Beagles are pretty popular in India. They are small, cute, and less prone to sickness, it’s only natural that everyone wants a Beagle. If you are planning to get a Beagle or if you’ve already got one, here is everything you need to know about Beagles.
Beagle Breed Information
These beautiful tricoloured dogs have different variations but they all have a white tip on their tail. They were bred to hunt foxes and other small animals inside tall grass. Since they got lost in the grass it was important that they had a white tip on their tail for their handlers to find them.
A Brief History
The modern Beagle as we know today was developed in the 19th century but the concept of a ‘small hunting dog’ exceeded much prior to them.
Early depictions of Beagle-like dogs can be seen in the early 400BC in Greece. These dogs are described as small ‘rabbit hunting’ dogs.
Beagles around the 1300s to the 1600s were called Glove Beagles. They were literally so small that they could fit into a single glove. Owing to their small size, they couldn’t run fast enough and hence briefly went out of popularity.
Then in the 1800s the breed was revived by Reverend Phillip Honeywood. These dogs were still not the same as the modern-day Beagles we know today because they were breed more for their hunting skills and not their looks.
A few decades later Beagles started being imported to America around the same time but the dogs chosen for export were around 15 – 17 inches tall. Thus came the smaller varieties of Beagles.
There are two Beagle sizes found in the world – the 13 Inch variety and the 15-inch variety. In India, you would usually find the taller variety. They are usually 15+ inches and they weigh around 10-15 kilos.
These dogs were made to catch a trail of scent, that’s why their entire body is made for this skill. Their body is close to the ground making it easier for their nose to stay glued to the floor. Their ears are long and close to the face, which allows them to trap scent. This unique characteristic makes it easy for Beagles to catch a scent that has been dead for weeks.
Did you know that the Beagles were named after the French word Begueule which means ‘open throat’? They are pretty loud mouth dogs who can make three different sounds – barks, bellows and howls.
So if you are planning to keep one in an apartment, be sure that your neighbours are okay with their chatty nature.
Beagles are gentle dogs. They usually love the company of other dogs and children. If you have 10-12-year-old children in the house, you can definitely get a Beagle. They are energetic dogs who love to play and should definitely not be confused for a lapdog.
Since they were bred to hunt small animals in packs, they usually do better in families that have other dogs. However, if you have small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs, their hunting instincts might kick in and it will be a tense environment for both.
Beagles are also prone to separation anxiety. Hence you must make sure that your lifestyle can accommodate a Beagle and that they don’t have to stay alone at home for long hours.
They love to hang out with their family but they can often get distracted by their nose. Their incredible sense of smell can take control of their attention spans when they are on a walk. One moment they are by your side, the next, they are chasing after a butterfly.
Obedience training is a must for them and training them to listen to you during a difficult time is life-saving. While you can train your Beagle to walk off-leash since they get easily distracted off-leash training may take years. For some dogs, you may never be able to take them off-leash.
While training is an absolute must, it is also not the easiest to train Beagles. They are quite resilient and get very distracted. However, if you are consistent and you use high-value treats (that have a stronger scent than whatever is distracting them) you can make a breakthrough.
The good thing about Beagles is they are generally healthy dogs. They have fewer illnesses if you give them a healthy environment to live and grow in.
They do love food though and since they are so small, pet parents tend to feed them more than what’s required. Obesity followed by a sedentary lifestyle can lead to many health hazards like hip dysplasia and intervertebral disk disease.
Beagles are also prone to eye problems like Cherry eye, Glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy, especially during their senior years.
Additionally, since they have big ears, that stay close to their face, very little air gets into their ears. This is why they are prone to ear infections throughout their life.
Beagles don’t have intense grooming needs. They have a short, dense double layer coat that sheds all year. You can brush them to reduce the shedding but since their fur is short, you can get away with the brushing. Their fur won’t ever get tangles.
Since they are prone to ear infections, you should check their ears at least once in 2 weeks. Wipe their ears every week but avoid letting water or oil in their ears. Moisture in their ears can lead to severe ear infections.
You should also trim their nails once in 2-3 weeks if they don’t wear them down naturally. Some dogs wear down the nails in their hind legs but not in their front paws. If their nails are clicking on the floor it is usually a good indication that they need a trim.
How Do I Identify A Pure Beagle?
Beagles are tricoloured dogs. They have a white stomach, muzzle, paws and tail tip. Their saddle (back) is black with tan borders followed by tan ears.
Their pattern may vary slightly from one another. Some are darker than others while others are two coloured – white and brown. Breeders price them differently based on the accuracy of their patterns.
The tip of their tail is always white. They have a thick short tail that sits on top of their tail bone. You’ll see that puppies have a straight tail. Mix breeds may have curled tails.
Beagles also have long flat ears that stick close to their face. They are perched lower on either side of their head.
Beagles are wonderful little dogs who make for the perfect pets who understand their mental and emotional needs. Since they have a strong sense of smell, it is ideal to keep their sensory systems busy throughout the day.
We hope you found this article helpful. Do you have a beagle? Or are you planning to keep one? Let us know what is the one thing you love about them. We are always looking forward to your comments.