Beagles Dog Breed - Charlie Brown Knows Snoopy
Reading a Hunting Magazine!
Beagles are merry, great family companions, compact in size, hunters and easy to care for. For these reasons Beagles rank #4 behind the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever on the AKC registration list. Beagles are part of the hound group which includes Afghan hound, Dachshund, Greyhound, Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback and others. Beagles are scent hounds used primarily for tracking small animals such as rabbits, hare and deer.
Hounds and similar type dogs trace back to the 5th century. The modern Beagle developed in Great Britain by Reverend Phillip Honeywood around the 1830's. The breed developed by crossing several other breeds including the Southern Hound, North Country Beagle and Talbot Hound. The southern Hound had excellent scenting ability and the Northern Country Beagle was less heavier and faster. Around the same time other beagle packs developed and the standard Beagle type was beginning to develop. In 1887 there were 18 Beagle Packs in England. In 1890 the Beagle club formed and by 1902 the number of packs increased to 44.
Beagles came to the United States by the mid 1800's for hunting. The Beagle first became recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The National Beagle Club of America formed in 1888. The breed's popularity spread world-wide in the 1900s and from 1953 to 1959 the Beagle ranked #1 on the American Kennel Club's registration breed list.
Due to their strong sense of smell the Beagle use for detection, hunting, search and rescue and family companions is widespread.
Many people often describe a Beagle as merry. They have a gentle disposition and are even-tempered. Beagles are not aggressive or shy and are amiable. The beagle is weary of strangers at first but will warm up very quickly. For this reason they do make good guard dogs. They have a tendency to howl or bark with something unfamiliar which can make them a good watch dog.
One may think that Beagles are obedient because of their use in search and rescue operations. While they are alert and eager to please they are easily distracted and bored. Once a Beagle has picked up a scent they can get easily distracted by other smells around them. For these reasons Beagles do not generally feature in obedience trials. In Stanley Coren's. The Intelligence of Dogs, they ranked 72nd for intelligence placing them among the group with the lowest degree of working/obedience intelligence.
Beagles are great with children and generally get along well with other dogs.
They have a lot of built-in stamina so they are not easily tired when active. Regular exercise is good for a Beagle to ward off weight gain.
Which Breed Do You Prefer as a Hunting Companion?
Beagle's Size and Shape
A Beagle is a small to medium-sized dog usually about 13-16" tall. Most of the females are at the lower range and the males at the higher range. Their length measurement is longer than their height. The Beagle's weight can vary with males normally anywhere from 22-25 pounds and females from 20-23 pounds. A Beagle is solid and big for their size.
A Beagle's legs are shorter in proportion to their body. The top of their head is somewhat domed with a medium-length muzzle. Their ears are soft, turn towards the cheeks slightly and rounded at the bottom. The eyes are brown, rounded and large. The neck is medium length and strong, their chest is broad which narrows down to a tapered abdomen. A Beagle's torso is muscular, their front legs are straight and their rear legs bend back. Their tails are on the short side and set moderately high. A Beagle is free of folds in the skin.
The most common Beagle color is white legs, chest, muzzle with a body of large black areas and light brown shading. The white areas are usually set by eight weeks old. As a Beagle matures their colors sometime change and will lose their black markings entirely.
Some beagles are only two colored. They have a white color base with areas of the second color. The most common two color is white and tan, other varieties include a darker brown, black, reddish, lemon and liver being the least common.
Beagles are low maintenance thanks to their short coats. This does not mean they do not need regular grooming. Routine brushing and bathing is a must and gives you a chance to inspect their skin for any abnormalities.
They have a double coat of hair which is harsh and dense. Their outer coat is water-resistant to the rain.
Shedding is very little. They will shed a little more in the spring due to their thicker winter coat.
If your Beagle is a field worker than make sure you take extra precaution for ticks and fleas. Consult with your veterinarian for the best treatment and instruction.
Beagles are prone to epilepsy controlled with medication, hypothyroidism and dwarfism. Hip dysplasia, which is common in larger dogs, is very rare for Beagles.
Eye diseases are also possible, the two most popular conditions are glaucoma and corneal dystrophy.
Due to the style of their long floppy ears, the inner ear does not receive a real air flow which can trap moisture leading to infections.
Beagles are susceptible to minor injuries such as sprains and cuts when working in the fields. For the inactive Beagle obesity is a common problem as they will eat food when it is available. Make sure you break their meals up and limit the snacks and junk food.
Some Beagles may show reverse sneezing. This is when the dog draws air in through their nose and mouth. I've seen this a lot with Pugs. Reverse sneezing, although it may sound bad, is not harmful to a dog.
Snoopy. The King Beagle!
Beagle Fun Facts
The most famous Beagle is Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon.
Beagles do not drool.
Lyndon B. Johnson owned Beagles named "Her", "Him" and "Edgar."
Both presidents Ford and Reagan had Golden Retrievers as the Presidential pet.
Beagles are better at ground-scenting then they are at air-scenting.
A Puggle is a Beagle/Pug cross.
Remember the cartoon Underdog? The 2007 movie remake used a Beagle as Underdog.
In The Great Grape Ape cartoon, the purple gorilla's canine companion was Beegle Beagle.
Life span is 12-15 years.
Do you need a hunting companion, tracker or a buddy? If you are getting ready to add a new dog to the family or want to try a different breed why not give a Beagle some thought? If you have a Beagle I'm sure you have some interesting stories to tell about your dog. Feel free to add a short story to the comment section below, I would love to hear them.