Beagles are popular companions. They are considered to be extremely smart, good-natured, but also very stubborn. They have a long history as hunting dogs and are excellent for keeping with several conspecifics. They need a lot of exercise. Their intelligence also needs to be constantly nurtured. With reliable and gentle leadership, they develop a consistent loyalty and loving devotion to their people. A well-behaved Beagle can also be a good friend for children and teenagers.
Beagles are happy running dogs that need exercise. In the past, they were used in Great Britain to hunt rabbits. So this is a dog for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, hiking and can provide the dog with enough activity. The Beagle is very intelligent, persistent and capable of learning without being too quick-tempered or even tireless. They like to retreat after work and exercise is done.
Beagles are now found all over the world. Wherever they appear, they spread their cheerful charm. The colorful coloring, the large typical beagle ears as well as the brown googly eyes make the beagle a buddy type among dogs.
The color pattern is part of the trademark of the Beagle. They are always spotted two or three colors. The coat is white in the basic color and shows different shades of brown. Thereby light brown to yellowish colored dogs occur as well as brown-red to almost black spotted animals.
The drawings have very specific names depending on their similarity. The badger-like ones are called Badger-pied, the hare colored beagle are known as Hare-pied and the lemon-yellow spotted ones are so called Lemon-pied. Dotted dogs also occur and these are called Mottles.
A very special feature is the always white tip of the tail. The tail is friendly excited upwards in the Beagle.
The physique of the small compact hunting dogs is stable to muscular. Square and rather round forms occur, the latter being mostly females. Beagles can be very stocky or a bit slimmer, depending on the breed. However, they never appear heavy, overbuilt or even beefy. There are beagles that belong to the small dog breeds and somewhat larger representatives that represent medium-sized dogs.
The Beagle should not be confused with the similarly colored English Foxhound. These are the typical pack dogs used in fox hunts on horseback. Foxhounds are altogether taller and slimmer than the Beagle. The Beagle was originally a hunting dog of the poorer landlords who hunted small game on foot, such as hares and rabbits.
When bored, Beagles tend to become frustration eaters and quickly put on excess weight. Sporty people who want to experience something with their dog are in demand. If you already have a Beagle, you will never be bored with this lively fellow. With a Beagle you can experience long walks in the great outdoors or have an active partner for sports like jogging, cycling or agility.
You should only keep a Beagle as an only dog if you really have a lot of time or maybe you can even take your dog to work with you. As a single and apartment dog that is alone during the day, he is not suitable.
By the way, the most famous beagle in the world is Snoopy, the precocious companion of Charles M. Schulz's comic character Charlie Brown.
A rather sad chapter in the history of the Beagle is its use as a laboratory dog for animal testing purposes. The Beagle was for a long time at the top of the lists of laboratory animals because of its good nature and human kindness.
It is a welcome development that animal testing is generally on the decline and many lab dogs are now given a normal life after testing. If you want to adopt a lab beagle, you must be aware that it will take extra time, love and patience.
The right food
Beagles are uncomplicated in their diet, but they have the same needs as other dogs. This means a balanced diet appropriate for dogs. Dogs need high-quality protein from meat and fish and much less grain than is unfortunately contained in many types of food.
If you want to do something good for your dog, you should pay attention to a high meat content and the protein sources in your food. Proteins from muscle meat are naturally more valuable than those from unspecified animal meal or slaughterhouse waste.
Among dogs, the Beagle is one of the most voracious. You should get into the habit of feeding your dog at certain times, preferably twice a day. If there is absolutely nothing outside the feeding times, your dog will not become a pushy beggar. Beagles can be quite demanding and tricky when it comes to getting an extra treat from their master or mistress.
For this reason, you should only give treats when they are appropriate. This can be as a reward for a special achievement or within a fixed ritual. In this way, the Beagle learns to know his limits and you avoid overly demanding behavior.
If you ever have less time for your dog or an illness limits the activity, you should reduce the food in time. The Beagle can quickly put on flab, which you will find difficult to get rid of afterwards. Especially the neutered or spayed animals are affected by weight gain.
When it comes to grooming, loving Beagles are also easy going companions. Most of the grooming will be done by your dog himself. However, it can be a nice ritual to brush your Beagle regularly. Soft nap brushes or even a special coat care glove are suitable for this.
In this way, you free him from dead hairs, which can otherwise easily trigger an unpleasant itch. In addition, you have the advantage that the fine hairs are not spread all over the apartment or get caught in the car seat.
The joint grooming ritual can enormously strengthen the sense of togetherness between humans and animals. Many dogs love it and relax during the brushing session. With soft pimple brushes, you also massage the skin and ensure good circulation in the vessels directly under the skin.
The coat will be quite soft and shiny afterwards. In older animals, regular massage can show wonders at the first signs of arthritis or other joint problems.
Regular grooming including touching all parts of the body is good exercise for the dog. It's best to get your Beagle used to grooming from an early age. At the same time, you teach him to be touched everywhere with confidence. In addition, you will always notice small injuries, ticks or even the onset of overweight.
For a Beagle you can buy normal leashes, collars, harnesses and other accessories in sizes small and medium. The physique of the dogs is uncomplicated and most harnesses can be flexibly adjusted in size and width.
If your Beagle has an active hunting instinct, you will have to leash him more often in the field. It is good to have comfortable leashes in different lengths.
They should fit well in the hand and not bother you, for example, when jogging and still offer the dog enough space. For joint sports there are great accessories, special bike sets or belts for humans, to which a dog can be attached safely and flexibly.
Since Beagles are hunting dogs, you can please your dog with appropriate toys, games or possibly even tracking. It is important not to let the dog get too excited with hunting-like games, but to create a calm balance for his needs with the game. Accessories for tracking and toys can also be found in specialized stores.
Origin & History
The exact origin of the breed is not entirely clear. Presumably, they came to Britain with French landed nobles. In the 11th century, the Norman Talbot family brought white Hubertus dogs to the island, which today are considered a founder breed of beagle. An early name for the beagle or beagle-like dogs was Talbot.
Another trace leads back to France at the beginning of the 14th century during the Hundred Years' War, to the south. British officers reported enthusiastically about small colorfully pied and very tough hunting dogs. Some of these intrepid hunters probably took them with them and founded with them the Beagle typical coloring.
The word "beagle" can mean "small" as well as "cheeky". It is interesting that the first beagle dogs must have been really very small. In 1515, the "Keeper of the Beagles" is mentioned for the first time in the inventories of King Henry VIII. A somewhat more accurate description from the 17th century mentions the "little Beagle", which would even fit comfortably in a rider's saddlebag.
In a painting of Queen Victoria, there are several beagles at her feet, not much bigger than the queen's shoes. In the English language, the word "beagling" has existed since Victorian times for a form of hunting by means of a pack of small dogs. Officially recognized by the Kennel Club Great Britain is the beagle since 1890.