The Beagle History has it that packs of hounds hunted with the Greeks at least as long ago as 400 BC Hounds reached England certainly by Roman times. It wasn’t until 1550 that hounds began to be classified according to their purpose, i.e. sight hounds, scent hounds, etc. It is around this time that a small hound, bred to kill rabbit and hare was assigned the name “Begles,” a French term meaning ‘gape throat.’ This referred to the animals tendency to ‘tongue,’ i.e. bay as a pack. The anglicized version, of course, is ‘Beagle’ and it is England, which is the country of origin of the modern Beagle. The Beagle owes its ancestry to the Foxhound, the Harrier and a small bloodhound, known as a ‘Kerry Beagle.’ At first, Beagles came in a variety of sizes and coat types – including the modern, smooth hound coat and also a harsh, wiry coat. There was even a ‘Pocket Beagle,’ standing about 10 inches/25cm, bred to be carried about in saddlebags.
They are sturdy and bold little dogs who are the very essence of quality. They have kindly expressions and are compact and athletic. They stride out freely, covering the ground well. They have short coats which are dense and weather-resistant.
|Colour||Beagles are most commonly seen as tricolours, that is black, tan and white. They are also seen in the other hound colours.|
|Coat Length||Short Smooth|
|Weight/Height Range||Both dogs and bitches measure between 33 to 40cms at the withers and weigh between 8 to 14kgs. In America the Beagle is recognised in two different sizes, 13inches (not exceeding 13 inches at the withers) and 15 inches (not exceeding 15 inches at the withers).|
|Ailments||As a breed the Beagle appears to be relatively healthy, they do not seem to suffer from many ailments.|
|Breed Classification||The Beagle is one of the smallest of the hunting hounds. They are used today as gundogs and family pets.|
Feeding & Ownership
The beagle is not a picky eater and can be fed dry or tinned food once or twice a day. They do have a tendency to become overweight, so do watch the amount of food they are given.
|Food Cost||$10 to $15|
|Other Expenses||They are fairly inexpensive to keep, requiring no out of the ordinary extras.|
Beagles are good natured dogs and will get along with most other dogs. They are bred to be pack animals so will take their membership in your family pack seriously. Beagles love children but need to be exposed to cats at an early age in order to develop good relationships with felines. You will find the pet Beagle cruising around the house nose down. He is making an olfactory map of his territory. He will check the area periodically and if something is amiss, he will give voice. In this way, the Beagle is a good watchdog, although, once the burglar is indoors, the Beagle may prefer a game with him.
|Intelligence||Training must begin early or the beagle can get out of hand and indulge in its favourite habits - overeating and making a mess. Beagles do like to please their masters but must clearly be shown what is required and the owner must be firm and consistent. If one does not begin early and continue with firm commands, then this breed can be very hard to housebreak and will bark to an annoying degree.|
|Suitability for Children||High|
|Tendency to Bark||High|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||Beagles do need a great deal of exercise. Because of their strong hunting instinct, they cannot be let off lead till extremely well trained to return when called. This will take a long time for the Beagle to learn as they are so strongly inclined to follow a scent. Garden walls must be high at least 6 feet and secure for the same reason - once on a scent, a Beagle does not return voluntarily. They are excellent escapologists and will attempt to dig their way out of any confinement. One way of keeping your dog well exercised would be to let it utilize its natural hunting talents. Field dog trials are popular with beagle owners. In terms of actual hunting, beagles can be worked as a pack or a brace (two dogs.) Regardless, the breed must be exercised extensively and is probably not a wise choice for the city dweller.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||Medium|
|Ease of Transportation||Medium|
|Level of Aggression||Low|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Low|
This breed is easy to keep, as the only grooming it takes is a quick, daily brush to remove dead and loose hairs. One slight problem is that Beagles do love to roll in foul smelling material. Luckily, they are quite easy to bathe. Their tendency to eat foul matter is not as easily dealt with. It is recommended that you use the doggie toothpaste regularly! The ears should be checked on a regular basis to ensure they are clean and free from infection.
|Grooming Requirements||Every Day|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|