Breed Spotlight: Beagles

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beagles

A Popular Breed

The Beagle is one of the most popular breeds in the United States.  This sturdy hunting dog may be best known as his role as Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip.

Breed History

The Beagle dog is part of the “hound” family.  They originated in the 1500s with English gentlemen using beagle packs to track deer and rabbits.  Beagles are the smaller of the hounds.  The breed was refined in England by the late 19th century and eventually became widely recognized in America.  The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1885.  Although these canines are still used in packs for hunting, they are more commonly seen as family dogs and great companions.

Breed Appearance

Beagles coloring include all hound colors which include tri-colored (tan, black, white), red and white, and lemon and white.  This breed of dog characteristically has large eyes in either brown or hazel.  Their long ears help trap scents around their nose.  They can grow to be 13-16 inches high and weight 8-35 pounds.  A beagle’s tail will almost always have a white tip which makes it easier for the owner to follow the dog when they search for scents.  These dogs have short coats which are water-resistant.  They have a moderate to high rate of shedding.  This dog’s scent detection is impressive, though their air scent is not so good. A beagle’s lifespan ranges from 10-13 years.

Breed Temperament

Beagles have a good temper and are always happy and playful, although some may possess a charming stubborn streak.  This type of dog needs to be kept busy and active so as to avoid boredom.  Lack of activity can cause this canine to become defiant, destructive and/or unruly.  It is necessary to train these dogs with obedience classes to help teach your pet that you are the boss. They will also give owners the confidence and skills to continue this training at home.

Preferred Home Environment

These animals are best suited active families who can provide stimulation constantly. Beagles are not well-matched for sedentary families, apartments or unfenced yards.  A beagle’s desire to follow his nose may get him in trouble.  When outside a fenced yard, it is recommended to keep him on a leash.  This canine is eager to play and romp with children, toys or other dogs.  He is a pack animal and is most happy as part of a large family. Beagles make great watch dogs as their keen sense of smell can detect strange scents.

An owner who has wanderlust will most likely find a soul-mate with this breed of dog.

Image: iStock

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