The Beagle Dog.
In another of our Holidays4Dogs breed articles, we look at the beagle. With their boundless energy and great personalities, these fun-loving hounds make great companions for energetic families. Read on to find out more.
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 hunted hare.
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, particularly 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 drugs detection dogs.
The Beagle has a happy and affectionate nature, but they are quite independent. They are reasonably small in stature and handy to take around, but they are also very robust and sturdy dogs. They are intelligent too and usually keen to please.
However, they do have a tendency to become very focused on scenting and, as result, are often described as ‘stubborn’. 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.
Sometimes described as, ‘free thinkers’ due to their style of hunting, they hunt loosely in the field and, therefore, they are not always good off-lead.
However, they are bright and can learn to follow instructions, but you will always have to be rather more vigilant with a beagle. Beagles are very much driven by scent and once they get their noses down they can be difficult to distract.
For its size the beagle has 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 as long as they are not left to their own devices for long periods.
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 is important for the overall health of a beagle.
These fun loving little dogs have a massive personality, being friendly and sociable with everyone. However, do bear in mind, many people often describe having a beagle in the home, as the equivalent of having a very energetic toddler in the house.