The first Beagles date back to the 1500s. English hunters would take packs of these dogs out on the hunt tracking rabbits, hare, pheasant, quail and other small animals. The breed probably originated as a cross between the Harrier and other types of English hounds. The dogs have since become one of the most popular breeds in the USA. The breed can hunt alone, in pairs or in packs. The name “Beagle” may have come from the French term “be’geule” which means “gape throat,” referring to the dogs baying voice. The name may also have come from the dog’s size, stemming from the French word “beigh,” the Old English word “begele,” or perhaps the Celtic word “beag,” which all mean “small.” He has also served as an excellent narcotics detection dog and makes a fine family companion. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1885.
The Beagle should look like a miniature foxhound, solid for its size. The beagle’s moderate size enables it to be followed on foot. It can also be carried to the hunt, and once there, can scurry around in thick underbrush. Its close hard coat protects it from underbrush. Its moderate build enables it to nimbly traverse rough terrain. The beagle’s amiable personality allows it to get along with other dogs and to be a successful pack hunter. The beagle is noted for its melodious bay, which helps hunters locate it from a distance.
One of the most amiable hounds, the beagle was bred as a pack hunter and needs companionship, whether human or canine. It loves to explore the outdoors and is an enthusiastic trailer. Given adequate exercise, it is a calm, tractable house pet. It is an excellent child’s dog, gentle, incredibly tolerant and always ready to join in a game or an adventure. It is an independent breed, however, and may run off if a trail beckons. It barks and howls.
Features of Beagle Puppy
Beagles can be difficult to housetrain. Some people say it can take up to a year to fully housetrain some Beagles. Crate training is absolutely recommended.
Beagles can get bored if left alone in a house too long. If left in a backyard, Beagles will start finding ways to amuse themselves, usually by howling, digging, or trying to escape.
The most common reason Beagles are turned over to rescue groups is because either their owners or their owners’ neighbors got tired of their baying. Be sure that 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 he is outdoors and be sure to have him microchipped!
Since they are scenthounds, Beagles will wander off if they catch an enticing smell in the air. Their noses control their brains, and if they smell something interesting, nothing else exists in their world.
Although they are loving and gentle, Beagles can have an independent, stubborn streak. Obedience training is recommended, but be sure the instructor of the class understands hound personality and favors using food as a reward (which few Beagles can resist).
Do you remember how the famous cartoon Beagle Snoopy worried about his food bowl? Beagles are “chow hounds” and will overeat if given a chance. Monitor the amount of food you give them and be sure to keep your cupboards closed and your trashcans secured. Otherwise, your Beagle will sniff out the foods he likes the best.
In regards to food, your Beagle probably will take its food bowl pretty seriously. Teach children to respect your Beagle while it is eating, and not to approach it or tease it with food.
Beagles are not good protection or guard dogs because they’re usually friendly to everyone they meet.