hound, Blood Hound, the Tan Coonhound and The Harrier.
Interesting Facts about the Beagles:
1. One of earliest variety of Beagles was small enough to be carried in pockets or bags. Giving them the nickname Pocket Beagle
2. Beagles have exceptional scent tracking ability and have an estimated 220 million scent receptors, compared to 5 million scent receptors in the human nose.
3. Beagles have been featured in classical literature such as the work of William Shakespeare, John Webster, John Dryden and Thomas Tickell.
4. The dog character Snoopy from 1950s cartoon series Peanuts was dubbed the worlds most famous beagle.
5. The oldest Beagle ever recorded was named Butch, according to Guinness World Records. Butch was born in 1975 in Virginia, USA and died in 2003 at the age of 28.
6. A Beagle named Dakota is the heaviest beagle on record at a whooping 85 lbs!