Beagle Facts

Beagle Facts

Who doesn’t love Snoopy?  The white beagle from the Charlie Brown comics is undoubtedly the world’s most famous beagle dog.  A beagle may just be the right companion for you if you’re looking for a small and compact canine with a friendly attitude.

Beagles are known to be fun loving, merry and highly active.  They are small hound dogs with an expert sense of smell, a vigorous approach and brilliant tracking instinct.  Their small size won’t intimidate you, in case you’re afraid of big dogs.  But, you will require patience if you’re training one of these happy-go-lucky, cute pups, as they are known to be hard to train.  Training and handling difficult species always needs more patience and hard work, as trainer Danny Dog tells us on his site.

Here are some interesting facts about beagles that will be helpful to you, whether you’re thinking about bringing one home or if you have one already and want to take better care of it.

  • Beagles are scent hounds.  They are known for their impeccable sense of smell and are used widely to sniff out suspicious luggage at airport baggage claims.  They possess 220 million scent receptors which make them experts at picking up different scents.
  • Male beagles are almost always larger in size than female beagles.
  • They are commonly tricolored and occur in several shades.  They are almost always black and white at birth and change their coats within a few months to a couple of years.
  • They can be hard to housetrain.  Yes, it’s hard to imagine, but beagles can get stubborn when they want to.  It might even take you a year before you fully housetrain your pet.  Because of this, new pet owners may find it hard to bond with their beagle instantly.
  • They get lonely easily.  Beagles start getting bored if you leave them alone for a long time.  They are prone to separation anxiety.  They can retaliate by howling, whining, chewing and digging.  So, make sure that you do not leave your beagle alone.
  • They wander a lot.  Because they are scent hounds, they are prone to wander around if they catch a particular scent.  If you don’t want your beagle to get lost or stolen, you might want to keep a close eye on it when outdoors.
  • They have a high prey drive.  They are likely to chase anything that whizzes by, such as cars, birds, small dogs, other animals etc.  That is why you should keep your beagle on a leash when outside or during a walk.  A fenced backyard may well be compulsory for people with beagles.
  • The ancestry of modern day beagles can be traced back to Ancient Greece and they were primarily hunted hares.  Talbot hounds were introduced to Britain in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and mixed with greyhounds.  This led to the Southern Hound breed, which is thought to be the ancestor of the beagles today.
  • During the Elizabethan England, miniature beagles were very popular.  The breed was known as Pocket Beagles and the dogs measured around 8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • If you’re looking for a guard dog, then a beagle is not the one to be chosen.  This is because of their overly-friendly behavior.  Everyone’s a friend for the beagle and they bond well, even with complete strangers.  So, it isn’t wise to keep them as guard dogs.
  • They need ample amount of exercise because they are a highly playful breed.  Make sure you take your beagle outdoors to exercise daily as it can become destructive if it lacks exercise.  Exercise also plays a crucial role in the dog’s weight management.
  • You don’t need to worry about high rise apartments when it comes to beagles.  They can adapt well in apartments, provided that you fulfill their required regular outdoor time.
  • They normally live for 12 to 15 years.
  • They are approximately 13 to 15 inches in height at the shoulder.
  • An average beagle usually weighs around 18-30 pounds.
  • In 1984, beagles were used by the United States Department of Agriculture to sniff out illegal food items being transported to the United States.  They were collectively known as the Beagle Brigade.  Beagles are also known to sniff out bed bugs in New York City.
  • Not just people, beagles are dog friendly too.  They are happy when they are with a pack and love socializing.
  • They are chew hounds i.e. they are likely to overeat if permitted.  They will raid your food closets and garbage if they’re feeling like it.  It is important to monitor their food amount and keep food out of their range because they can easily sniff out their favorite munchies.
  • In contrast to adolescent beagles, who are full of energy all the time, mature beagles tend to become lazy.  They may lounge around all day, only getting up to eat.  Beagles are prone to obesity, hence, it is very important that you take your pet for regular exercise.
  • They shed noticeably in the spring, but because of their short hair, it isn’t noticeable other times.  Their short coat makes them susceptible to cold weathers.
  • They tend to ‘reverse sneeze.’  They may seem like they are choking or struggling to breathe, but they are actually inhaling air in through mouth and nose.
  • The tails of true beagles are, without fail, white tipped.  It is a strong trait of the breed, although only visible in some upon close inspection.
  • They have a great tendency to bark or howl.  You might find it interesting to know that the word ‘beagle’ originates from the French word begueule which translates to open throat.
  • Beagles are most often used as test subjects for research.  In 2004, among the 8018 dogs tested in the UK, 7799 were beagles. That is almost 97.3%! This is one of the main reasons behind beagle thefts.
  • They get along quite well with their feline counterparts.  You will find that after some initial hesitation, a beagle and a cat will play together rather well.

Conclusion

Beagles are a very interesting and popular breed.  They are very friendly and have a short-haired coat that is easily maintained.  They are relatively small in size but are very energetic.  Keep in mind that this breed loves to sniff and get into things.  They will require a bit more training than most breeds, as they can be as stubborn as they are smart.  Beagles require a-lot of outdoor activity, (they were developed as hunting dogs, after-all) so be sure to be very active with this breed because they can develop health problems quickly if not given the right amount of exercise. 

Oh! And apparently some are known to play piano!

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