A tri-color Beagle.
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 6 Section 1 #161
||Group 4 (Hounds)
||Group 2 - Hounds
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
A Beagle is a medium-sized
dog breed and a
member of the hound
group, similar in appearance to a
but smaller with shorter legs, and with longer, softer
ears. Beagles are
scent hounds used primarily for hunting rabbits to larger hares.
The Beagle has a somewhat oval
hazel or brown eyes; long, low-set
ears (big), turning towards the
and rounded at the tips; a medium-length, strong
neck without folds
in the skin; a
narrowing to a tapered
waist; a short,
slightly curved tail;
an overall muscular body; and a medium-length, smooth, hard coat. One standard
calls for ideally shaped beagles to be twice as long as tall, and twice as tall
They appear in a range of colors, not limited to the familiar tricolor (white
with large black
and light brown
spots). Two-color varieties are always white with colored areas, including such
colors as "lemon", a very light tan; "red", a reddish, almost orangish brown;
"liver", a darker brown, is the only colour not allowed. "Ticked" varieties may
be either white or black with different colored spots ("ticking"), such
as the bluetick beagle, which has spots that appear to be a midnight-blue color,
similar to the
bluetick coonhound. Some tricolor beagles also have ticking of various
colors in their white areas. The brown is usually the last color to appear on
beagles, usually taking 1-2 years to fully develop. Beagles have a white-tipped
tail, or "flag", which is important in locating them in the field due to their
American Kennel Club and the
Canadian Kennel Club recognize two separate varieties of Beagle: the 13-inch
for hounds less than 13 inches, and the 15-inch for those between 13 and 15
Kennel Club (UK) and
FCI affiliated clubs recognize a single type, with a height of between 13
and 16 inches.
In Medieval times, there was a breed called a "pocket beagle", which stood at
8–9 inches. This breed no longer exists, and many claims by some breeders to
have pocket beagles for sale usually indicate poor breeding practices.
The Beagle has a very well-developed sense of smell
The Beagle has a very good temper and gentle disposition. Beagles are
intelligent, but are stubborn and may be hard to train (due to their strong
will). They are an especially loyal breed and are very friendly. They rarely
show signs of aggression, and are excellent with children. Beagles also get
along with other dogs, provided that they have been socialized correctly.
They are playful and energetic dogs who enjoy long walks. Never let a Beagle
off its leash except in a confined area. If released, it may follow a scent
endlessly or will incessantly try to tag along with other dogs.
Beagles are pack animals, and can be prone to separation anxiety. Beagles are
best in pairs if they are going to be alone for long periods of time.
Beagles are a healthy breed, often living for 12 to 15 years, but they do
have a few common health problems.
The Beagle's ears are long and floppy, which can trap warm moist air or
prevent air from reaching the ear canals. This condition can be successfully
treated with regular cleaning daily and sometimes medication for major cases.
Careless bathing can get water into their ears, potentially causing
Sometimes their eyelashes grow into the eye and irritate the eye; this might
require surgery to remove the eyelashes.
Obesity is a common health problem in Beagles due to people overfeeding them
in response to their playful and kind behavior. A healthy Beagle should have
some definition to its waist and have an hourglass appearance when viewed from
above. You should be able to feel their ribs. Excessive weight can lead to
problems such as
dysplasia and heart trouble. They need exercise and a good diet.
Some Beagles are prone to
congenital heart disease.
In some rare cases Beagles may develop
polyarthritis (where the immune system attacks the joints) even at a young
age. This can be sometimes treated effectively with
Beagles are also prone to seizures/epilepsy. This disease is treatable with
The rare instance of a Beagle taking a break.
Beagles (or their ancestors) appear to have been used for hare hunting in
England as early as the reign of
Edward III, who had a pack of up to 120 hare hounds with him on the
battlefield during the
Hundred Years' War. The first mention of the beagle in English literature by
name dates from 1475. The origin of the word "beagle" is uncertain, although it
has been suggested that the word derives from the
French begueule (meaning "open throat", or more colloquially,
"loudmouth") or from an
Old English, French, or
Welsh term beag, meaning "small." Other possibilities include the
French beugler (meaning "to bellow") and the
German begele (meaning "to scold").
Beagles were originally used for
still are in some places.
has been referred to as "the poor person's
as a Beagle pack (30–40 dogs) is followed on foot, not
usual quarry is the
hare. Beagles are admired by some for the bloodcurdling "Beagle music" they
emit when in full pursuit, also called tonguing. Beagling, like
foxhunting, is banned in
hunting is another Beagle sport.
A Very Happy Beagle Puppy
Beagles have superb
noses and, despite their self-willed temperament, are sometimes used as
sniffer dogs for
drug detection. More often, though, they are the breed of choice of the
United States Department of Agriculture to detect food items in
transported into the U.S. The force is called the
Beagle Brigade and these dogs wear a green jacket. Beagles were chosen
because they are small and easy to care for, and because they are not as
intimidating for people who are uncomfortable around dogs. They are also used
for this purpose by the
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in
Zealand and by the
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (for whom they wear maroon
Beagles are the dog breed most often used in
animal testing, due to ther passive nature.
Beagles in popular culture
- The Peanuts
his siblings are beagles.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's
Shiloh trilogy is about a beagle.
Beagle Boys in
- Lou in
Cats and Dogs
Star Trek: Enterprise
- Buster in
The Wonder Years.
- Buckley in
The Royal Tenenbaums
- US President
Lyndon Johnson owned three Beagles named Him, Her, and Edgar.
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