Beagle is a medium to large breed dogs that are both hunters as well as loyal pets.
They are amicable and agreeable, which makes them the perfect pets; on the contrary, they are also energetic and tenacious, which makes them the perfect hunters.
This is why they are one of the most preferred breeds of dogs. The beagles are scent hounds with an acute sense of smell.
They are determined trackers that can track scents perfectly. They are often used for detecting the possession of illegal goods or substances.
The beagle breed is also an intelligent one. Moreover, the beagle breed is friendly and cheerful. It is very playful and embraces almost anyone and everyone. It is great with children and other pets. Beagles can be naughty, however, if not trained properly.
It is very important to train Beagles properly as they tend to have a stubborn personality by nature. To avoid unwanted behavior, proper nurture is a must. This article consists of information about the beagle breed that one should know before adopting them.
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Origin of Beagles:
The true origin of the Beagle breed is a little hazy. However, beagles were initially bred to hunt small animals like rabbits in England.
It is thought that the Romans brought hound-like dogs into England and crossbred them with other local breeds to create the beagles.
Talbot hounds are thought to be the ancestors of Beagles. The glove beagle was quite popular during the 15th and 16th centuries.
They were called glove beagles because they could fit inside a glove. However, people tried to hunt with them and realized they weren’t fast enough. So, they were replaced with foxhounds.
It was the farmers that kept the beagle breed alive by using them for hunting rabbits and other small animals. It was later that wealthy Englishmen started collecting these beagles for their own hunting sports.
Upper-class Englishmen commonly owned packs of hounds back then. Smaller hounds were known as the beagle. The beagles were used to hunt small animals for sport. The Beagles would usually hunt in packs, so they developed the trait where they have difficulty being alone.
Over time, the breed evolved in England. In the 19th century, a pack of beagles was established in Essex which is said to be the origin of the beagles we see today.
The modern breed is a mixture of Talbot Hound, Southern Hound, North Country Beagle, and Harrier.
Eventually, this hunting dog became a popular pet dog that families also wanted to adopt.
They also caught the eye of American breeders at this time. American breeders started importing beagles and that is how this breed entered America.
This breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1885. This breed is still used for hunting today. The breed is classified as a hound due to its lineage.
Characteristics of Beagles:
The Beagle is a medium-sized dog breed, but it can also be large at times. Beagles generally have a muscular build.
Physical Attributes of a Beagle
The breed is commonly sized at the height of 13 to 15 inches or alternatively below 13 inches. Their weight lies between 18 to 30 pounds.
Their sturdy heads are complemented with floppy ears and wide gumdrop noses. Also have squared muzzles and sharp jaws.
They have a straight back that ends in a long tail. They have a short coat that is characteristically flat. Their coating is typically tricolored. Colors may include black, white, tan, faded lemon, or a reddish brown.
They also have ticked markings on their skin. Their shedding levels can be ranked as a medium. They are less prone to drooling and snoring than other breeds. They also have a low tendency to dig. However, they have a high tendency to bark. Beagles have a life span of 10 to 15 years.
Personality of Beagles
The Beagle breed is a playful and gentle one. Even though Beagles were bred for hunting, this breed is friendly and sweet.
Since they descend from a hunting origin, they can be quite intelligent and energetic. They can also be very naughty. However, they are
mostly referred to as a cheerful breed. Beagles have an explorer mindset. While they can be hesitant to strangers at first, they can easily be won over after a few interactions.
In addition, they are also good with children and other pets. Their playfulness contributes to this. They are pack animals which is why it is easy for them to adjust to families. They like affection and cannot stand being lonely. Do not cope well with being left alone.
They can become quite destructive if done so. Moreover, they require a high level of mental stimulation to stay happy and obedient.
Without sufficient stimulants, they become distracted and bored easily. Since they easily befriend strangers, the beagle breed makes poor guard dogs.
Despite being intelligent, the Beagle breed is actually quite simple-minded as they were bred as predators. This means they can be quite stubborn when they have set their minds to something. They have an acute sense of smell and are quite determined trackers.
Once they start following a scent, they do not back down easily. The most notable aspect of their personality, according to most owners, is their intense level of barking. It can be a nuisance for many owners. In short, the Beagle breed’s personality can be expressed as neither too hostile nor too timid.
Taking Care of Your Beagle:
Nurturing your Beagle properly is very important. A beagle is a very energetic breed. However, Beagles do not require much exercise. Even though they do not tire easily
due to their high stamina, it is not necessary for them to actually exercise a lot. They can relax without having to burn out. An average amount of exercise [20 minutes of exercise] is sufficient.
Moreover, your Beagle should be taken to the vet for regular checkups. Dogs are prone to various diseases which may be treatable if detected on time. Hence, it is important to have regular checkups for your dog. You should also spay or neuter your dog to avoid unwanted behaviors.
It can also help with some diseases. However, if you want to breed with your dog, you should avoid this. Furthermore, socializing your dog is also an important part of taking care of them. This caters to their general socializing nature and keeps them happy and playful.
How To Train a Beagle
Beagles are often difficult to train. This is due to their stubborn nature and their strong sense of smell. However, it is quite important to train them properly and to make sure they socialize from an early age.
This is why it is ideal to train beagles as puppies. This can help avoid aggressive behavior in the future.
Training beagles require time and effort. You have to be patient with your dog. You have to set clear aims for the training as well.
Beagles have strong instincts due to their history, so your aim should be to help them overcome that and become more obedient.
To train your Beagle, the experience approach is usually suggested. The beagle breed learns through experience. A reward system should be associated with each experience to help them understand which activities you approve of and which ones you don’t.
Rewards can be treats or praises. Bad behavior should also be discouraged evidently, for them to learn.
Discouragements could include yelling or simply removing rewards. This is a healthy training method that will also help you bond with your beagle. Consistency is important when relying on this training method as that would act as reinforcements. A routine will help your beagle learn better.
Feeding Your Beagle
Food is an important aspect to consider when adopting any pet. It is important to provide your Beagles with the right food and nutrition. What your beagle eats affects its health and mood significantly.
For a 1 to 2 months old puppy, the main diet is dam’s milk. After this time period, they can be slowly introduced to solid foods.
When feeding young puppies solid food, it is necessary to maintain a brand consistently. Changing brands frequently may result in an upset stomach.
The Beagle puppy should be fed three meals a day. Giving other treats isn’t suggested much as having routine meals is good for a Beagle’s behavior. After the first year, meals should be lowered to two meals a day.
Since the number of meals is reduced, there is space in their diet for treats and snacks. This can also be helpful for training during this age.
When deciding on food brands, there are a few things to keep in mind. The recipe should be balanced and nutrition-packed. The recipe should not contain fillers. They add no real value to your beagle’s diet. There should not be any artificial flavor, color, or smell. They can be harmful to your dog.
There should not be any by-products. Dogs require a lot of protein. By-products or rendered meat are insufficient for their diet. They should be fed real meat.
Here are a few brand suggestions for the Beagle breed:
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Beagle Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight
If your beagle shows an adverse reaction after eating a particular brand, it is advisable to change the brand immediately.
Grooming Your Beagle
Frequent brushing is required to remove dead hair. Their shedding is usually more intense in the spring because they grow thicker coats during winter. Hence, they should be brushed more frequently during spring.
Grooming is an important aspect of taking care of any dog.
Even though they have flat coats, their shedding levels are at a medium.
Due to this, they should be brushed with a medium bristle brush once a week. A hound glove may also be used as an alternative.
Beagles usually do not require frequent baths as they are typically clean animals. Since
they have a short coating, not much dirt gets stuck on them. Giving them a bath once a month is usually sufficient. It is important to use dog-safe shampoos when bathing them.
Nose balm should be used to prevent a dry nose.
Paw wax should also be used if your beagle loves being outside. It heals their paws and prevents them from being dry.
Their ears should be checked frequently for infections. They should be checked at least every two weeks. Since they have long ears, they can easily get infections in their ear due to lack of air circulation.
Brushing their teeth is another essential part of their grooming.
A beagle’s teeth should be brushed at least 2 to 3 times a week. Brushing every day would be even better, however. When brushing their teeth, dog-specific toothpaste should be used to improve their overall oral health.
Moreover, a beagle’s nails should be trimmed once or twice a month to prevent painful encounters.
As you groom your dog, it is advisable to check for rashes, redness, sore spots, inflammation, tenderness, etc. If you detect any sign of infection, it is suggested to take your dog to the vet.
Potential Health Risks and Conditions:
Intervertebral Disk Disease
This is a condition in which the discs between the vertebrae that surround the spinal cord are bulging and pressing on their nerves. It pushes against the spinal cord, causing neck and back pain.
This is a condition where their hip joints do not form properly. This usually leads to Arthritis. This usually causes a lot of discomfort.
This is a neurological disease that causes your dog to have seizures.
This is a condition in which your dog fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormones. This may sometimes be responsible for Epilepsy.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
A genetically inherited condition that causes your dog to lose their vision.
To Learn More about Beagles you can check out the Beagle Category page.