Early records of Beagles date back to more than 2,000 years ago in Ancient Greece. At the time of the Crusades which began in 1096, Beagles were an established hunting hound. In the 14th Century, they started being used as a hunting hound in Britain to hunt small game, such as hare or rabbit.
Once the Beagle found the scent, it would begin to ‘sing’ and the hunter will allow the pooch to work the scent, and would position himself based on his knowledge of the countryside, where he believed the hare would most likely end up.
English breeders of the Beagle are said to have done more to develop and preserve the breed than any other nation and therefore, it is generally accepted that the Beagle has its origins in England.
Today, the Beagle works in all fields from quarantine and customs to assistance and therapy dogs. It has also been a popular breed in movies and commercials, not to mention cartoons (Snoopy!) and movies, such as “Cats and Dogs” and “Underdog”.
Beagles are gentle, playful and eager to please their family
Beagles are a lively, active and extremely intelligent breed. They are low maintenance, but require a lot of attention and regular company.
Gentle, playful and eager to please, Beagles can also be willful, possessing great stamina, determination and a definite mind of their own. They require firm and patient handling.
Because of their natural hunting instincts, Beagles have a tendency to roam so make sure you have a well-fenced yard. Beagles make good watchdogs as they are quite vocal, although they may prefer to play with any intruder. Beagles can be stubborn to train, so you will need to be firm, patient and consistent with training.
Beagles are a ‘pack dog’ which means they were bred to be with other dogs. They therefore do not like to be on their own and are much better in pairs. If you are away from home for long periods of time, best to get two Beagles so they can sleep together, play together and are much happier. Many breeders will not sell one on their own for this reason.
Beagles have a short, dense and weatherproof coat which makes them easy to groom, requiring only a few minutes brushing daily and an occasional bath. Their big floppy ears can sometimes lead to ear problems (as there is very little air flow into the ear canal) so regular cleaning with a proprietary ear cleanser will help to maintain healthy ears.
Like all dogs, Beagles require regular tick, flea, intestinal worms and heartworm treatments. Consult your veterinarian on treatment options. Desexing and vaccination against diseases, such as the deadly parvo virus and highly infectious canine cough, are also important to discuss with your vet.
Beagles need plenty of regular exercise. Because of their strong hunting instinct, they need to be watched if off-leash because they tend to lose focus while tracking with their noses to the ground. Most people only let their Beagles off lead if away from roads as they have little road sense due to their long ears and being a scent hound. It is advisable to take your Beagle to an enclosed, off lead dog area where you know they will be safe.
Beagles are devoted companion dogs for people of all ages, including the elderly and people with disabilities. A loyal and loving breed, they suit a family environment and are great with young kids. However, like with any dog, supervision is important when around children.
Beagles are hardy, resilient and highly adaptable, happily living in a house or kennel. They also adjust happily to a suburban backyard, as long as they have regular exercise to keep fit.
Breed classification Hound
Size Small to medium
Lifespan 10 – 15 years
Colors Range of colors, Most common are tri-colors (black, tan & white), tan & white, and lemon & white
Cost $900 – $1000
Common hereditary problems Epilepsy, hypothyroidism, dwarfism, eye problems, such as dry eye and cherry eye.