Beagle: Small, compact and hardy, Bigley is an active companion for both children and adults. The canines of this breed are fun and fun, but as hounds they can also be stubborn and require patient and creative training.
Their nose guides them through life, and they will never be happier than following an interesting scent. Originally, hounds were bred as hounds to track small game, mainly rabbits and hares. They are still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States. But you will find plenty of these puppies living as companion dogs and loving furry family members.
It is important to remember that dogs of any breed can suffer from health problems throughout their lives. Good pet insurance will help you prepare to care for a dog at any age.
More about this Beagle breed
It is difficult to resist the attractiveness of the dark brown or hazel eyes of the Beagle with his soft pleading expression on his face. They are happy, outgoing and loving – characteristics more than balanced by their canine nature, which is curious, determined, and focused on food.
They are not barking dogs, but they have three different vocalizations – barking / growling, barking howl, and half-barking howl (a mixture of wild bark and chestnut). Half-wake is usually used when they see prey or think it’s time to wake up their neighbors at 6 a.m.! As pack dogs, they usually get along well with other animals and their human friends – and they think everyone is their new best friend.
The most important thing to know about a beagle is that it is a hound. His nose is the most important part of his anatomy, and his head is always lowered to the ground in search of an interesting trail to follow. The hound has approximately 220 million odor receptors, compared to a paltry 5 million or so in humans, making them very good at capturing odors. Comedian Dave Barry once described his relatives’ Beagle as “nose and feet.”
You may have seen a beagle nose at work in airports across the country. In 1984, the USDA decided to use hounds to track down contraband goods entering the United States at Los Angeles International Airport.
The experiment was a huge success. Small, friendly, and lovable, the Bigleys did not intimidate people who were afraid of dogs, and with their super-powerful nose, they could be trained to identify specific foods, bypassing those that were not contraband. Today, members of the Beagle Brigade patrol baggage claim areas at more than 20 international airports and other entry points in the United States.
Despite pursuing other pursuits, the hounds remain excellent small game hunters. AKC-sanctioned field trials are conducted on the farm of the National Beagle Club Institute, in which breeders and flocks are tested in the field. Many other countries have similar hound hunting classes.
Because of their small size and mild temperament, Beagles can live well in apartments if their people are willing to walk them on a leash several times a day in any weather. They need a lot of exercise, possibly about an hour a day. If left alone and inactive, the Beagle can become destructive.
Beagles can be difficult to house-train. Some say it can take up to a year to fully house a hound. Crate training is highly recommended.
A beagle can get bored if you leave him alone in the house for a long time. If left in the backyard, the Beagles will begin to find ways to have fun, usually howling, digging, or trying to escape. The most common reason hounds are handed over to rescue teams is because either their owners or their owners’ neighbors are tired of barking.
Make sure you are willing to work with your dog to control excessive barking and howling.
Bigleys are targeted by thieves who will steal them and possibly sell them to research laboratories for use in experiments. Watch your beagle when it’s outside and be sure to flash it with a microchip!
Since they are hounds, hounds will walk away if they smell a seductive scent in the air. Their noses control their brains, and if they feel something interesting, nothing else exists in their world.
Although loving and affectionate, the Beagle can have an independent and stubborn streak.
Obedience training is recommended, but make sure the class instructor understands the character of the hound and approves of the use of food as a reward (which few Beagles can resist).
Do you remember how famous cartoon Beagle Snoopy worried about his food bowl? Bigleys are hounds and will overeat if given the chance. Keep track of the amount of food you give them and make sure your closets are closed and trash cans are closed. Otherwise, your beagle will sniff the foods he likes best.
When it comes to food, your beagle will probably take its bowl seriously. Teach children to respect your racer while he eats, rather than approach him and tease him with food.
Beagles are not good defenders or guard dogs because they are usually friendly with everyone they meet.
The origin of the word “beagle” is unclear. It is believed that it could have been formed from the French word Begueule, meaning open throat, or from the Old English word beag, meaning small. Others think it may have come from the French word beugler, meaning to roar, or the German word begele, meaning to scold.
The history of the breed is hazy because the breeds we know today did not develop until the 19th century. Greek documents 400 BC E. describe dogs similar to hounds, and the Romans may have brought with them to England small dogs for hunting rabbits and crossed them with local hounds.
It is reported that William the Conqueror brought Talbot’s hounds (now extinct) to England during the Norman Conquest in 1066. These dogs are believed to be the ancestors of the hounds and Foxhounds.
Beagle became popular in England very early. During the reigns of Edward II (1307 – 1327) and Henry VII (1485 – 1509), extremely small hounds called glove hounds were popular. They were reported to be small enough to be held in a gloved hand. Singing Beagles are also mentioned, named after their booming voices.
Elizabeth I (1533–1603) kept packs of pocket hounds only 9 inches high. These small dogs were depicted in the paintings as short-legged and sharp-nosed. They were used for hunting, but they quickly lost popularity because they were not very fast.
In the 1700s, fox hunting became popular in England and the hound fell out of favor as the larger Foxhound became the preferred dog. If not for the farmers in England, Ireland and Wales, who continued to keep flocks to hunt rabbits and hares, the breed might have become extinct at that time.
In the mid-1800s, the Reverend Philip Honeywood founded a pack of hounds in Essex, England. These dogs are believed to be the ancestors of the modern Beagle. The Reverend Honeywood is bred for hunting skills, not looks. Thomas Johnson, fellow Englishman, was in charge of breeding beagles who were both attractive and good hunters.
Around the same time, American breeders began importing beagles from England to improve the appearance of their dogs. Many of the English importers were bred to an average height of 15 to 17 inches at the shoulders so that they could hunt foxes. American breeders began to breed them to keep them smaller for hunting rabbits.
Interesting hound variety “Patch”, bred by Willet Randall in New York around 1880. The line is mostly white with a very large tricolor spot. They were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s because they could run very fast. Today many people call lemon and white or red and white hounds “spotted” hounds.
The American Kennel Club and the first specialized hound club were founded in 1884. In the same year, the AKC began registering hounds.
In 1916, five members of the National Hound Club acquired 508 acres of land in Western Loudon County, Virginia for field trials. The people who bought it formed a corporation called Institute Corporate to buy and own the land, and then leased it to the Institute, which maintains the property for the National Hound Club, which today hosts many of the National Hound Club events.
The Kennel Club of America recognizes two varieties of beagle. The 13 “variety is for dogs that do not exceed 13” at the shoulder, and the 15 “variety is for dogs that are 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder. Beagles weigh between 18 and 30 pounds, depending on their height.
Beagles are gentle, cute and funny. They will make you laugh, but only then will they not make you cry because of their often naughty behavior. Beagle people spend a lot of time trying to outsmart their dogs and often have to resort to food rewards to lure the beagle into a state of temporary obedience.
Like any dog, the beagle needs early socialization – getting to know many different people, looks, sounds, and experiences – at a young age. Socializing helps make your Beagle puppy a versatile dog.
Not all beagles will contract any or all of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of them if you are considering this breed.
Intervertebral disc disease: The spinal cord is surrounded by the spine, and between the bones of the spinal column are intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers and allow the normal movement of the vertebrae. Discs are composed of two layers: an outer fibrous layer and an inner jelly-like layer.
Intervertebral disc disease occurs when a gelatinous inner layer protrudes into the spinal canal and presses on the spinal cord. Spinal cord compression can be minimal, causing neck or back pain, or it can be severe, causing numbness, paralysis, and lack of bowel or bladder control. The damage caused by spinal compression can be irreversible.
Treatment is based on several factors, including location, severity, and the length of time between injury and treatment. Restraining the dog can be beneficial, but surgery is often required to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. The operation is not always successful.
Hip dysplasia: This is an inherited disorder in which the femur does not fit snugly against the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness in one or both hind legs, but others show no outward signs of discomfort. (X-rays are the most reliable way to diagnose the problem.)
In any case, arthritis can develop as the dog ages. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred, so if you are buying a puppy ask the breeder to provide proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are not having a problem.
Cherry Eye: This is a condition in which the gland under the third eyelid protrudes forward and looks like a cherry in the corner of the eye. Your veterinarian may need to remove the gland.
Glaucoma: This is a painful condition in which the pressure in the eye becomes abnormally high. The eyes continually produce and drain a fluid called aqueous humor – if fluid does not drain properly, pressure inside the eye increases, causing damage to the optic nerve and leading to loss of vision and blindness.
There are two of types: Primary glaucoma, which is hereditary, and secondary glaucoma, resulting from inflammation, tumor, or injury. Glaucoma usually first affects one eye, which is red, watery, oblique, and painful. The dilated pupil will not respond to light, and the front of the eye will have a whitish, almost blue cloudiness. This will lead to loss of vision and eventually blindness, sometimes even after treatment (surgery or medication, as appropriate).
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative eye disease that ultimately leads to blindness due to the loss of photoreceptors in the back of the eye. PRA is found years before a dog shows any signs of blindness.
Fortunately, dogs can use other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a fulfilling and happy life. Just don’t make it a habit to move furniture around. Reputable breeders annually undergo eye certification of their dogs by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease.
Distichiasis: This condition occurs when an extra row of eyelashes (known as distychia) grows on a sebaceous gland in a dog’s eye and protrudes along the edge of the eyelid. This irritates the eyes and you may notice that your Aussie is squinting or rubbing his eyes. Distichiasis is treated surgically: excess eyelashes are frozen with liquid nitrogen and then removed. This type of surgery is called cryoepilation and is performed under general anesthesia.
Epilepsy: This is a neurological disorder that is often, but not always, inherited. Epilepsy can cause mild to severe seizures, which can manifest as unusual behavior (eg, running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding) or even falling, limb stiffness, and loss of consciousness.
Seizure is scary to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is generally very good. It is important to show the dog to the veterinarian for the correct diagnosis (especially since the seizures may have other causes) and treatment.
Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland. It is believed to be responsible for conditions such as epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin conditions. It is treated with medicines and diet.
Beagle dwarfism: This is a condition in which the dog is smaller than usual. This condition may or may not be accompanied by other physical abnormalities such as very short legs.
Chinese Hound Syndrome (CBS): This is a condition characterized by a wide skull and slanted eyes. The rest of the dog grows normally. Quite often, dogs with CBS have heart problems and toe abnormalities.
Patellar prolapse: Also known as “knee displacement”, this is a common problem in small dogs. It is caused by misalignment of the patella, which is made up of three parts – the femur (femur), the patella (patella), and the tibia (shin). It causes a limp in the leg.
There are four grades of patellar dislocation, ranging from grade I (accidental dislocation causing temporary lameness in the joint) to grade IV in which the tibial rotation is severe and the patella cannot be manually aligned. This gives the dog a bow-legged appearance. A severe patellar dislocation may require surgery.
If you are buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you the health permits for both of your puppy’s parents. Health certificates prove that the dog has been examined and cleared of a specific disease.
In Beagle, you must expect to obtain approval from the Animal Orthopedic Foundation (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a grade or higher), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand disease; from Auburn University on Thrombopathy; and from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) confirming that the eyes are normal. You can confirm your medical clearance by visiting the OFA website (offa.org).
No matter how healthy your dog is, when you first bring him home, you should be prepared for any challenges that may arise in his life. A pet insurance plan will help you be prepared for any of your dog’s veterinary needs.
A fenced-in backyard is a must for hounds like the beagle. When outdoors, your beagle should behave outdoors or be safely restrained and supervised. He is a wanderer by nature, so in case he escapes – a common sight for hounds – make sure he has a microchip and identification tags on his collar so that he can be returned to you.
Some people prefer to use an underground electronic fence, but such a fence does not prevent other animals from entering your yard. Plus, if the scent is seductive enough, your beagle will be more than willing to risk an instant shock to follow.
Like all dogs, the beagle benefits from obedience training. Positive reinforcement techniques work best because the beagle simply shuts down when abruptly addressed. Most hounds are more than happy to do anything for a tasty treat.
Teenage Biglies are full of energy and need a lot of opportunities to work it all out. They love to go out with their family, or better yet, run well around the field to hunt bunnies (not recommended unless you’ve trained your dog to come back to you). They will love running with you, but wait until they are 18 months old or older before starting their repetitive exercise like this.
In adulthood, the beagle can become quite lazy, content to lie around the house all day, getting up for food and perhaps scratching its ears from time to time. Since this breed is prone to obesity, don’t let this happen.
Recommended daily intake: 3/4 to 1.5 cups of high quality dry food per day, divided into two meals.
NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on its size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are as individual as humans, and not all of them need the same amount of food. It goes without saying that a very active dog will need more than a couch dog. The quality of the dog food you buy also matters – the better the dog food, the further it will feed your dog and the less you will need to mix it into the dog’s bowl.
Bigleys are food thieves. These dogs will raid your pantry and litter every day if possible, and are ready to eat until they burst. Keep yourself in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day, rather than leaving food outside the house. If you are not sure if he is overweight, give him an eye exam and a practice test.
Look down at it first. You should be able to see your waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, fingers spread down. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can’t, he needs less food and more exercise.
Also, distribute treats sparingly. Your beagle will be just as happy to have a little training treat as well as a bigger cookie.
For more information on feeding a beagle, see our recommendations for buying the right food, feeding your puppy and adult dog.
Coat color and care
The Hound Breed Standard states that “a dog of any color” is acceptable. The most common color for hounds is tricolor with a black saddle (area across the back), white legs, chest, belly and a white tip on the tail, as well as brown on the head and around the saddle.
The second most common color combination is red and white in Irish patches on the face, neck, legs and tip of the tail. Whatever color they are, they usually have a white tip on their tail for hunters to see.
Beagles shed, but because of the short coat it is not too noticeable. Their coat gets thicker in winter, so they lose more in the spring. They are clean dogs (unless, of course, they found something attractively smelly to ride in) and generally do not require frequent bathing.
Since beagles are eared dogs, the air in their ears does not circulate well and they can become infected. Check their ears at least once every two weeks for signs of infection or wax build-up. Also check them out if you notice that your beagle is shaking its head or scratching its ears frequently. Never let water or oils get into his ears.
Brush your hound’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove plaque and bacteria that build up inside it. Brushing your teeth daily is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Do you know why dogs are seen to be the best pets to man? Check it out now!
Trim your nails once or twice a month, unless your dog wears out naturally, to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you hear them clicking on the floor, they are too long. There are blood vessels in your dog’s toenails, and if you cut too deep, you can cause bleeding – and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out of their scabbard. So if you have no experience with clipping dog nails, ask your vet or groomer for pointers.
Start teaching your beagle to be cleaned and inspected while still a puppy. Grab his paws often – dogs are sensitive to their paws – and look inside his mouth. Make self-care a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you will lay the foundation for light veterinary checkups and other procedures as he grows up.
Check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, soreness, or inflammation on the skin, nose, mouth, eyes, and feet while grooming. The eyes should be clean, without redness or discharge. Your thorough weekly check-up will help you identify potential health problems earlier.
Children and other pets
The Beagle is associated with all family members, especially children. However, they can be restless when playing, so they need to be socialized and looked after properly with very young children. Beagles also tend to chat by mouthing things, including your hand or your child’s hand, to play with. They do it as a joke and can be taught not to.
As with any breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs and control any interactions. Teach your child never to approach the dog while it is eating or sleeping, and not to try to pick up the dog’s food. No dog, however friendly, should ever be left unattended with a child.
Due to their origins as pack dogs, the Beagle loves company and does not like being left alone. Another dog or even a cat can help meet their companionship needs.
Beagles are often purchased without any clear understanding of what is needed to acquire them. The following rescue teams can help you find hounds in need of adoption or raising.
All dogs will need veterinary care at some point in their lives. When adopting, make sure you are prepared to deal with any health problems that may arise after you leave the foster home. A pet insurance plan can protect your dog.
Below are the breed clubs, organizations and associations where you can find more information about beagles.
SOURCES: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/CATS https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/beagle#/slide/1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle https://www.loveyourdog.com/beagle-dachshund-mix/ https://marketplace.akc.org/puppies/beagle