Beagle

INTRODUCTION

Small, compact and sturdy, beagles are active companions for children and adults alike. Dogs of this breed are lively and fun, but being beagles, they can also be stubborn and require patient and creative training techniques. Their sense of smell guides them through life, and they are never happier than when they follow an interesting scent. Beagles were originally bred as hounds to track small game, primarily rabbits and hares. They are still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States. However, there are many of these puppies who live as companion dogs and as members of a furry, loving family. It is important to remember that dogs of any breed can suffer from health problems throughout their lives. A good pet insurance plan can help you prepare to give your dog the care he needs at any age. Click here to get an insurance plan for your Beagle. See all the dog breed traits and facts about Beagles below.

HIGHLIGHTS

Beagles can be difficult to train. Some people say it can take up to a year to fully train some Beagles. Cage training is strongly recommended. Beagles can become bored if left alone in a house for too long. If left in the backyard, Beagles will start to find ways to amuse themselves, usually by howling, digging or trying to escape. The most common reason beagles are surrendered to rescue groups is because their owners or their owners’ neighbours have grown tired of their howling. Make sure you are prepared to work with your dog to control excessive barking and howling. Beagles are targets for thieves who would steal them and perhaps sell them to research laboratories for use in experiments. Supervise your Beagle when outdoors and be sure to microchip it. Being bloodhounds, Beagles will move away if they smell an attractive scent in the air. Their nose controls their brain, and if they smell something interesting, there is nothing else in their world. Although affectionate and gentle, Beagles can have an independent and stubborn streak. Obedience training is recommended, but make sure the class instructor understands the hound’s personality and is a proponent of using food as a reward (which few Beagles can resist). Remember how the famous cartoon Beagle Snoopy fussed over his food bowl? Beagles are chow hounds and will overeat if given the opportunity. Control the amount of food you give them and be sure to keep cupboards closed and litter bins securely locked. Otherwise, your Beagle will sniff out the foods he likes best. When it comes to food, your Beagle will probably take his food bowl very seriously. Teach children to respect your Beagle while he is eating, and not to approach him or tease him with food. Beagles do not make good protection or guard dogs because they tend to be friendly to everyone they meet.

HISTORY

The origin of the word “beagle” is uncertain. It is thought that it may derive from the French word begueule, meaning open throat, or from the Old English word beag, meaning small. Others believe it may come from the French word beugler, meaning to bellow, or the German word begele, meaning to scold. The history of the breed is also confusing because breeds as we know them today did not really develop until the 19th century. Greek documents from 400 B.C. describe Beagle-like dogs, and it is possible that the Romans brought small hounds to England to hunt rabbits and bred them with the local hounds. William the Conqueror is said to have brought Talbot breed dogs (now extinct) to England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. These dogs are believed to be the ancestors of the Beagle and Foxhound. Beagles became popular in England very early in its history. During the reigns of Edward II (1307 – 1327) and Henry VII (1485 – 1509), extremely small beagles, called Glove Beagles, were popular. Apparently, they were small enough to hold with a gloved hand. Singing Beagles, so called because of their bugle voices, are also mentioned. Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603) had packs of pocket Beagles that measured only 25 cm. These small dogs were depicted in paintings as short-legged, pointy-nosed dogs. They were used for hunting, but soon fell out of favor because they were not very fast. In the 18th century, fox hunting became popular in England and the Beagle fell out of favor as the larger Foxhound became the dog of choice. Had it not been for farmers in England, Ireland and Wales who continued to keep packs to hunt rabbits and hares, the breed might have become extinct at that time. In the mid-19th century, the Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of beagles in Essex, England. These dogs are believed to be the ancestors of the modern Beagle. Reverend Honeywood bred for their hunting abilities, not their looks. Thomas Johnson, a fellow Englishman, took it upon himself to breed Beagles that were attractive and good hunters. At about the same time, American breeders began importing Beagles from England to improve the appearance of their own dogs. Many of the English imports were bred with an average height of 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder so they could hunt foxes. American breeders began breeding them to be smaller to hunt rabbits. Of interest is the “Patch” variety of Beagle developed by Willet Randall in New York around 1880. The line is mostly white with a very large tri-color patch. They were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s because they were able to run very fast. Today, many people call lemon and white or red and white “Patch” beagles. The American Kennel Club and the first Beagle specialty club were founded in 1884. That same year, the AKC began registering Beagles. In 1916, five members of the National Beagle Club purchased 508 acres in western Loudoun County, Virginia, for the purpose of field trials. The men who purchased it formed a corporation called Institute Corporate to buy and own the land, and then leased it to the Institute Foundation which holds the property for the National Beagle Club, which today is the home of many National Beagle Club activities.

Breed Characteristics:
Adaptability:
3/5
All Around Friendliness:
5/5
Health And Grooming Needs:
3/5
Trainability:
4/5
Physical Needs:
5/5
Vital Stats:
Dog Breed Group: Hound Dogs
Height: 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 18 to 30 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 15 years

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