Beagle: Breed Information
- Breed name: Beagle
- Classification: Hound / Scenthound
- Size: medium
- Coat: short and smooth
- Colour: Usually a combination of white, black and tan
- Personality: friendly, inquisitive, high-energy
- Family-friendly: yes
- Friendly with other pets: yes, though best if raised with them from an early age
The Beagle is a friendly, confident dog belonging to the hound classification.
Beagles were first distinguished in England roughly around the 16th Century. Their hound ancestors were kept as hunting companions in Europe for hundreds of years. Consequentially, modern Beagles have strong scent and hunting instincts and are used in hunting game and rabbits in modern times. However, these sweet dogs are more commonly kept as house pets nowadays!
Beagles are excellent at sniffing out prey, and, as such, can be found performing scent duties at airport customs around the world.
Physical Appearance of the Beagle
Beagles are medium-sized dogs with long, floppy ears and a stocky build. They have a round skull, stocky snout, long tail and smooth, short coat.
The most common colouring for a beagle is tricolour - in other words, a combination of white, tan and black. Beagles stand up to 41 cm tall and weigh approximately 8-9 kg.
Beagles have puppy-like facial features. Notably, their pleading eyes can make giving treats rather hard to resist! As such, Beagles can be prone to weight gain, which is just something to look out for.
Beagle Behaviour and Temperament
Beagles love people and can get along well with other pets if they are raised alongside them. However, be warned: Beagles are scent-oriented and will follow their nose before listening to their owner call their name. As such, it’s important to keep your Beagle on a leash and escape-proof your home.
Beagles can be challenging to house train, so persistence is important. They are also very vocal dogs, and like to bark, howl and bay. They therefore make good security alarms, although are probably too friendly to be intimidating to most intruders.
Training and Exercising Beagles
Beagles are athletic and playful little dogs that need daily exercise. Notably, they can be a little headstrong when it comes to training. As such, they need a confident and persistent owner who will set boundaries and show patience. It’s not advisable to take your Beagle to an off-leash park, as they can’t avoid the temptation of following interesting scents.
Scent-games are great for Beagles, who have incredibly strong noses. You might want to challenge your Beagle to sniff out treats around the house or garden to give their nose a workout.
Living with a Beagle
Beagles are generally a great family dog. They are happy to live in a small space but do need daily exercise and a VERY secure yard. This is because Beagles are brilliant escape artists and will climb or dig under any boundary given half a chance.
Notably, Beagles need plenty of company and stimulation during the day. As such, they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone and push your neighbour’s patience with excessive barking and howling.
Beagles are tough little dogs who aren’t susceptible to many illnesses in life. They can usually live to the age of 12. As always, do your research before adopting a Beagle and speak at length to their breeder or the shelter you adopt from.
Speak with your vet about the following health conditions to keep watch for:
- Weight gain (be careful not to overfeed your Beagle or give too many treats!)
- Eye problems, such as Glaucoma
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Hip Dysplasia
- Patella Luxation
Beagles are easy to groom, and will only need a few weekly brushing sessions a week to remove dead fur. Their natural skin oils keep their fur sleek and clean, so will only need the odd bath if they roll in something smelly.
You might want to have your Beagle’s claws trimmed at the grooming salon every few months. Likewise, keep their doggy breath fresh by brushing it regularly with dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush. And lastly, keep their floppy ears infection-free by gently wiping them weekly with some gentle dog-specific ear cleaner.
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