The Beagle or as it is sometimes called, the English Beagle, is one of the oldest hound dog breeds. This compact scent hound looks like a small English Foxhound. Beagles come in two size varieties. The smaller breed variety is about 10 to 13 inches at shoulder height end weighs approximately 16 to 20 pounds. The larger variety of beagle is about 13 to 16 inches at shoulder height and weighs approximately 20 to 30 pounds. The coat is short, dense and waterproof and the tail should have a white tip so that hunters can spot them in the field. Beagles can be black, tan, orange, tricolour; always with white markings. See additional information on choosing a Beagle.
Beagles are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Hound Dog Group.
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The breed probably was developed in England as a cross between the Harrier and other hounds. Beagles were used as scent hounds, either alone or in packs, for hunting rabbits, pheasants and quail. Beagles have also been used as narcotics detecting dogs and lately have become ideal family dogs. The Beagle was ranked 5th out of 154 dog breeds in 2005 AKC registrations.
Beagles are calm, loyal and excellent with children and other dogs. The breed is cheerful and happy and they make good family pets except for the nose. Once a Beagle picks up a scent it will follow it to the exclusion of everything else. Beagles are like their cousin, The Basset Hound, and are fairly difficult to obedience train because of their independent or stubborn streak. These hounds can be trained to do exceptionally well at hunting field trials but not at obedience trials. This breedís mournful bay when it picks up a scent can be somewhat disturbing to neighbours. Beagles donít like to be left alone and will do better in a house with another dog. Young beagles love to chew anything, so have lots of chew toys available. This breed loves to eat so donít overfeed these dogs. Beagles are quite suitable for first time dog owners.
Beagles are very active and need plenty of exercise. These dogs need a reasonable size back yard and a daily walk. These hounds will adapt to apartment living as long as they have a brisk walk in the morning and evening. Beagles should be exercised on leash to avoid their roaming tendencies.
Beagles are easy to look after. Brush the short-haired coat with a stiff brush and bathe the dog only when necessary. The Beagleís ears should be regularly checked for signs of infection.
Beagles can live from 11 to 14 years of age and have a tendency to become obese. Some of the common health problems include hypothyroidism, epilepsy, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, cherry eye, beagle dwarfism, hip dysplasia, spinal problems and chronic ear infections. Information on many of these genetic diseases can be found in our article Hereditary Diseases in Dogs. Prospective buyers should ask for the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test results for hip dysplasia and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.
Article type: xdogbreed