Beagles – Do These Fun-Loving Hounds Make Good Pets?
With their boundless energy and huge personalities, these are most definitely fun-loving hounds – but do they make good family pets? Read our Holidays4Dogs article to find out more about the merry beagle dog.
These dogs are reputed to have a long history, dating back to the Ancient Greeks, who had small hounds very similar to the beagle which they used for hunting hares.
In England, the Tudors had dogs referred to as beagles and they were a particular favourite with Henry the VIII, who adorned his dogs in highly decorative collars. Queen Elizabeth I had a pack of Beagles that were known as, ‘singing beagles’ due to their howling cries.
During the late 19th Century, Beagles were recognised as a breed and exhibited at dog shows. Their popularity has remained stable ever since.
Beagles are hounds and have been used by sportsmen for hundreds of years. They were renowned for hunting small game in southern Europe. Their ability to track is their speciality and they are frequently the breed of choice in the United States, and Australia, as drug detection dogs.
The Beagle has a happy and affectionate nature. Hence they are often described as ‘merry’. However, they are quite independent too – often preferring to do their own thing, especially when they become focused on an exciting new scent.
Indeed, beagles have a tendency to become very focused on scenting. As a result, are often described as ‘stubborn’. Although this is rather an unfair description, since they are simply doing what they were bred to do.
Sometimes described as, ‘free thinkers’ due to their style of hunting – beagle dogs hunt ‘loosely’ in the field and, therefore, they are not always good off-lead.
Beagles do very well with having a job to do in order to use up their boundless energy. The Beagle Club UK have a working section for Beagles with trials held UK-wide for drag hunting.
These dogs have masses of stamina and, as such, need a fair amount of exercise when they are adults. They will suit families with an active lifestyle and a love of the outdoors.
While the beagle is a bright fellow and can learn to follow instructions, you will always have to be rather more vigilant with them. Beagles are very much driven by scent and once they get their noses down, they can be difficult to distract.
For its size, they have a big bark and, if kept outdoors for long periods, can become bored. This may result in barking, or howling. In general, however, beagles are no noisier than other breeds.
Beagles are generally very healthy dogs, with no known genetic health problems that adversely affect the breed. However, they can easily become overweight, so diet and exercise are important for their overall health.
These fun-loving little dogs have a massive personality, being friendly and sociable with everyone. They do make good family pets as long as they have enough attention and plenty of exercise. They may need to be on the lead more than other breeds due to their hunting instincts. However, they are usually very good around the house and take up little space.
Finally, do bear in mind, that many people often describe having a beagle dog in the home, as the equivalent of having a very energetic toddler in the house!