beagle The Beagle is one of the best known and beloved dog breeds worldwide. Although originally used in hunting, over time it has become a very popular companion animal, reaching the top positions of races chosen as a pet.
Its appearance resembles the foxhound, but the Beagle is smaller and more compact, with shorter legs and proportionately larger ears. As for similarities, both races have a similar physical appearance in the fur, and also have similar characteristics in their abilities as hunters.
The Beagle had the main function of tracking hares and rabbits, as well as other small-sized hunting pieces. Thanks to its developed sense of smell, hunting was not its only activity, and it became a perfect breed for the detection of prohibited or quarantined products that tried to be imported from anywhere in the world.
It is known that the beginnings of the breed are more than 2000 years ago, but it had its development with the current characteristics found in the United Kingdom, towards the year 1830. During this time other races such as the Talbot, the north were also developed country Beagle, the southern hound, and the harrier.
In the eleventh century, the talbot appeared in Britain from the hand of William the Conqueror, a type of white and heavy hound, quite slow in its movements. The crossing of these animals with greyhounds, with the aim of increasing their speed, gave rise to some of the Beagle’s ancestors.
The Beagle reached its highest importance when hunting became a sport and not a necessity for survival. For this reason, the characteristics of some dog breeds, both large and small, among which the Beagle was found, began to emerge. But they not only looked for certain physical characteristics. By this time, the aristocrats who went out to hunt had jaurías of dogs, the reason why they needed that all were resistant, energetic and also sociable between them since they could not allow the fights.
It is believed that the Beagle could appear as a result of crossing other larger breeds, such as the Harrier or the Foxhound. From these crosses, the most interesting specimens were selected in terms of size and characteristics and subsequently used in breeding, to gradually define the new breed. It was this process that over the years set the characteristics of the Beagle, a medium-sized hound trained to track and hunt, which was also friendly and easy to treat.
From the year 1840, the development of the Beagle standard began, from the specimens bred for hunting that had also sought certain beauty features. Two varieties were developed initially, one with rough hair and one with straight hair, although the rough coat variety disappeared in the 20th century. Also during this time the size of the race was unified, as well as its character and abilities. In 1856, four breed sizes were still easily found, named as four different varieties that still took many years to unify.
Subsequently, the breed went through a time of decline, where it became endangered. Luckily, by 1887 he regained his past popularity, reaching up to 18 recognized Beagle hatcheries in England alone. Three years later the first Beagle Club was created, and the first standard was defined. And in 19020, the number of hatcheries multiplied to 44, thus guaranteeing the permanence of the breed.
Elsewhere in the world, the Beagle had more trouble reaching its current popularity. It is known that by 1840, the first specimens were exported to the United States, but their purpose was only hunting, and they were not representative of the characteristics sought by Beagle breeders. Possibly, the American standard was defined from the first litters of General Richard Rowett around 1870, who imported some specimens from England with the characteristics he wanted for his dogs. Finally, the American Kennel Club accepted the breed in 1884, and from here it spread throughout the world increasing its popularity exponentially.
It can be said without a doubt that the Beagle is a dog full of elegance and beauty, with a unique way of walking, a firm and decisive step. They stand out among the characteristics of Beagle dogs their way of walking, with a soft wiggle and their high tail, as a sign of pride. It is a medium-sized breed, very well proportioned and firm in its natural position, with a square and muscular shape that gives an idea of the power of this animal when it becomes necessary. Its chest is deep and pronounced, and shows a rather elongated head, with a striking black truffle.
Another feature that attracts attention in the Beagle is its long and large ears, which fall to both sides in a very funny way. His skull is smooth at the top and ends in a medium-sized snout. On his face are large and expressive eyes, usually dark, brown or hazelnut, which are not sunk nor are they bulging. They also have an extremely strong neck and legs, although the legs are not too long, something that allows them to easily reach the ground with their nose to track a smell. A breed that attracts attention in every way, trained to do its job, but also an excellent companion animal.
The height of the Beagle is between 33 and 41 centimeters high to the cross, the females being slightly smaller than the males. The weight remains between 8 and 16 kilos, so it is a medium breed that can sometimes seem even smaller. Its size originally made it perfect for chasing a trail at high speed and also to enter spaces where other larger dogs would fail, while being robust enough to be able to defend themselves if needed. Hence, these characteristics were deliberately sought inbreeding and to the detriment of others that they had traditionally had.
Beagle’s fur is another of its most recognizable characteristics. It is a short, straight hair and very soft to the touch, quite dense, which protects the animal in case of sudden weather changes. Thanks to their mantle, they withstand the coldest and hot temperatures quite well, but it must be taken into account that they do not have the characteristics of fur than other races.
As for the colors, this breed admits a great variety of colors. The most common is the tricolor layer that mixes white, black and light brown, but they can present any pattern that reminds the hounds. The main feature is that there is always a mixture of at least two colors, although normal is usually the tricolor, but never a single color in the whole dog. The varieties of hue are:
Beagle tricolor Classic tri: it has a white base on the lower part of the body, but on the spine, the black predominates, with some smaller brown spots.
Beagle tricolor Dark tri: it also has its white base, although in this case the brown and black spots extend across the body in almost the same proportion.
Tri-color Beagle Faded tri: in this case, the white base is completed with strong brown spots and a few black ones that mix in the upper part of the body.
Pied tricolor Beagle: a variety where white color predominates, which can show some brown and black spots that do not stand out especially.
Bicolor Beagle: this variety maintains its white base, and is combined with a brown color that can vary in tone, from light brown to red or orange, sometimes even black.
One of the most characteristic characteristics of the breed is its smell. The Beagle has one of the most developed smell among all dog breeds. According to some studies, it has been proven that a Beagle is able to locate a mouse in a field of 4000 square meters in less than a minute, followed by fox terrier specimens, which took about fifteen minutes to achieve. Certainly, its tracking capacity is demonstrated mainly by sniffing by land than by air, where other races are much more trained. It is also believed that the ears and lips of the Beagle, large, help preserve odors near the nose.
The Beagle is a breed of dog with a very peculiar temperament. It is not enough to see your physical beauty to decide to share life with one. It is a very tender animal, but also very active, which requires a specific type of life to maintain good physical and psychological conditions.
A description that fits almost any Beagle specimen is that of cheerful, they are quite sociable and rarely aggressive. They do not usually show shyness when it comes to meeting other people or animals, although they will not be the friendliest with strangers either. They like to feel accompanied by their family and are very tolerant of children, so they are perfect family pets.
They are not advised as guard dogs because they do not have the proper instinct, although they can be good vigilantes and alarm dogs since they tend to bark or howl in the presence of strangers. In general, these are affectionate and quite calm animals, which will need to release their energy with activities suitable for them.
Although they prefer life in the countryside, where they can run and chase trails, they adapt perfectly to city life. Of course, in this case, they will need more exercise and exits, because otherwise, they may develop inappropriate behaviors at home.
His genes as a hunting dog make him a very nervous and excitable dog, who will not hesitate to chase a trail without asking permission if the occasion arises. These behaviors can be controlled through a good education, but it is recommended to let the Beagle experience what tracing means so that it fully develops as a breed specimen.
Under normal circumstances, their intelligence makes them quickly learn new orders and obey them, but sometimes they can be difficult to train if they find other more interesting stimuli. They can also get bored or distracted easily, so training sessions should be short and varied exercises.
Their attachment to the family causes them to suffer anxiety about separation, with various behaviors that can be destructive at home, or that can lead to long howling sessions that are very annoying for neighbors.
They are also animals sociable with other dogs by nature, but to avoid possible behavioral problems in adult specimens, it is recommended to perform appropriate socialization with the animal from a puppy. They also adapt to average levels of exercise. On the one hand, this breed is very resistant to any circumstance but does not require exhaustion to be physically well. They enjoy the rest hours so that an average level of exercise will be enough to keep them in their weight and in perfect condition.
The Beagle as a hunting dog
In its origins, the Beagle was one of the best valued hunting dogs due to its characteristics. As was the case with other dogs such as hounds or bracts, these animals possessed a unique nose to chase their prey, and agility that allowed them to continue the march for a long time. In addition, they used to work in jaurías, one of the reasons why today is an animal so sociable and accustomed to living in the family.
Although it is less common to find these dogs as animals for hunting, the truth is that they still have a strong marked instinct, so it is necessary to offer the possibility of developing that facet as part of the Beagle’s care. Otherwise, Beagle’s behavior can become unstable and complicated to control.
Remember that the characteristics of the Beagle are those of a hunting animal, but that does not mean that with good education and affection you cannot become a perfect and quiet companion animal. And is that the Beagle has a friendly temperament in general, so the positive side is that it is difficult to find a gesture of distaste on his part.
Main diseases of the Beagle
In general, these dogs are quite strong and resistant in terms of their health. They can suffer some diseases such as epilepsy or hypothyroidism, although these are conditions that can be controlled by medication. They may also be prone to hip dysplasia, although it is not too common. Occasionally they may show problems in their legs due to their special shape, in the joints or in the eyes, such as glaucoma or corneal dystrophy. They are also prone to being overweight, something that can be easily controlled by following some basic guidelines in their diet and exercise.
Basic Beagle Care
The Beagle has a life expectancy of between 10 and 15 years depending on the type of life that is offered. They are easy to maintain and take care of in general terms, and you will only have to pay attention to some issues related to your physical and temperament characteristics.
As for your health, it is essential to ensure the necessary vaccines and internal deworming. In addition, it is recommended to pay attention to your eyes and ears, as they may have a tendency to develop infections due to different causes, although a review from time to time will be sufficient to maintain their good general condition.
Beagle’s hair care is very simple. It only requires a couple of brushes per week to remove dead hair. Do not usually lose too much hair, so good hygiene habits will keep all its splendor.
Bathing should be done once a month, or every two months depending on the type of life of the animal. If you do not take field trips and do not get dirty, you will not need to do it more frequently. In addition, it is always advised to use a specific shampoo for dogs, because this is the only way to ensure the care of your skin and prevent it from losing its natural protection layer.
The Beagle tends to obesity if its diet and activity level are not controlled. As for food, it should always be of the highest quality, and the ration should never be higher than recommended. In addition, you should avoid giving prizes and other food to animals, because they do no good to your health and can help you get too fat.
The Beagle is an energetic dog, which however does not require as high doses of exercise as other breeds. The most important thing is to find the balance between exercise and rest, so that it is an active dog and that it remains at its ideal weight, avoiding in the process the destructive behaviors that could appear in a boring and unattended dog. Usually, an hour and a half of exercise per day will be enough for the animal to be in perfect condition.
The Beagle is an easy dog to educate thanks to his intelligence, but it also costs him to keep the attention focused on the activity if he doesn’t have the right stimulus. Short training sessions are recommended, always from the positive prize and never from the punishment. In addition, it is advisable to make proper socialization with dogs of all kinds from the puppy, to enjoy a very balanced and friendly adult specimen.
Curiosities of the Beagle
There are many representations of the Beagle in popular culture, in literature, painting, comics, television and cinema. One of the most popular, or perhaps the most, is Snoopy, one of the protagonists of Peanuts, known throughout the world. Other famous specimens are also known as the protagonist of the Underdog series and other animated dogs.
Before becoming known only as Beagle, this breed had several names, especially during the seventeenth century, although all of them quite similar to each other. They were known as hounds from the north and south, Beagle with hard fur and Beagle with smooth fur. Although at first, the names could respond to different varieties of the breed, they eventually all unified as Beagle.
Queen Elizabeth, I had a famous beagles pack in ancient times. These animals were similar to the breed standard but had an important difference in size. All measured less than 25 centimeters, and could even be transported in the jacket pocket. This area was so well known and famous that it is even believed that dogs were allowed to play between the dishes on the table during the banquets they organized.
The beagles of former US president Lyndon B. Johnson were also known, although he starred in a disastrous moment by catching one of his dogs by the ears during an official presentation at the White House.
Currently, the Beagle has almost the same popularity as a pet as a working dog, and this breed is part of a brigade specialized in customs detection, due to its unique smell in the canine world.
The fame of the Beagle is currently serving him to be crossed with other races, so that new characteristics are obtained to obtain an animal adapted to city life. One of the best known is the puggle, the mixture between the Beagle and the pug, which has a lower level of energy than the Beagle and less need for exercise.
These animals have been frequently used in zootherapy, visiting the elderly and sick in hospitals due to their sympathy and ease of treatment, improving the lives of many patients in the process.
If you are thinking of sharing your life with one of these animals, keep in mind that they have unique characteristics that you will have to understand and know how to fill. The first thing you should do is go to a breeder specialized in the breed, who can provide you with all the necessary information and offers you health guarantees in puppies. Following the recommendations, you can enjoy a loyal and very affectionate partner, who will always be willing to spend his time with you and make you happy.