Beagles are popular companions. They are considered to be very intelligent, good-natured, but also very stubborn. They have a long history as hunting dogs and are ideal for keeping with several other dogs of the same species. They need a lot of exercise. Their intelligence must also be constantly encouraged. With reliable and gentle leadership, they develop a constant loyalty and loving attachment to their humans. A well-trained Beagle can also be a good friend for children and teenagers.
Beagles are cheerful running dogs that need exercise. In the past, they were used to hunt hares in Great Britain. A dog for anyone who likes to be outdoors, enjoys walking and can provide the dog with sufficient activity. The Beagle is a very intelligent, persistent and adaptive dog that is not too quick-tempered or tireless. After work and exercise, he likes to retreat.
The Beagle is now found all over the world. Wherever they appear, they exude their cheerful charm. The bright coloring, the typical large Beagle ears and the brown googly eyes make the Beagle a buddy among dogs.
The color pattern is the trademark of the Beagle. They are always spotted in two or three colors. The coat is white in the base color and shows various shades of brown. Light brown to yellowish dogs are just as common as reddish-brown to almost black animals.
The markings are given specific names depending on their similarity. The badger-like ones are called badger paws, the hare-like colored beagles are called hare paws and the lemon-yellow spotted ones are called lemon paws. There are also spotted dogs called mottles.
A special feature is the always white tail tip. The Beagle's tail is raised in a friendly manner.
The physique of these small, compact hunting dogs ranges from strong to muscular. There are both square and more rounded shapes, whereby the latter are mostly females. Depending on the breed, Beagles can be very stocky or somewhat slimmer. However, they never appear heavy, overbuilt or even bulky. There are Beagles that belong to the small dog breeds and somewhat larger representatives that are medium-sized dogs.
The Beagle should not be confused with the English Foxhound, which is very similar in color. These are the typical pack hounds for fox hunting on horseback. The Foxhound is generally larger and slimmer than the Beagle. Originally, the beagle was a hunting dog for poor farmers who hunted small game such as hares and rabbits on foot.
When bored, the Beagle tends to become a frustration eater and quickly puts on weight. Sporty people who want to experience something with their dog are in demand. If you already have a Beagle, you will certainly never be bored with this lively companion. With a Beagle, you can enjoy long walks in the countryside or have an active partner for sports such as jogging, cycling or agility.
You should only keep a Beagle as an only dog if you really have a lot of time or can perhaps even take it to work with you. It is not suitable as an only dog or an apartment dog that is alone during the day.
Incidentally, the most famous beagle in the world is Snoopy, the precocious companion of Charles M. Schulz's cartoon character Charlie Brown.
A rather sad chapter in the history of the beagle is its use as a laboratory dog for animal experiments. Because of its good nature and human friendliness, the Beagle was at the top of the list of laboratory animals for a long time.
It is a welcome development that animal experiments are generally on the decline and many lab dogs are now able to lead a normal life after the experiments. If you want to adopt a lab beagle, you should be aware that it will need a lot of time, love and patience.
The right food
Beagles are uncomplicated in their diet, but have the same needs as other dogs. This means a balanced and species-appropriate diet. Dogs need high-quality protein from meat and fish and much less grain than in many conventional foods, which unfortunately has to be used as a filler.
If you want to do something good for your dog, you should pay attention to a high meat content and the protein sources in the food. Protein from muscle meat is naturally more valuable than protein from meat and bone meal or slaughterhouse waste.
The Beagle is one of the most voracious dogs. You should get into the habit of feeding your dog at certain times, preferably twice a day. If there is absolutely nothing outside of feeding times, your dog will not become a pushy beggar. Beagles can be very demanding and tricky when it comes to eliciting an extra treat from their owner.
That's why you should really only give treats when it's appropriate. This can be as a reward for a special achievement or as part of a fixed ritual. In this way, the Beagle learns its limits and you avoid overly demanding behavior.
If you have less time for your dog or an illness limits his activity, reduce his food in good time. The Beagle can quickly put on fat, which is difficult to get rid of later. Neutered or sterilized animals are particularly affected by weight gain.
Health & Care
When it comes to grooming, the Beagle is a low-maintenance dog. Your dog will do most of the grooming himself. Nevertheless, it can be a nice ritual to brush your Beagle regularly. Soft nap brushes or a special grooming glove are suitable for this.
This removes dead hair, which can otherwise easily cause unpleasant itching. You also have the advantage that the fine hair is not scattered all over the home afterwards or caught in the car seat.
The joint grooming ritual can also enormously strengthen the sense of togetherness between humans and animals. Many dogs love it and relax while being brushed. Soft nap brushes also massage the skin and ensure good blood circulation in the blood vessels directly under the skin.
This makes the coat soft and shiny after brushing. For older animals, a regular massage can work wonders at the first signs of arthrosis or other joint problems.
Regular grooming with 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. Along the way, you will learn to let him touch everything with confidence. You will also notice small injuries, ticks or the onset of obesity at an early stage.
For a Beagle, you can buy normal leads, collars, harnesses and other accessories in small and medium sizes. The dog's build is uncomplicated and most harnesses can be flexibly adjusted in size and width.
If your Beagle has a strong hunting instinct, you will have to lead him on the lead more often in the field. It is then good to have comfortable leads in different lengths.
They should fit well in the hand and not hinder you when jogging, for example, but still allow the dog enough freedom. There are great accessories for joint sports, special bike sets or belts for humans to which the dog can be securely and flexibly attached.
As Beagles are hunting dogs, you can make your dog happy with appropriate toys, games or possibly even tracking. It is important not to over-excite the dog with hunting-type games, but to create a calm balance for his needs with the game. Tracking accessories and toys are available from specialist retailers.
Origin & History
The exact origin of the breed is unclear. They probably came to Great Britain with French landed gentry. In the 11th century, the Norman Talbot family brought white Hubertus dogs to the island, which are now regarded as the founding breed of the Beagle. An early name for the Beagle or Beagle-like dogs was Talbot.
Another trail leads back to France at the beginning of the 14th century during the Hundred Years' War, specifically to the south. British officers reported enthusiastically about small, brightly spotted and very tough hunting dogs. They probably took some of these intrepid hunters with them and used them to create the typical coloring of the Beagle.
The word "beagle" can mean both "small" and "cheeky". Interestingly, the first beagle dogs must have been very small indeed. In 1515, a "Keeper of the Beagles" is mentioned for the first time in King Henry VIII's inventories. A somewhat more precise description from the 17th century speaks of the "little Beagles", which could even fit comfortably in a rider's saddlebag.
A painting of Queen Victoria depicts several beagles at her feet, which are not much bigger than the Queen's shoes. The word "beagling" has been used in English since Victorian times to describe a form of hunting with a pack of small dogs. The Beagle has been officially recognized by the British Kennel Club since 1890.