Get trained by a Beagle
So I was trained...
I had never been a fan of Beagles, despite loving Charlie Beagle for who he was. They were loud, full of them self, hunting dogs...
One day somebody dumped a Beagle into the horror shelter I dealt with. I found a rescue, but they needed me to foster. So it was die Beagle or come to my house! I'm a sucker!
Dottie taught me how to love Beagles! Her ears were the softest ones ever and she just had this personality. Shortly after I fostered another two from another kill shelter! Millie and Nellie had obviously some horrible hunter's 'failures' and breeding machines. These two poor babies were scared of their own shadow.
I enjoyed every day with them and cried like a fool when I gave them up. It became clear to me that I was a foster failure; and proud about it!
A few others have joined my family at one point and time. Pops was the Senior from my album that nobody wanted. Because he wasn't cute or pretty; and a little old and grumpy. He is now a kids' favorite in my house!
Tiny was supposedly a hunter's reject. But I think she was that supposed rescuer's breeding 'stock'. She was only with me for a short time, but when she left she took my heart with her. I held her in my arms as long as I could before I let her go. And I know she is at peace now.
Zora was in a kill shelter and nobody wanted her because she is a 'preacher of food'! Every pound of her overweight is love, but she won't miss a bite of food to save her life. Right now she is comfortably snoring besides me; and I am happy she is there to love me.
Beagles are not just mindless hunting machines and a tool! They are amazing creatures! They are as stubborn as a solid five-foot brick wall and have that independent attitude we cat lovers love in our cats. They are speed-demons and fun-loving; you being the center of their fun!
I have not met a Beagle that is not the biggest snuggle bug couch potato... as long as there isn't anything to track or chase. Mine are thank God lazy and love the kitties. But they track anything and everything; especially if it involves food!
So if you want to become owned by a Beagle, be sure to be ready to put your foot down.. more than once! You need to have a big, Beagle-proof yard or be ready to walk. Beagles love to check out the country side and show you around... if you follow fast enough!
You have to be at least as stubborn as they are! And have enough laughter to view them for what they are: The funniest Napoleons ever!
Some things you definitely need to make sure of when you are getting a Beagle:
- A good fence is everything! Beagles are working dogs with sharp minds and if you don't entertain them, they will just simply entertain themselves.
- Beagles have outstanding noses... but when they follow them they kind of lose sense of direction at times! Micro-chipping is one way to get your Beagle back when it gets lost! Preventing it from getting lose is another! They concentrate so hard that they just don't always remember where they are going!
- If you have cats and other small animals, make sure your Beagle is tested with other animals first. They are hunting dogs and can't always help it.
- Rules are important! Beagles like to bend them, ignore them, test them, grumble about them! But keep putting your foot down and remind them that you are still the Alpha in your house!
- Don't see them as tools! They have a heart of gold and will love you with a devotion that I haven't seen as strong in many other breeds. I guess whatever a Beagle does, may it be tracking or loving their owner, they do it whole-heartily!
Beagles are Hounds; no doubt about it. And if you are looking for a quiet dog, you are looking at the wrong breed! They complain when they feel unhappy, they meet you with clear excitement, they protect you fiercely and without leaving a doubt about it!
Their talent lies in their awesome noses and they are perfectly capable of tracking any game... or even drugs for Customs!
Sadly, their even temper and lack of bred-in health issues makes them perfect for one of the worst of human's deeds: Animal Testing!
While Beagle type dogs can be be found as far back as 2,000 years, the modern Beagle started in the 1830s in Great Britain. Several breeds such as the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, possibly the Harrier and the Talbot Hound were involved in its 'creation'.
They played a big part in Great Britain and can be found in both Elizabethan art and literature; or even in films, comic books or on TV recently. One of the most famous Beagles every child should know is Snoopy from the 'Peanuts'!
The first Beagle look-alikes can be found in the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece. Small Hounds were mentioned in many of the classical works.
Around the 11th century the Talbot Hound made its entrance into Britain under William the Conqueror. It was mainly white, a bit slow and had a deep-throat bark. It originally was derived from another Hound called the St. Hubert; developed 3 centuries earlier. The Talbot itself had been 'lightened up' and made faster by crossing it with some Greyhounds.
On the begin the word Beagle was a general description for a small Hound. And they were much different from what we know as Beagle now. Under Edward II and also Henry VII 'Glove' Beagles were most common. These were miniature versions of the Beagle-type dogs and small enough to fit in a glove. Queen Elizabeth I had her own choice of Beagles called Pocket Beagle; standing 8-9 inches at the shoulder. She wanted dogs small enough to fit into a saddle bag or 'pocket' to ride along with the hunters and continue through even the thickest underbrush. She herself called them 'Singing Beagles' and often used them to entertain her visitors with their 'Singing'.
The 18th century saw two different breeds hunting rabbits and such: The North Country Beagle and the Southern Hound. Both were probably related to the Talbot Hound, but had gone somewhat different ways. When fox hunting became more popular, these dogs eventually led to what is now known as the Foxhounds; while the Beagle-size dogs became so rare that they almost ended up extinct! Only through the care of some farmers hunting them in the South did they survive these hard times.
Around the 1830s a Reverend by the name of Honeywood established his Beagle pack near Essex. The belief is that this pack became the basis of the Beagle we know. It is also believed that the Harrier had a part in it, but the Harrier itself is kind of a mystery. Honeywood himself also favored smaller dogs and his were a beautiful pure white color. And while Prince Albert and a Lord Winterton entertained their own packs, the Reverend's dogs were considered the finest.
Thomas Johnson furthered the refining of the Beagle and two versions appeared: The smooth-coat and the rough-coat. Sadly the rough-coat only survived until the begin of the 20th century; once appearing at a dog show in 1969. (I would love to have one of them!) They are now considered extinct and swallowed up by the standard Beagle lines.
By 1840 the Beagle had made its way across the ocean to become one of America's now most used (and sadly often most discarded) hunting dog besides the American Foxhound! In 1884 the Beagle made it into the AKC.
Sadly I couldn't find a single picture of a rough-coated Beagle. I think it sounds very interesting and had to be a beautiful dog!
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Pets in adoption centers near Raleigh, NC are listed on Petfinder, which has helped find homes for over 12 million pets since 1995.