Members of the hound group, beagles are a small to medium sized, squarely built dog breed with a sleek, short, and easy to care for coat. They come in many colors such as red and white, black and tan, lemon and white, and tri-color. Their coat is of medium length, hard and close. The beagle’s skull is slightly rounded and broad with a square, straight muzzle and wide, long ears. Its full nostril, black nose is perfect for scenting and their hazel or brown eyes have an almost pleading expression. Although their carry their tail gaily, it should never cure over the beagles back. Beagles have a bay or howl all their own.
Temperament of a Beagle
Beagles are an extremely friendly, gentle, curious, lively, happy dog that loves everyone. Although calm, loving, and sociable, they are also very intelligent and brave. Beagles are great with children and most other dogs but need watching around non-canine pets unless already socialized with them. Beagles are normally strong willed and require firm, patient training and constant companionship, as they dislike being alone. They should be fenced or walked on a leash as they will follow their nose if they find an interesting scent and take off to explore.
Grooming & Shedding of a Beagle
An average shedder, the beagle’s shorthaired, smooth coat is very easy to look after. Using a firm bristled brush, simply groom the dogs coat regularly. Only bathe a beagle when required and always use a very mild soap. You can also dry shampoo them occasionally when needed. Keep their nails trimmed and check the beagle’s ears carefully and regularly for any signs of infection or problems.
History of the Beagle
Although not well documented and the beagle’s early origin is uncertain, history suggests that they may be a cross between hounds, such as the Harrier hound, pack hounds and other hounds in England. It was not until the mid 1600s that they mentioned beagles in America. Before the civil war, the American version of the beagle found in the south did not look very similar to the English beagle version and more likely related to dachshunds or basset hounds. Once the war ended, they imported beagles from England to America, which were the basis for American beagles today. It was not until 1888 that they formed the National Beagle Club. Since then, beagles are still an extremely well loved and popular breed of pet in the United States.
Health Issues with a Beagle
Major Concerns: hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease
Minor Concerns: epilepsy, glaucoma
Occasionally seen: deafness, Hemophilia type A, cataracts