Dogs that looked similar to Beagles of various sizes have been popular for centuries. In its early years, the Beagle looked more like a straight-legged Basset Hound and was mostly white with a few dark markings, but less attractive than the modern dog.
These larger Beagle-type dogs were called “Buck Hounds” and hunted deer. The smaller, more nimble variety hunted smaller game, and these early Beagles were standouts when it came to hunting bunnies.
Beagles today remain just as “nosy” as their ancestors, and the modern version looks very much like a miniature version of the Foxhound, but with longer, softer ears.
Beagles are known for their friendly nature and have been celebrated in film and cartoons. One of the most famous Beagles of all time, of course, is Snoopy belonging to the cartoon character Charlie Brown.
Cartoonists seem to find the Beagle appealing, and the breed has appeared in Family Guy (“Brian”) and in Garfield, the character “Odie” is said to be part Beagle (and part brick!) and the brilliant “Mr. Peabody” in Rocky & Bullwinkle is a Beagle.
The real dog lives up to his reputation — and a great representative of the breed can be found in Uno, the Best In Show Westminster winner of 2008. Officially known as Champion K-Run’s Park Me in First, this gregarious dog created an even more significant upsurge in the breed’s popularity as he traveled the country following his win, and worked as a therapy dog.
Beagles are merry little dogs that consequently appeal to a wide range of folks and could be considered the dog-next-door in terms of a general doggy companion.
Yet these dogs also work as drug sniffers at airports (without invoking fear that some other breeds might foster) and work as therapy animals, termite sniffers, and all-around ball-chasers for the kids.
Today, Beagles come in 13-inch and 15-inch varieties (the English standard goes to 16 inches, so a bit bigger). They typically weigh 18 to 35 pounds.
Beagles hunt either by themselves or in packs and are tireless hunters born to sniff and run. Beagles have short hard coats of medium length that come in hound colors and make gentle fun-loving pets. If anything, Beagles are too friendly, and willingly run to friends or strangers with a happy wag. My cousins always had Beagles during my childhood as hunters and companions, and I’m here to testify that there is nothing cuter than a soft-eared, big-eyed Beagle puppy!
Beagles are barkers by nature; don’t expect him to be a quiet dog, or to stay at home unless leashed or fenced.
Like many hounds, scent rules this dog’s life; he’ll ignore anything (even training and food) for a good sniff. This is a fun-loving dog that makes a wonderful family pet.
Coat type and care
The Beagle is generally a healthy breed that can accompany you for 15 long years if you take care of it correctly and with a lot of love.
The dog has short hair; therefore, its care is simple. Beagles need to be brushed two or three times a week and have a monthly bath. How often the dogs need to be bathed depends on how dirty your dog gets.
The dog’s ears, however, require regular care to keep them clean and prevent infection.
Beagles also can turn into gluttons, so feed them set meals rather than leave their food out and allow them to graze.
Attitude and personality
Supervise outdoor playtime and check fences and gates. This breed can be an escape artist when going after that elusive bunny or squirrel. Once your Beagle catches a scent in his nose, he’s hard to stop.
Beagle breed benefits:
- Good with kids
- Likes to run and bark
- Extremely friendly
- Gentle, happy, curious
- Ideal family pet
Common health concerns
The most common diseases in Beagles are those that affect the eyes, skin, and ears. The breed is prone to suffer from hereditary or genetic pathologies.
In general, this breed is quite healthy, so it is not easy for them to catch viruses or develop any health problem. There are specific ailments to which beagles are prone.
For example, beagles can suffer from:
- Bladder stones
- Cushing’s disease
- Ectropion – A condition that causes the eyelid to turn out
- Cherry eye – A condition that occurs when the gland slips out from behind the dog’s third eyelid causing a pink or red lump in the inner corner of the dog’s eye. Surgery is needed to fix the cherry eye.
- Heart disease
- Disk disease
- Periodontal disease
- Hemolytic anemia – The dog’s immune system produces antibodies that attack its red blood cells, which causes anemia.
- Progressive retinal atrophy – A condition in which the retina degenerates, which causes gradual vision loss and ultimately blindness.
The Beagle is a happy, friendly dog that’s ideally suited to active families. To adopt a Beagle, check Petfinder.com.
To find an American Kennel Club-Registered breeder, visit the AKC Marketplace.
Alana D. Frazier is a content writer at Essay4Students. Because she is fond of learning something new, she tries to keep up with advancing technologies. She also enjoys attending conferences and presentations to improve her skills.