The Beagle is a small dog breed that looks like a small Foxhound. Originally bred to be a scent hound, this active dog is popular for his attractive facial expression and outgoing personality.
Origin & History
The Beagle’s history is hazy but is believed to have been around as early as 400 BC. The dog was bred by the Romans and used to hunt for rabbits.
Around 1066, William the Conqueror, the first Norman monarch of England kept Talbot hounds and these are believed to be the predecessors of the Foxhound and Beagle.
British royalty like Edward II and Henry VII owned small Beagles called Glove Beagles. They got their name because they were tiny and could be carried in a gloved hand.
Pocket Beagles were depicted in paintings with short legs, pointy noses and 22cm tall. They were not very fast and couldn’t be used for hunting.
When fox hunting gained momentum in 1700s England, the larger Foxhound replaced the Beagle in their hunting parties. Farmers continued to breed Beagles to hunt for rabbits and hare.
The development of the modern-day Beagle is credited to Reverend Philip Honeywood in Essex, England.
In 1884, the American Kennel Club registered the breed. The National Beagle Club is the site of many activities for this breed’s fanciers in Virginia State.
The Beagle resembles a miniature Foxhound except he has a broader head, shorter muzzle, shorter legs and different facial expressions.
This dog has a compact body with a medium-sized domed skull. He has a square-shaped muzzle and a gumdrop nose that is usually black or liver coloured.
He has large long drop ears that are rounded at the tips and are low hanging. His jaw is strong and his teeth are aligned squarely to it.
His dense double coat is short, smooth and weather resistant. The two common coat colours for this breed are:
* a black area on his back, white on his legs, chest, abdomen and tip of the tail, and tan on his head and around the black area on his back (tricoloured)
* white and red in a spotting pattern on his face, neck, legs and tip of the tail
In the winter, the dog’s coat gets thicker and sheds in the spring.
Size & Weight
A fully grown Beagle generally measures between 13 and 15 inches (33cm and 41cm) at the withers and weighs between 18 and 30 pounds (8kg and 16kg).
Character & Abilities
The Beagle is a sweet and gentle dog. He has a wonderful sense of humour and he like making his people laugh.
He is mischievous and highly excitable. He is alert and will bark or howl when he sees something unfamiliar. Although he can be aloof with strangers, he is amiable and warms up to them eventually.
As a scent hound, the Beagle’s nose is his guide and the most important part of his body. He has a superior sense of smell and is happy when he has to put his tracking skills to work.
This small dog breed creates bonds with everyone in the home. He is excellent with children and a wonderful playmate.
He is rambunctious and sometimes grabs things, even people’s hands, using his mouth. It’s all in good fun but he can be taught to stop.
Exercise & Nutrition Needs
The Beagle is full of energy and needs to be walked regularly. He is also a good jogging companion.
Senior Beagles are not as active and prefer to lie around. It is important to customise his meals for his sedentary lifestyle to avoid obesity.
The recommended daily amount for an active adult Beagle is ¾ to 1 ½ cups of high-quality dog food, split into two meals. Bite-size treats should be given sparingly.
The Beagle’s weather-resistant coat needs to be brushed regularly to remove loose hair and promote healthy growth. The best tools for the job include a medium bristle brush and rubber mitt.
Unless the Beagle rolls in the mud, he can have a monthly bath. His drop ears don’t have enough circulation and should be dried thoroughly after a bath.
Daily brushing of the dog’s teeth will prevent the build-up of tartar and bacteria. Use vet-approved dog toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent bad breath and dental diseases.
Trimming a dog’s nails can be daunting, especially for a first-time dog parent. This needs to be done once or twice a month to prevent painful tears. A vet or professional groomer can provide guidance.
Trainability & Intelligence
The Beagle is intelligent but difficult to train because he is single-minded and determined.
Even though he is alert, he doesn’t make a good guard dog because he can be easily won over by strangers.
This little dog is easily distracted by his strong sense of smell. He responds positively to training using food rewards.
He has 220 million scent receptors and can be seen sniffing for contraband at airports and points of entry around the world.
Like other small dog breeds, the Beagle can benefit from obedience training.
Living Conditions & Adaptability
This small dog breed is adaptable to any home, apartment or house with a yard, as long as he gets at least an hour of exercise a day, and is not left alone.
The Beagle is a pack animal and he enjoys being in a multi-pet home. He will get along well with other dogs or cats. Because he is prone to separation anxiety, he will benefit from their companionship.
The pantry and garbage should not be accessible to this breed because he is a skilled food thief. He will raid any food source and pig out.
It is important to have this dog microchipped because he is a prize among dog thieves. He should be supervised when playing in the yard or outdoors because he can dig himself out of the secure space.
Health & Life Expectancy
The Beagle is generally a healthy dog but he might get any of the following health conditions:
* Hip dysplasia
* Patellar luxation
* Cherry eye
* Intervertebral disk disease
* Progressive retinal atrophy
* Heart problems
Loved and well taken care of, a Beagle can live up to 15 years.
The Beagle is a lovely small dog with a gentle and friendly personality. Although challenging to housetrain, he bonds easily with members of his family.
It is extremely important to research a dog breed before adoption so you know what to expect. Our team at All The Small Dog Breeds has compiled small dog breed descriptions to help you find your new furry friend.