Beagles are small, merry, and fun-loving. They make great companions for kids and adults. However, as they come from the family of hounds, they can be very stubborn as well. The Beagle’s soft, brown eyes with long ears set low, partnered with their merry nature, makes them extra adorable. No wonder that they are the 6th most popular dog breeds for families in the US.
Don’t let their size fool you because although they are undeniably cute, they are hunters. They use scent to go through life, and they are most likely to follow a more exciting scent than their owner’s request. They are curious creatures, and you need to keep an eye on them. Plus, they may require a lot of playtime because of their high energy.
Table of Contents
|Dog Breed Group||Hound Group|
|Height||Beagles range from 13 inches & under; 13-15 inches.|
|Weight||Beagles weigh between under 20 pounds (13 inches & under); 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches).|
|Lifespan||Beagles live about 10-15 years.|
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
History Of The Beagle
There’s still an ongoing discussion regarding the Beagle’s origin, and until now, it remains unclear. Even the origin of the name Beagle remains a mystery.
Records suggest that Beagles go a long way back to 16th century England. Different kinds of Beagles were known, and people loved them, even kings and queens.
During the reign of Edward II and Henry VII, Glove Beagles (small beagles) were very popular. They were so little that they could stand on top of a hand. There were also Singing Beagles known for their voices. Elizabeth I also has Pocket Beagles, which are only 9 inches tall.
However, when the fox hunting season came, Foxhound became the popular one, and the Beagles were forgotten. Good thing there were still farmers in some parts of England, Ireland, and Wales who continued to use them for rabbit hunting.
It was only again, in the mid-1800s, when Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of Beagles who were believed to be the ancestors of the Beagles we know today. They were bred for their hunting skills, and they were not very attractive. Well, that was until Thomas Johnson started breeding them to be both attractive and functional hunters. When American Breeders heard of this, they began importing Beagles so they can improve the looks of their dog.
English imports were bred with a height of 15-17 inches to hunt fox, while American Breeders bred them to become smaller to hunt rabbits. This is the reason why there are two Beagle varieties that we know to this day.
Temperament Of The Beagle
Beagles are generally friendly, curious, and merry. They make excellent family companions as there is an outstanding balance between his sweet, loving nature, and his stubbornness.
As breeds meant for hunting rabbits, they work well with packs, which makes it easy for them to get along with other dogs. In other words, they prefer having companions. They treat their owners as their new pack, which makes them extremely loyal and loving.
Beagles make excellent companions; however, they can’t be guard dogs as they are too friendly. However, they can be excellent watchdogs as they love howling and barking. These excessive loud noises might cause problems with your neighbors, so be prepared to need to work on controlling this.
It’s best always to give them opportunities to go outdoors to explore and smell anything of their interest. However, as an owner, you would need to keep an eye on them well. Their curious personality will let them chase the smell he scented, and it may lead him away like in the roads or other people’s backyard.
In line with their hunting background, they are very determined dogs and are set to chase something once they got a scent of it. They may start ignoring you if what you want is something opposite of what they want to do. This also gives them very selective deafness, which makes it even harder for you to communicate what you want with them.
These traits make them hard to train. That’s why if you’re getting a Beagle, you would need to teach them at a young age. Obedience classes are required, and to make these classes easier, offer them foods and treats because Beagles love eating.
Also, you would need to take them to exercise daily, even just for an hour. Because if you don’t, they can become destructive.
Beagle Care Requirements
- Nutrition: Because of their sensitive sense of smell, Beagles can easily track the scent of food, which is why they love eating. If you don’t watch the number of calories they take in a day, they might end up overweight. A Beagle’s weight is about 25 to 30 pounds, which means they would need 674 to 922 calories per day. Of course, this can change accordingly, depending on your Beagle’s activities. Also, Beagles would need a high-protein diet because of their high energy and active lifestyle. Dog food usually works well, but be sure to choose one with poultry, fish, and meat ingredients. They would also need essential fatty acids to keep their coat shiny. You can also add vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates for fiber. Beagles eat anything you prepare for them. However, you should avoid meat by-products and cereal grains ingredients because they are harder to digest.
- Grooming: Beagles are short-haired dogs that shed seasonally, particularly during Spring and Fall. However, you still shouldn’t skip regular brushing. If you want to avoid cleaning hair all over your house, you would need to brush your Beagle at least once a week. This will not only reduce the shedding during the Spring and Fall seasons, but it will also keep their coat shiny and healthy. For bath time, they don’t need frequent bathing. Sometimes one both in two months or one bath in six months is enough. Of course, depending on your dog’s activity. You would also need to take care of their teeth. Dog treats are a great way to do this, considering that Beagles love eating. And don’t forget to trim their nails too. If you’re afraid that you might hurt them, visit a pet grooming center and let the experts handle it.
- Exercise: Beagles are energetic and active dogs. They need at least one hour of supervised exercise a day. Yes, they need supervision. Unlike other dogs, you can’t simply release them in the backyard to play. If you do, they’ll be at risk of a lot of dangers, or they might cause a lot of destruction. Whichever of the choices, for sure, you don’t like either of those outcomes.
- So, for their playtime, make sure they’re supervised. Also, it’s best if they have other dogs to play with because they’ll enjoy it more. If you’re taking them for a walk, make sure they have a leash.
- Health: Beagle dwarfism is one genetic disorder that can occur. It affects the development of the cartilage and may take years before being detected because beagles are naturally short dogs. Dwarfism can also cause Intervertebral Disc Disease, which also takes years to be identified until your dog started showing pain. Another genetic disease that you would need to watch out for is Chinese Beagle Syndrome. It’s a disease where the front toes of the Beagle are short and make them look like a Ballerina. They may also look like they have tighter skin, and they’ll look more muscular. Other common conditions affect the eyes such as Cherry Eye, Glaucoma, and Distichiasis. Diabetes, ear infections, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism are common dog conditions that can occur too. Beagles are generally healthy, and most genetic conditions are rare. However, it’s still best to have them checked regularly to avoid any conditions mentioned above.
- Lifespan: Beagles have a life expectancy of 10-15 years.
- Snoopy: The most famous beagle dog in comics and television
- Bagel: Dog of Barry Manilow; featured on the back album cover for Manilow’s triple-platinum record “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling”
- Brains: The smart Beagle companion of Inspector Gadget
- Him, Her, and Edgar: They are the dogs of late US President of President Lyndon Johnson
- Shiloh: The Beagle dog from the book Shiloh which was also made into a film
- Odie: Garfield’s famous sidekick
Fun Facts About Beagles
- They are centuries old, and no one can explain their origins.
- The earliest Beagles were very tiny (8-9 inches high).
- Beagle means “loudmouth” in French, and they can be pretty vocal.
- They’re the 6th most popular dog breed in the US.
- Queen Elizabeth I owned Pocket Beagles, which can fit in one hand.
- Most Beagles are trained as part of US airport security.
- Beagles’ noses have 200 million scent receptors.
- Pure Beagles have a white-tipped tail, which makes it easier to track them in woods, tall weeds, and brush because you can immediately see it.
- Beagles love companions, and they love being in packs.