The beagle, an introduction

Although there is no documentation pertaining to the Beagle’s origin, it’s believed that there were packs of hounds in England before the Roman times. These dogs were the seed for modern scent hounds. During the 18th century, fox hunting became popular and Beagles were bred by using Buckhounds and Foxhounds; however, the result of crossing the two breeds created a less than perfect form of Beagles. In the United States, prior to 1860, Beagles were hunting hounds that resembled Dachshunds but they lacked in variety. Then, in 1860 well-bred dogs from England arrived in America to breed the alpha Beagle that we have today.

Beagles resemble English Foxhounds but with broad, slightly rounded heads and short square snouts. They’re small, sturdy, box-shaped hounds. Their hair is easy to care for as it’s sleek and short. Beagles can come in any hound colors but most of them are tri-colored: white with big spots of brown and black. Since Beagles are hunting dogs, their black noses have nice full nostrils. They have floppy ears and either hazel or brown eyes. They normally have long semi-thick tails. There are two different height classes for beagles, one is 13-16 inches and the other is under 13 inches. They usually weigh between 20-25 pounds.

Beagles are gentle, sweet, jolly, protective, and loving. These happy-go-lucky dogs walk around wagging their tails constantly. They’re brave and intelligent. They’re social animals but unless they have been specifically trained, they shouldn’t be left alone with non-canine animals. However, they’re wonderful with little children, often acting as a protector. Beagles are very smart and they require firm training. They don’t like being left alone. Beagles have a loud distinguishing howl, particularly when they’re hunting. This is great for hunters but may be disturbing for families and neighbors. Since they’re hunting dogs by nature, they follow their noses and may wander off if they’re not fenced in.

Sometimes Beagles are prone to heart disease, eye and back problems, and epilepsy. Epilepsy can be controlled with medication though. They are also prone to Chondroplasia (dwarfism). Since they have long floppy ears, sometimes Beagles get inner ear infections. If they’re not active, they’re prone to obesity because they’ll eat whatever food is available to them. Owners must keep this under control. Beagles also sometimes have reverse sneezing which is when they appear to be gasping for breath but they’re actually just drawing air in. This is not harmful to the dog.

Beagles are energetic and require plenty of exercise. Not only should they go on long daily walks but they should also have a large fenced yard to run around in. Beagles should always be leashed when they’re being walked because otherwise they may follow their noses and wander off. Beagles are mild shedders and require minimum grooming.

They do not have special needs with regards to care, just a small dog bed, a couple of bowls and a variety of small dog toys and they will be all set.