Beagles are a small breed of scent hound that originated in England in the 1830s after having been developed from several other breeds. Dogs similar to beagles have existed for at least 2,500 years, but the modern beagle was developed from the southern hound, the North Country beagle, the Talbot hound, and some believe also the harrier. Beagles today are believed to be descendants of a beagle pack that was established in Essex, England, in the 1830s by Reverend Phillip Honeywood. The original beagles were bred for tracking small game such as hare and rabbit, but today are also popular pets.
Beagles are muscular, solid dogs with a slightly domed skull.
In the French language – ‘beagle’ means ‘loudmouth’, derived from the word ‘bee gueule’. Beagles tend to make a lot of noise.
Their muzzle is squarish and the nose broad.
Beagles were originally only 8 or 9 inches to their shoulders but today they range in size between 13 and 16 inches and can weigh up to 30 pounds. They were often referred to as ‘pocket beagles’ or ‘miniature beagles’.
Their ears are long and droopy.
Beagles make great companions for children and adults because of their fun loving temperaments.
Their chest is deep, back is straight and they have a moderately long tail that is carried high.
Beagles are still used for their scent hound abilities in many countries, for tracking small game.
The breed’s smooth, dense coat is usually black, tan, and white.
Beagles have a life span of between 10 and 15 years on average.
Beagles are widely considered to be good with other pets and children.
Because beagles are a stubborn breed they can be difficult to housetrain. Some take up to a year to learn.
Beagles are active, curious dogs. They are also hound dogs, so it’s in their nature to roam.
Beagles will howl, dig, bark, and bay if left alone too long. They like to be close to their owners and are not happy being alone.
Their short coat is remarkably easy to care for and requires minimal grooming and only occasional bathing.
One of the best ways to train a beagle is with food rewards because they are stubborn but can’t resist a treat.
The beagle’s life expectancy is about 12 years.
Beagles are not ideal dogs for protection. They are more likely to lick a burglar than to bark at him.
The beagle breed has existed for hundreds of years and is one of the most familiar breeds in the world.
Beagles are the fifth most popular dog breed in the United States. They are also popular on TV and in movies and cartoons.
According to one breed historian, beagles were written about as early as the 1400s.
A sign of a purebred beagle is having some white on its tail. It only needs to be a couple hairs. An absence of any white hairs mans it is likely not purebred.
Beagles descend from hounds used in packs by hunters on foot in England, Wales and France.
Snoopy, from the comic “Peanuts” is considered to be the most famous fictional beagle character in the United States, and possibly the world.
A variety known as “pocket beagles” was used for hunts on horseback because the dogs stood less than 10 inches tall and could be carried in a coat pocket to the start of the hunt.
The singer Barry Manilow loves beagles so much that he featured his own beagle ‘Bagel’ on many of his album covers. Barry also wore a t shirt that stated ‘I love Beagles’ on one of his album covers.
The beagle is best known for rabbit hunting, although the breed also has been used to hunt animals as diverse as jackals and wild pigs.
The United States government trains beagles to use in airports for the purpose of sniffing luggage for food products that should not be entering the country. The beagles help to seize many tens of thousands of illegal food products each year.
Male Beagles are bigger than the females, ranging in height between 13-16 inches.
The first Queen Elizabeth was a big fan of the beagle breed. She had pocket beagles.
Back in the 8th century their distant ancestors was a scent hound, the St. Hubert Hound.
United States President Lyndon Johnson had pet beagles in the White House during his term.
Beagles long ears actually improve this dog’s ability to pick up a scent.
Diseases that beagles are more prone to include hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease, cherry eye, glaucoma, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism.